I always give credit to my parents for enrolling me in a piano school when I was 8 years old. The skills I learned had been a great help to me especially during summer time when parents enroll their kids to piano schools. Now that I’m a parent, I also want my own children to learn how to play the piano. My children are still in the toddler (and infant) stages, which means I have to wait a couple of years before I start teaching them.
In the meantime, I looked for some articles that would support the importance of teaching young kids to play an instrument and I came upon this article from oxford journals. While the study was conducted on only 32 children using longitudinal method (i.e. these kids were followed up from the time of intervention until they finish the procedure of the experiment), the results of the study are worth considering.
The researchers divided the 32 kids randomly into two groups: the first group underwent musical training for 6 months while the second or control group undertook painting classes for the same amount of time. After six months, the group who had musical training had increased reading and speech or linguistic abilities as compared to the group who had painting classes. It is noteworthy that the development of the child’s brain (they also measured this using scientific methods) could be affected significantly with just 6 months of training.
There are many more studies supporting the benefits of allowing our children to learn and play a musical instrument at a very young age. Musical training does not only improve speech and reading abilities but may also be helpful in curbing aggressive behavior in children. You could read a study on the relationship between music and aggressive behavior here. The study was conducted on a larger group this time and the researchers used music intervention such as learning an instrument in helping children with aggressive behavior calm down.
Isn’t music amazing? I’m sure older parents who have children that can play (and practice) an instrument could attest to the wonders of music.
Photo courtesy: carton stock photos (for illustration purposes only)