The most rapid and formative development in the area of learning takes place in childhood. This can be positively influenced in the long term by learning a musical instrument, so that you still benefit from it in old age.
We explain to you what influence making music has on the brain and provide you with helpful tips and information so that your child can enjoy making music.
changes in the brain
improvement in brain activity
When we learn something new, our brain forms new synapses and the neural connections become more complex. Learning to play a musical instrument strengthens these connections in the brain. According to studies by the Harvard neurologist Gottfried Schlaug, there are direct differences between the brain structure of musicians and non-musicians.
This means that playing an instrument improves cognitive abilities. This has a positive effect on the child, their school performance and their comprehension.
Learning notes and linking the note to the sound trains the ear, which has positive long-term consequences. Even in old age, musicians have better hearing than those who do not play a musical instrument, and can distinguish between tones and wording.
In addition, playing a musical instrument trains the interaction of the right and left hemispheres of the brain. For example, in the case of stringed instruments such as the violin or cello , the hand holding the bow and the fingers on the strings must be coordinated. Training the left and right hemispheres of the brain has a positive effect on cognitive abilities and promotes long-term preservation of language perception in old age.
So anyone who starts playing a musical instrument prevents dementia or Alzheimer’s in old age and retains the ability to hear and speak well for a long time.
Positive effects of music lessons
Learning to play a musical instrument sometimes requires a lot of diligence, discipline and perseverance. It is therefore important that your child enjoys playing the instrument and has a sense of achievement. These make the child proud and promote the child’s self-confidence and the ability to assess their own competencies.
The ability to master an instrument, to play from notes and to listen carefully to the notes is an important experience for the child and promotes intellectual development. In addition, the child becomes more attentive and learns to listen not only to himself but also to the instrument and, when playing in a group, to the instruments of others.
music as compensation
Not only listening to your favorite music, but also playing an instrument releases endorphins. The music is a suitable change from learning at school and can be used as an outlet to relieve stress or process emotions.
Playing an instrument is particularly useful during lockdown as this hobby can easily be practiced and deepened at home. During the time spent at home, the child has a meaningful activity that is also fun.
In addition, the creativity of the child is encouraged. Making music invites you to try out new sequences of notes, maybe even compose your own little pieces and deal with different melodies. The music lessons not only serve to memorize notes and pieces, but also offer space for your own creative expression.
Children nutrition done right
You should note that
When children start playing an instrument, they are usually very proud and have a lot of fun at first. Nevertheless, there are a few points that you should consider so that your child does not lose the joy of making music.
when to start
If you start playing a musical instrument early, the impact on brain development is greater. However, it is important that the instrument is played for a long time. The first positive effects on the brain could already be seen in children who played an instrument for eleven months.
For playing the violin, violin teachers recommend an age of six years at the earliest, of course, starting later is also possible. It is important that the desire to learn a musical instrument comes from the child itself. Don’t push your child to start playing, but encourage them to keep going and practicing when they start and enjoy playing.
In principle, you can start playing a musical instrument at any age. Beginning with a new instrument is also worthwhile for adults. The positive effects on the brain could even be demonstrated in subjects who started playing an instrument over the age of 60.
The appropriate form of teaching
The music lessons can be carried out in the form of group or individual lessons. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
With one-to-one lessons, the child can be given individual attention. The teacher adapts to the student’s abilities and can encourage and challenge them. Here progress is made in a short time and the student improves quickly.
If the child plays in an orchestra or in a group, the sense of togetherness and social skills are strengthened. In the orchestra it is important that you listen to each other and try out a piece together. Playing in a group can be very enjoyable and encourage the child to practice.
Ultimately, the choice of teaching method comes down to your child’s preferences. Whether individual lessons or playing in a group is preferred is very individual.
The right equipment
Be sure to choose the right size instrument for your child. For example, violins are available in ¼, ½, etc. sizes. Take the height of your child into account and, if necessary, get advice on which size is the right one.
The right equipment and accessories for the instruments are also important. When playing the piano, the right piano stool is a must , rosin is needed for the violin bow, etc. Here, too, you can get advice at the music school or online.
Which instrument would you like?
When choosing the right musical instrument, several factors play a role. The wishes of your child are of course important, but the costs must also be considered. If your child decides, for example, that they want to learn the piano, it is advisable to first invest in a keyboard instead of buying a grand piano straight away.
Learning a musical instrument is worthwhile in any case and is particularly beneficial for children’s development. But you can also start learning a musical instrument at a later age. If you exercise in a disciplined manner, but also with joy, the positive effects are noticeable both immediately – such as the release of feel-good hormones – and in the long term – in the form of a long-term preservation of cognitive abilities.
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