Nature is full of animal parents striving to help their kids survive in the great wide world. Alligator moms ferry their young around in their mouths to protect them from predators. Poison dart frogs find each tadpole its own pond to keep them from eating each other. And songbirds, well, they might allow their chicks to fall out of their nests to help them learn to fly.
Fortunately, you can help your child soar without flinging them out of your backyard tree. All it takes is a little love and a little music. Here’s how learning an instrument helps your child’s development.
When talking about our brains, people like to use the terms “left brain” and “right brain.” The left side of the brain is associated with logic and facts, while the right side is associated with imagination, rhythm, and creativity. So, music should only develop the right side of the brain, right? Wrong!
While music is definitely the right side’s jam, the process of learning to play an instrument involves a lot of left-brain skills, too, such as problem-solving, reasoning, and distinguishing between sounds. By learning to play an instrument, you develop both sides of the brain while creating connections between them. Bet you didn’t know this music school blog would turn you into a cognitive psychologist!
Music tugs on our emotions in a way few other things can. We’ve all found that song that perfectly sums up how we’re feeling or cranked up the volume on our radios to belt our stress away. Picking up an instrument can offer these same self-expressive benefits to our kids. Still, the emotional impact of learning an instrument on your child’s development goes deeper than that.
Learning to play an instrument is fun, but it’s hard. It takes patience and perseverance. And if you want to do it well, you have to learn how to make mistakes and grow from them instead of getting down on yourself. All of this helps develop emotional resilience, which will help your child build confidence and roll with life’s proverbial punches even outside the realm of music.
All this ability to understand our emotions has the added benefit of helping our kids develop a greater sense of empathy. Empathy, or the ability to experience the emotions of those around you, helps kids see things from other people’s points of view. This, accompanied with confidence, can help kids build stronger relationships with others.
Beyond that, music is a universal language that transcends cultures and languages. Even if your child is taking one of our private Portland music lessons for kids, they will still have the opportunity to build friendships with those around them. The common ground of a love of music will help build a bridge that connects them to kids of all kinds of backgrounds.