Making Music

By Julie Price

June 2, 2014 4 min read

Most kids dream of growing up and becoming a rock star at some point. Whether the dream is fleeting or a deeper passion, learning a musical instrument is extremely beneficial for children. It not only is an opportunity to practice focus and attention but also allows children to express themselves in ways they never will be able to with words.

If your child isn't inherently interested in taking up piano or guitar, or even in banging pots together, they still may be open to the idea of learning to play an instrument by ear. Perhaps lessons have no appeal to your little one. If you have a keyboard or another instrument lying around, your child may try to figure it out on his or her own out of curiosity. If this is the case, patience could be your best friend when it comes to approaching them about taking lessons down the road.

There are many different viewpoints on whether or not parents should force their kids to take formal lessons. However, most happy grownups would say that their parents generally were supportive and proactive in introducing them to new activities, but never made them stick to anything they hated.

You may be deciding whether you want to commit to a new round of lessons. Between school schedules and sports practices, making time for music lessons might feel impossible -- but it's often easier than you think. Most lessons are 30 minutes on average, and if you own the instrument yourself, the teacher could be willing to come to you. This is a perfect way to create some free time in your routine for a quick workout, cooking dinner or catching up on some emails. (If your child is learning violin, you may want to get some noise-canceling headphones. Just a suggestion!)

Aside from that, the benefits of learning a musical instrument for your children include:

--Freedom of expression. Making music is a chance to express oneself in a completely new way. This is why it's important to find a teacher who not only understands the importance of structuring lessons around learning the fundamentals, but also encourages students to really listen to and connect with the instrument. The right teacher gives your child an exciting new tool to communicate his or her heart through music.

--A different type of learning. Music is a way to shine beyond schoolwork, especially if your child tends to be drawn toward the arts. Your child may excel in math but fall behind in English. It's the same with musical talent that remains untapped: You may think your children are struggling in some of their classes for a variety of reasons, but perhaps they just haven't found a way to channel their inner genius. Who knows? They could be this generation's Bach.

--Advantage when it comes to applying for college. Proficiency in a musical instrument indicates a well-rounded background and adds that extra splash of interest for college admissions officers. It takes a high level of commitment and focus to learn any musical instrument. Even for a natural, hours and hours of practice and dedication are required to achieve mastery of an instrument.

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