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Children & Music

by Louise | July 7th, 2009 | Teen Perspective

picA previously posted article, “The Best Time to Teach Your Child How to Play a Musical Instrument,” addresses when a child should be taught how to play a musical instrument. This article addresses why children/teens should be taught to play musical instruments. While I agree with the crux of the aforementioned article, that the best time to teach a child to play a musical instrument is when they show interest in it, I find it crucial that music be introduced as early as possible for several reasons:

  • Focus/Memorization – When children receive training in music, they usually learn to focus attention for long periods of time, they learn musical notation, which is like a complex new language, they learn patterns, and they often learn to memorize passages. All of those skills can be applied to the classroom and perhaps explains why studies have shown that children who have learned how to play a musical instrument perform better in reading, vocabulary, math, and spatial tests.
  • Cooperation - Learning how to play music can help develop social skills. In learning music, you not only learn about harmony of notes, but also harmony of people. For example, duets must be played by two musicians who work together. Also, if you play music as a family, you can create a bond unlike any other.
  • Self-Esteem/Emotion – Being able to play music is a talent that is easily shared, whether among musicians or not, and it is often admired. Additionally, music can be an outlet for emotions. When I have a rough day, I find that playing piano can be very relaxing, and I always leave the piano bench more focused and in a better mood.
  • Entertainment – It’s better than TV, right?

It is beneficial to immerse a child in the world of music as early as possible, whether it be from a few trial music lessons, a music-related game, or listening to soundtracks together as a family. When I was little, my parents dragged me along to classical concerts and forced me to take piano lessons; those are things I thank them for now. Maybe I am a little biased because I now love music. But I say, at least introduce your child to music in his or her earliest years; what’s the worst it could do?

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