Why Should You Learn to Play a Musical Instrument?
Updated: Feb 15, 2019
By: Alden Sayre
In my seven years of teaching guitar, I have enjoyed introducing a wide range of young students to the amazing world of music. I have always appreciated the opportunity to watch my clients grow as students and as musicians in general. In my experiences, it has become evident that learning a musical instrument offers numerous benefits to a child’s educational development, even in fields completely unrelated to the arts. Below is a list that I have compiled of some of the many educational benefits learning a musical instrument can offer to your child.
1. Improves Reading and Comprehension Skills
Learning to play music offers children a unique way to master their reading and comprehension skills while also mastering their instrument. When learning, it is essential that students are able to identify the notes on the page, recognize which note or pitch to play on their instrument, how long to hold it, what finger to use and how to correctly project themselves. It is also important that they identify the type of note they are playing... particularly whether each should be played short and crisp, or smooth and connected to the next note. Studies have also shown that learning to read music can even help with the skill sets involved in reading and comprehending literature.
2. Improves Coordination
It is quite apparent that mastering an instrument or learning to read music requires ones brain to work at impressively high speeds. When someone reads and proceeds to then play music, what they read is converted in the brain to the actual motion of playing the instrument. Experts say that those who play instruments regularly have far superior hand eye coordination compared to those who do not.
3. Improves Math Skills
While math isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind when you are trying to become a rock star, any musician will tell you that math is essential to what they do. Music is definitely a creative process, but it also has many strong connections to math and logic. Music and math are connected in many ways, some examples include understanding beat, rhythm and scales. In doing this, children are also learning how to divide, create fractions and recognize patterns. Recent studies reported by the back up these claims with a strong correlation between high math scores and students involved with the music programs at their school.
Alden Sayre has been playing guitar for 14 years and teaching for over 7 years. His students have ranged from age 8 to 67. As a recent College of Charleston Grad, Alden is involved in multiple musical projects in Charleston. He was the former guitarist of the local band No Logo and is now the lead guitarist of the band "City on Down" who received the "Single of the Year" award by The Post and Courier in January of 2017. He holds a certificate in recording engineering and is working on a project with the guitarist of Hootie and the Blowfish Mark Bryan, as well as producing an EP with the local act The Heyward Twins. Alden believes his lessons should always be fun while raising the self-esteem of each individual student and instilling music theory while teaching songs his students are excited to learn!