This is a question often asked by parents and most especially by parents who don’t play an instrument themselves. This is likely because parents who do play an instrument know there’s only one answer to the question – yes!
Playing a musical instrument is a wonderful way for children to develop many skills – not only musical but also to learn about commitment and discipline. These skills are quickly learned when the child is small, say the leaders of this private boys’ school in London. The question shouldn’t be “should I encourage my child to learn an instrument?” but rather “when should I encourage my child to learn an instrument?”
Learning music increases intelligence and reduces stress
The brain is just like a muscle in that the more it is used, the more power it gains. Music has the power to increase the IQ and also to reduce stress and anxiety.
All children can benefit from learning a musical instrument whether it’s to increase confidence, improve concentration or just for fun and for a love of music.
How to decide which instrument your child should learn
The trick is to expose your child to as much music as possible and to introduce them to as many different musical instruments as you can. For small children who are below school age, look for a pre-school music-based playgroup. At these groups, children are exposed to many different instruments as well as singing and rhythm techniques. Your child may immediately show and affinity for one particular instrument and children can begin private music lessons at a very early age.
If your child doesn’t seem to know which instrument they like best, try ukulele or piano. Both are good examples of instruments which help children to quickly learn the underlying theories of music. As they grow in confidence children will often display a preference and may ask to learn something different. The good news is that once a child knows how to play one instrument, it’s much easier for them to learn a second or even more.
How to keep them going
Practice matters enormously when it comes to music. It’s of no use for your child to attend weekly classes if they do not practice. Even ten minutes per day will be useful – help your child stick to a routine and it will soon become second nature for them to slot in their practice sessions.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.