Many children grow up playing a musical instrument. In fact, it’s not unusual for a child to try several instruments before they graduate from High School. While learning how to play music is definitely beneficial for people of all ages, there have been studies showing that children who play a musical instrument actually do better in their school studies. Of course, trying to make your kids smarter by forcing them to play an instrument is probably counterproductive, but giving children an opportunity to gain this type of experience is definitely advantageous in a number of ways.
In addition to providing children a new way of looking at the world, playing musical instruments is a wonderful way to broaden their experiences and give them a skill that they can enjoy for a lifetime. There’s also a great deal of satisfaction that comes from being able to make your own music. For many people, music is a major factor in their life and being able to have a personal connection to that music is a rewarding and life-altering experience.
It doesn’t really matter what instrument you let your child play, but it should be something that they are interested in. Let them pursue their own interests and desires when it comes to music. Sure, sometimes parents must endure the shrieking of a violin or the unbearable noise of drums or trumpets, but this is how kids learn. With a safe and encouraging environment, children will be able to explore their musical interests and grow immensely from the experience.
Choosing a musical instrument
That child that was set on playing the tuba might decide they’d rather play the guitar, drums or clarinet at some time in the future, that’s fine, it’s all part of the learning process. Of course, getting your child quality music lessons will certainly be an important part of their being able to actually learn how to play a musical instrument or they’re getting frustrated and giving up on it altogether. Most schools offer a band or orchestra that will provide the music instruction and motivation that is needed to keep your child learning their chosen instrument; however, if your child is not learning in this environment or would prefer another source for their musical education, there are probably several music stores in your community that will offer instruction on playing a variety of different musical instruments.
Finding private music instruction
Another option is to find a private teacher to instruct your child. Private lessons can sometimes be a bit more expensive, but they are often still very affordable. Some teachers will come to your home, others will have you come to theirs. Always choose a reputable instructor and make sure that your child is comfortable with the teaching style of the person you choose.
Some music teachers stick to music that they’ve been using for years. While this can be effective, your child might be more comfortable with someone who lets them bring their own musical style to the lesson. Asking kids what types of music they like or which artist is their favorite can often help an instructor introduce music to the child that will keep them engaged and excited about the long process of learning how to play a musical instrument. After all, there is some hard work that goes into learning, so anything that can be done to lessen the sometimes boring repetition of practice can be beneficial.
Of course, there are also benefits in keeping your options open and exploring a variety of different musical styles. Learning a musical instrument isn’t just about following your favorite band, it should be an opportunity to grow as a musician, even if you’re just a novice with no aspirations of becoming a musical legend.
How to get started
If your child shows interest in playing musical instruments, it’s a good idea to try and nurture this interest. However, if you have a child who has never given playing an instrument much thought, you might want to encourage them to learn how to play by offering piano lessons or even exploring music in an after-school program. Another inexpensive option might be to order an online music course (e.g. PianoForAll that we’ve discussed here at the site). Sometimes kids don’t realize how musical they are until they’ve been introduced to a variety of different instruments. It’s definitely an area that deserves some encouragement. The love of music will likely stay with your child throughout their lifetime.