Many children are introduced to music instruction at school. After being introduced to band, chorus and various instruments, students may be eager to explore music. Young students are often introduced to the recorder or ukulele in the early grades and then given the opportunity to join primary bands as they move through elementary school and into middle school. Some children also may want to supplement school music lessons with private music tutors, who can provide more in-depth instruction. Parents considering making a commitment to music instruction may find that kids benefit from being involved with music in many ways, some of which may be surprising.
• The New England Board of Higher Education says several studies show that consistent music education improves vocabulary and reading comprehension skills. Emerging evidence points to an area of the brain that controls both musical ability and language comprehension as being more closely related than previously thought.
• Music education may help young children learn words and how to pronounce them, as learning to play music enables them to process the many new sounds they hear from others.
• Researchers have discovered a strong relationship between participating in school arts and academic success as demonstrated by students’ grade point averages, according to the National Association for Music Education.
• The relationship between music and academic performance has been studied for decades. As far back as 1988, studies have been conducted about the benefits of music education. An analysis of data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 demonstrated a significant correlation between participation in school music groups and achievement in math and English. And a 1996 study published in Nature found first graders who participated in special music classes as part of an arts study program saw their reading skills and math proficiency increase dramatically.
• Introducing music lessons to young children can have profound effects on their social development. Music fosters greater trust and cooperation, as well as a sense of community and belonging.
• Another benefit of music education is it allows children to harness their creativity and express it in a healthy way.
• The music instruction company Music U says children with developmental disorders and mental health issues might be able to unlock their potential with music. Music therapy has been shown to affect significant change in children with autism-spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, attachment disorders, cerebral palsy, and more. Music instruction both in and out of the classroom can be a benefit to young learners.