Why Kids Should Learn to Play Music

Gideon Waxman lists 6 ways music ed can make kids happier and smarter

Creativity 5 min read Jul 08, 2020

Learning how to play a musical instrument is a fantastic hobby and a wonderful creative outlet for your child. It teaches valuable skills that allows for personal development and character growth. And there is a strong correlation between learning an instrument and academic success, and learning a new skill is fun and rewarding by nature!

Here are 6 reasons why your child should learn a musical instrument, and how it can benefit their future.

1. It Builds Confidence

Learning a new musical instrument provides a strong sense of accomplishment. Through setting goals and achieving them, it makes for a very rewarding experience.

With practice and discipline, your child will feel empowered to overcome new challenges with determination and a positive attitude. This confident, self-learning spirit will also benefit other areas of your child’s life in the future.

2. It Improves Concentration

Learning a musical instrument is largely a mental feat! In fact, scientific studies have shown that learning a musical instrument stimulates large areas of the brain responsible for memory, attention, and awareness.

Performing a piece of music requires a relaxed but attentive mental focus in order to apply new skills successfully. Playing all types of musical instruments activates both sides of the brain in order to perform individual movements with the hands and feet, whether it’s piano, drums, or guitar!

3. Playing Music Makes You Happier!

Research by by McMaster University found that babies who participated in interactive music lessons smiled more, communicated better, and showed more sophisticated brain responses to music.

Another study by the University of Oxford showed that performing music releases mood-enhancing endorphins that encourage a positive psychological effect.

4. It Encourages Social Development

When learning a new musical instrument, a child can form relationships with other like-minded musicians, to perform and create music together. If she is in a band or ensemble, for example, she will work alongside other individuals for collaborative efforts.

Possessing musical ability and having a passion for music contributes to your child’s unique character and can boost his or her popularity amongst peers, and can be looked favourably upon by schools and other academic bodies.

5. Music Relaxes the Mind

The soothing power of music has a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies. Music engages broad neural networks in the brain, and playing a musical instrument provides a wonderful focus for the mind to relax free from worry and fear, especially during these troubled times.

When a musician pays attention to different aspects within music - including timbre, melody, rhythm and pitch - she gains continuity, reassurance, and a quality of calm throughout a performance.

As one performs or listens to music, she can increase productivity and overall levels of well-being, and at the same time, reduce stress and fatigue.

6. Music Offers Incredible Physical Benefits

Music as therapy has been proven to relieve pain and effect physiological changes, including lowered blood pressure, relaxed muscle tension, improved respiration, and more.

Perhaps, this is because music allows for individuals to express their thoughts, emotions, and feelings, in a way that words cannot. It’s truly an incredible tool for non-verbal self-expression and in this way the power of music can not be underestimated!


There is so much evidence and research available that supports the numerous physical and mental health benefits of learning a musical instrument.

Teaching your child how to play a musical instrument from a young age will provide them with valuable skills for life. They will also have so much fun on their musical journey, exploring their creativity and accomplishing new goals!

About the Author

Gideon Waxman is a London-based drummer and music educator. He holds a bachelor of music degree from the University of Westminster and is fully qualified to teach mindfulness-based stress reduction programs. You can find more of his advice at Drum Helper, a free online resource dedicated to helping drummers achieve more from their playing.

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