Five ways music benefits children

Oct 2012
Five ways music benefits children
Learning to play an instrument can improve a child's memory and learning ability

Every new experience is an opportunity for a child to learn and grow and experiencing music is no different. Research indicates that children who learn to play an instrument experience a boost in memory, enhanced social and emotional development and improved concentration and co-ordination. Here we explore some of those benefits.

Increasing memory
Research has shown that learning to play an instrument can improve a child's memory and learning ability by stimulating different parts of the brain. Professor Susan Hallam, of the Institute of Education at the University of London, analysed the results of research into the benefits of music for children. She discovered that learning to play an instrument enlarges the left side of the brain and can lead to musically active students retaining almost a fifth more information.

Professor Nadia Lavoie at the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Education states that: "Music is an effective way to canonize and express the emotions of an individual because it mobilizes the primary emotions. That can be a good component in the social world, especially since it can help children develop confidence in themselves." As a child learns to play an instrument and receives encouragement and enthusiasm from their parent and teacher they will build in both confidence and pride. Such expression of creativity can also result in children becoming better communicators as they mature.

Boosting concentration
Learning a musical instrument requires a child to focus on a particular activity over an extended period of time. Developing their concentration in this way can have a positive impact on a child's focus across other subjects too.

Developing co-ordination
Playing a musical instrument on a regular basis will also improve a child's hand-eye co-ordination as they develop their motor skills. Playing sports and craft hobbies will also develop these skills in a similar manner.

Increasing patience
Learning to play an instrument requires patience and perseverance. Additionally, mastering how to play their instrument of choice will prepare children for overcoming challenges and striving towards a goal.