The benefits of learning music during childhood

Listening to music is one of the greatest joys in life, and creating music is even better! To inspire a love of music, some parents enroll their children in private music lessons or encourage them to join their school’s band, orchestra, or choir. Indeed, learning to play an instrument or sing at a young age can have lifelong benefits.

Read on to learn about five important benefits of learning music during childhood!

1. Creativity and self-expression

Music is all about self-expression! In music lessons, children learn to incorporate dynamics and articulation marks to bring a piece to life. They can use the simple sounds of keys or strings as a vessel to express the emotion and character of a piece of music.

Additionally, while children first learn singing and rhythm patterns, as they progress through their education, they might learn music theory and even write short musical pieces. In this way, children have the opportunity to not only play music but create music of their own!

2. Attention and memory

Not only does music boost creativity, but it can also help develop a child’s cognitive abilities, memory, and language development. In fact, according to a 2011 study, children who learned to play a musical instrument and learned music theory for two years considerably improved their visual and auditory memory compared to children without a musical education.

To be sure, a musical education can have notable impacts on a child’s development that extend beyond the field of music!

3. Math skills

Educators have long recognized that there is a link between music and math! For example, musical concepts like rhythm help children recognize and predict distinct patterns.

Even more importantly, music lessons are often a child’s first introduction to fractions. By learning to divide musical whole notes into parts (halves, quarters, eighths, and sixteenths), children learn about fractions and ratios at a young age, often much sooner than they would in a typical math curriculum. Thus, musical education builds a solid foundation that prepares children for success in math later on.

4. Organization and self-discipline

While learning music is truly all about creativity and fun, it also requires a significant amount of practice! A musical education teaches kids important lifelong skills like organization and discipline. When kids practice every week, their skills improve, which can be rewarding for them to see! Accordingly, an early childhood music education enforces organizational habits that kids can apply to any other challenges in life.

5. Mind-body connection

Anyone who plays an instrument will tell you that it requires muscle memory! The phenomenon of muscle memory is amazing – as kids practice, their brains develop synaptic pathways that allow them to play music without conscious thought.

What’s more, learning to create music helps kids develop motor skills that are simultaneously linked to the strategy, planning, creativity, and emotion going on in their brains. This helps music students become more aware of the connection between their minds and bodies. On a higher level, this can help a child become more grounded and present as well as practice mindfulness. It’s no wonder music is considered therapeutic!

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