How Music Can Improve Your Child’s Literacy Skills
Being an avid reader has many benefits for your child. Kids who read have better imaginations and are more likely to use that creativity in productive ways. Avid readers are more intelligent, empathetic and focused than people who skip the books. Reading also reduces stress, refines brain function, improves memory and enhances mental agility. When you encourage your child to read, you are encouraging them in the direction toward success.
However, if your child struggles with their literacy skills, they are less likely to enjoy reading. Thus, they end up losing out on all the benefits of being an avid reader. As a parent, you can help improve your child’s literacy skills in early age with the addition of music lessons into their education. Music lessons are proven to help children’s brains begin to process and hear sounds that they could not before. This development of neurophysiological distinction between certain sounds actually helps children develop literacy.
When involving your child in music lessons, it’s important to be supportive at home as well. Designated space in your home for your child to practice their instrument is a great way to encourage the development of their skill. Plus, having a nice soundproofed room for them to practice in means you don’t have to suffer through missed notes as they learn the basics. You’d be surprised how affordable it is to soundproof a room in your home. According to HomeAdvisor, the average price to soundproof a room is $1,642. It’s a small price to pay for your child’s education and your eardrums.
Additional psychological benefits of music
Enrolling your child in music lessons improves their literacy skills, but the benefits don’t stop there. When you establish your home as a musical household, you are doing something positive for every family member’s mental and physical health. Music in all forms — listening or playing — improves cognitive function. A musical household is also a home with less stress. It’s also proven to reduce pain, improve memory, increases motivation, and establishes a positive mood in the home. There’s evidence suggesting music can help people control their appetites.
Perhaps more importantly, having your child learn to play an instrument is a great way to help them build self-esteem. Learning something new everyday shows them how to reach and realize their goals. Actually achieving those milestones shows them how hard work pays off. Kids learn self-discipline and the importance of dedication. They become more independent and self-sufficient as they grow up. And, of course, giving them this creative outlet does wonders for their self-expression.
When do you begin music lessons?
With all the amazing benefits that come with music lessons, you are likely dying to enroll your child as soon as possible. There is no “right age” to start with music lessons. Children can pick up rhythms and melodies even as toddlers. However, it’s important to make a positive association with music in your child’s mind. You don’t want them to feel forced, you want them to feel excited and motivated. Start slow and ease your child into instrument lessons as they are ready. Communicate with your child and encourage them to pick the instrument they want to learn the most.
Music lessons are a great way to improve your child’s literacy skills, but the benefits do not end there. Establishing a musical household is good for every member of the family. Among the psychological benefits include improving cognitive function and reducing stress. Furthermore, they will help your child grow into a more disciplined and happy adult. There is no “right age” to begin music lessons, but it’s important to do what you can to make sure your child sees them as something fun, rather than a chore.
Charles Carpenter is a San Antonio (Texas)-based father of a son with ADHD and co-founder of Healing Sounds, which advocates the benefits of music therapy in children. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.