Numerous studies have time and again shown the ageless benefits of learning an instrument. Music instruction is key in developing the brain areas involved in language and reasoning. There is also a loose correlation between music and spatial intelligence, a skill that is necessary in everyday life. Problem solving is an integral part of playing music, and for a child to be able to identify a symbol on a sheet of paper and then apply that to a musical note is extremely significant. Music focuses on “doing” rather than a more passive learning process. The only way to learn an instrument is to practice playing it, again and again and again. This teaches children the importance of tackling daunting tasks head-on and the discipline to work through difficulty in order to foster results.
A child learning to play an instrument will develop hand-eye coordination and more control over the body. Playing an instrument correctly and learning to perform will help a child to become more confident and less fearless in new situations. It also serves as a healthy tool for self-expression, which is essential for children as they come into their own and look for new ways to communicate their ideas and feelings. Studies have continuously shown that children with an arts and musical background perform better on standardized tests such as the SAT and receive better grades in high school.
Music performance teaches children the duality of working solo and working as part of a team. They learn to creatively tackle a problem and find a myriad of possible solutions, not just one right answer. An arts background introduces young students to other cultures and helps them to develop empathy, compassion and respect for the world around them, an invaluable lesson that will stay with them their whole lives.