EVERYDAY HOME  | 2.27.20  |  by Gia Dolney

Children benefit from music

Does your child’s school have music classes and activities?  Or do you provide music lessons and music activities for your child outside of school?

According to a Guitar Center survey, children benefit from music in a number of ways that help them in life and in school.  Here’s some reasons why your child can be helped by music.

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Key Differences in Children

The Guitar Center survey said that benefits of music education include the following:
  • More patient in solving problems: The survey found that children benefit from music in problem solving.  The idea is that it takes focus and patience to learn a new instrument.  And then, that same discipline and patience carries over to other subjects as well.
  • Better time management: One of the effects of music on child development includes a perceived increase in better time management.  The survey found that children could finish more tasks on time.  It also pointed to a greater ability to use a planner or calendar to keep track of what they needed to do.  In fact, this may be due to better neural (brain) processing because of the music education.
  • Less Mindless Screentime: And the survey found that children monitored their screen time better on their own.  The conclusion was that children had other things more important to them, like music and other interests.  And so the child self-prioritized screen time.  This meant children limited screen time because other things were more important.  For parents, this may help the overall relationship so you don’t feel like you have to monitor your kids’ screen time so much.

Music Education Matters

Additional research from the Northwestern University found that it was very important for children to actively participate in music lessons.  This means that music appreciation classes don’t matter as much as lessons.  For example, simply listening to music isn’t the same benefit as learning to play an instrument.

Said the study from Northwestern — “Researchers found that after two years, children who not only regularly attended music classes, but also actively participated in the class, showed larger improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores than their less-involved peers.”

For parents this means you can look to help your child actively (not passively) pursue learning music.  This is kind of like becoming physically fit in that you work out with music lessons.  This active pursuit is when the effects of music on child development really kicked in.

How can you get your child interested in music lessons

If the key to benefitting your child’s brain is music lessons, not just listening, how can you get your child interested?  At SMG, we’re not into forcing our kids to take music lessons.  But, it’s worth at least giving it a try.

We like the idea of helping your child to find the type of music that he or she likes, and an instrument (or even singing) that seems fun, a great teacher, and then see where it goes.  The Modern Music School is a great example of this approach, where the curriculum is built around your child’s taste in music.

Sometimes, as children get older, they want to form small bands or perform, and this is a great way to make music lessons relevant and more fun.  Because then there is a goal, good times with friends, and perhaps even more creative.