With Music Education week taking place between June 22nd and June 25th, now is the ideal time to consider the benefits of musical education for children’s overall development.
Ofsted’s triennial report on music education, published on 2 March 2012, argued that ‘good quality music education contributes considerable musical and non-musical benefits to pupils, parents and wider communities.’
There are numerous ways that playing a musical instrument can boost children’s self esteem and confidence, such as those outlined below.
Confidence to perform
As children begin to master playing a musical instrument, they will have to perform to a wide variety of audiences from their music teacher to parents and pupils. This may help children feel confident when presenting work in other contexts both in school and at home.
Developing a wide range of skills
Learning to play a musical instrument also requires a host of other skills to be developed such as reading musical notation, counting beats and keeping in time with other musicians in an orchestra or school band. Research conducted by Lutz Jäncke, a psychologist at the University of Zurich, found that “learning to play a musical instrument has definite benefits and can increase IQ by seven points, in both children and adults.”
Disciplined attitude towards learning
Children who play an instrument will have to attend regular music lessons, practice at regular intervals and also prepare for music exams at a variety of levels. All these disciplines can hopefully help children to deal with similar challenges in their daily school life.
The opportunity for self expression
The Arts present the perfect medium for children to express themselves. Children will also have the opportunity to make choices about the type of instruments they play, which will help to give them some autonomy over their learning.
Developing the individual strengths of children
Children who may struggle in more academic subjects may find that they are able to come into their own once they start playing a musical instrument. Similarly, more able children may be challenged by learning to compose their own musical pieces and working towards achieving higher grades in musical exams.