The effects of music and musical instruments on children are numerous, from language and literacy development to cognitive growth and math skills.
Music has also been linked to improved academic performance and self-esteem. Some of these benefits may surprise you!
Here are some of the top 10 benefits of music for children:
- 1. Music Improves Brain Development in Children
- 2. Music Enhances the Social Skills of Children
- 3. Music Improves the Creativity of Children
- 4. Music Improves Discipline in Children
- 5. It Helps them Build Confidence
- 6. It Improves Their Memory
- 7. Music Helps with Language Development
- 8. Music is a Natural Mood-Lifter
- 9. It improves their Self-Regulation
- 10. It helps Toddlers Build Coordination
- Bonus – It Teaches Them a Great Insight into Culture
1. Music Improves Brain Development in Children
Parents have always known that music and singing help children build early brain skills, from learning the ABCs to being able to follow along with a favorite song.
Music stimulates parts of the brain that govern hearing, memory, movement, and emotion.
Numerous studies have examined the effects of music on children’s brains in the last two decades.
One of the most notable came from the University of Helsinki’s Institute of Behavioral Sciences, which found that listening to music helped improve brain development in children, particularly in terms of spatial reasoning.
2. Music Enhances the Social Skills of Children
Music can also help with the development of social skills in children, such as identifying facial expressions, communicating with peers and empathizing with others.
Learning to play a piece of music with other people is a great exercise in interpersonal skills. It’s more than just technique, it’s about expression and working together.
3. Music Improves the Creativity of Children
According to researchers, children who study music are better at problem-solving and are more creative than those who do not.
The University of California, Santa Barbara conducted the study, and the results have been published in the Journal of Research in Music Education.
4. Music Improves Discipline in Children
It is common for children’s musical education to start with nursery rhymes, then progress to the learning of an instrument.
While adults often see these as ways of keeping them occupied, these activities actually help children learn discipline and develop their coordination skills.
Recent studies have shown that children who learn to play instruments are likely to be better behaved and more self-disciplined than their peers.
5. It Helps them Build Confidence
A recent study found that children who grow up with music at home are more confident, have better grades, and excel in sports.
And, when it comes to self-esteem, children who receive music lessons are shown to have higher scores on self-esteem questionnaires than those who do not.
6. It Improves Their Memory
Playing a musical instrument is also believed to improve memory in children. “Musically trained children perform better at attention and memory recall and have greater activation in brain regions related to attention control and auditory encoding, executive functions known to be associated with improved reading, higher resilience, greater creativity, and a better quality of life”
Music training strengthens the hippocampus in the brain, which is involved in memory formation and organization.
The study linked above indicates that music is a great way to keep your mind sharp and that playing music throughout your life can help you maintain your cognitive skills, even as you age.
7. Music Helps with Language Development
One of the most important milestones in a child’s life is learning to speak and use language.
If you’re a parent or teacher, here’s some good news: playing an instrument as a child can improve language skills by creating stronger connections in the brain.
As an infant develops, he or she will start to recognize the sounds they hear. Listening to music is a great way for a child to hear the differences between different sounds.
8. Music is a Natural Mood-Lifter
I am sure you will agree that listening to music is one of life’s simple pleasures. It brings about a sense of joy, happiness, and inner peace.
In particular, music has been found to reduce stress, which makes it especially useful in helping children. Children benefit from music because it calms, soothes, and entertains them.
9. It improves their Self-Regulation
Self-regulation is our ability to control our own behavior, emotions, and impulses.
Children who have better self-regulation tend to be more focused, calm, organized, and better capable of controlling their own behavior. This has a big impact on their ability to succeed in school and eventually in life.
Learning to play music exercises a child’s self-regulation skills.
10. It helps Toddlers Build Coordination
Playing a musical instrument often requires a lot of coordination. This even applies to early forms of music education. Any head start in the development of coordination is always welcome!
Bonus – It Teaches Them a Great Insight into Culture
Music exposes your children to sounds they may not hear every day – like the sound of an oboe!
Music is part of every culture and society in the world. It’s a beautiful way to share and embrace that with your child. It imparts a sense of history and cultural awareness.
Showing your children music from different times and cultures can teach them about the world.
With so many competing distractions, parents have to work hard to encourage their kids to engage in activities that will benefit them long-term.
Music is one such activity. It offers a wide range of short-term and long-term benefits!