There are many different class types and activities available for you child, and you may wonder about the benefits of each type. Being a parent, after all, means looking out for our kids’ best interests! The good news is that each type of class benefits your child, so no matter what activity you sign them up for you’ll be helping them grow and develop. And the best way to choose a class is to follow your child’s interests, because the more engaged they are in a class the more they will get out of it. With that said, it’s always good to have more information so that you can make a more informed decision.

Music classes are very popular, especially for young children and babies. This is for good reason!  Music classes are great for young children’s fine motor and cognitive skills.  Even the most simple instruments, such as shakers and maracas, require fine motor skills such as reaching and grasping.  Many instruments require bilateral coordination or using two hands together, such as cymbals or a triangle. And lots of instruments require the use of a tool, such as a mallet or a drumstick, which is also great practice for early fine motor skills development. 

Cognitively, your child will be learning a lot of language skills as they learn the words to songs.  They will also be learning about patterns as they listen to the rhythm of the music and hand motions that go along with songs.  Research has shown that early exposure to music is good for helping to develop early math skills.  The best part about a music class is that your young child won’t even feel like they are working because they will be having so much fun!

Once your child is school-aged music classes tend to advance to lessons for one particular instrument. This is both age and developmentally appropriate as your child’s fine motor and cognitive skills become quite advanced. Learning an instrument will help both of these skill sets grow. All instruments require finger movement, and as the playing gets more advanced, so does the fine motor skill level required to play. Not only must your child be able to move their fingers without looking, they will also have to do so quickly, move different fingers in different directions at the same time, and follow a rhythm while doing so. On top of that, most instruments require the use of both hands, which means your child must coordinate their two hands together to get the sound right. These are really advanced skills that take a lot of practice, which is why playing an instrument takes so long to master! As far as cognitive skills, playing an instrument requires learning what is virtually a new language—musical notes. Additionally, learning to follow a rhythm takes a lot of attention and inhibition, which are executive functioning skills essential for higher level cognitive functioning.

Whether your child is still a baby or old enough to start to learn an instrument, you can’t go wrong signing them up for a music class though Go Bambino!

This post originally appeared on Bambinoculars.