6 Developmental Benefits of Music
We love to listen to music, dance to music, and sing to music with our children. Music is fun, music is engaging, and children love it! Did you know that when children learn to play music it is not only fun, but also has developmental benefits to it?
Here are 6 ways that children benefit from learning to play an instrument at a young age.
1. Perceptual and Language Skills
Music helps children develop perceptual processing systems. Perceptual processing systems help children encode and identify speech sounds and patterns. The earlier that children begin active music participation and the longer they participate, the greater the benefit on language development.
Rhythmic performance appears to be an important piece in reading development. A study by Long (2007) showed that only 10 minutes per week for six weeks of stamping, clapping, and chanting in time to a piece of music while following simple notation, demonstrated a great benefit on reading comprehension in children who had difficulties in doing so.
3. Intellectual Development
Many studies have showed that active participation with music has a benefit on visual-spatial intelligence. Research suggests that these improvements on visual-spatial performance may be due to children learning to read music.
When children engage in improvisation activities while learning to play music, it enhances creative thinking. Improvising is to ‘make something up as you go.’
5. Social and Personal Development
Music has the ability to increase self-perception in children. When children have a positive experience learning to play music and has success in doing so, they are able to grow in self-confidence.
6. Physical Development, Health, and Well-Being
Studies show that using rhythm/music while targeting physical movement, motor performance improves. Additionally, there is evidence that suggests learning to play an instrument enhances fine motor skills.
Hallam, S. (2010). The power of music: Its impact on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people. International Journal of Music Education, 28(3), 269-289. doi:10.1177/0255761410370658. Accessed 4 Dec. 2017.
Photo by CSLOT staff