How to inspire a love of music in your children
Countless studies have shown that music has a plethora of benefits for children, in areas as diverse as language development, cognitive ability, spatial-temporal skills, and improved test scores. Music is also a passion that can accompany an individual from childhood right through to old age.
As your child discovers his or her favourite artists and builds up a personal repertoire, they will find that music is a ‘friend’ they can turn to in sad times and happy ones alike. If your little toddlers are already banging away on their Jungle Beats Percussion Set or their Singing Animal Keyboard, what other tools can you give them to bring them closer to the world of music?
Leading by example
Children often take on hobbies that their parents do, for two primary reasons: their wish to emulate everything their parents do, and the easy availability of equipment or materials they need to carry out these hobbies. Even if you're a beginner piano player or a novice singer, letting your child see you taking part in musical activities can encourage them to get rid of shyness while they engage in these activities alongside you. You don’t have to splurge on equipment in the beginning. For toddlers, toy musical instruments are ideal. For older children, instruments such as a second-hand guitar, small drum kit, or small electric piano are both affordable and easy to place in an available corner of your home.
Inviting children to train in music
A study published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience has shown that musical training can improve attention and working memory in children. Children who take music lessons perform better at attention and memory recall, and tend to have better reading skills, greater creativity, and a higher overall quality of life. Older children who are mad about jazz, piano, or the electric guitar can get a big buzz by completing a masterclass taught by one of their favourite musicians. One course that is currently causing a stir among jazz lovers is the Herbie Hancock online piano jazz course, which teaches pupils subjects such as jazz improvisation, the artist’s own philosophy and music, and key anecdotes of Hancock’s impressive career in jazz. The artist additionally gives tips for those wishing to pursue music as a career, so if music is the love of your child’s life, then investing in their musical education will give them the kickstart they need.
Enjoying music together
Music doesn’t always have to be about work; in fact, listening to music has been found in study after study to reduce stress for many individuals - including those with heart disease. Once your child has a list of favourite bands, surprise them with tickets to a concert and go along with them - especially if the concert requires you to drive out. Concerts are not only a magnificent way to see talented musicians performing live, but also a rich source of memories that you and your children can look back on with fondness in the years to come.
Music has been proven to have a wide range of benefits, ranging from stress reduction to focus and memory. To foster a love for music in your child, make sure they are playing musical toys and, eventually, musical instruments from the start. Make sure they have lessons, since instruments can be difficult to play and a good teacher can help them get over stumbling blocks and learn the tricks they need to succeed. Finally, make music a source of entertainment by catching a concert both you and your child will enjoy.
Freelance writer Karoline Lee