Updated: Jan 24, 2022
In 2016, the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute published a study showing that musical experiences in childhood can spur brain development, particularly regarding language acquisition, reading, and speech skills. Maybe your child has started showing signs of enjoying music - they like to dance, sing, and request songs on the car ride to school and back. Let’s find out how taking music lessons can enrich your child’s life, from brain plasticity to language development, to social skills.
Music Lessons Build Childrens’ Confidence
When children learn any new skill, it has a positive effect on their self-confidence. When learning how to play a new instrument, for example, children will be able to showcase their ever-growing skill in a tangible way, thus growing their confidence daily. Every time they succeed in learning a new chord, a new note, a new song, there will be an opportunity for them to feel stronger and more confident.
Taking music lessons is a way for children to reap immediate rewards from learning a skill. Moreover, music is not something you can ever stop learning - there is always a new song to master, a new instrument to try, a new scale to study. This gives children the framework to feel good about themselves, and be proud when they’re able to show what they’ve learned to their loved ones.
Lastly, learning a musical instrument quite often helps children’s ability to perform in front of a crowd. Even if it’s in front of their family, performing is always daunting for kids. Allowing them to frequently try their hand at asserting their skills and knowledge in front of a crowd, however big it is, will hugely boost their confidence.
Music Lessons Help Kids Do Well In School
Any professional musician will tell you that though talent comes into play, being a good musician is mainly about practice. Practice makes perfect - especially when it comes to learning an instrument. It can take hours and hours of repeating the same succession of notes and chords to finally grasp a song. It can also take months to be able to properly use a violin, without sounding like tires screeching. That is precisely what is going to help your child learn the discipline they will need throughout their lives.
A study from the University of British Columbia showed that students who participated in frequent music lessons were able to achieve better academic results subsequently. Music students participate in many learning processes that can help their school performance. Some of these are:
Learning to read music notation
Developing eye-hand-mind coordination
Improving listening skills
Developing teamwork skills
Acquiring the discipline needed to practice
Thus, children who receive music lessons are more likely to be able to show improved language-based reasoning, and the ability to complete tasks by planning and organizing. Overall, several studies have found that children who learn music benefit from higher academic achievements.
Music Lessons Help Children Learn Languages
Have you ever thought about the fact that you can remember the words from the nursery rhymes you used to hear as a child? Are you ever surprised by how many lyrics you know to the songs you like? Music helps us remember words. That’s why it’s easier to learn the alphabet in song, for example.
Music actually plays a very important part in any child’s learning of a language, even that of their native language. Before being able to fully comprehending words, children learn how to imitate the rhythm and structure of sentences. Words are unfamiliar to a baby, but by mimicking the words, just like you would a song, the sounds guide the child into learning a language.
Introducing the practice of music to children at a young age helps them in their ability to perceive, process, and reproduce an accent in the languages they learn. This early introduction of learning music will in turn transform into lifelong ease in learning new vocabulary, in their native language, or a foreign one.
Music Lessons Can Help Your Child’s Brain Development
Psychological and neuroscientific research has demonstrated that children who take music lessons have heightened sensitivity to sound and enhanced verbal abilities and general reasoning skills. Structural brain plasticity is said to be what brings on these positive effects. What is brain plasticity, exactly?
Brain plasticity is basically the ability of our brains to be able to create new neurological connections to adapt to our environment and our body’s needs. It is said that brain plasticity peaks during childhood, which is when individuals are most likely to be able to learn everything durably. Why is this relevant to the practice of music?
Children that are taught music will develop perceptual abilities such as :
The ability to perceive the temporal and harmonic structure of music
The precise timing of actions
Control over pitch production
All of these abilities, combined and practiced over time, have a hugely positive impact on the brain. They promote plasticity by training the brain and encouraging it to construct new connections and expand constantly. The practice of music can activate almost all brain regions and networks, training many brain pathways and networks to be strong.
Learning Music Promotes Creativity
One common thing between nearly all cultures around the world is that music is an art form. The practice of music, at its very core, is an encouragement to creativity. Though teaching children music will make them more discipline, help them at school, and train them to learn languages better (among other things), the practice of music also fosters creativity in children.
Music can help children learn to express themselves all whilst improving their decision-making skills. What is music if it isn’t an infinite possible combination of notes to choose from?
Through music lessons, children are compelled to make choices and tune into their inner creativity, by learning how to “play it by ear” and make creative choices. They will learn why something sounds better than something else, a skill that can apply to any creative activity. Children that learn music are also given a chance to exteriorize their emotion with the instrument they are playing.
As we have seen, music lessons have great power to enrich children’s lives by harboring their creativity, aiding in the development of their brain, helping them learn languages, giving them a solid base of discipline and groundwork for future learning. Here at Greater Toronto Music School, we offer all kinds of music lessons to children and are experts in making the most of all the benefits that music can bring. Click here to sign your child up for some music lessons today!