Music is fun, music is even more so. It’s easy to understand why parents want their kids to be able to enjoy this wonderful hobby. And that is undoubtedly a good thing. After all, learning to play a musical instrument has numerous advantages for the beloved offspring – cognitive, motor, mental and many more.
1. Kids making music are better at school
The study by Martin Guhn – a scientist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver – and his team is still quite fresh. The question is: Are students who make school music in a band, orchestra or choir more efficient than their non-music-making classmates? The data were evaluated from over 110,000 Canadian students, 13 percent of whom were musically active. The impressive result: the more often and intensively the kids make music, the better the grades. And what’s more, those who have been playing an instrument for years are on average one school year ahead of their non-musical classmates.
2. Actively making music can promote intelligence and language skills
More than ten years ago, brain researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Neurosciences in Leipzig were already investigating the influence of musical training on speech and music processing in children. In their study, Sebastian Jentschke and Stefan Koelsch conclude that music and speech are processed in partially identical brain regions. This means that musically promoted children are also promoted in their language skills – and vice versa. And by the way, it is also absolutely helpful at school.
3. Making music strengthens self-confidence
If children learn to play an instrument, they will overcome smaller and sometimes larger stumbling blocks. With each learning progress, they remove a new hurdle. Gradually they get better and better and soon they can do something that not everyone can do. This strengthens their self-confidence and makes them mentally strong even in “non-musical situations”.
4. Ability for self-reflection – a positive quality for life
The fact remains that the kids are occupied with an instrument, whatever it may be, they automatically deal with themselves. They will listen very deeply into themselves. To master an instrument ultimately means filigree body control. This only works in the reflective interplay of the senses. And the ability to self-reflect is a quality that will help the kids throughout their lives.
5. Increased social competence in togetherness
Musicians have to be considerate of each other and listen to each other. If everyone in a band, band or orchestra plays only for themselves, the song cannot become a suitable shoe. Everyone has his or her task for the big picture and at the same time, everyone helps and supports each other. For every child playing music, this is a personal learning process with humanly respectful attention, which promotes social competence.
6. Making music increases cognitive abilities and concentration
Movement and coordination, feeling and touching, hearing and seeing are very intensively connected when making music. Not to forget the imagination and creativity. Cognitive abilities and mental agility are increased almost automatically. According to a study by neuroscientist Dr Ines Jentsch from the University of St. Andrews, UK, “higher musical education through higher speed in solving tasks without compromise in accuracy leads to more efficient information processing and thus increased ability to concentrate”.
7. Learning an instrument promotes patience and perseverance
It may take some time before the children master the selected instrument to some extent and play the first small concerts, for example in the auditorium. They practice diligently and joyfully, then sometimes discontentedly and perhaps want to give up. But if you – and the music teachers – support them carefully, they will stay with you and soon look back on the past. The beginnings are done, held out! That gives them a real feeling of happiness.
8. Creative up to the fingertips
The instrument opens a door to completely new worlds for your kids. It lets them try out, experiment, simply do something unknown and unprecedented. Maybe they will play familiar titles with their individual touch. Maybe they improvise and put the perfect tone in the perfect place at some point. If you allow your offspring to learn their favourite instrument, you’ll give them something to live their inner life with.
9. The instrument as a valuable friend
Especially the first instrument becomes the best friend, the comrade, who is faithful to the child in all situations. Whether violin, trumpet, flute, guitar, keyboard, accordion, whatever. The children will appreciate the value because they have a very special relationship with their favourite instrument. And even the secretive or shy among them can express feelings they don’t want to or can’t show otherwise. A mouthpiece of emotions.
10. Making music – an attitude to life with many nice like-minded people
And finally: playing an instrument is much more than operating a machine. It’s a way of life and children share it with an unbelievable number of nice people. Simply every musician has gone the same way that your ambitious “young artists” are now allowed to go. All of them have had the same or very similar experiences from the first note to play complex pieces of music. An extraordinary community with a great sense of togetherness.