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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?

6. It can help them connect

Who doesn't sometimes feel a little disconnected from their lives? Music can be a much-needed connection for kids (and adults too!). "It can satisfy the need to unwind from the worries of life, but unlike the other things people often use for this purpose, such as excessive eating, drinking, or TV or aimless web browsing, it makes people more alive and connected with one another," says Michael Jolkovski, a psychologist who specializes in musicians.

7. It's constant learning

In some pursuits, you can never truly learn everything there is to know. Music is like that. "It is inexhaustible -- there is always more to learn," says Jolkovski.

8. It's a great form of expression

People pay a lot of lip-service to expressing yourself. But how can kids really do that? One great way is through the arts -- like music. "It gives pleasure and expresses nuances of emotional life for which there are no words," says Jolkovski.

9. It teaches discipline

There's this old joke that begins "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" The answer? "Practice, practice, practice." To improve in music, you have to not only do well in classes, but devote time to practicing outside of the lessons too. That requires discipline. "Exposing kids to musical instruments is the key. They are naturally curious and excited about them -- and the discipline that parents AND kids learn by sticking with it is a lesson in itself," says Mira Stulberg-Halpert of 3D Learner Inc., who works with children who have ADHD.

10. It fosters creativity

Above all, playing music -- particularly as kids get to more advanced levels in it -- is a creative pursuit. Creatively is good for the mind, body and soul.

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