When your little one comes home from school, excitedly gripping a flyer from the music department, you might express hesitation. Is it worth it to invest the time and money into letting your child play an instrument? 

The answer is a decided yes for many reasons. Engaging your child’s musical talents has benefits for nearly every other aspect of their life. Here are nine reasons why you should let your child play an instrument. 

1. It Improves Math Skills

Multiple studies suggest a link between musical and mathematical ability. However, skeptical scientists sought to disprove the link by examining other factors, such as socioeconomic conditions, that could influence this correlation. 

One such individual was educator Martin J. Bergee. He sought to disprove the connection between musical and mathematical ability by accounting for outside factors among a group of 1,000 middle school students. To his surprise, the association between achievement in one discipline and the other remained, even when factoring in conditions like income level. 

Bergee is not the only one to recognize the connection. According to the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation, music helps students with standardized tests like the SATs and their maths classes. If your little one struggles in algebra, let them play the tuba. 

2. It Hones Language Skills

Recite the first seven letters of the alphabet. Chances are, you sang them, right? 

Music has the power to make language acquisition easier. Singing makes it possible for children to memorize lists and concepts they would otherwise struggle to retain. It can even help those with Down Syndrome practice articulation and the flow of words in an engaging way. 

3. It Encourages Creativity

It probably doesn’t surprise you that music fosters creativity. Letting your children make tunes is another way to engage their imagination. 

You don’t necessarily need to sign your child up for formal lessons—although doing so may help preserve your delicate ears. Anyone who has ever had a piano in their home knows that kids will instinctively play with it. If money is tight, you can pick up inexpensive instruments like recorders and tambourines. 

4. It Gets Kids Active

If you think playing an instrument isn’t active, please go talk to the nearest “band geek” who walked a mile while carrying a trombone. Playing music counts as physical activity. 

Even video games like “Rock Band” get your little one up off the couch. If they go all out, imitating their favorite performing artists, they can scorch some serious calories while aiding in young muscle development. 

5. It Inspires Discipline

There are no shortcuts in the music world. As with any creative endeavor, the only way for your child to get better is to practice. 

However, music also brings with it an intrinsic reward. Your little one can hear their growth, and it inspires them to keep going. You can tell them a million times not to give up on an endeavor out of frustration, but it’s far better for them to figure out the lesson independently through their guitar explorations. 

6. It Creates Agency

Agency refers to the feeling that you have control over your actions and the consequences. It’s vital to mental health—feeling helpless can plunge your little one into despair. 

Mastering a musical instrument teaches your child that they can do something when they apply themselves to the task. They can carry this newfound confidence forward into future endeavors. 

7. It Develops Cultural Appreciation

You want your child to appreciate works of music and art. Perhaps no method is better for instilling awe than having them try to replicate the masters—and seeing how challenging their craft can be. 

You can further encourage your child’s musical exploration by taking them to concerts. Mix it up—one night, you can see the hottest band, and another, you can hit the orchestra. 

8. It Provides Stress Relief

Please don’t make the mistake of thinking too much tension is the sole province of grownups. Research published in the National Institutes of Health indicates that 35% of primary school children experience stress-related health problems, and the issues often compound as they get older. 

Music provides a natural outlet for stress. Your child can lose themselves in their favorite jams and reap the endorphin-producing benefits of getting more active when they play their troubles away. 

9. It’s Integral to the Human Experience

Finally, you should let your child play an instrument because music is vital to the human experience. No other creature on earth uses foreign devices to create melodies, although you can certainly hear birds and whales sing. 

Scientists may never know for certain what inspired the first human to pick up a hollowed bird bone and invent a flute. The urge probably stemmed from the same need everyone has to communicate. Some do so through words and others through musical notes—let your child explore this realm of self-expression. 

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