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10 Ways music benefits children

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Why music education rocks!

Do you have a budding pianist? A drummer wannabe? A future flutist? Playing a musical instrument is very beneficial to children. So, why should yours learn to play?

Boy on drums

They say that music is the universal language. Regardless of where you are from or what your background, a good melody is something that everyone can enjoy and understand. There must be something behind that, right?

For children, music provides many, many benefits. Experts agree, there are lots of good things about letting your child learn to play an instrument. Here are 10 reasons why your child should put down the remote and pick up a musical instrument.

1. It will boost their brain power

Want to give your child a mental advantage? Music can do that. "More and more studies show a correlation between higher academic achievement with children who are exposed to music," says children's music specialist Meredith LeVande of MonkeyMonkeyMusic.com. "Music simply stimulates parts of the brain that are related to reading, math, and emotional development."

2. It will improve their memory

Where did that shoe go? That's a question asked far too many times in far too many households with kids. Help your kids remember more (and learn more!) with music. "Further research has shown that participation in music at an early age can help improve a child's learning ability and memory by stimulating different patterns of brain development," says Maestro Eduardo Marturet, a conductor, composer and musical director for the Miami Symphony Orchestra.

3. It helps them socially

Picking up an instrument can also help your child break out of their social shell too, experts say. "Socially, children who become involved in a musical group or ensemble learn important life skills, such as how to relate to others, how to work as a team and appreciate the rewards that come from working together, and the development of leadership skills and discipline," says Marturet, who also oversees the MISO Young Artist program in South Florida, which allows young musicians to hone their musical skills as part of a professional orchestra.

4. It's a confidence builder

Are there any areas of life that aren't enhanced by having good confidence? Probably not. And if you want your child to develop their confidence, learning to play a musical instrument can help.

"They find that they can develop a skill by themselves, that they can get better and better," says Elizabeth Dotson-Westphalen, a music teacher and performer.

5. It teaches patience

We live in a world of instant gratification, but real life demands having patience. When you are playing in a band or orchestra (and most musicians do), you have to be willing to wait your turn to play otherwise the sound is a mess. That inadvertently teaches patience. "You need to work together in a group to make music," says Dotson-Westphalen.

Next page: 5 more reasons, including how music teaches discipline

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