WHAT IF I TOLD YOU THAT THERE WAS A WAY TO MAKE YOUR CHILDREN SMARTER, more engaged in school, more creative, confident, happier, harder working and a more well-rounded and successful individuals?
What if I told you that there was one extracurricular activity that drastically outperformed sports, dance, art, drama, and martial arts AND there were hundreds upon hundreds of scientific studies that proved all of this to be true? Most importantly, learning it is a whole lot of fun! When it comes to choosing activities for your children, music instruction is the best thing you can do for your kids!
Music Develops Creativity
Children are so naturally creative when they are young. Every parent remembers the endless crayon drawings that took over the refrigerator when their kids were little, or the hours of make believe and stories. When kids are very young they don’t see things for what they are, they see them for what they could be. As children get older a lot of this creativity gets lost. Many child psychologists believe that we have fundamentally changed the way we educate our children to the detriment of fostering their creativity. So often, kids spend the majority of their time in school memorizing and analyzing information. Learning to produce the “correct” answers and being punished for getting things “wrong.” This approach is great for producing high test scores in math and literacy but it hinders children’s ability to take chances and be creative.
One of the best ways to foster creativity is to nurture and develop an environment where students know that it is ok to make mistakes. That is exactly what great music teachers do! So much in music is subjective and there aren’t any right or wrong answers. Students are encouraged to take chances, create their own sounds, improvise and write songs. Music lessons can be a safe place where children are able to explore ideas without criticism or worry about “getting the wrong answers.” It’s the perfect environment for developing creativity to the fullest!
Music Develops Confidence
Confidence is Built, Not Given. Real confidence, the kind that improves self-esteem, is built through achievement. For kids growing up today, their world is filled with video games, instant gratification and participation awards. It is more important now than ever before for children to learn to be successful at things that require effort. When children master a difficult piece of music (often requiring weeks or months of hard work), the satisfaction they get and the confidence boost that comes along with it are unmatched. Over time, the culmination of these small successes can really boost a child’s self confidence!
Music Develops Grit
What is grit and why does my kid need it?
“Perseverance and passion for long-term goals.”
- Angela Duckworth
Grit is the ability to work through challenges or stick-toitiveness found in a person. We used to associate grit with athletes and think that it was just something football players needed to make a comeback when they were trailing in the 4th quarter. That perception has changed quite a bit in the last 10 to 15 years. A lot of evidence is starting to show that grit might be the most important predictor of future success and, more importantly, happiness! Music lends itself very well to developing grit in young people. There is no instant gratification with learning an instrument. The only way to get better is through putting in the work over a period of time. Learning music is a great way to teach children about the self-discipline and determination it takes to be successful.
Music Develops Teamwork
Playing in bands, chamber groups or ensembles provides music students with the opportunity to develop their teamwork and social skills. Playing in a group inspires students to make connections, collaborate and cooperate with their peers. Students can build lifelong skills that not only help them become better musicians but will also prepare them to excel in small group settings outside of music.
Learning Music Makes You Smarter
Regularly playing an instrument can make you smarter! It has been shown to increase IQ by up to 7 points. The benefits don’t stop there though! Improved memory, fine-motor skills, auditory processing, spatial skills and even emotional awareness are all improved through learning music.
Music Rewires Your Brain
It’s pretty common knowledge that learning music makes you smarter, but did you know that it can also rewire your brain to help you develop a plethora of other skills. Playing a musical instrument requires using both hemispheres of the brain at the same time. Music can help the brain rewire and increase the size of the corpus callosum (the tissues that connect the right and left brain). Many medical researchers attribute Albert Einstein's genius to how well connected his left and right brain were. It’s also worth noting that Einstein was a very dedicated violinist!
Music Makes Students More Engaged In School
Music lessons have been shown to improve grades and test scores! According to the Nature Neuroscience publication from April of 2007 “Students in high-quality school music education programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, regardless of the socioeconomic level of community. Some studies have shown that music students score as much as 22% higher on tests than their non-music peers.
Music Is FUN!!!
Playing music is fun! Everyone loves to listen to music but nothing compares with actually playing a favorite song or jamming on stage with your friends.
- Article by Chad Ebert