By Phil Barrow
I think it’s fair to say that most parents want what’s best for their children, and in turn, want them to
become the best they can be so that they can grow up to be smart and successful individuals.
Well recent scientific research suggests that learning to play a musical instrument offers many benefits
that carry over into many important aspects of life.
Taking music lessons, teaches self-discipline, encourages creativity, and builds confidence, all of which can
vastly impact the development of personality traits, especially in younger children. Unfortunately, many
schools are experiencing budget cuts or are underfunded in the performing arts curriculums, including
music education, which is why it is important to seek musical training outside of school.
What are some of the proven benefits of enrolling my child in music lessons?
A child’s mind is like a sponge, ready to absorb useful information and learn at an extremely accelerated
rate. Upon reaching adulthood, the rate this learning process begins to dramatically slow down.
Therefore, it is important to take advantage of this time when it is easiest to learn, because this window
of opportunity will only stay open for so long.
“Clinical studies by education experts have clearly demonstrated that children that take music lesson
earlier in life are able to learn and master the instrument more quickly and effectively than undertaking
the learning process later on.”It has also been proven through clinical testing that involving your children in activities such a orff
classes, piano lessons and guitar lessons can greatly improve cognitive skills and memory.
Some of the skills that you can expect your child to learn upon taking music lessons include:
Playing a musical instrument improves hand-eye coordination. Just as when playing sports, children
develop important motor skills when playing music. Strong hand-eye coordination is going to be a
valuable skill in life, whether your child wishes to pursue music, become a hockey player, or a brain
Learning to play a musical instrument requires concentration and improves a child’s ability to focus. They
must also develop patience and perseverance to overcome challenges.
These skills will translate into other aspects of life such as focusing attention on subjects at school.
Just like with any other musical instrument, playing the guitar often presents the learner with many
difficulties and obstacles to overcome. From learning new chord fingerings to mastering a composition
and overcoming stage-fright, this constantly evolving process challenges and stimulates the mind to
Musicians are often very disciplined. They will set goals for themselves for every year, month, week, and
day that goes by. This is because musicians are never satisfied with mediocrity, and are constantly
looking at ways to improve themselves more and more. Setting goals to accomplish such tasks is just as
important when it comes to real life and is a skill that not everyone else out there will possess.
Creativity should be encouraged. Some of the greatest accomplishments in all of mankind came from
A child’s imagination is extremely important for cognitive development. Music is a great tool for
imaginative play. Playing songs and writing new melodies is a great way to encourage your child’s
creativity and imagination.
Interestingly enough, learning music also improves mathematical skills, especially when learning theory
and rhythm. This is because music itself is completely based on mathematical principles. Learning music
theory and applying it to a creative outlet is a great way to disguise mathematics by making it fun!
Learning to play music helps to build confidence. People who grew up learning music often become
strong communicators and natural leaders.
This is because learning music often fosters a very encouraging environment for a child to grow up in.
The act of learning a new skill and watching it improve over months and years helps to boost selfesteem, coupled with the enthusiasm of an encouraging teacher and proud, supportive parents. Playing a
musical instrument has also been proven to combat feelings of insecurity or depression in children.
Does Music Really Make My Child Smarter?
If the previous list of skills still hasn’t convinced you yet, it has also been proven that learning music does
indeed make your child smarter. In fact, it is said the learning to play music literally changes the
architecture of the brain.
“Experts said there is growing evidence that musicians have structurally and functionally different brains
compared with non-musicians.”
The parts of the brain that control motor skills and memory become larger and more active when a
person learns to play a musical instrument. In fact, the neurological and development effects of learning
music has fascinated educators so much that many studies regarding the subject have been conducted in
Some of these studies noticed a consistent trend among children that did have musical training compared
to those that did not. Recent scientific research has concluded some of the following:
- Learning to play a musical instrument can increase IQ by SEVEN points in both children and adults.
- Music improves spatial-temporal reasoning, a neurological process needed to understand mathematics.
- Musically trained children have better vocabularies and reading abilities than children who don’t have this musical education.
- Researchers also have found a significant relationship between music instruction and positive
- performances in such areas as: comprehension, spelling, mathematics, listening skills, primary mental abilities (verbal, perceptual, numeric, spatial) and motor skills.
- Musically trained children have an increased ability to learn and understand a foreign language.
- Connections made between brain cells during musical training can help to improve social and communication skills.
A child is like an un-molded piece of clay. It is during these years that parents should be exploring
different ways to challenge and stimulate their child’s minds. Getting your child to learn an instrument will
help them develop fine motor skills and build confidence and self-discipline. Giving your child the gift of
music is one of the best choices you can make as a parent help pave the road to a successful life ahead.