The Benefits of Teaching Children Instruments

Story by Emma DeLaRosa, Staff Writer

Knowing how to play a musical instrument is an extremely special skill that can often go unconsidered by many. Many parents may not think of getting their child involved in playing an instrument at a young age since it is difficult to find a hobby that a child is engaged in. However, playing an instrument can benefit a child’s brain development and can foster traits that will be important for the rest of their lives.

If a child learns an instrument at an early age, it greatly benefits the brain. According to an article on Medical News Today by James McIntosh, a study analyzed the relationship between brain development and learning a musical instrument and supported the idea that having this skill can reduce anxiety and promote emotional control. In addition to this, an article by Erika Montgomery from the Peterson Family Foundation said that playing an instrument can improve math and reading skills and introduces children to different cultures and histories, all of which are beneficial in one’s childhood. The benefits of knowing how to play an instrument go deeper than just having a hobby; childhood is a crucial time for brain development. Playing a musical instrument has great effects on the brain that will aid a child in their academic careers as well as providing them with other significant skills.

Learning an instrument is a practice that can result in significant life-long skills. In Montgomery’s article, she said that playing an instrument can improve memory, responsibility, social skills, and confidence. There is no doubt that such qualities are essential in everyday life, but they also do not receive enough attention. A child cannot learn these lessons in a classroom, they must be developed and experienced. Mark Oppenheimer, a critic on spending time teaching children instruments, describes it as “pointless” and that since many adults inevitably abandon their instrument, the practice is wasted. Although it is very unlikely that a child who takes up an instrument will be the next Bach, the payoff is even greater. There is more to learning an instrument than just perfecting the practice, it is about establishing a sense of self and traits that are undoubtedly important in adult life.

As someone who has played the piano for 11 years, it has significantly impacted my life and I notice the benefits in my everyday life. Even if playing an instrument does not turn out to be a child’s greatest passion, there is no harm in giving it a shot. Everyone has something that they are passionate about and that can only be discovered through trying different hobbies and pastimes.