Many parents consider signing their children up for music lessons, mostly for the idea of providing a new experience for their children. However, most parents don’t recognize the extra, unlooked for benefits that music lessons provide. Of course, the study of music exposes the students to various musical styles and new experiences, and new friends may be made through this shared interest. Now, let’s discuss the “hidden” benefits of studying music.
Learning to play music, especially playing it well, requires a lot of focus and discipline. Those students who do best with music are those who learn self-discipline. These students develop their ability to focus on a goal, and then to see it through to completion. The ability to focus on the task at hand, whether a short-term or long-term goal, is another invaluable benefit gained through music lessons.
If a string is out tune, it is out of tune. If a chord sounds wrong, it is wrong. Music students learn that small problems can cause big issues when it comes to performing. It is this knowledge that pushes the students to strive for a degree of excellence. This push for excellence can transfer into other aspects of their lives, helping them to always try their best. Let’s not forget the confidence they may gain when they see their efforts come to fruition and hear resounding applause as they conclude a performance. In addition, successful performances help the student get over any fear, anxiety, and stress involved with performing which can transfer to other areas of their lives.
Playing and interpreting music also requires a degree of creativity. By learning to play music, a student will develop their creative sense. These students become more capable of thinking creatively when trying to solve problems(“thinking outside the box”), which is a required ability for today’s fast-paced world. Alongside the creative aspect, studies have indicated that music students typically perform better in math and achieve overall better test scores than those who do not study music. Neuroscience research has shown that approximately 90% of the brain’s motor control capacity is devoted to the hands, mouth, and throat. The fine motor control involved with playing an instrument exercises the brain overall, and experts agree it can stimulate general intelligence. Playing an instrument can also provide a crucial point of stress relief for some students. Music students have shown to be more cooperative with their teachers and peers, more self-confident, and more capable of expression of their thoughts and ideas.
- Children learn to focus better by learning how to focus during practice.
- Studies show music students perform better in math and achieve overall better test scores than those who do not study music.
- Development of rhythmic skills involved in music can lead to better coordination skills and general intelligence improvements.
- A 1999 Columbia University study showed that students of the arts to be more cooperative with their teachers and peers, more self-confident, and more capable of expressing their thoughts and ideas.
- Students of the arts learn to think more creatively when trying to solve problems, a required ability for today’s fast-paced world.
- Music students can learn to push themselves to pursue excellence in their performances and elsewhere.
- Music performance helps students to learn to conquer fear. These students also learn to handle anxiety and stress better.
- Study of music exposes students to new experiences and music they may have otherwise never encountered.
With the current economic climate, schools and parents are working to stretch their budgets. This means the Arts can take a backseat to other activities such as sports. This is unfortunate considering the ever growing amount of data supporting the benefits of studying the Arts. In the end, I feel parents should consider the long lasting benefits that will come from music studies and see it as an investment in their child’s future.
“Adolescents Involved with Music Do Better in School” Wiley-Blackwell. Web. 10 Feb. 2009.
“Why Music?” Music Empowers Foundation. Web.