Between school, sports, homework, and other commitments, it may seem like there is no time to add music lessons to your child’s schedule. However, there are a number of surprising ways in which children benefit from studying music. The following are five of the many ways kids benefit from music lessons!
1. Improved motor skills
Learning to play a musical instrument can improve both motor skills and coordination. Because many musical instruments require finely tuned finger and hand movements, fine motor skills and coordination are improved. Likewise, gross motor skills can also improve as students practice the posture and positioning necessary to hold and play an instrument.
2. Increased IQ
A 2004 study done by The University of Toronto found a link between weekly music lessons and increased IQ. Six-year-olds who took weekly music or vocal lessons tested, on average, three IQ points higher than their peers who took other art lessons or no additional lessons at all. This is thought in part to be caused by the increased neural activity that comes with learning music.
3. Higher test scores
Studies have repeatedly shown that students who study music score higher on standardized tests, including the SAT. One report found that students enrolled in music appreciation courses scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math on their SATs than other students.
4. Cultivate social skills
Playing as part of a group or ensemble can help students develop social skills. In addition to interacting with peers, children learn how to adjust their performance as part of the larger ensemble and work together towards a common goal. "These are the kinds of experiences we have in society," says the founder of Music Rhapsody in Redondo Beach, Lynn Kleiner. "We need more group interaction and problem solving."
5. Develops discipline and patience
Learning an instrument isn’t a skill that is acquired overnight. Learning proper posture, position, and instrument care must all be mastered before any playing even begins; likewise, students must learn to carve out time each day for practice. Because an instrument can take years to master, students learn patience along with their instrument of choice.