Did you know that music can have a significant impact on your child’s academic abilities? Read on to find out how…
While we all know that learning how to play a musical instrument helps children develop their creativity, you may not have known that music also helps children with mathematics. Curious to know why?
That’s because learning to play music stimulates the same areas of the brain that are used in mathematical processing, according to several studies published in Scientific American. Music also improves reasoning, verbal, and reading skills as well. Researchers have discovered that musical training activated the auditory processing region of the cerebral cortex, so if your child has one of the many auditory processing disorders, music lessons can help.
With all of this compelling evidence demonstrating the numerous benefits of music lessons, it’s no surprise that parents are eager to get their children started with music lessons. However, before enrolling your child in instrumental boot camp on the spur of the moment, make sure they are prepared.
Consider your child’s age
Music lessons, despite their advantages, can be costly and time-consuming. Before you spend money on lessons, make sure your child can learn and enjoy music and that the lessons will not frustrate him or her. Before learning to play an instrument, certain developmental milestones must be met, and not all children reach these milestones at the same time. First, check to see if the child understands the difference between right and left.
They should also be able to recognise letters and, in the best-case scenario, read. Some fine motor skills are also required.
Even by the age of nine, when most schools begin to offer instrumental lessons, not all children can do these things. If your child requires assistance in one of these areas, defer the lessons and focus on mastering the fundamentals first.
Test your child’s basic abilities
Clap to a rhythm and see if your child can repeat the same rhythm back to you to see if your child has some basic musical abilities. Play a variety of notes and see if your child can tell you which ones are higher and lower. Two signs that your child is ready to learn music are the ability to recognise patterns in sounds and rhythms and the ability to distinguish between frequencies in tones.
Next, pay attention to your child’s attention span. Can they sit still for 30 to 45 minutes at a time and listen? Also, make sure they understand what music lessons entail and realise that learning takes time and repetition. Ensure they understand that they won’t be playing Beethoven or rock and roll guitar riffs in the first few lessons. After you’ve confirmed that they have the necessary skills to play an instrument, you should ask them the following questions:
- Are you sure you want this?
- How much are you willing to pay for this?
- What are you willing to give up in order to get it?
While that line of questioning may appear to be rather strident, the bottom line is that if your child is not genuinely interested in the lessons they are taking, they will not learn much. They will also need to practice to get the most out of the training. You should ask them if they are willing to do so upfront.
A word on self-discipline and commitment
In addition to the other skills mentioned, learning music necessitates self-discipline and commitment. Arguably, a willingness to learn and put forth the necessary effort can often compensate for a lack of skill. You can find out if your child has what it takes to get the most out of their music lessons by asking these questions.
Take into account their schedule
Before enrolling your child in lessons, you should take a good, long look at his or her schedule. Make certain they have enough time for both lessons and practice. It may not be the best time to start instrumental lessons if they already have sports five days a week and a couple of hours of homework every night.
Although parents are often concerned that their children will not learn everything, it is sometimes preferable to have them master one skill rather than having a child who is exhausted and overwhelmed, and unable to grasp anything at all. It doesn’t mean they won’t be successful in their musical endeavors if you decide to put off music lessons for a year or two.
Many successful musicians did not begin lessons at a young age, and some even began later in life. When it comes to learning an instrument, there is no such thing as missing the boat. At any time, you can jump in and get started. However, if your child is ready and willing, music lessons may greatly benefit them in all aspects of their lives.