Recent studies have shown just how important music is for premature babies. From mothers singing to their little ones to music being played throughout the pregnancy and after birth, music has a soothing effect that can allow the child to thrive in ways that would otherwise not be possible.
And once the child is old enough to learn an instrument themselves, there are even more benefits. How young can kids learn an instrument?
Music has been used for centuries as a way of giving people – perhaps children in particular who can so easily get bored – a way of keeping themselves entertained. But giving a child music lessons does so much more than simply giving them something to do. Whether they are naturally gifted or they just enjoy the chance to make some noise, giving them the space to learn a musical instrument is good for children in many different ways.
Studies have shown that children who learn an instrument also have better results at school. It seems as though the same parts of the brain that are used to study music also relate to reading, maths, and even emotional development. Through learning an instrument, that important area of the brain is stimulated, allowing for ease of learning in any number of different subjects.
Learning music is also a great way to improve memory. It stimulates different patterns in the brain, allowing it to develop in a slightly different way, and that goes on to enhance the memory function for both long and short term.
A new-found skill such as understanding how to play a musical instrument can lead to the child being involved with different peer groups. They may join in with orchestra practice, or they could join a band. They might be part of a choir, or they could enter competitions with their instrument. Whatever they do, they will find likeminded people to make friends with; these could be people they would never normally have come into contact with.
Not only will they have more friends, but they will also learn to work in a team, which will stand them in good stead in later life.
Confidence and Patience
Being confident is a skill that will also come in useful, but it’s not something that everyone has. Learning a musical instrument hones that skill, sharpens it so that the child is able to stand up in front of a room full of potential strangers and play to them. But as well as this, learning an instrument also teaches patience. Understanding how to play (usually) doesn’t just happen – it takes many years of practice to get it right. Patience is, as they say, a virtue, and being able to harness both patience and confidence is something that not everyone is able to do. Music certainly helps.
Allowing children to have the right kind of music practice space to learn their instrument is essential, and giving them the opportunity to help design their practice space can also assist with both confidence and patience, as well as giving them design skills.
Some children do not react well to discipline, and that can be a problem. Giving them a musical instrument to learn means that they need to listen, and to practice. They need to put effort into what they are doing if they want to be as good at it as they can possibly be. And this discipline will spill over into every aspect of their lives.