7 Benefits of Music Lessons That Go Beyond the Classroom
Why getting into a musical frame of mind can help in your child’s development
Music lessons make for fun, after-school activities for kids, but did you know that these lessons could help with their neurological development as well?
The brain-music connection is supported by science. Johns Hopkins researchers discovered through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans that, when musicians were asked to perform, they all got a “total brain workout” as all areas of their brains lit up. Music uses up a lot of computing power, as the brain switches from one note to the next.
With children, this musical workout can help boost their still-developing brains. But whether you are looking to enroll your children in music classes as a hobby, or nurturing your child as the next musical prodigy, there are a surprisingly wide-range benefits from having them learn music.
1. It develops language and communications skills.
“Music does help with language development, especially in young children,” says Carole Luzentales, a special educator who specializes in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). In her practice, Carole sings the books to her students, which they imitate.
Through this method, the children understand the stories more easily, and then could eventually read these stories on their own.
“I use a lot of books in my work, which I would set to music. Repetition is key to kids on the spectrum and in language development in general,” Carole explains. “Kids learn to imitate first, and they gain confidence when words or lines in a book are repeated.”
2. It is beneficial to physical movement and coordination.
There is always a correlation between music and movement, whether it is dancing or clapping to a tune, or coordinating hands in using an instrument that helps develop a child’s motor skills; but music and movement go deeper than this.
In the Kindermusik educational program, according to their official website, it is believed that the application of music to various activities of the child can impact the development of their body movement, help them understand concepts and tasks more easily, encourage social-emotional development, and more.
3. Music can boost the child’s cognitive skills.
The Kindermusik techniques also show children how they could complete a task or remember to reach a specific goal.
Ella, mother of Sofia, an 11th-grader who now excels in classical piano, violin, and cello, recalls how the techniques helped her child in her early years. “When we enrolled Sofia in Kindermusik, she was taught how to don her clothes, take a shower or bath, among other activities, but all these are done along to music,” she says. “These specific actions are done with specific types of music, and these are done repetitively with rhythmic actions.”
4. It enhances their memory.
According to Learning Potential Australia, in studies done on children aged two to eleven years, those who are regularly trained in music have a better working memory.
Trying to recall specific rhythms, tones, melodies, and even lyrics—regardless of how simple or complicated they are—can give a child’s long- and short-term memory a good workout. And since music requires concentration, learning music trains the child to hold their focus longer and comprehend lessons better.
5. Music inspires creativity.
Thinking of different ways to sing their favorite song or play a musical instrument will do wonders for a child’s creativity. Music is one of the best mediums of expression, and kids may find music as a fun way to put their feelings out there or get their message across—or simply show others how well they could sing or play the guitar!
Simply listening to music is good for creativity as well. According to a scientific study authored by Simone Ritter and Sam Ferguson, positive-sounding music gave listeners a more significant boost in “divergent thinking” (or creative thinking).
6. It fosters patience and discipline.
The act of learning to sing or playing a new instrument needs a certain level of patience and discipline. Practicing chords or remembering when to sing the chorus takes time and dedication; and this can be further applied to other aspects of their life. This could also teach the child that persistence and hard work can help them achieve a goal.
7. Lastly, practicing music builds confidence.
Teamwork, cooperation with the educator and parent, and overcoming shyness to be able to perform in front of another person can help make children feel more confident about themselves. Aside from this, there is always a sense of pride and accomplishment when kids are able to learn a new skill, or complete a full musical piece on their own.
Even if you cannot enroll your children in real-life musical lessons just yet, there are many ways to incorporate music into their everyday routines. Having them watch online music tutorials and videos, teaching them to strum simple tunes on a guitar at home, or simply having them sing a lullaby along with you at night can all help get them into a musical state of mind.
• Johns Hopkins Medicine, Keep Your Brain Young with Music, 2021
• Learning Potential, Musical Benefits, 17 April 2020
• Kindermusik, What is Kindermusik? 2021
• PLOS One, Happy creativity: Listening to happy music facilitates divergent thinking, 6 September 2017
About The Writer
Rachelle Medina has covered the shelter and lifestyle beat as a writer and editor for almost twenty years. Formerly editor-in-chief of Real Living Magazine, Rachelle now freelances for different lifestyle outlets like Spot, GMA News Lifestyle, and ANCX, creating content for both print and web.
She has also worked as a consulting content editor for the websites of SM Home and Manila FAME.
Rachelle is a licensed interior designer with a degree from the University of the Philippines; and is a single mother of a wonderful nine-year-old boy who loves to draw.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and do not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.