By Kaila Allison
Kids these days are bombarded by activities. After school, the To-Do list seems endless! So how is it possible to prioritize? What activities are most effective for a child’s development?
Music lessons can be an answer. Music has been proven to help promote the growth of a child’s intellectual, emotional, and physical capacities, while also being a great source of expression and fun.
Among the many benefits that music provides, one is social intelligence. It is an aspect of intelligence encompassing emotional and cultural processing, characterized in children by their sensitivity and sympathy. Music is not only an individual pursuit, but is a timeless cultural practice. Music comes from all over the world, and not only requires discipline for personal practice, but respect for the past and the bigger picture of human development.
Music lessons also demand focus. Because kids are constantly inundated with stimuli, it is increasingly challenging to capture their attention. Music is a way to take a break from the virtual world for a while and “recharge.” It gives them a chance to make something organically with their hands or voices.
Music is also a natural de-stressor. For example, listening to and playing music releases the same endorphins in our brains released when we exercise or eat chocolate. It actually produces calming waves in our brains that positively influence our mood.
But how can we compare the minds of musical children with those of non-musical children? One way is in the classroom. Test scores show a positive correlation between students who play music and their performance on assessments. Kids that take music lessons use more of their brains than kids who do not take music lessons. Musical children’s brains are involved in more neuron activity, and as each new motor skill is acquired, both muscle memory and new connections are made that can stay with a child throughout their lives.
Music lessons are really the gift that keeps on giving. The more musicians there are out there now, the more there will likely be in the future. Let’s keep our minds musical! For more information, visit www.musicinchappaqua.com