THE BENEFITS & POSITIVE EFFECTS OF MUSIC
It goes without saying; you want the best for your children throughout life, but especially during the formative years. So, you try to involve them in as many enjoyable, constructive activities as possible - Little League, soccer, dance, swimming classes and music lessons.
While all these activities will contribute to a child's physical, intellectual and social development, scientists and educators are beginning to realize that early, positive musical experience is uniquely important for children.
Children take to music naturally. Musical sounds are among the first stimuli an infant responds to, and toddlers instinctively weave music into their activities. Children everywhere bring music into their games, their interactions with other children and adults, and employ it as an inner companion to their exploration of the world around them.
Musical activities provide children with important experiences that can help them develop physical coordination, timing, memory, visual, aural and language skills. When they work to increase their command of music and exercise musical skills in the company of others, they gain important experience with self-paced learning, mental concentration and a heightened personal and social awareness.
Musical activities rely on movements in which the entire body participates, but emphasize development of precise control of the smaller muscles of the arms and hands and those controlling breathing and voice. Because of this total body movement, few other activities in which we engage are as well suited as musical practice for building accuracy, speed, timing, smoothness and coordination of muscle control.
Instrumental music study also offers sequential, pace learning in which small victories or advances inevitably lead to a sense of accomplishment. The music student learns that by repetition and step-by-step progress, goals are achievable.
The menial disciplines learned through musical play and study (memory skills, concentration, symbol recognition) are just as exacting as those underlying reading, math and other areas of study the child will undertake throughout life. The child who has worked to improve his or her own musical skills understands that achievement is built on sustained personal effort and is its own reward.
Beyond these benefits, however, can a child's education experience be complete without music or some form of arts education?
Academic Preparation for College: What Students Need to Know and Be Able to Do, a handbook published by the College Board, states that:
"Preparation in the arts will be valuable to college entrants whatever their intended field of study. The actual practice of arts can engage the imagination, foster flexible ways of thinking, develop disciplined effort, and build self-confidence."
So you see, involving your child in musical activities at an early age is really a kind of investment in his or her future,
Many people who study music don't go on to become professionals. But for many of them, music making becomes a lifelong activity. Adults who participate in music find it is fun, as well as a relaxing way to relieve work-related and day-to-day stress.
"Music lessons appear to strengthen the links between brain neurons and build new neural bridges needed for good spatial reasoning. Music instruction can improve a child's spatial intelligence for long periods of time - perhaps permanently." Psychologist Francis