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The Benefits of Taking Music Lessons
Today’s kids have seemingly endless options for extracurricular activities. Between sports, Scouts, and even just keeping up with homework, it can be hard to imagine throwing private music lessons into the mix! But music lessons have consistently been shown to benefit kids in a multitude of ways. Read on to learn more about why your child should start learning music!
Over the last few decades, neuroscientists have published a wealth of research detailing the incredible effects of music on the brain. These studies have demonstrated that learning to play a musical instrument actually changes the brain’s structure, allowing for dramatic improvement in nearly every cognitive area. Music lessons improve kids’ working memory – that’s the type of memory that lets us remember multiple things at once, which is necessary for tasks like arithmetic and comprehension. Similarly, it increases children’s focus and concentration, since learning an instrument requires patience and attention to detail. Researchers have also shown that learning to play music increases communication between the right and left sides of the brain, which can enhance children’s creativity. Finally, learning an instrument can improve motor skills and coordination – some instruments demand communication between hands and feet, while others require different actions from each hand. In short, music lessons have amazing cognitive benefits that will help kids succeed in many different aspects of life.
Learning to read and play music helps to hone and develop crucial language and mathematical skills. For instance, learning about musical notes, rhythms, beats, and time signatures helps kids with counting, dividing, fractions, and recognizing patterns. Music lessons have also been shown to increase kids’ phonological skills – that is, they learn to read faster and have more expanded vocabularies than kids who haven’t taken music lessons. Learning to play an instrument can even introduce kids to the basics of physical science – the vibrations made by the strings of a violin, guitar, or piano or the different noises made by different sizes of drums can spark conversations about the physics behind music. Finally, learning about different instruments and styles of music helps expose kids to different cultures and traditions, fostering creativity and open-mindedness about countries and communities outside our own.
There is a wealth of evidence showing that students involved in music perform better academically than students who do not. Kids who learn to play an instrument have been demonstrated to have higher grades, higher test scores, and even higher IQs! Therefore, it’s not surprising that schools with strong music programs have higher graduation rates than schools without them – and private music lessons are a great way to supplement school programs as well!
Finally, there are several very important social and emotional benefits to learning music. Music lessons helps to boost kids’ self-esteem by demonstrating how constructive feedback can be used to create positive change. As music students see themselves improving in their lessons, their confidence will grow, and they’ll feel capable of taking on further challenges. As kids grow older and take on increased responsibilities at school and at home, music can be a great source of stress relief, helping them feel calmer and more positive. Finally, learning music helps kids develop social skills and make friends. This is especially true for kids in group classes, like a school band, choir, or orchestra, but even kids who aren’t involved in groups like this benefit socially from learning music. Talking about a favorite song or musical artist creates bonds and friendships between individuals, and a shared interest in music can form connections that will last a lifetime.
With so many positive effects, getting your children involved in music should be an easy decision! Call us today to get started!
So now that you’ve found a music teacher, it’s time to get ready for the first lesson. Like all new activities and situations, it’s common for people to have some anxiety. Young children might be very shy, while older kids and teenagers might be worried about being judged or not doing well in the first class. This is all very common and with a little preparation, you can help ease those first lesson jitters.
Here are 5 tips on how to prepare for your first private music lesson.
1. Get An Instrument
The very first step is to buy or rent an instrument. If you already have an instrument, make sure that it is in good working condition. Getting the piano tuned, fixing your clarinet’s leaky pads or putting new strings on your guitar can go a long way towards making your first lesson a fun and exciting experience.
Check with your teacher or local music store to see if there are any accessories that you will need in addition to your instrument, i.e. string instruments need rosin, woodwinds need reeds etc. For books and sheet music, you can wait until after your have your first lesson before buying anything. Often music teachers prefer to meet new students and assess their learning style before deciding on which method or books would work best.
2. Bring A List Of Questions
Teachers love to answer questions! Make a list of any questions ahead of time so you won’t forget them in all the excitement of the first class.
3. Befriend Your Music Teacher
Try to talk to your music teacher for a few minutes on the phone or better yet, in person if they are available before the first lesson. This is especially important for helping younger children feel comfortable at the first class.
4. Make A List Of Goals
Talk to your child about any songs or styles of music that they might want to learn. It could be anything from the Star Wars theme to an ACDC riff. Even if they won’t be able to play it right away, having a written goal will help your instructor tailor their curriculum to your child’s interests.
5. Have Fun!!!
Most importantly, remember that music lessons are supposed to be FUN! So, try not to put unrealistic expectations on your children. No one becomes a virtuoso overnight. Embrace the process and enjoy the journey!
Does your child show an interest in music? Maybe they love singing along with the radio, or drumming rhythms on the table. Cultivating this love of music will benefit them for a lifetime. Studies have shown that learning to play an instrument can improve memory and concentration, teach patience and discipline, offer a creative and emotional outlet, and even contribute to future academic success.
When it comes to encouraging musical interest in kids, there are three main steps you should take.
The first step to cultivating your child’s interest in music is to integrate it into their daily lives. Try playing music in the house or listening to the radio in the car, and expose your kids to different genres, from classical to classic rock! Another great way to spark their interest is to take them to live music events. Many local organizations host family-friendly music events at parks, libraries, and more. Or, try attending a performance at your local high school, such as a musical or a band concert. Seeing what older students have achieved may inspire your children to do the same! Finally, consider taking your kids to a night at the symphony or ballet as a special treat.
Remember that your own enthusiasm for music is key here – if your child sees that music is important to you, it will be important to them as well. You can even take lessons alongside your child as a way to bond over music, and to encourage them when they get frustrated.
If you want your child to learn to play an instrument, having one accessible to them at home will help to cultivate an interest. Don’t feel as if you need to invest in a quality instrument just yet – for toddlers and young children, musical toys are more than sufficient to spark musical curiosity. Give your children access to a variety of drums, keyboards, recorders, or even small guitars, and allow them to play, explore, and experiment with a variety of sounds.
Older children will benefit from exploring a variety of instruments too. We recommend starting with piano lessons or children’s choir so that they learn to read music and have a strong musical background by the time they are old enough to join their school’s band or orchestra. Most school programs encourage students to try out different instruments. You can also try visiting your local music shop with your child. Ask the employees there to demonstrate different instruments to see which ones excite your child the most!
One of the best parts about a musical education is that it never truly stops – there is always more to learn and explore! With that in mind, you’ll need to think about long term musical goals for your children as well as short term. This means investing in music classes and private lessons, both to further their technique and to expose them to instructors and peers who share their passion for music!
It’s also important to sustain an ongoing interest in music, which means encouraging your kids when they get frustrated and not letting them give up when things get challenging. At the same time, however, being too forceful can be detrimental. Just because your child is learning music doesn’t mean they can’t explore other interests simultaneously, such as sports and other extracurriculars. Even if your child ends up focusing on a different activity as they grow, they will always be grateful for their exposure to music!
If you’re trying to encourage your child’s love of music, consider these three steps, and call the Powell Academy of Music. Our instructors are here to help show your child how amazing music can be, as well as all the benefits that come with learning to play an instrument. Call us today!
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