Should My Child Play a Music Instrument: The Benefits of Music on Mental Health
Adolescence is an amazing time of growth and development, and many different activities can promote these both physically and mentally. Music is one of these activities. You, like many, may have had the experience of being forced to take piano lessons as a child. While you may not have appreciated these lessons at the time, there are various mental benefits to learning a musical instrument as a child.
As a family therapy provider in Delray Beach and West Palm Beach, Florida, we are always looking for ways to improve mental health in adolescence.
The Benefits of Learning an Instrument on Academics and Intelligence
Language and Reading
The learning of a musical instrument during childhood has been proven to accelerate children’s brain development, specifically in regards to language and reading skills. A study done at the University of Southern California in 2016 found that the learning of musical instruments directly correlated to improved language comprehension and reading skills.1
Learning music has also been linked to improvements in mathematical understanding and even higher test scores.
The Benefits of Learning an Instrument on Emotional Intelligence
Learning an instrument has been shown to improve the left side of the brain, responsible for processing language and reasoning. It improves emotional and social intelligence in children as well. Much like sports, music is often played in a group, where they must learn to play in time and work together to achieve a larger goal. Dr. Alexandra Lamont, a Professor of Psychology of Music at the University of Keele, has stated, “Children who take part in music develop higher levels of social cohesion and understanding of themselves and others.”
Learning an instrument additionally increases self-confidence in children. In learning an instrument, children can see the benefits of continual practice. Improving on a specific task greatly aids self-confidence and self-esteem, areas that help prevent anxiety and depression.
Other Benefits of Learning an Instrument as a Child /span>
Learning an instrument takes time and effort. In addition to benefiting academic performance and emotional and social intelligence, it provides a structure for children. Experiencing the benefits of regular practice and hard work can show your child how they can use discipline and structure to improve themself.
Furthermore, time spent practicing and learning an instrument means less time that less useful tasks may occupy. Nowadays, children have a plethora of distractions at their fingertips, whether it’s cell phones, computers, or video games. Providing them with a form of expression and activity that is away from electronics is greatly beneficial.
Finally, learning an instrument improves motor skills in children, as it involves performing certain movements at certain times, increasing neurological connections in the brain, and strengthening motor skills in the individual.
Mental Health in Children
While adolescence is a time of growth and development in children, it can also be stressful. With school beginning soon and some children not having been in a classroom for over a year, it can be especially challenging. We specialize in child counseling, individual therapy, couples counseling, and telemedicine. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our experienced specialists.