Whether you’re a first-time parent or a seasoned veteran, you most likely know how important it is for your child to have interests and hobbies. Specific hobbies can help your children expand their thinking, learn useful life skills, and focus on something that makes them happy. While some kids will express interest in doing certain things on their own, others may need some help finding their passion. And if your child is interested in music (whether that’s listening to or playing), then you’ve found your answer! Music lessons in Toronto or online music lessons–particularly as a child–can reap so many benefits for their mental, emotional, and social skills. Keep reading to learn the top 5 reasons to encourage your child to learn an instrument.
1. Increased brain development
It should come as no surprise that music lessons have a HUGE effect on many parts of the brain–especially during the crucial development stage as a child. In fact, playing music has been shown to have a higher impact on the brain compared to any other activity. According to recent studies, findings also show that any sort of musical lessons leads to faster development of the auditory pathway in the brain. The auditory pathway is responsible for delivering and receiving messages in our brain. This accelerated development leads to better speaking and reading abilities.
Interestingly enough, there have been studies done that show the differences between the brain of a musician and non-musician and the contrast is very clear. The most common difference is the size of the corpus callosum (which is a collection of nerve fibres connecting the two sides of the brain.) In musicians this bunch of fibres is much larger than that of a non-musician. Additionally, the grey matter of the brain is typically larger which contributes to increased hearing and motor abilities.
2. Better social skills
While you may not think of improved social skills as a result of learning to play an instrument, it’s actually one of the most important benefits to a child as they age. Let’s break it down:
Whether your child is taking private music lessons or playing with a large ensemble, they will learn how to respect their peers as well as the adults guiding them. Every kid will have varying music abilities which allows them to understand when to step into the limelight or when to fall back. They’ll also be learning from an adult instructor who will help teach them discipline and respect (which will help out in their schooling!)
Playing an instrument (especially in front of others) makes you vulnerable and takes a lot of guts. Learning how to do this at a young age builds self-esteem which makes children more comfortable in public and allows them to feel a sense of accomplishment for their much-deserved achievements.
The value of teamwork skills is huge, particularly as your child starts advancing in school and in their career down the line. Being able to play an instrument in a band can be tough with a bunch of other kids which is why it’s such a great learning experience in the art of teamwork.
3. Higher grades in school
We briefly spoke about the amazing effects playing an instrument can have on a child’s brain, but how does that actually translate to the real world? Well, studies have actually shown that a musician’s IQ score is a bit higher than that of a non-musician. But why is this? Well, it’s really all based on the mental and cognitive skills that come along with learning how to play an instrument. Firstly, math and music are very closely related (check out our blog post here to learn more.) So it’s been shown that kids who grow up learning to play music are already advanced in the subject of math because they’ve been inadvertently practicing it while playing! Additionally, playing music helps improve your short-term memory. This as you can imagine translates to schoolwork and how they perform on tests and homework. Lastly, because you have to be on top of doing multiple things while playing an instrument, multi-sensory and multitasking skills are developed. These skills are crucial when in school and later in life when they start working.
4. Health benefits
Aside from mental and social skills, Toronto music lessons or online music lessons can actually have an impact on the physical health of your child! One of the biggest impacts it has on health is the lowering of stress. While your child may not outwardly express the feelings of being stressed, childhood brings along many changes and new territories which can be hard for some kids to process. Learning how to play an instrument as a child can help them cope with these changes and overall lower their stress levels in new situations. And as you may know, lower stress = lower chance of health issues such as high blood pressure and vascular problems! Also, scientists have found that playing an instrument can help boost the immune system to fight off nasty viruses and bacteria. Who knew?!
5. Passion for creativity
Nowadays with the prominence of social media, many parents are finding their children are less interested in participating in activities that require creativity and passion. When a child learns how to play an instrument, they’re also learning how to rely on themselves to have fun and be creative with their art. While creativity isn’t a major skill that people often look to as super important, for a developing brain, creativity is everything. Having a passion for something you’re doing allows you to open up your brain to work and create something that hasn’t been done before. The ability to think on your toes and be creative is a lifelong skill that will help your child succeed in school, extracurriculars, higher education, and even their end goal careers.
Music lessons Toronto
Think your kid has a passion for music? Reach out to us today at Greater Toronto Music School! We offer guitar classes, piano lessons, violin classes, and so much more. We can help find the best schedule for your children so they can develop all of the amazing skills that come along with playing an instrument!