Introducing your child to music can be an incredibly rewarding experience as a parent. Seeing them showcase their talent with an instrument is an extremely proud moment. Especially if you’re into music too!
With many Canadian schools facing budget cuts, music is one of the subjects being hit the hardest. Here at Musique Diplomate we are strong advocates for maintaining music in the school curriculum.
We’ll highlight some of the benefits of learning to play guitar. It can positively influence your child academically, socially, physically and mentally. Here’s a brief summary of what a child can gain from playing guitar:
- Forms a productive hobby
- Cures boredom
- Develops discipline
- Relaxing downtime
- Physical benefits
- Aids academic learning
- Improves listening
- Trains memory
- Boosts social skills
- Forms confidence
Productive Hobby for Children
By allowing a child the opportunity to learn guitar, parents are not only giving their little ones a chance to develop a new hobby but providing a basis for critical life skills as well. While learning to play guitar may seem like an extension of play time for a child, the moments spent practicing teach important lessons that often even adults struggle to learn. However, it needs to remain fun and your child needs to be comfortable with their guitar, so make sure you work with them to choose the perfect instrument.
Before most kids take an interest in music, they might play some sports and that’s obviously great. But many are also perpetual video gamers, glued to their XBOX or Playstation 24/7. We don’t approve or dissapprove of video games. They’re fun and make for a great platform to interact with friends. On the other hand, there’s nothing particularly ‘productive’ about video games. There are very few skills you can take away from them to improve yourself or apply in the real world. Video gaming is a bad fuel for boredom.
This is where music saves many from going down that path of becoming a fully-fledged gaming addict. It sounds silly and melodramatic, but learning to play the guitar can become a fun, engaging and productive activity, taking the place of something that doesn’t offer many positives. The guitar will give you something to focus on, to get better at and become more proficient.
One of the most important aspects of learning to play an instrument is self-discipline. This is where you set aside time and dedicate it to harnessing your skills. For children, discipline is an important trait to implement early, as it translates into school work and later life.
Spending time trying to learn chords on a guitar takes time and practice. It can take weeks or even months to accomplish a particular technique.
With discipline also comes patience. It’s an essential part of the learning process. It takes a lot of devotion and commitment to learning the guitar, and patience is an important trait to maintain throughout.
Playing my guitar is like positive escapism. When you’re at school, You can’t wait to get home and start jamming to your favorite bands or learn new riffs. This is because after a day spent doing academic work, You’ll want to employ the more creative side of your brain. But more importantly, it just makes you happy!
It’s the perfect way to wind down after a long day. It helps you take your mind off of other things, as you focus solely on playing and on improving your technique and repertoire.
Instruments such as guitar demand the use of both hands. At the start of the learning process, synchronizing both hands to be in time with one another can feel like an impossibility.
With practice it can almost become second nature, greatly developing coordination and motor skills. These skills can be used to improve performance in school sports activities.
It’s clear that some of the skills developed from learning an instrument apply to academic proficiency too. It’s not all just about the ways in which children learn to discipline themselves, as music interacts well with other subjects. Most notably, music goes hand-in-hand with mathematics and science.
Understanding note values, time signatures and rhythms requires a working knowledge of math. It’s used to discern rhythmic patterns, particularly as you employ division skills to break down musical notation and beats. Reading sheet music for any instrument demands a level of academic understanding.
For guitar players, learning from tabs also involves applying basic math. With notes marked out by their respective fret numbers, the process requires simple counting and identification. This then leads to a broader awareness of where notes lie on the fretboard, as well as intervallic and tonal recognition.
Music production and sound engineering both require a great knowledge of physics. Understanding acoustics, for example, relies on a competent grasp of the subject. It involves studying the ways in which sound travels, and how the size and shape of spaces change the nature of sounds and the way in which they are intercepted by our ears. These subjects are deeply intertwined.
Learning a new piece of music requires a lot of repetitive listening to fully understand a melody and its rhythm. Being able to recognise and identify a short riff and repeat it on an instrument requires concentration and practice to perfect it. Fine-tuning the ear can be advantageous for children’s focus levels.
Even if you’re listening intensely to your instrument in a piece of music, you’ll naturally build an awareness of other instruments too. Identifying their tonal characteristics and traits can only help when eventually playing with other musicians.
Learning a song is, at its core, a memory test. This can be a difficult hurdle for young children. However, challenging your child’s memory will develop their brain. Why? Because it teaches them to form, hold and recall memories more easily. This will help when they take their exams in school, as revising will become an easier process with a trained memory.
Classical musicians mostly rely upon notation for musical cues and prompts because of the complexity of the music they play. However, a good memory is fundamental for pop and rock musicians.
Playing a musical instrument leads to some amazing social experiences. It provides the chance to play alongside other like-minded people. This helps a child to develop social interaction. This transcends into later life, where working in teams and collaborating in groups is required.
Confidence and Self-Esteem
Standing up on stage with a guitar or smashing away on a drum kit looks cool. Which is why learning an instrument can be a great confidence and self-esteem builder.
Performing in front of people is a nerve-racking experience and for children, it takes time to build this confidence. The more your child performs in front of people, be it just yourself or before hundreds, the more self-assured they will become. It also teaches your child how to improve after receiving constructive criticism. Learning how to take criticism and turn those negative feelings into positives boosts confidence.
It’s clear that allowing your child to learn guitar has many benefits in their development. It might be easy to assume that we are biased because we are a music store. But numerous studies on this are clear and unanimous on the benefits. We strongly recommend getting your child into music, because playing an instrument like the guitar is an art that we must keep alive and maintain. And most of all, it can make them happy!
Want to set your child off on their musical journey? We can help. Please do not hesitate to Contact Us, YOU CAN EVEN CHAT WITH US USING FACEBOOK MESSENGER ON OUR SITE and it would be our pleasure to help you.
Montréal, QC H2S 1R9 Canada