Benefits of Music Lessons

Should your child take music lessons?

In this day, most people are aware of the benefits of music to the brain, but what about music lessons. Lessons can be expensive and require a big commitment. Is it really worth it?

The answer of course is a resounding, yes! As a start let's refer back to Plato who said that music, "is a more potent instrument than any other for education". Recent research has found that music uses both sides of the brain, a fact that makes it valuable in all areas of development. Music affects the growth of a child’s brain academically, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Let’s explore each of these in turn. For some people, the primary reason for providing music lessons to their children is academic. A recent study from the University of California found that music trains the brain for higher forms of thinking. Second graders who were given music lessons scored 27% higher on proportional math and fractions tests than children who received no special instruction. Research indicates that musical training permanently wires a young mind for enhanced performance. Another study found particular changes in the attentional systems of children who took music lessons, which affected their ability to pay attention to important things around them. Laurel Trainor, who led one study at the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto said, "A child with a superior attentional system will be able to apply that in different domains, so they'll be able to focus in on what's important in a verbal learning task, they'll be able to concentrate when figuring out a mathematical problem… You can imagine how a superior attentional system would have wide-ranging consequences across many domains."

Music can be described as a sport. Learning to sing and keep rhythm develops coordination. The air and wind power necessary to blow a flute, trumpet or saxophone promotes a healthy body. In terms of emotion, Music is an art form. We are emotional beings and every child requires an artistic outlet. Music may be your child’s vehicle of expression.

Music lessons can provide many benefits to the student. Regardless of what the student plans to do after graduating, lessons are beneficial – we don’t all need to take music just to be concert performers!

Check out 11 more reasons at http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-music-education!

Written by Roger King who is a teacher and the musical director at MCS and a private music teacher.

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