Music to our ears
The Chinese philosopher Confucius (b.551BC – d.479BC) said that “music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” It would seem he is right as music is found in every known culture throughout all recorded history. It is thought that music has been in existence for at least 50,000 years.
Music plays an integral role in our culture and society. We use it to express feelings and emotions, as a form of political and social commentary, and for pure enjoyment. Learning to play in musical instrument (including our own voice) has numerous benefits too.
Improves cognitive functioning
Research has shown that both listening to music and playing a musical instrument stimulates your brain and can increase memory and concentration as well as improving listening skills.
If you learn how to play an instrument, parts of your brain that control motor skills, hearing, storing audio information, and memory actually grow in terms of the number of connections made in the brain and becomes more active.
Music is a form of art. In the same way a writer can pour his or her emotions onto the page, or an artist can express emotions on canvas, so too can a musician play a piece of music with feeling and emotion.
Music has been proven to relieve stress and music therapy is useful in treating children and young people with autism, depression, and other behavioural and emotional disorders.
Improves social skills & builds confidence
Making music is not a solitary activity. In a band or orchestra setting young musicians must learn how to cooperate and work with the people around them. Each player must also learn how to listen to each other to achieve harmony.
One of the goals of practicing making music is to be able to share that music and perform for others. Performing in front of other people can be daunting at first, but as musical challenges are overcome, the greater the feeling of accomplishment and confidence.
Friendships are often formed with like-minded musical people. Working towards a common goal also promotes group unity.
The art of playing an instrument requires a lot of hand-eye co-ordination. By reading musical notes on a page, the brain subconsciously converts that note into specific motor patterns while also adding rhythm (and depending on the instrument, breathing) to the mix.
Drums, in particular, can assist in developing co-ordination skills as each limb follows a different pattern to the other limbs.
Making music is fun!
Playing a musical instrument should be fun and exciting. Finding an instrument that your child enjoys playing, together with a music teacher who can work well with your child, should bring years of enjoyment.