There are some obvious benefits to learning a musical instrument. It’s enjoyable, can impress others, and some talented people can even make a career out of it. But for young children, learning a musical instrument can be even more beneficial than you think.

Playing an instrument stimulates different parts of the brain simultaneously, so it’s great for cognitive development in young children. Neuroscientists say that benefits of learning to play at a young age include improved memory, discipline, self-confidence, and even reading and verbal skills. Read on to learn more about how learning a musical instrument can help your child’s overall education.

Enhances Verbal and Reading Skills

A study recently published in the journal Psychological Science shows that there is a direct link between music education in young children and enhanced verbal and reading skills. The study found that children engaged in a music education program at a young age showed a ”rapid transfer of cognitive benefits” into non-musical areas of the brain, such as verbal recognition, due to structural changes in the brains of young children as they develop.

Strengthens Discipline

Lack of discipline is one of the main reasons young people don’t perform well in education and other areas of life. Learning a musical instrument is one of the best ways to nurture self-discipline in young people. Developing musical ability requires frequent practice, so children who cultivate this habit at an early age learn vital concentration and discipline skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Music Stimulates Emotional Intelligence

One of the biggest benefits of learning a musical instrument is that it stimulates emotional intelligence. One of the purposes of music is to evoke certain emotions. As children learn to hear the different feelings in music, they get in touch with their emotions. Practiced regularly, this results in higher emotional intelligence, which leads to success in various areas of their adult lives.

Develops Confidence

One of the most important things a child can learn is self-confidence, the benefits of which are endless. Music can help children develop their self-confidence by allowing them to develop a skill. Once children see that they are getting better at something, they feel better about themselves. This encourages them to develop skills in other areas.

Enhances Memory Function

Because learning an instrument engages different parts of the brain, new neural pathways form, linking parts of the brain that otherwise would not connect. When playing an instrument, the part of your brain responsible for linguistic and mathematical processing connects with the creative and emotional side that the right side of the brain controls. This results in better creation, storage, and retrieval of memories, which benefits children academically and well into adulthood.

Now that you understand the benefits of learning an instrument, why not engage your child in a music education program? Take a look at K12’s online music courses, for beginners up to intermediate levels.

If your child is already showing signs of musical talent, encourage him or her to enter K12’s Music Showcase for the chance to win an iTunes gift card and maybe even Best in Show!


Image via Flickr by St. Bernard Prep

 

 

 

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