If you haven’t heard it for yourself, you’ve seen it in movies: the screech of a child’s instrument echoing through the house and leaving a trail of borderline bleeding ears in its wake.
Suppose you are considering music lessons for your child. In that case, you may be scrambling up a cost/benefit analysis in your mind and wondering if the benefits of learning an instrument as a child outweigh the costs of offering your child lessons.
Music lessons are incredibly beneficial for kids.
From promoting healthy development to strengthening immune systems, learning to create music has many impressive benefits.
If you are looking to discover the benefits that come with children playing musical instruments, keep reading.
Table of Contents
- Does Learning How to Play an Instrument as a Child Positively Affect a Child’s Development?
- 11 Benefits of Learning a Musical Instrument as a Child
- Should Every Student Play a Musical Instrument?
- Northwest School of Music Can Help Your Child Learn an Instrument at a Young Age and Reap the Many Benefits
Does Learning How to Play an Instrument as a Child Positively Affect a Child’s Development?
Yes, learning to play an instrument has innumerable positive effects on a child’s development.
One study found that children who learn a musical instrument experience an increase in cortical thickness in the parts of the brain that influence factors such as:
- Organizational skills
- Attention span; and
- Emotional and impulse regulation
But learning to play a musical instrument doesn’t just influence kids’ brain development. There are tons of other benefits available for children who learn to play an instrument.
11 Benefits of Learning a Musical Instrument as a Child
Here are some of the incredible benefits of playing an instrument as a child.
#1: Improves Social Skills
Kids who take music lessons get unique socialization opportunities that others might not have.
Often, students find themselves interacting with a mix of adults and other children throughout their lessons and competitions. This forces them to draw upon and grow their social skills.
Students involved in group lessons, orchestras, and ensembles learn collaboration and the value of working together to create something beautiful.
Kids who study musical instruments learn respect for each other as well as their teachers and directors through navigating teamwork and learning to follow directions.
Whether you were one or simply knew one, everyone knows that the band kids in school have a close bond that you don’t get unless you are one of them. There is something about learning and creating music that unites people. For many kids, the friendships forged in the world of music last a lifetime.
#2: Opens the Door for Many Opportunities
Especially for kids that start with music young, the horizon of opportunity is ever-expanding. Students who apply themselves and excel in music as kids often have access to:
- College scholarships
- Career opportunities
- And more
Music lessons also give kids a chance to figure out what they like and what piques their interest. That’s why at Northwest School of Music we have a wide array of musical options available for our students, ranging from classics such as piano and guitar to more novel options such as drums or dance.
We believe that all our students — adults and children alike — should have access to the musical styles and instruments that excite them.
#3: Improves Reading and Listening Skills
Learning how to read sheet music is much like learning a new language. You have to decode the symbols and notes and how they all translate to your instrument.
Attentiveness to details is imperative in music and children who spend time learning to read music develop skills that help them read and listen better.
#4: Enhances Brain Development
You’ve likely heard that listening to classical music makes you smarter. But learning to play music is even better.
Learning a musical instrument helps create pathways between the left and right hemispheres of the brain which help to improve:
- Fine motor skills
- Verbal and non-verbal reasoning; and
- Learning capabilities
Additionally, learning to play music improves neurophysiological distinction, which allows the brain to hear and process sounds that it once could not.
#5: Improves Language Development
Because learning music requires students to differentiate between slight differences in tone and pitch, musically-trained children often have great phonological skills and enjoy improved language development. They can process speech with more speed and precision than students without a musical background, making them better listeners and communicators.
#6: Improves Memory
Studies have shown that learning a musical instrument increases kids’ attention spans and memory capabilities thanks to how it triggers different parts of the brain.
Essentially, playing music is like hitting the brain gym, and the more you “work out,” the greater your brain functions become. Music helps the brain develop its memory muscles, allowing the pupil to learn faster and better interact with their world.
