The benefits of playing an instrument

There are many benefits of learning to play an instrument at a young age. Picture: Getty Images

There are many benefits of learning to play an instrument at a young age. Picture: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

If your child’s schedule is overloaded with sports clubs, scouts or drama classes, then adding musical instrument lessons to that list might seem a step too far. But according to some experts, there is an array of benefits to learning a musical instrument from a young age.

Some studies have shown that children who learn a musical instrument over a constant period of time perform better academically and socially.

It's obvious that music and maths are linked - by understanding beat and rhythm, children are using numbers and recognising patterns.

Playing an instrument also helps children to develop their co-ordination and motor skills.

But the website goes even further. Its researchers say that playing a musical instrument can cause "fundamental changes in a young person's brain, shaping both how it functions and how it's physically structured."

Music expert, Gottfried Schlaug, said: "Listening to and making music is not only an auditory experience, but it is a multisensory and motor experience. Making music over a long period of time can change brain function and brain structure.

"Intense musical training generates new processes within the brain, at different stages of life, and with a range of impacts on creativity, cognition, and learning."

Other benefits of learning an instrument include discipline and patience. Through long periods of practice, children learn how to persevere in order to achieve specific goals, whether it's performing with a band or learning a solo piece.

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Playing as an ensemble can also improve patience, as children must learn to wait their turn to play their part and to listen to others play. This helps them to learn to be respectful of their peers, to be attentive and to remain quiet for designated periods of time.

Learning an instrument also boosts confidence. In musical lessons, children must learn to accept and give constructive criticism, while performing in front of an audience can bolster self esteem.

The benefits at a glance

- Children who study music from an early age can improve their academic performance.

- Children who play music learn there are rewards from hard work, practice and discipline.

- Playing am instrument helps develop children's creative thinking and motor skills.

- Music helps children become more active listeners.

- It can also enhance their health and wellbeing and increase stamina and confidence.

You can search for music teachers in north London by visiting