How does your child spend their time? Kids are better off not being busy all the time. However, some activities may be better than others. One of these is learning how to play an instrument.
Tackling a guitar, piano, or violin isn’t easy, and it will take some time for a child to master it. But the benefits are awesome:
It Will Improve Their Brain and Motor Skills
Playing a musical instrument is just as good as sports and even better than Sudoku at improving children’s hand-eye coordination, memory, and mental acuity. It can light up every area of the brain as it stimulates vision, sound, and auditory regions.
Many things happen in the brain when someone takes guitar lessons, for example. They have to move their fingers and strum the strings, which work on their fine motor skills. When they read music sheets, they are feeding visual information. When they create sounds, they exercise their auditory control.
According to studies, it is particularly impactful in the development of corpus callosum, a group of nerve fibers that connect both hemispheres of the brain, and the hippocampus, the seat of learning and memory. The activity helps create neurons or brain nerve cells, which promote better cognitive skills.
If that’s not enough good news, brain scans share that kids who receive training for at least 15 months could show significant positive changes in the brain structure compared to those who don’t play any instrument.
Learning to Play Music Will Increase Their Academic Success
It will help them with academic achievement too. The ability to read well at an early age is one of the biggest predictors of success in school, but reading comprehension isn’t just about decoding words. It’s also about understanding the text that you are trying to decode.
Playing an instrument requires children to read independently and follow musical patterns, which build the mental flexibility necessary for becoming a good reader.
Learning an instrument will make them more creative. It gives kids the opportunity to learn how to use their imagination, a key component of creativity. This way, they become more efficient in problem-solving and analysis.
Lastly, they will be well prepared for future academic challenges. Music helps children develop the memory and attention span required for many disciplines such as science and math.
Music Enhances Your Children’s Social Skills
Music is a universal language that can help kids find common ground. Learning to read, write, and play music will give your child the power to cross-cultural boundaries with ease because all cultures use music as part of their daily lives.
It’s also an excellent way for children to express themselves artistically without using words. Thus, they may be more willing to explore it than other art forms, creating another opportunity for self-expression.
Also, music stimulates brain regions, including the frontal lobe, which is responsible for social reasoning and emotions like empathy and compassion. Researchers have found that children who take music lessons display greater growth in these areas than those who don’t.
That said, it’s not just about whether they play music but also how they do it. Children who learn to play in groups and socialize with other players may gain the most benefits.
It Helps Children Cope with Stress
Playing an instrument is a great way for kids to spend time. Learning a guitar or a violin can provide hours of fun and entertainment and a chance to develop their talent and hone new skills—a big win-win for them!
It can improve their behavior. Playing music gets kids excited and helps release tension, so they may be more likely to participate willingly in activities like homework or learning new skills. Music reduces anxiety levels by reducing cortisol levels in your body (cortisol is a stress hormone) and thus makes it easier to focus.
Many parents usually think twice about exposing their kids to music and instruments, and that’s understandable. They believe it is costly, but in reality, it can be a cheap hobby. Instruments can range from $100 to $5,000, but the cost is often negotiable and affordable for most families.
Some instruments are even free. Their schools can help fund them, or the community center can lend excess ones. Parents can also buy second-hand instruments in thrift stores and websites like eBay. Some types of instruments like guitar are also cheaper, say, a violin. If the goal is to learn how to play something, this is a good way to start.