Learning to play a musical instrument is not only fun for children, it also benefits them academically, emotionally and socially, making it a fantastic hobby for them to pick up. Plus, with so many different musical instruments to choose from, it is a hobby that does not need to be expensive and is suitable for children from as young as 2 years old.
Memory and coordination
Through reciting songs and music, children can develop both their short and long-term memory, which will help them to learn and retain information from other sources. This is especially helpful during lessons when children need to memorise facts and instructions, as auditory information in particular, is easier to store and recall for children who play a musical instrument.
Motor skills, such as hand-eye coordination, running swimming and balancing, and IQ can also be improved through learning to play a musical instrument, as certain parts of the brain will grow and become more active as a child learns the different techniques that are involved.
Playing a musical instrument can also help children to become ambidextrous, so they can use both their right and left hand to perform tasks no matter which is usually dominant. This is a rare but useful skill that can help children to become more precise with their movements.
Academic skills and confidence
Counting beats and scales will help a child with their overall maths skills, and reading music will help them with their literacy. So playing a musical instrument really can provide a great foundation for learning these core subjects in a fun and creative way.
It is really important for children to build their confidence so they can thrive socially and academically, and playing a musical instrument is the perfect way to do this. Goals can be easily tracked which means that achievements can be recognised and celebrated, and with this will come a fantastic sense of pride.
In addition to this, playing a musical instrument to an audience will also help children to develop and grow their confidence, which will make them more comfortable speaking and able to perform in front of others.
When learning to play a musical instrument children need to be able to understand and accept delayed gratification, as mastering new songs and reaching set milestones can often take more time and practice than they are used to committing to. Being able to wait for success in this way has been linked to improved academic achievement and increased social competence, so it is a great skill for children to learn.
With learning a new skill comes lots of responsibility, so when a child learns how to play a musical instrument they will also become dedicated, patient, and improve their concentration skills, all of which will help them in their schooling.
Emotions and social skills
Music provides a fantastic outlet for expressing emotions, which make learning an instrument great for a child’s emotional development. It has been known for many years that music can calm and soothe people, and relieve stress, so this can really help with a child’s temperament too.
Playing a musical instrument will also open lots of doors socially for children, as they will be given opportunities to meet others with similar interests. By joining a music group or band, children will not only develop socially but will also learn how to work as a team, respect others, and can gain valuable leadership skills.
Through learning about music, and their chosen musical instrument, children can discover different traditions and cultures, which can help them to become more open-minded. This is also a great way to introduce them to genres that they may not have listened to before, such as jazz and folk.
Playing certain instruments can help to enhance the respiratory system, due to having to pay close attention to breathing properly in order to produce great sounding music.
This can help to protect against respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis, reduce the chance of getting common colds and sinus issues, and make it easier to take part in physical activities too.
With this fantastic variety of benefits to be gained, playing a musical instrument is the perfect hobby for children to commit to, and getting involved can be achieved on a budget. There are plenty of instruments available which do not cost a lot, are easy to maintain, and are great fun to play.
By ensuring that your child chooses a musical instrument that they will enjoy playing and that they find it a challenge to learn, they will be able to take advantage of these wonderful benefits while learning a valuable and rewarding new skill.
Sasha Davison is Marketing Manager at Clarke Tinwhistle (www.clarketinwhistle.com), creators of the original tin whistle which has been the choice of beginners and professional musicians alike for over 170 years.