Kids and Guitar Lessons Pt 1 - The Benefits of Music Education.
This is the first in a series of short articles that will cover a range of topics relevant to kids guitar lessons...........everything from a buying guide to some thoughts on when guitar is age appropriate. First though we will look at the well documented benefits of music education , whether that be guitar , piano or another instrument. It should also be stated that , although the focus here is on kids , the effects of learning music are relevant at all ages.
The amazing academic and social benefits to be had from learning a musical instrument are widely recognised in the scientific community. While the academic benefits (improved memory, concentration, problem solving ,creativity, language etc......) are often the most talked about , our parents also see great progress in the following areas:
- learning and creating music breeds a sense of achievement ,confidence and self expression that, by extension, can improve social skills.
- kids generally find their music studies to be fun/relaxing and a bit of a circuit breaker from "heavier" school subjects such as mathematics and science. This can reduce stress levels and improve emotional wellbeing.
- the results seen from regular practice reinforce the relationship between hard work and progress that can then be better seen in other areas such as school work.
For those with a stomach for it ,I will also leave you with a few of my favourite video presentations on the academic benefits seen in music students. These videos are delivered by two of the most highly regarded authorities on the subject:
- Dr Anita Cooper
- Dr Richard Gill (OAM)
The first video is an abbreviated presentation (<5 minutes) produced by Dr Cooper that looks at scientific studies into the effects of music education on the brain.
For those who are interested the next video below expands on the subject and is a talk delivered by Dr Cooper at The TEDx Conference in Canberra (2014).
And............lastly the TEDx talk from the late Dr Richard Gill in Sydney (2011). He also addresses the creative side of things and you might gain some insight into why we at The Guitar Dojo encourage students to work towards doing more than just imitating others (playing songs.) Playing songs is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable aspects of learning guitar but understanding what is being played and then moving on to things like creative improvisation (often considered just a "jazz thing" when it comes to guitar) have their own benefits.
Next up we will look at why you might choose the guitar vs other instruments and the question of "How young is too young to start?"