“Aw, Mom! All my friends are playing soccer! Do I really have to practice the piano?” Any parent whose child takes music lessons has dealt with questions like this—sometimes daily. Maybe you’re questioning your decision to enroll your child in music lessons in the first place. After all, he’s taken lessons for a year and he still sounds pretty awful. Maybe he just doesn’t have any musical talent. Should you make him keep practicing, even though he’d much rather have his afternoons free?
Ask any music teacher and the answer you’ll get is a resounding YES! But don’t just take it from us; take a look at what science has to say about the value of music lessons for your child.
How Music Affects the Brain
Music is a multi-sensory experience. It is one of only a few activities that require us to use our right and left brains simultaneously, meaning that the experience of music can stimulate both creativity and logic. Music has been effectively used in all of the following ways:
– Improved academic performance
– IQ enhancement
– Memory enhancement
– Pain management therapy
– Boosting the immune system
– Athletic performance enhancement
– Stress reduction
– Positive mood stimulation
– Decreased depression
– Motor coordination improvement
All of these effects can be achieved just by listening to music. But what about the performer? Are there inherent benefits in music participation that can’t be achieved just by popping in your earbuds?
What Music Education Can Do For Your Child
Numerous studies have documented the effect music has on academic performance. Musically trained students outperform their peers in all of the following areas:
– Literacy—In studies of young children, music training promoted communication and literacy skills more effectively than phonics. The same parts of the brain used for reading and speaking can be developed more extensively through musical training, even before children are ready to tackle basic reading activities.
– Math—Music has a strong relationship with math, which is evident to anyone who has ever had to count through a difficult musical passage. Just one year of music lessons can help students perform several grade levels higher in math.
– SAT Scores—Worried about those SAT scores? Students with musical training perform anywhere from 40 to 60 points higher in both verbal and math sections of the SAT.
Is Music Really an Extra-Curricular Activity?
All of this begs the question: Should music really be considered extra-curricular? Of course, those making the funding decisions for your child’s school will determine what role music plays in the curriculum. But as a parent, you get to decide how important music will be in your child’s education. In our home, music is considered a required subject, just like math or science.
In order to see the full benefits of music study, your child must stick with it for an extended period of time. Yes, those first years of study can be painful, but it will be worth it. I promise.
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This is a TBMA original article written for our Tampa Bay Music Academy readership. If you find it to be helpful, we would love for you to re-post it on your blog. Please contact us first for permission. Visit our website home for information on finding a music teacher in Tampa, Odessa, Land O’ Lakes, Citrus Park, Westchase, New Port Richey, Lutz, Trinity, Keystone, or Tarpon Springs Florida who offers private piano lessons, guitar lessons, saxophone lessons, voice lessons, or music lessons in any other instrument proficiency category. TBMA teachers (piano, guitar, voice, woodwinds, brass, strings, percussion) pride themselves in a reputation for an uncompromising commitment to excellence and special care taken for every student. We remain absolutely committed to providing an outstanding enrollment experience beyond any other in the region. Call us today. We look forward to hearing from you!