Music plays an important role in culture and is a significant aspect of many areas of our lives: theatre, cinema, worship, celebrations, television, holidays… the list goes on. It can even be a part of family culture in a home.
Parents instinctively use music to calm and soothe children from the day they are born. By building on this, it is possible to use it to influence a child’s development, improve their social skills and generally benefit children of all ages.
Here are just some of the positive impacts music can have on kids.
Music Boost Confidence
A key point in childhood development is building self-confidence. By offering an alternative method of expressing oneself, music opens a door for kids to really flourish and grow in confidence and self-worth.
Having a skill that not many other children possess gives them something to talk about with other kids, which in itself can be a confidence booster. What’s more, playing a musical instrument or learning to sing can be a very complex and challenging process. When your kid pushes through a particularly difficult piece or finally masters that arpeggio it gives them something to be proud of and shows them that with the right attitude and hard work, everything is possible. Once this lesson ha been learned, it can then be applied throughout life and in many different contexts.
At first glance, it may seem that maths and music have nothing in common; however, it can actually improve mathematical ability. For example, playing an instrument is not as simple as making a noise or producing a melody – there is a surprising amount of numbers involved! From counting beats to transposing a piece to a different key, having an understanding of fractions among other things will be a great help!
Maths is not the only subject music can help with – geography and history get a look in too! Music varies enormously between different countries, peoples and eras and listening to or playing music from “elsewhere” can open a door into the heart of that place or period. In this way, kids can catch a glimpse of a different time or place, making their history and geography classes really come alive and maybe become more interesting as a result!
Commitment and Discipline
As mentioned above, learning an instrument or to sing is challenging. Just like any other skill, it requires practice and discipline to progress, especially if your kid is ambitious or wants to take official board exams. That said, if they see that their practice is yielding good results, the hard work and hours of practice will be worth it. In light of this, kids who start learning to play an instrument at an early age tend to develop a healthy work ethic which they carry with them throughout their life.
Train your Brain
Research shows that a musician’s brain, even at a young age, works differently to that of a non-musician. “There’s some good neuroscience research that children involved in music have larger growth of neural activity than people not in music training. When you’re a musician and you’re playing an instrument, you have to be using more of your brain,” says Dr. Eric Rasmussen, chair of the Early Childhood Music Department at the Peabody Preparatory of The Johns Hopkins University, where he teaches a specialized music curriculum for children aging from two months to nine years.