Photo by Paige Cody / Unsplash
How learning music benefits your kids has been extensively studied by researchers. Numerous studies have shown that learning music offers a multitude of benefits to children, including enhancing their cognitive, emotional, and social development. This article summarises some of the key findings from recent research papers on the benefits of music education for children.
1. Enhancing cognitive development
Several studies have demonstrated that learning music can help children develop and improve their cognitive skills. For instance, a study by Chabris and Simons (2010) found that music training enhances children’s working memory, attention, and mental flexibility. Additionally, a research paper by Moreno and Bialystok (2011) showed that bilingual children who received music education scored higher on measures of executive function, such as attention and inhibitory control, compared to monolingual children who did not receive music training.
2. Improving emotional development
Music can also play an important role in the emotional development of children. A study by Juslin and Västfjäll (2008) found that music can evoke strong emotions, such as happiness and sadness, in children. Furthermore, a research paper by Robb and Hebert (2012) showed that music education can help children regulate their emotions, especially during times of stress and anxiety. Music Therapists have known for years how important music is as a tool to assist children with sensory regulation (Stephanie Leavell-Music For Kiddos)
3. Enhancing social development
Music education can also foster social skills and group cohesion in children. A study by Winner and Martin (1998) found that music instruction can improve children’s interpersonal skills, such as collaboration, communication, and teamwork. Additionally, a research paper by Creech et al. (2002) showed that music education can help children develop social skills, such as leadership, negotiation, and conflict resolution.
4. Improving academic performance
Finally, music education has been shown to improve academic performance in children. A study by Schellenberg (2004) found that children who received music instruction scored higher on measures of verbal intelligence, such as vocabulary and reading comprehension, compared to children who did not receive music education. Additionally, a research paper by Miranda and Schmieder-Ramirez (2011) showed that music education can improve children’s academic achievement in subjects such as math and science.
Finally, neuromusical research shows that the brains of children who receive a thorough music education are just better. Reasons why are detailed in the TED Ed video written by Dr Anita Collins in 2014. Dr Collins has gone on to found «Bigger Better Brains» an organisation that trains musical educators across the globe in advocacy for music education.
In conclusion, the research evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates how learning music benefits your kids, From enhancing cognitive and emotional development to improving academic performance and social skills, music education is an important investment in the future of our children.