Why Should My Child Learn to Play an Instrument?


Between sports and scouts, your child’s schedule is probably packed with after-school activities. If you’re thinking about adding music to the mix and are wondering if your child should learn how to play a musical instrument, in most cases, the answer is a resounding yes. In your adult life, it’s rare that you come across a person who regrets learning a musical instrument, but how many people do you know who lament never learning the skill? Music is an integral part of the human experience, and here are a few reasons why you should enroll your child in music lessons as soon as they express an interest in the art.

Music Improves Academic Skills

Did you know that music and math are highly intertwined? By understanding beat, rhythm, and scales, children who learn a musical instrument are subconsciously learning how to divide, create fractions, and recognize patterns in the world around them. Studies show that learning a musical instrument, including the guitar, can actually wire your child’s brain to give him or her a better understanding of other areas of math and science. As your child progresses in music they’ll start memorizing their pieces, strengthening their short and long-term memory. If you’re concerned about your child excelling in the classroom, extensive research shows that children who learn to play a musical instrument tend to perform better academically.

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It’ll Help Build Confidence

Music lessons are a safe and constructive place for your child to learn how to accept and give criticism. Turning negative feedback into a positive change helps build self-confidence and, before you know it, your child will be learning (and even growing!) from their mistakes. Group lessons, in particular, will help your child learn that not everybody is perfect, everybody makes mistakes, and that there’s always room for improvement. Additionally, once your child participates in public performances and recitals, they’ll become more comfortable in social situations. Most academies and music studios have a few recitals a year – be sure to ask about the recital schedule before enrolling your child in lessons, especially if you believe public performances will be conducive to your child’s growth.

Music Can Improve Social Skills

Music is often referred to as the universal language, and learning how to play an instrument will enlarge your child’s social circle- they’ll be meeting new people and interacting with their peers, especially if they attend music camps or are enrolled in group lessons. Group lessons will require your child to collaborate and work with their peers as a team. If your child is playing their trumpet too quickly or too loudly, they’ll have to make any necessary adjustments- a skill that will come in handy if your child decides to join a marching band or orchestra ensemble down the line. According to experts, children who become involved in a musical group or ensemble will learn important life skills, including how to relate to others and how to work together as a team.

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They’ll Become More Disciplined

Learning how to play an instrument doesn’t happen overnight – conquering the skill requires lots of patience and tons of practice. Allotting a specific amount of time to practicing their instrument each day will help your child become more disciplined; an important skill that can be used in virtually every other area of their life. Once your child is old enough to juggle schoolwork and an after-school job, they’ll be disciplined enough to finish their homework, make it to work on time, and still find time for hanging out with their friends. Additionally, group lessons can help your child learn patience, as they’ll have to wait their turn to play individually.

It Develops Physical Skills

Certain instruments, particularly percussion, can help your child learn coordination and and improve motor skills. Since many instruments require the simultaneous movement of hands, arms, eyes, and feet, learning them will improve your child’s multi-tasking skills. In enhancing coordination and perfecting timing, learning a musical instrument can prepare your child for other hobbies, including dance and sports. Another added health perk: researchers studying the health benefits of music have reported that playing a musical instrument on a regular basis can be correlated to lower levels of stress.

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It’s Fun!

Finally, most children enjoy the time they spend learning a musical instrument. Whether it’s the satisfaction of finally playing a new piece without making a mistake or the camaraderie of preparing for a group recital or traveling performance, many children would describe the instrument learning experience as being fun. If you’d like your child to take part in an after school activity that’s fun, fosters creativity, and helps develop their physical and social skills, enroll them in a music class today- it’s never too early (or late!) for your child to learn another language.


Once you decide to enroll your child in music lessons, find out How to Choose a Music Teacher. 

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  1. This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that learning a musical instrument can help a child build confidence. My son is pretty timid still, and he’s going to be entering middle school next year, so I want to try and help him become more confident with himself. He’s mentioned being interested in learning to play the trumpet, so I’ll definitely encourage him to take band classes. Thanks for the great post!

  2. You caught my attention when you stated the ways instruments can help learn social skills and boost confidence. It’s been quite apparent to me that my son has always wanted to find a way to make friends but can’t think of a way to do so. However, I did notice that he has taken a liking to music because he always goes along to any music I play from my speakers. If I can cultivate his talent by getting him private lessons for any instrument he wants, that would definitely get him to build up some confidence to find people who share his interest.

  3. Thank you for explaining how even academic skills can be improved when a child learns an instrument. This could be the push I need to help cultivate my son’s interest since he always seems eager to try and play any piano he comes across. Now that I know the benefits of letting him do so, I’ll look for any places that offer Piano lessons for him right away.