We have all heard music referred to as the universal language. In the world we live in, we are surrounded by music every day; in the form of songs, celebrations, ceremonies, lullabies, and so much more. It doesn't matter how old you are or where you come from - everyone loves a good melody.
A recent article in The Telegraph suggests that regularly playing an instrument can change the shape and power of the brain and can even increase IQ in both children and adults saying there is "growing evidence that musicians have structurally and functionally different brains compared with non-musicians - in particular, the areas of the brain used in processing and playing music".
It goes on to say:"These parts of the brain that control motor skills, hearing, storing audio information and memory become larger and more active when a person learns how to play an instrument and can apparently improve day to day actions such as being alert, planning and emotional perception."
Hence, introducing your child to music lessons is so much more than just having an extra I Music is a wonderful tool that helps a child's body and mind work together, and moreover can help improve their mood, put a smile on their face and fill them with joy.
And it seems the earlier a child is introduced to the world of music, the better. An article in The Guardian revealed that brain scans taken of young adults showed that those who had music lessons before the age of seven "had thicker brain regions that deal with hearing and self-awareness". It went on to conclude that "brain development can be influenced by the age that children start to learn a musical instrument", and that "those changes can persist into later life".
A quote from Yunxin Wang of Beijing Normal University from the same article states, "early musical training does more good for kids than just making it easier for them to enjoy music. It changes the brain and these brain changes could lead to cognitive advances as well."
So by allowing your child to learn a musical instrument, you are allowing them to express themselves in so much more than just words. I'm not saying that you should expect your child to become the next Beethoven, but music can definitely enhance a child's development.
By encouraging your child to learn music, you are building a confidence in them that they may not have been able to gain elsewhere. For example, if your child has started taking piano lessons and he learns to play his first song, this immediately boosts his confidence.
I remember when my son first started his piano lessons at the age of six, and just a few months later he was so excited to be able to play piano in front of his friends at his birthday party. He was both confident and extremely proud of himself; and I couldn't have been prouder too!
Music has the power to build a child's imagination and curiosity thus boosting their brain power. It also requires counting notes and rhythm which can help a child with their Maths skills, whilst reading the notes and translating them into a finger position will help with comprehension and reading skills. More studies are linking music to better brain function and greater academic achievement.
While children who learn to play musical instruments are developing a new skill, they are widening their social circles at the same time. Whether they have private one-to-one lessons or group tuition, they are likely to meet new friends, be it during lessons, at school, or at after-school classes.
Learning a new skill means they will have new topics to discuss in conversation, and having a passion for something will inspire them to talk, learn and interact with others. Improving their social skills will almost certainly be transferred into other aspects of their lives such as dealing with meeting new people, and more satisfying interaction with their existing circle of friends.
In the same way that children develop physical and motor skills through sports, they can develop these skills by practising a musical instrument. Their hand-eye coordination, the movement in certain parts of their bodies and the improvement of breathing techniques are to name but a few.
Music is a wonderful world of notes and instruments and learning them can be a stimulating and challenging process for children. Music constantly encourages children to use their memory to perform leading to greater memorisation abilities in education and more.
When learning to play an instrument, children must learn to be in time with the music, and play at the correct moments, so patience and discipline will start to come naturally to them. Moreover, children will need to practice regularly and have the discipline to master their musical instrument. In time your child will prosper and understand that although something might be difficult to begin with, perseverance will prove that nothing is impossible.
In addition, participating in group music activities like an orchestra or choir requires a child to wait their turn, teaching children patience, teamwork and discipline.
Musical training can even help your child develop their language and academic skills - no, really! Music lessons have been found to develop the areas of the brain associated to language and reasoning. It is a fact that music and songs can imprint data and information better on young minds. By teaching children music we are promoting craftsmanship and a sense of accomplishment, and children will always want to create great work - something that can be applied to all subjects of study.
Children learning music can often be more emotionally developed with empathy to other cultures. Music comes in a vast variety of genres from classical traditions to folk music and each piece of music usually has it's own storyline or background. By reflecting the times and places of the different musical pieces your child will encounter they are learning to appreciate other times and cultures.
I have listed eight reasons why children will benefit from music learning but there are so many more including:
Music is something that every child should be encouraged to learn, and the earlier they start lessons, the greater effect it will have on their lives. There can only be a positive outcome to bringing children and music together. As George Eliot once said:
"I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs, and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music."
Post By: Anna Michaelidou
Anna has been a private tutor of both English Literature and English Language for fifteen years having taught all levels from nursery school right through to university level. She is a writer, content marketing executive and a busy mother of four lovely children.
Looking for a music tutor? Look no further. First Tutors offers the number one service for connecting parents with tutors.