There are many benefits to playing a musical instrument that go beyond improving hand-eye coordination and instilling a sense of responsibility in your child. Some other benefits include doing better in school, increasing attention span and having fun playing familiar songs for an audience of family and friends. It can also improve a child’s ability to socialize with their peers. Truly, the benefits are innumerable. Here’s a list of additional benefits that stem from playing a musical instrument that you won’t want your kids to miss.
- Time Management and Organizational Skills – Practice makes perfect, but you have to make time for practice. Learning to play an instrument requires a child to work on managing their time in order to fit the appropriate amount of practice into their day. In addition, a child must learn to be more organized so they don’t lose or misplace music books or parts of their instrument.
- Focus, Concentration and Determination – Playing an instrument helps improve focus and concentration skills. A child must learn to dedicate a certain amount of attention and focus to learning new notes or chords. Consequently, for them to learn an entire song they will have to assemble all the new notes they have learned. The reward of performing well can increase their level of determination to succeed, as well.
- Goals and Aspirations – It takes discipline to learn to play a musical instrument, and every note produced is another goal met, another triumph along the way. When a child gets into the swing of things, they often become committed to the idea of learning and perfecting a new song they enjoy. This part of the process can promote short term and long term goal-setting habits in a child.
- Sense of Achievement and Confidence – Learning how to read music is like learning a second language, so learning a new instrument is an accomplishment in itself. Conquering every song he tackles is hard work and something he will feel proud of. This will boost his confidence and sense of accomplishment, especially when he begins to learn songs that are familiar or tunes that he loves.
- Stress Relief – Initially, learning a new instrument can be a bit overwhelming and even a bit stressful. Over time, however, as your child becomes more comfortable, it can become a source of stress relief. Playing music that brings joy can help soothe a child. It can also be calming for others to hear them play music.
- Creative Expression – There’s nothing more releasing than learning a song that makes you happy or writing your own music that moves you. Playing an instrument allows your child to be expressive in how they are feeling by using music as an emotional and creative outlet. A child’s personality and talents can shine when they are allowed to be creative with music.
- Patience – Learning a new instrument takes patience. Mistakes are repeated many times before getting an entire song down pat. The process of learning through small triumphs and defeats teaches a child to have patience and to be diligent. They will begin to understand that with time and practice, they can achieve greatness.
- Improved Memory, Reading and Comprehension – Playing an instrument with sheet music requires constant reading and comprehension. Seeing notes and chords on the page and translating them to finger positions takes skill and committing them to memory takes persistence.
- Being a Team Player – Playing an instrument in a school band teaches a child to be a team player just as well as being on the football or basketball team. Each instrument has its own part and place in a song, and in order to participate in an ensemble a child will be forced to learn the art of working with others as a team to meet a common goal.
- Better Grades – A child who is taught music has been exposed to the necessary skills of concentration, focus and patience. These are abilities that tend to translate to above-average academic performance, as proven by a report released by the College Entrance Examination Board, which showed that students with a musical background outperformed their non-arts peers on the SAT and other standardized tests.
Playing a musical instrument promotes a child’s self-esteem by improving several key skills and habits. But most of all, playing a musical instrument is fun and exciting for kids. Children learn to overcome challenges in the process of learning an instrument, which spills over into a greater level of patience. Playing a musical instrument is a cycle of creative outlet and discipline that will likely carry on later in life.