As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
I had a dream. I wanted my daughter Gracie to play the violin. But, she didn’t share my dream. She wanted piano lessons instead. So, at the age of 5, she went off to her very first piano lesson. And, after a few more years of pestering her about the violin, I gave up. She was excelling on the piano and seemed to enjoy it. And my dream became her dream.
Then, when Gracie turned 9, she came to me and said, “You know, Mom, I think I’d like to try violin lessons now.” Whoa! I tried to contain my excitement, just in case it didn’t work out. I talked to her piano teacher, who said she was at a great age to pick up a second instrument (and her background in piano would be so helpful). She also graciously offered the use of a violin (which saved us from buying one, in case Gracie didn’t like it).
We did go on to purchase her a 4/4 starter violin. And, last year, after saving her pennies for awhile, she was able to upgrade (with a matching gift from my parents) to a much better quality instrument that she should be able to move into adulthood with.
It’s been 6 years since she had her first violin lesson. She just turned 15, and she’s achieved some major milestones with her violin by her side:
- She played first violin in the Central PA Homeschool Orchestra for four years, serving as first chair and concert mistress for the last 2 of those 4 years.
- She’s accompanied two musical performances at the local high school, serving as the sole violinist in the pit band.
- She secures 5th chair on first violin at the district level competition this past year (as one of the youngest students in the competition), moving on to grab 12th chair in the regional competition, landing her a spot in the All-States Festival.
And that’s just her violin accomplishments. She still enjoys playing the piano in church and has recently started playing with the Jazz Band at the local high school. And, she’s recently taken up the bells, which she’ll be playing as part of the Pep Band.
I’m not telling you all this just to brag about my daughter (though I do think she’s pretty awesome!) Rather, I want to share some of the many benefits of getting your kids enrolled in music lessons. And because I’m not the sole authority here (or, really, any authority), I’ve polled my friends to help me come up with this list.
5 Benefits of Enrolling Your Child(ren) in Music Lessons
Here are the top 5 benefits. Rather than going into a lot of detail about the “why,” I’m simply going to quote my friends.
5. It’s good for the soul and helps a child express himself and show emotion
“[Music is] a way to praise, mourn, celebrate and show emotions that words cannot express.” ~Lori from Adventure Mom
“Music gave [my son] a reason to come out of his shell and try new things. He’s also created so many great friendships with the other musical people he’s come to know because of it.” ~Joy (President of the Music Boosters at her son’s school)
4. It teaches discipline and commitment
“Music lessons taught me discipline and have left me with a gift that I’ll cherish all my life.” ~Elizabeth (mom to a toddler and a newborn)
3. It’s beneficial for the future
“ To me, there’s another aspect– ministry. As an adult who has led worship, I wish that I had been exposed to music lessons as a child. My voice is my instrument, but how wonderful it would be to be able to play piano or guitar as well. Thinking in terms of ministry (missions), music is something that breaks down barriers and brings people together.” ~Amy (homeschool mom of many!)
“It is a talent they can use their whole life to worship and glorify The Lord.” ~Nikki (homeschool mom, pastor’s wife)
2. It gives the child a sense of accomplishment
“It challenges them, gives them a sense of accomplishment, and learning new things is always a plus!” ~Katy from The Country Blossom
“Music lessons are important because they [give children] a sense of accomplisment. It also allows them to express themselves in ways they might not have thought about.” ~Tonda (mom of 4 grown children, grandma)
1. It’s great for brain development
“Not only is music beautiful and something to be appreciated, but it also aids greatly in helping children learn (in other areas). There have been studies on that to prove it, so I think all children should have some kind of music experience in their lives.” ~Suzanne (a speech therapist)
“Learning to play a musical instrument stimulates and builds neural pathways in the brain (especially before age 13-14). Many of these pathways are the same ones used for mathematical processing. In short…musicians make better mathematicians!” ~Sherri (a scientist) from Just Extraordinary
So, how can you get started?
I recommend starting with piano because it gives a child a good foundation for learning other instruments. (But, if your child is set on another instrument, by all means look into that. You want to teach to their interests, if you can.) You’ll want to do your research and find a good teacher. If you aren’t familiar with music teachers in your area, visit Music & Arts for local information on music lessons.
Let’s face it, musical instruments are expensive. It’s a big commitment to go out and buy a new one, especially when you aren’t sure if your child will continue with lessons for the long haul. Do what we did and find a friend to borrow a hand-me-down instrument from, purchase used (I do not recommend purchasing sight-unseen), or find a place to rent an instrument. (Music & Arts also offers rentals.)
And the most important thing that you can do – ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD! Instill in them a love for music, and they can go places they may have never dreamed of.
***Thanks to The Network Niche, today’s post is sponsored by Music & Arts.***