Recent professional studies have determined music lessons for children are an empowering experience and enhance cognitive abilities and help grow and develop young minds. The interest in music lessons for children as a developmental aid comes on the heels of deep cuts in music education in public schools. As music and the arts continue to be deleted from schools, it becomes increasingly important to seek music lessons for children outside the public schools. As music instructors, it’s important to help parents grasp that learning to play music has a far more reaching effect than just learning to play songs or scales on an instrument.
Music lessons versus other lessons
A German study in 2013 cites a significant difference between learning to play music and participating in other skill building activities for children. “Music improves cognitive and non-cognitive skills more than twice as much as sports, theater or dance,” cites the study by German Socio-Economic panel in 2013. Children who take music lessons “have better cognitive skills and school grades and are more conscientious, open and ambitious.” The act of developing an open and ambitious attitude is a life lesson as much as it is a music lesson. Children who take music lessons learn early that discipline, productive practice and having fun as they are learning to play music are lessons that carry through a lifetime.
Music lessons enhance verbal and reading skills
Children who learn to read music apply that knowledge to verbal and reading skills. There is a connection between the visual nature of note reading and the ability to decipher letters and words on a page. For children, music lessons can improve pitch and pitch recognition is a foundation of verbal skills. Parents may report better grades in reading, verbal expression, and an improvement in attention span for children who take music lessons.
Music Lessons and mathematics
Music is math and the development of mathematical skills is vastly improved when children take music lessons. Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras said, “There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.” Music lessons teach children the values of numbers as they learn to read notes. Spatial recognition is also improved and a sense of mathematical order as they pursue music lessons.
The value of music lessons and the mind is undeniable and all music instructors should be able to talk with parents about not only musical instruction for children but the extreme enhancement to other facets of learning. Music is such a pleasure and such a fun way to accelerate learning in any educational pursuit!
A wonderful music teacher can inspire creativity, discover passion and instill a sense of wonder in any student. The right teacher for each skill level is something to be considered as you begin or continue your musical journey. Let’s talk about things to consider when searching for a music instructor.
Ascertaining a skill level
It’s great to know where to begin, right? Are you a true beginner, or do you have some musical skill? Are you rediscovering your talent or starting from scratch?
It’s a good idea to figure out your skill level or the skill level of your child as you’re searching for an instructor. A purposeful dialog that addresses musical skills you have accomplished and what you want to learn helps a potential instructor know how to teach to a student. Talking to your child about what they want to learn from a music instructor is very helpful as children are often shy around new people. Take some time to really thing about where you are skill wise and where you want to be and what you would like to learn.
Personalities and learning styles are important
Children gravitate to funny, cool, young personalities. An older learner may be much more comfortable learning to play music from someone closer to their own age. Teenagers may learn best from young adults. Consider your learning style or the learning style of your child. Does your child learn best by listening and playing? Or is reading music a skill they would like to accomplish? Do they like big personalities or are they more comfortable around quieter people?If you’re a parent, you’re well aware of how your child learns best and what sort of instructor they would gravitate to and learn best from. If you’re an adult student, it’s good to ask yourself questions about the perfect instructor for your particular style and personality.
What skills you want to learn?
Are you interested in being a performing musician? A studio musician? Perhaps an orchestra player? Take time to focus on the trek of your musical path and be sure your instructor matches your goals. There are plenty of students who are not interested in a music career, and just want to be able to play and sing. Some students are music career driven and want an instructor who not only know how to play, but that guide them in music career choices. If teaching is your interest, you’ll want an instructor that is adept in music education and understands the dynamics of teaching others. Consider what you want to learn and the projected path of your musical career when choosing an instructor.
Let Melody Music Studios help you find a great teacher!
Kathi Kerr, our founder, has been teaching since 1985 and she is very adept at matching students with instructors. All of our instructors are professional musicians and are screened before they are hired. Instead of striking out on your own, allow Melody Music Studios to help you find a great instructor for you or your child!