Learning to play an instrument can have numerous benefits for children as they grow and develop. In fact, studies show that learning a musical instrument provides physical, cognitive, social, and mental benefits. Most musical instruments require fine motor skills, which can help children as they develop coordination and dexterity. When music lessons are offered in a group setting, such as in school, children can also develop their social skills with how to collaborate, communicate, and work together as a team. Learning to play a musical instrument can also help with the development of cognitive skills such as attention, memory, and problem-solving abilities. You may wonder, “How can music help with mental health?” In fact, playing a musical instrument can help children with their emotional development, confidence, creativity, and self-esteem.
Benefits of Music for Children’s Mental Health
Playing a musical instrument can be such a fun and rewarding experience for children of all ages. The benefits of learning to play an instrument go far beyond simply musical proficiency. In fact, music can have a significant impact on a child’s mental health and well-being. Here are just a few examples of the benefits of music for children’s mental health.
Music Makes Children Feel Good
Music has an uncanny ability to improve a child’s mood and lift their spirits. Upbeat music may help a child feel more positive and energized, while a soothing song may help them feel more relaxed. Music is well-known for eliciting a range of emotions in people of all ages, including children. Listening to music they enjoy and learning to play that music can help children feel good and offer a sense of familiarity and comfort.
Music Can Help Reduce Anxiety and Depression in Children
Music can also be a powerful tool to reduce anxiety and depression in children. Calming music can help children relax and reduce their feelings of anxiety. Both playing and listening to music can also provide a helpful distraction from stress or anxious thoughts. When children learn to play an instrument, they can focus on the task at hand and take their minds off their worries. Learning to play a musical instrument can also help regulate breathing, which can activate the body’s parasympathetic nervous system and promote relaxation.
Music Helps Children Look into Their Thoughts and Feelings
Children can explore and reflect on their thoughts and feelings when exploring music. When playing a musical instrument, a child may have a safe and creative outlet for their emotions. Listening to or playing music can also help a child explore and process their feelings, which allows them to be better aware of their emotions and how to regulate them in healthy ways. Because music can be a powerful form of creative expression, some children may find that they can explore or express their thoughts and feelings in a helpful way when playing an instrument. Playing music can be an incredibly personal experience, and children may associate certain songs and experiences with thoughts or feelings they had at the time.
Music Helps Kids Manage Stress
Children and adults alike can experience the benefits of music as a tool for managing stress and promoting relaxation. Practicing slow, rhythmic music on an instrument of their choice can help children feel relaxed and may even reduce their stress. Whether or not your child is learning how to play a wind instrument, they will learn to focus on their breathing. Music can help regulate breathing, and playing a piece of music with a slower or more rhythmic style can help kids manage stress. Listening to and playing music can also reduce stressful feelings and stimulate the release of natural hormones that improve mood and motivation.
Music Helps Children Process Trauma and Grief
Music can also be a powerful tool for children to process any trauma or grief they may experience. Playing and listening to music can create a safe space and creative outlet for a child to express their emotions. Music can have symbolic meaning, and a child may connect certain emotions related to their grief or trauma through relating to a melody or song lyric. Playing an instrument can also function as a type of coping skill for a child dealing with grief or trauma.
How to Incorporate Music into Your Child’s Life
Incorporating music into your child’s life can be a fun and rewarding experience for the whole family. A life full of music sparks creativity and promotes self-expression. With so many varieties of music available in the world, you and your child are bound to find songs and styles that enhance your lives and encourage emotional well-being. Here are a few recommendations for how to incorporate music into your child’s life:
Surround Your Home with Music
Start playing music for your child early, even when they are just days old. Whether you play soft, soothing songs to your infant or sing songs to your toddler, incorporating lullabies and gentle music into daily routines can promote creativity and musical exploration. As your children grow up, you can also take your children to live music performances and expose them to various genres of music.
Dance Around to Music
Dance around to music together for a shared experience your child will remember forever. From dancing in the kitchen while waiting for dinner to swaying to a beloved lullaby before bed, moving around to music can help your child become more comfortable with this creative expression in their lives.
Let Them Explore Different Kinds of Instruments
Provide your child with opportunities to explore music and instruments, including various sounds and rhythms, as they learn to interact with toys and people. Toddlers can tap on play drums or toy keyboards, while older children can explore different kinds of instruments. You can even play music together, like singing along to your favorite tunes in the car or playing instruments beside one another at home.
Support Their Love for Music Through Music Lessons
Learning music can improve a child’s academic performance overall, and this can start at a young age. Songs about the alphabet can help toddlers develop their speech, while songs about the state capitols can help students in social studies lessons. Private music lessons can also provide your child with personalized attention as they develop as a musician.
Color Your Child’s Life with Music Through Lessons In Your Home
Encourage your child’s love for music by demonstrating your interest and showing what a great value playing music can have in their lives. Consider music lessons to support their musical interests and encourage their development as young musicians. Lessons In Your Home connects you with passionate and skilled teachers in your area who will come to your home and work with your busy schedule. Start music lessons now with a private music teacher near you who will offer one-on-one support as your child learns how to play an instrument and develop their own musical identity.