It’s no secret that learning to sing or play a musical instrument can have a major positive impact on a child. Not only is music an intrinsic good central to most people’s enjoyment of life, mastering an instrument and become comfortable performing helps children develop other vital skills such as discipline and self-confidence.
But when it comes to actually making regular music practice a part of your child’s life, knowing how best to proceed can be a bit of a challenge. Should you let kids follow their own interests, and pursue arts activities on their own, or should you give their creativity a nudge by enrolling them in lessons or choral groups?
While there are definitely benefits to giving children opportunities to engage the world on their own, the structure that comes with formal education can actual enhance this personal exploration. If you’re on the fence about formal music lessons, here are three benefits they can provide children of all ages.
1. Formal Lessons Build Essential Life-Skills
One of the downsides of a more exploratory approach to learning music is that learning to play an instrument — while exciting at first — will eventually become a serious challenge. Plenty of kids fall in love with the trumpet or violin for a few weeks, only to become bored and drop it.
The commitment aspect of formal lessons is important for this reason. When kids have a set curriculum and weekly or bi-weekly meetings with an instructor, they develop habits of discipline, practice, and accountability that will serve them well in all aspects of their lives.
2. Music Lessons Provide a Community
Most music today is a collaborative endeavour. From the concert hall to the jam space, seeking out peers to perform with is an essential part of developing musically, and formal lessons make it easier to build these connections.
Even if your child is only enrolled in individual lessons, instructors can help coordinate group performances, and school concerts give students an opportunity to hear each other play.
When you enrol your child in music school you are plugging them into a community that not only helps them develop their own voice, but introduces them to other budding musicians as well.
3. Instructors Help Kids Learn it Right the First Time
Ask a self-taught musician about their experience mastering their instrument, and they’ll probably talk about the struggle overcome bad habits picked up during their first years learning their instrument.
Teaching yourself to play an instrument like the piano can be rewarding, but many self-taught pianists take short cuts during their early years that put a hard ceiling on how far they can progress. Retraining can be a long and difficult process.
When children take formal lessons, they have the benefit of an instructor who can teach them how to do it right the first time, saving a lot of time and grief in the long run.
If you have young children at home and you want to find ways to help them develop their sense of creativity, music is one of the best avenues for doing so.
But if you want them to get the most out of the experience, formal lessons are the best way to ensure they develop good habits, find a community of peers, and learn how to play things right the first time.