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When thinking about writing a post on the benefits of music education for my own kids I realized I would have to share more about my family. We are a pretty musical family. (Okay, extremely.) We absolutely love, live, and breathe music in our home-starting with my husband who plays keys and guitar and is pretty good with studio recording. (We recorded a family Christmas album about seven years ago and I’m hoping we’ll do it again this year.)
My 16-year-old is on the worship team at her youth group and sings and plays keys, guitar, violin, and ukulele.
My 11-year-old is poetic and writes songs from time to time, and she’s a pretty good singer. And me? I also play keys and am a singer/songwriter. That’s our musical family in a nutshell.
So how about you? If your family is not so musically inclined, what are the benefits of music education for your child and how can you ensure your child receives the gift of music?
However, one thing we haven’t done consistently over the years is to make sure our kids have official music lessons. I say “official” because I’ve been doing most of the music training along with YouTube over the years, and most times I’ve just hoped the kids would catch music through osmosis. And fortunately for me, that is what has happened. It has only been recently that I’ve added on piano lessons outside of our home. It’s great to not be the music teacher for once, and to let someone else have that role.
We picked up the Faber’s Piano Adventures series recently, and this has been going pretty well for my daughter. She loves it, her teacher loves it, it works!
Since she’s 11 and entering her tween years, she wanted books for a little bit older kids, so we picked up this one.
Meanwhile, I’ve also realized just how much my family, because we love music so much and are so exposed to it, take for granted the benefits music education affords us. If you’ve been thinking about offering music lessons to your children, or making sure they are exposed to music theory and learning to play an instrument while growing up, here are some concrete reasons why you should definitely consider giving your child a music education.
Benefits of music education
Music boosts a child’s SAT scores.
According to the NAMM Foundation, your child’s test scores can be improved simply by ensuring they have a music education. I’m assuming this refers not only to music lessons and learning to play an instrument, but understanding music theory and music appreciation.
Helps a child retain information better
This was a deal-breaker for me. As homeschool moms, we’re always trying to find ways to help our children retain information and learn better. If exposing my child to music can help me achieve this goal, I’m all for it! This study also shows that in kids who have music training, their brains develop faster. I’m guessing this has a lot to do with repetition and practice and really working those brain muscles to recall and perform. Yay for these awesome benefits of music education!
Helps children sleep better
The right kind of music is a natural soother and helps the mind and soul to heal. I can imagine how much it improves sleep.
A few years ago when we had first moved to California my girls weren’t sleeping so well. When I had the opportunity to review Scripture Lullabies,I quickly hopped on the opportunity to review the CD set which changed our lives. Music is powerful, indeed.
Exposes children to other cultures
One thing I love about sharing music with my kids is exposing them to various cultures and types of music within subcultures. Music appreciation is big on our family list, and we don’t stop with classical pieces.
I like to circle the globe and have my children listen to and appreciate songs with origins in countries around the world. Our beautiful, yet antique copy of John Thompson’s Piano that I learned from as child has some beautifully simple melodies originating from Germany, Austria, and Italy.
We read about classical musical artists: Mozart, Chopin, Bach, Beethoven (the Zeezok curriculum helps with this), and then we speed up to different eras and settle into the rhythmic African and Caribbean music and finally sweep into US music history with a look at music through the decades.
Raises academic performance and IQ
Because students can retain information better, academic performance and IQ are raised as a result of music education. Taking voice lessons and group lessons (with singing lessons faring the best) seem to result in a higher increase in academic performance compared to kids who are involved in other types of extracurricular activities such as drama or sports.
You can encourage your child to sing or play an instrument, and then observe academic performance over a period of time and begin to see results with your own kids. I feel motivated to continue making sure my kids receive music lessons- whether it’s with a music teacher or on YouTube. I hope this post has encouraged you to do the same.
There are just so many benefits to music education for our children and ourselves (don’t forget about you!) What we don’t know today we can always learn tomorrow. It’s never too late.
Let me know your thoughts and leave a comment below.