In today's competitive society, children need every advantage to help them be successful.Developing learning skills at the earliest possible age significantly increases a child's advancement and success later in life. Giving children the opportunity to participate fully in the creation of music will broaden their appreciation not only of music, but of all the arts that make up our world. Plato once said that music “is a more potent instrument than any other for education”.
Recent research has found that music uses both sides of the brain, a fact that makes it valuable in all areas of development. Music affects the growth of a child’s brain academically, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Music is academic. For some people, this is the primary reason for providing music lessons to their children. A recent study from the University of California found that music trains the brain for higher forms of thinking. Research indicates that musical training permanently wires a young mind for enhanced performance.
Music is physical. Music can be described as a sport. Learning to sing and keep rhythm develops coordination. The air and wind power necessary to blow a flute, trumpet or saxophone promotes a healthy body.
Music is emotional. Music is an art form. We are emotional beings and every child requires an artistic outlet. Music may be your child’s vehicle of expression.
Music is for life. Most people can’t play soccer, or football at 70 or 80 years of age but they can sing. And they can play piano or some other instrument. Music is a gift you can give your child that will last their entire lives.
When you look at children ages two to nine, one of the breakthroughs in that area is music’s benefit for language development, which is so important at that stage,” says Mary Luehrisen, executive director of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation, a not-for-profit association that promotes the benefits of making music. Growing up in a musically rich environment is often advantageous for children’s language development,” she says. But Luehrisen adds that those inborn capacities need to be “reinforced, practiced, celebrated,” which can be done at home or in a more formal music education setting.
The IQ level increases for children who are given music lessons over the year. Research indicates the brain of a musician, even a young one, works differently than that of a non musician. The neural activity of the brain is larger when a student is under musical training.
Research has also found a causal link between music and spatial intelligence, which means that understanding music, can help children visualize various elements that should go together, like they would do when solving a math problem.
Music can improve your child’ abilities in learning and other non music tasks, but it’s important to understand that music does not make one smarter. As Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and a practicing musician, explains, the many intrinsic benefits to music education include being disciplined, learning a skill, being part of the music world, managing performance, being part of something you can be proud of, and even struggling with a less than perfect teacher.
While parents may hope that enrolling their child in a music program will make her a better student, the primary reasons to provide your child with a musical education should be to help them become more musical, to appreciate all aspects of music, and to respect the process of learning an instrument or learning to sing, which is valuable on its own merit.
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