At Musicians Ltd, we are obviously strong advocates of learning how to play a musical instrument from a young age. This is because we know the many benefits of doing so! This blog highlights some of the key benefits of learning a musical instrument — all of which can positively influence your child academically, socially, physically and mentally.
Here’s a brief summary of what a child can gain from playing an instrument:
- Cures boredom
- Develops discipline
- Serves as relaxing downtime
- Forms physical benefits
- Aids academic learning
- Improves listening
- Trains memory
- Boosts social skills
- Forms confidence
1. Curing Boredom
Learning to play an instrument is a fun, engaging and productive activity. It can take the place of other activates that may not offer many positives – like playing video games or excessive screen time. Learning an instrument gives you something to focus on that makes you want to get better and more proficient at.
2. Developing Discipline
One of the most important aspects of learning to play an instrument is self-discipline. This is where you set aside time and dedicate it to harnessing your skills. For children, discipline is an important trait to implement early, as it translates into schoolwork and later life. Spending time trying to learn chords on a guitar or nailing a beat on a drum kit takes time and practice. It can take weeks or even months to accomplish a particular technique. But with discipline also comes patience – it is an essential part of the learning process. It takes a lot of devotion and commitment to learn an instrument and it’s as easy to quit as it is to get started, so patience is key.
Playing an instrument can be a “positive escapism” for Children. Playing an instrument is the perfect way to wind down after a long day at School. It helps me to take my mind off of other things and focus solely on improving technique and repertoire.
4. Physical Benefits
Instruments such as guitar, violin, piano or drums demand the use of both hands. At the start of the learning process, synchronising both hands to be in time with one another can feel like an impossibility, but with practice, it can almost become second nature — greatly developing coordination and motor skills. For drummers, it’s even more beneficial, as learning how to coordinate all four limbs enhances ambidexterity and reflexes. These skills can be used to improve performance in school sports activities like tennis or football, but other things in later life too — like driving a car!
5. Academic Skills
It’s clear that some of the skills developed from learning an instrument apply to academic proficiency too. It’s not all just about the ways in which children learn to discipline themselves, as music interacts well with other subjects. Most notably, music goes hand-in-hand with mathematics and science. Understanding note values, time signatures and rhythms requires a working knowledge of maths. It’s used to discern rhythmic patterns, particularly as you employ division skills to break down musical notation and beats. Reading from a stave for any instrument demands a level of academic understanding.
6. Listening Skills
Learning a new piece of music requires a lot of repetitive listening to fully understand a melody and its rhythm. Being able to recognise and identify a short riff or motif and repeat it on an instrument requires concentration and practice to perfect it. Fine-tuning the ear can be advantageous for children’s focus levels. Even if you’re listening intensely to your instrument in a piece of music, you’ll naturally build an awareness of other instruments too.
7. Memory Flexing
Learning a song is, at its core, a memory test. This can be a difficult hurdle for young children who often struggle with discipline and focus, but challenging your child’s memory will develop their brain. Why? Because it teaches them to form, hold and recall memories more easily. This will help when they take their exams in school, as revising will become an easier process with a trained memory.
8. Social Skills
Playing a musical instrument leads to some amazing social experiences. It provides you with the chance to play alongside other like-minded people who share the same passion. This helps a child to develop social interaction which transcends into later life, where working in teams and collaborating in groups is required to achieve goals.
9. Confidence & Self-Esteem
Standing up on stage with a guitar or smashing away on a drum kit looks cool, which is why learning an instrument can be a great confidence and self-esteem builder! Performing in front of people is a nerve-racking experience and it takes time to build this confidence. The more your child performs in front of people the more self-assured they will become. It also teaches your child how to improve after receiving constructive criticism. Learning how to take criticism and turn those negative feelings into positives boosts confidence and develops discipline.