Many schools worldwide are excluding music from their curriculum to make room for other subjects, while more and more researchers conclude that music education is an important building block in every child’s development. Providing children opportunities to play a musical instrument must be part of every school’s curriculum. Playing a musical instrument – the actual producing of sound – stimulates the child’s brain on several levels. This gives the child many advantages.
One of the most important advantages is greater communication between the left and right sides of the brain. This enhances creative problem-solving abilities and boosts the brain’s ability to store and use information which helps the child to focus, reason, learn, and complete complex tasks.
Studies at Northwestern University indicated that young children playing musical instruments possessed a larger vocabulary than children not playing. It seems as if the brain’s recognition of different music tones assists the child to distinguish between different vocal sounds, and thus more easily learn new words.
Music-making also enhances other skills. It teaches self-discipline, improves patience, and gives a sense of achievement. Socially, it serves as a way to connect with other people.
Many health practitioners agree that playing an instrument gets a child into the habit of sitting up straight even when not playing. It also increases physical activity, as at least the back and arm muscles are used.
All children need the opportunity to share the advantages of playing an instrument. Parents should join or contact parent-teacher organizations and ensure that schools are equipped to offer music education and lessons. When a child’s school is not offering it, the parents must look at the possibility of private music instruction.