Benefits of Violin Lessons
In the words of famed violin pedagogue Dr. Shinichi Suzuki – “Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline, and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.”
I often get asked whether a child should take music lessons just for the sake of taking music lessons, even if they are at first resistant to it. In my years of teaching I have slowly come to the realization that, yes, all children (and even all adults) should learn to play music!
But what if your child doesn’t like lessons and practicing? Should you make them take lessons anyway? Well… I would put the following question to you – if your child comes home from school and says that they aren’t enjoying maths, or science, or grammar, do you let them leave it and do only the things they enjoy? Do you feed them only the food they love (candy and chips for example), or do you try to feed them what you believe to be best for their health? Though your child cannot always make the right decisions, you can, and they will thank you for it later in life 🙂 .
So please do let your child take music lessons if you can! They might not always be in the mood to practice, they might be downright hostile about it sometimes, but in time they will develop a love and respect for music and other cultural treasures and they will reap the countless benefits which musical training offers.
What are those benefits of musical training? I’ve compiled a brief article below on what music can do for any person’s development.
It is widely accepted in the cognitive sciences that there are direct correlations between musical study and verbal competency, motor skills, auditory skills, higher reasoning, and problem solving. Below are some of those findings…
Musical Training Promotes Brain Development
In a 2009 study featured by the Journal of Neuroscience, it was demonstrated that musical training leads to structural changes in the brain which results in improvements in motor and auditory skills.
Music and Academic Success
Researchers at the Boston Children’s Hospital worked with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and found that musical training enhances areas of the brain which are responsible for executive function. Children with 2 years of musical training showed enhanced cognitive control, better information retention, and more positive behavioural regulation. Senior researcher at the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience, Nadine Gaab (PhD), stated in 2014 that “music training may actually help set up children for a better academic future”
Music and Verbal Competency
Stanford University published a study which showed mastering a musical instrument improves brain processing in areas associated with language development and may have implications for improving language and reading skills.
Auditory Discrimination and Fine Motor Skills
Harvard University found in a study that children who receive regular music training for 3 or more years consistently outperform their peers in areas such as fine motor skills and display superior discrimination of auditory information.
Music and Character Development
While music certainly has many positive effects on the cognitive development of a child, studying music also develops character traits such as discipline, perseverance, teamwork, patience, self-control, problem solving, and empathy.
Even More Reasons to Start Making Music
- Master your capacity for memorization.
- Students learn to evaluate their own work critically and make improvements accordingly.
- Increase coordination.
- Cultivate a sense of healthy achievement.
- Deeper emotional development.
- Sharpened ability to exploit pattern recognition.
- Build imagination and intellectual curiosity.
- Develop more sophisticated creative thinking.
- Preparation for the creative economy of the modern world.
- Destress and relax without the need for unhealthy substances or addictive devices.
- Develop better spacial and temporal intelligence.
- Build a healthy dose of self-confidence.