Turns out even a little formal musical training can go a long way to boost a child’s academic edge in school.
Even if your budding violinist gives up the lessons in favor of soccer or cheerleading, the training wasn’t wasted. Up to 7 years after the music lessons and practicing end, a child benefits from increased auditory perception and executive function, a suite of behaviors that control planning, foresight, problem solving and goal setting.
In her Los Angeles Times article, Mental Benefits of Music Lessons Echo Years After Practice Ends, Melissa Healy reports that giving a child music lessons for 2-3 years actually gives a child an academic edge for up to 7 years after the lessons and practicing end.
The latest research found that “children who had taken as little as two or three years of instrumental music training in their elementary years showed a more robust brain response to sounds than those who had no formal musical training.”
Making music is a powerful force for learning.
Here are some suggestions from Playful Early Learners:
- Play music for baby; surround her with the joy of sound
- Create a tub of sturdy instruments for singing, banging, and plucking
- Chant songs and poems together while clapping or tapping to the beat
- Enjoy baby & toddler Kindermusik classes for music-making fun
- Begin music lessons around age 6 or 7, or after