It’s no secret that we all want the best for our children. Figuring out how to give them what they need to thrive can be tricky. Thankfully, researchers have done the hard work for us and discovered that getting your children to play music is one of the best things you can do for their development.
Music has been an important part of culture for millennia, but scientists are only now uncovering the abundance of benefits that it has on individual wellbeing. And with services like chillout radio online available 24/7, it’s now easier than ever to reap the benefits of music.
Let’s take a look at 6 of the major benefits associated with playing a musical instrument, all backed by research.
6 benefits of playing an instrument
1. It can improve brainpower
Playing an instrument is associated with a host of mental benefits: improved memory, emotional development, literacy, mathematical skills, concentration, and overall better cognitive functioning. Studies have shown that the brains of musicians work differently to that of non-musicians, and that musicians tend to perform better in academics, too. Playing an instrument is also linked with a lower risk of developing dementia in later age.
2. It can boost social skills
By encouraging your child to join a band or singing group, they will be better equipped to deal with social situations and challenges growing up. Working together and creative collaboration with others can help to teach them how to relate to others, work in a team, and to develop discipline and leadership skills.
3. It can help build confidence
Hand-in-hand with this comes a boost to your child’s confidence. Confidence comes through experience, and playing a musical instrument is an excellent opportunity for them to realise their potential. It allows them to develop a skill that they can showcase to the world and to remind themselves that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Over time, your child should develop greater confidence.
4. It helps them learn patience and discipline
Anyone who has tried to learn an instrument knows how time-consuming it is; it’s not something you can become brilliant at overnight. Playing an instrument well takes time and effort, which in turn will teach your child the value of patience and hard work. Performing in a band or singing group also requires these skills, as one must wait for the instruction and readiness of others in the group. This will help them to work hard for their goals in the future.
5. It is an opportunity for self-expression
Whether it’s writing lyrics or creating a melody on the piano, making music is an act of creativity and self-expression. This can have emotional benefits such as improved mood and emotional regulation, and reduced hostility, tension and anxiety. It can also give them an innovative, creative approach to life which will serve them well in the future.
6. It improves physical skills
Learning an instrument also comes with a number of physical benefits, including improved hand-eye coordination, gross motor skills and whole-body coordination. This is true whether your child is playing drums, guitar or violin.
Ways to incorporate music into your child’s daily activities
If your child is still very young and/or you want to add some of the benefits of music into your child’s day-to-day life, consider trying some of these easy and fun ideas:
- Sing a lullaby or song to/with them before they sleep
- Sing car karaoke with them on your next road trip (or even just to preschool!)
- Teach them a song to sing whilst they brush their teeth
- Teach them a song to help them learn the names of each planet in the solar system
- Have a karaoke night at home with the family
- Take them on a special outing to a symphony or musical.
Teaching them to be mindful of the sounds around them – whether it’s the birds in the trees, or the sound of the dishes being washed – can also help them to develop a more musical mind.
It is clear that playing a musical instrument provides a wealth of mental and physical benefits to children. Consider encouraging your child to learn an instrument that they like, and/or try to incorporate music into their daily lives in some way.