Does your child love to sing, plunk on the piano, or pound on the drums? Do you think you might have a future musician in your home? The average cost of private music lessons ranges widely, depending on location and the expertise of teacher. Private lessons may cost over $2,000 (or more) per year. This may make you wonder - are music lessons really worth it?To answer this question, here are some short- and long-term benefits of music lessons.
Discipline - Learning to play beautiful music doesn’t happen overnight. All students must start from the beginning, playing scales and mastering basic skills. In this day and age, instant gratification is the norm. Music teaches the value of patience and discipline because children must set aside time for practice and make it a part of their routine in order to further and perfect their skills.
Work ethic - Music teaches children a good work ethic because kids will see the value of practice as they improve and reach new achievements. Students will learn how dedication creates good results, while failing to do all the necessary practice results in mediocre results. These lessons carry into their school studies and their future employment.
Memory - Is your child always forgetting things? Music requires kids to practice memorization. Even if sheet music is used, students memorize how to play each note, and the sheet music eventually becomes a guide for them. Students can use their developing memorization skills in a variety of ways in school and at home.
Math and language skills - Music helps develop math and language skills that gives kids an edge in school. According to the National Association for Music Education, “Students who have early musical training will develop the areas of the brain related to language and reasoning. The left side of the brain is better developed with music.”
Teamwork - Teamwork isn’t just for sports. Music students may have an opportunity to participate in a band or an orchestra. This provides kids experience working as a team and provides a sense of camaraderie. Teamwork also develops social skills that kids will use for the rest of their lives.
Confidence and social development - Kids will gain confidence as they begin to perform music for an audience. This helps kids learn to face their fears and builds self-esteem. As kids build up this confidence, they are more likely to boost their communication skills and have increased social development.
Lifelong challenge - In music, there is always room for improvement. This creates the opportunity for students of any age to improve and challenge themselves for many years to come.
Stress relief - Playing an instrument can be an outlet for kids. Music can be relaxing and a form of stress relief, as well as a way to express oneself creatively. Kids who have access to music as an outlet are less likely to find negative ways to relieve stress, like using drugs and alcohol.
Expression and creativity - Kids who play music are trained to think creatively. The ability to think ‘outside of the box’ in situations is a coveted asset now and in the future.
Improved coordination - Kids who play instruments develop their hand-eye coordination. Just like in sports, playing an instrument requires these skills and develops their motor skills.
Higher grades - Studies show that children who are exposed to music education get better grades in school.
Introduces children to other cultures - Through music, kids are exposed to other cultures, teaching them awareness and empathy for others. This helps them become more accepting of other cultures at an early age.
My daughter recently started taking piano lessons. As I sat in the room observing her first lesson, I witnessed something: As she played her first chord, a big smile spread across her face. It was clear she has a true love for music. To me, this makes the cost of lessons worth it. Each family will have to weigh the overall price of music lessons against their child’s enjoyment of music and the many benefits to make a decision whether or not music lessons are truly worth the cost for your child.
Sarah is a wife and a mother of six children.
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