Learning to play an instrument has many academic and psychological benefits, from school to work, the scientific evidence of the positive influence of music is overwhelming and indisputable.
Are there benefits in continuing music lessons after mastering the instrument? How do you know when your child is “done” with music lessons? Even when they have learned everything they can about their instrument, and are able to play to their heart’s content, they still have much to gain from continuing music lessons.
Top Reasons for an Extra Year of Music Lessons
1. Knowing How to Play Music Builds Confidence
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. Of parents with children in music lessons, 85% report their child showing better patience and resilience. These qualities help children better deal with stressors and adjust to their surroundings. 83% reported their child showing better self-awareness and 60% are better self motivated. These improved qualities and overall improved confidence help kids overcome obstacles, challenges, and bullies.
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.
2. Music Lessons Nurture Commitment
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. Encouraging our children to strive forward through the ups and downs of their new endeavors helps them understand commitment. Music lessons can help reinforce that dedication and perseverance is all you need to overcome obstacles. Learning to ride the wave and see it through to the other side is a valuable life tool. Commitment is defined by a state or quality of being dedicated and 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.
3. Music Lessons Encourage 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 schedule, you might start to notice a decline in performance or motivation. Before you decide which activities get the ax, 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. When your child 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.
4. Music is an Outlet for Self Expression
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.
5. Learning to Play Music Can Help Improve Grades
Music is often seen as a luxury, and parents may offer it as part of a reward system or cut it off at the first sign of bad grades. Expansive research supports the notion that music does, indeed, promote rapid cognitive development and improves reasoning skills. 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. Music lessons will help achieve the academic goals you hope for for your child.
6. Music Teaches 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.
7. Music Can Help With Behavior Issues
Dealing with impatience, irritability, or disruptive behavior? Having trouble reigning in your wild child? Music as an effective outlet for expression and 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 Your Kids an Extra Year of Music and Watch Them Grow
Music is a magical tool that helps children gain self confidence, better express themselves, and help develop critical emotional and psychological aspects of their lives. Learning music as a child helps improve test scores and is linked to higher IQ in adults. So whether you’re looking to get started for the first time, already signed up, it pays to give your child an extra year of music to help them grow. Get started with Forbes Music today!
*This article has been updated on 01/20/2023 with new information.