A child who studies music and learns how to play an instrument develops more than an appreciation for music and culture. There are many other benefits that children who learn a musical instrument can reap. Here are some of them:
- Musical Training Optimises Brain Function – it enhances coordination, concentration and memory, and improves eyesight and hearing. The process of learning to play an instrument refines the development of the brain and the entire neurological system.
- Musical training enhances children’s verbal intelligence. Early musical training helps develop brain areas involved in language and reasoning. Studies show that musical training develops the part of the brain responsible for processing language, and that it can wire the brain’s circuits in specific ways. Linking familiar songs to new information also helps to imprint information on a child’s mind.
- 2 years of learning piano has shown an increase of 30-40% in Math and Spatial scores.
- It develops right brain creativity which helps children learn to think outside the box.
- Children learning music perform better academically in school with higher grades and test scores. Musical lessons have also been linked to higher IQ scores.
- It improves communication skills and social interaction. Musical lessons help children develop empathy and improve their ability to interpret facial expressions and body language.
In a study on children learning music versus children who did not attend musical classes:
“children taking music lessons improved more over the year on general memory skills that are correlated with non-musical abilities such as literacy, verbal memory, visiospatial processing, mathematics and IQ than did the children not taking lessons.” – Science Daily.
Even if your child only studies music for a while then quits, there are still benefits to be gained from “a little musical training“. A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience (22 August 2012) titled: “A Little Goes a Long Way: How the Adult Brain is Shaped by Musical Training in Childhood” showed that adults who had had as little as 1 to 5 years of musical training as children were better listeners and learners compared to adults without any musical training.
Additionally, it has been found that both music and language are processed by the same brain systems so perhaps music can be considered a second language and possibly providing the same benefits of learning a second language.
“When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout.” – TEDEd
Articles on music and early childhood development:
- Extra-Curricular Activities: The Wondrous Benefits of Learning a Musical Instrument
- Brain Scans Show How Learning a Musical Instrument Enhances Our Brains
- How Music Benefits the Brain
- The Mozart Effect and Other Music Benefits
- Why You Should Send Your Children for Music Lessons
- 18 Reasons why your child should learn the piano
- Music – one of the top 5 early childhood development activities
Programs and Resources:
- Resources for Developing Perfect Pitch
- Recommended Apps for the iPhone and iPad
- Programs for babies, toddlers and young children
- BrillKids Little Musician – introductory lessons for young children
- eMedia – introduce young children to piano, guitar, or violin
- Apps: eMedia Guitar Method
- Piano Maestro – makes piano practice fun
- Soft Way to Mozart – for piano
- Piano Wizard Music Academy (Review)
- The Suzuki Method – for piano and violin
- Hoffman Academy – for piano
- ABC Mouse – Early learning academy with full online curriculum from preschool through kindergarten
- Free Online Lessons on Famous Composers