Music Classes and Piano Lessons Improve Academic Skills.
Music and math are highly intertwined. By understanding beat, rhythm, and scales, children are learning how to divide, create fractions, and recognize patterns. It seems that music wires a child's brain to help her better understand other areas of math, says Lynn Kleiner, founder of Music Rhapsody in Redondo Beach, CA. As kids get older, they'll start reciting songs, calling on their short-term memory and eventually their long-term memory. (Angela Kwan, 2014, “6 Benefits of Music Lessons”)
Music Classes and Piano Lessons Develop Physical Skills.
Every instrument helps children develop physical coordination and motor skills. Playing piano and other instruments requires different actions from your right and left hands simultaneously, similar to patting your head while rubbing your belly. Among other benefits to the brain, this skill develops ambidexterity. Eye-hand communication is enhanced through reading music.
Music Classes and Piano Lessons Cultivate Social Skills.
Group classes introduce young children to peer interaction and communication as well as teaching manners and turn-taking and increasing comfort with working with teachers. Playing music in a group requires good listening skills to keep together with the tempo of the music and the dynamics too. It helps children understand how they and their part fit within the context of a larger group or sound. This translates to a greater wholistic understanding of themselves in relation to the world around them.
Learning an instrument is a lesson in delayed gratification and develops perseverance and self- discipline. These qualities are invaluable toward success in every area of life.
Music Classes and Piano Lessons Boost Self-Esteem.
Turning “learning moment” into positive change helps build self-confidence in children. They learn that they are successful, can improve, and can reach significant goals. Group lessons demonstrate to children that, although people are all different, they all have room to improve and can develop greater skill and mastery when they apply effort to the task of music making. Group classes are like mini recitals each week, where students become comfortable with playing in front of an audience. This comfort level helps when it comes time for a formal recital or performance.
Music for Young Children’s annual Composition Festival fosters confidence in each and every student’s creativity and musical expression. Every child gets a prize just for participating and the results are extraordinary!
Music Classes and Piano Lessons Introduce Children to Other Cultures.
Children learn about and play music from a variety of composers from around the world, learning about those composers and their cultures. Children are also encouraged to celebrate their own cultures and the music of their cultures through solos and composing.
It is no wonder that when scientists study the brains of musicians, they show repeatedly and consistently that these brains are stronger and more efficient in many important areas and that there are peak times to develop these benefits. Taking music classes and piano lessons at an early age is very important for optimal brain development.
Elizabeth Dettweiler (https://www.myc.com/members/EDettweiler/)
Hon. B. Music, MYCC
Teacher of Music for Young Children, Mississauga, Ontario
(adapted from “6 Benefits of Music Lessons” by Angela Kwan