#7: Develops Cultural Awareness
Music is all around us — from birds singing in the trees to street musicians to blasting radios.
If you’ve listened to a variety of musical genres, you already know music makes us feel things like:
- The swell of pride as the National Anthem sweeps across a packed stadium
- The pounding in your chest as the movie score picks up during an intense scene
- The overwhelming calm as a cello’s mellow tune cuts through the other instruments
- The childish joy as a peppy melody bounces out of your car’s stereo, beckoning you to keep time on your steering wheel-turned-drum set
Music is a universal language. All cultures have some form of music and can listen to and appreciate the sounds of other cultures.
By exposing children to music at an early age and encouraging them to play and listen to music from cultures other than their own, you can help expand their horizons and give them a passport to the world.
#8: Encourages Expression and Creativity
Everyone needs an outlet, a way to express themselves in their highs, lows, and everything in between. Every human soul innately desires to create and needs a way to express that need.
For many, music is the perfect avenue. Music speaks where words fail and many musicians connect deeply with the possibilities that music creates for self-expression and creativity.
Cultivating creativity is a necessary part of life — without it, things such as problem-solving can be difficult.
Additionally, strong creative skills open the door to a wide variety of career options down the road such as:
- Graphic design
- Digital marketing
- Professional music creation
- And more
#9: Releases Stress
Along with boosting creativity and encouraging self-expression, creating music is a great way to relieve stress.
Playing music helps children switch off stress responses and reconnect with themselves in a healthy way when life gets overwhelming.
When kids live in a constant state of stress, without ever finding a release for it or a way to process it, they may find themselves experiencing symptoms like:
Music is great for mental and emotional health and wellbeing.
#10: Strengthens the Heart
From releasing endorphins that improve vascular health to calming an anxiety-ridden body, music is great for the heart.
While music alone has some heart-health benefits, combining it with other activities only increases them. Maybe you’ve experienced this for yourself.
You’re out on a run, finally in the home stretch. Your lungs are burning, your legs are cramping, and your feet are on fire. Just as you begin to wonder why you thought this was a good idea, your favorite pump-up beat starts pulsing through your headphones. Without even meaning to, your stride lengthens, your heart picks up, and you feel less tired. Your feet find the rhythm and before you know it, the run is over and you realize with a smile that you survived after all.
Music is powerful and it allows us to push further and dig deeper than we may have thought possible.
#11: Strengthens the Immune System
The sniffles this week, a tummy bug last week, and a sore throat on the horizon for next week …
Does it seem like your kid is constantly sick? While certainly not a suitable substitute for medical care, music has the astounding ability to boost the immune system and help the human body stay healthy.
Listening to and playing music can help increase the body’s natural production of immunoglobulin A, an antibody that helps attack invading illnesses.
Should Every Student Play a Musical Instrument?
Should every student play a musical instrument? Northwest School of Music thinks so, in most cases.
While there is no perfect, cookie-cutter answer that will be right for everyone, learning to play an instrument is a great option for almost any child. If at all possible, most parents should strongly consider encouraging their child to learn to play a musical instrument.
After reading this long list of potential benefits we’ve shared, you now know that enrolling your child in music lessons is an investment in their future. Even if they choose not to pursue the instrument when they are older, the benefits they receive while young are often well worth the time, money, and effort involved.
Northwest School of Music Can Help Your Child Learn an Instrument at a Young Age and Reap the Many Benefits
Northwest School of Music is committed to helping your child achieve their goals and develop their creative potential to its fullest.
With a team of highly-qualified teachers covering multiple musical specialties and focuses, Northwest School of Music has the resources your child needs. From learning to play Mozart on the violin to beating out their favorite rock classics on the drums, your child has access to many different instruments and musical styles.
If you are looking for music lessons for your child in Salem and the surrounding areas, look no further than Northwest School of Music, Oregon’s #1 choice for music lessons.
Schedule your free lesson trial lesson today and set your child up for long-term success.