Benefits of learning music at a young age
We, humans, are musical beings! Just by being exposed to music, our body segregates good hormones. Music can help us relieve stress, sleep better at night, and be healthier. Plus, those who learn music get all kinds of cognitive advantages, such as an increase in their concentration, a better memory, and a longer attention span. Such benefits are even more notorious when children start learning music at a young age. Here we will give you some great reasons why you should definitely sign up your child to music lessons.
When is the right time to start?
Even by the time they are in the womb, babies enjoy the music! And when they are born, they are comforted by the right melodies, or their mother’s tender voice (it doesn’t matter if you think you can’t sing, your baby will love it!). So it is never too soon to expose your child to music, to play all kinds of music at home and creating a musical environment for your family. It is always a great idea to encourage active listening or playing music when you are doing certain chores at home. Including music in your baby’s bedtime routine may also facilitate the transition from being playful to a night of quiet, peaceful sleep.
As soon as they can pick objects with their tiny hands, allow them to play with rattles, bells, tick-tocks, or any other instrument they can manipulate safely (and always under your supervision, of course). By the time they are toddlers, some children may start showing signs of being musically gifted, such as getting emotional with some special songs, catching the pitch for any song they heard once or twice, or even singing in harmony!
When it comes to which is the perfect age for taking up music lessons, there is not a single answer. If your child is a preschooler and shows special interest in learning a musical instrument, you may consider signing them up for formal instruction, but don’t push it too hard. Their music lessons should be something fun, something to look forward too, and not an obligation. Because some young preschoolers have still short attention spans, most people recommend starting music lessons by the time they begin going to school. Music can be the best after school activity because it helps them make new friends, be creative, and express their feelings.
Children’s brains are like sponges
Perhaps you’ve heard that expression before. The younger they are the more natural their ability to learn some things. This is noticeable not only when it comes to music, but in foreign languages as well. Being exposed to music at a tender age makes children more sensitive to certain patterns. They understand music better without even realizing it. They get concepts and abilities that other music students (teenagers or adults) may get in a longer period and with way more effort.
Besides, there is no need for a child to be literate before they can take a formal music instruction. Children who are still too young to read sheet music can still learn the position of the keys and their fingers associating them with colors or movements.
The only specific difficulties a child may need to overcome because of their age are the physical ones: handling a huge guitar, or blowing into a heavy, complex brass instrument before their lungs have reached their full capacity. In any case, you can always opt for instruments designed for little hands.
But, won’t music make them cut down the time from school?
Some parents are concerned about putting too much pressure on their children. If they are already struggling with doing their math homework or catching up with their peers who can read out loud more fluently, should they take some time off to play a musical instrument? Yes, absolutely! There are many cognitive benefits of learning music.
Children get better at math when they are systematically exposed to rhythmic patterns. When it comes to reading and writing, children who sing improve their pronunciation and their vocabulary, so they’ll get better grades in English as well. To sum up, they will do better in school as music makes them gain concentration, and to learn how to tolerate frustration better. Besides, if they get into the habit of practicing a little every day, this habit can later be translated into a good studying routine.
And that’s not all: by studying music, children become more confident and also gain priceless social skills. A happy child that has many friends will do better at school. And, unlike other after school activities such as sports, music is way more focused on cooperation than on being competitive. To being part of a band or singing in a choir, a child needs to play with others, and not against them.
Music is a vital part of any student’s formation
Every expert would agree that taking music lessons improves a child’s grades. In fact, as more parents are turning towards homeschooling programs (mostly because they feel the traditional education system is not adequate for their children or is just a waste of time), music tends to be included in these personalized programs. Because even if your child doesn’t turn up to be a prodigy or grow up to be a huge star, music will always be a part of their life they will treasure!
If you want your child to take up music lessons and gain all of these benefits of learning music at a young age, you should pick together a musical instrument. Here are some tips on how to choose the right one, and if you are concerned about the difficulty, we also recommend the easiest musical instruments for beginners. In any case, whether you are planning on investing on a keyboard, a guitar, a set of drums, or a tuba, make sure your child has a saying in the decision. After all, the most important thing is that she has a great time learning and playing music!