If you read our article about the benefits of music lessons, then by now you’re already well aware of the academic and psychological benefits of music lessons. From school to the workplace, the scientific evidence of the positive influence of music is overwhelming and indisputable.
If you’re still looking for concrete evidence that lessons will continually benefit your children, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the tell-tale signs you shouldn’t give up just yet, but stick it out for at least another year.
7 reasons for an extra year of music lessons
It’s no secret that teens and tweens go through a rough patch and lack the self-confidence that comes with age and wisdom. Being good at something or making real progress is a confidence booster than any kid can rest their hat on, especially if it’s being able to play their favorite song. Mastering – or improving on – an instrument is an individual achievement, recognized through practice, patience, and diligence. If you feel like your kid’s confidence may be lacking, stick with music for another year and the reward is a confidence boost sure to drown out any bully.
As kids, how many times do we pick up a hobby, only to put it down after a few days, weeks, or months? Learning and mastery is not an infinitely upward sloping curve. If we allow our kids to quit new endeavors after a short while, we’re reinforcing the mentality that commitment is insignificant. Should we discourage the premise that dedication and perseverance overcomes obstacles? No. We need to learn to ride the wave see it through to the other side. Commitment is defined by a state or quality of being dedicated. That dedication comes with purpose. If you notice a lack of commitment, stick with it another year and you are likely to see major benefits.
- Time Management
Between the schoolwork, sports, dance, drama, and social activities, it’s hard to find time for anything else. With too many things on the docket, you might start to notice a decline in performance or motivation. Before you decide which activities get the axe, consider an alternative solution. At some point in our lives, we all feel overwhelmed or burdened with too much to do in too little time to do it well. That is not an excuse for shoddy workmanship or lower expectations. When your kid starts showing signs of struggling to keep up, it’s time to make a plan. Help them understand their own personal bandwidth and put together a calendar that incorporates all their activities in a well-appropriated fashion to get the most out of the experience, without losing sleep. Cutting out music, or sports for that matter, should only be a last resort. Learning to manage time is critical for college and life after. Stick with the music lessons so your kids can learn how to effectively keep the creative, joyful, and meaningful parts of their life while maintaining a balance with all the rest.
If you’re like every parent on earth, your kid will struggle with expressing themselves from time to time. It sounds cliché to talk about thoughts and feelings. But the truth is, kids are still learning how to do that in a constructive way. Music is a poetic way to speak from the heart and music gives us permission to feel, react and heal. When your child struggles to tell you what is happening in their life, listen to the music they play and the music they listen to, and you’re sure to get a clue. Sticking with music will not only beef up their confidence, but encourage them to be creative and give them an outlet to express themselves.
Most parents struggle with this one, and it’s easy to understand why. Music is often seen as a luxury, and parents will frequently dangle it as part of a reward system or cut it off at the first sign of bad grades. With all the expansive research out there supporting the notion that music does, indeed, promote rapid cognitive development and improve reasoning skills, the real question is how can you not afford to give your kid music lessons? Seriously. Music is mathematical and as a whole, musicians have higher IQs and EQs, more complex vocabularies, and better linguistic skills. This is not debatable, but rather scientific facts backed up by empirical evidence. An argument can be made that should you find your child suffering from lackluster school performance, you would be doing them better by having more music lessons and not fewer. Music lessons will help achieve the very goal you’re shooting for, and discontinuation will only make your climb more difficult. Stick with music lessons for another year and chances are, you’ll see an improvement.
- Critical Thinking Skills
Do you notice your child struggling with reading comprehension, keeping up with complex mathematics, or making poor decisions? Critical thinking is a skill. We can improve skills through exercise and repetition, and critical thinking is no different. Thinking outside the box is not always intuitive. For some, reading between the lines as well as on them is challenging. Learning music can improve the mind’s ability to process complex problems, multitask, comprehend related systems and improve reasoning. If your kid’s standardized test scores are below what you would like them to be, consider music as a perfect compliment to their current learning endeavors.
Dealing with impatience, irritability, or disruptive behavior? Having trouble reigning in your wild child? Have you considered music as an effective outlet for expression or a calming activity that can refocus even the most scattered and disorganized individuals? Classical music can calm nerves, and jazz will sharpen the focus of those most hyperactive. Fighting the man by rocking out to your favorite jams is no secret. It’s a far more productive use of time than breaking rules and getting in trouble. Engaging in activities where kids can emotionally connect to the activity and see progress through practice can give them a sense of accomplishment to be proud of while improving their communication. They’ll feel better, feel prouder, communicate better, and behave better.
Give them an extra year of music and watch them grow.