Music education does not just make children more musically inclined, it also develops them physically, emotionally and mentally.
There may be no more powerful method of learning than through music, and no more important lessons for children than those that focus on character and social and emotional skills,” says Don MacMannis, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and coauthor of the highly acclaimed book, How’s Your Family Really Doing.
From creating all sorts of sounds to dancing to their favourite song on Hi-5 or even singing their ABCs, music surrounds the mind of a child from the earliest stage. “At that tender age, children tend to pick up a lot of things real fast and are easily influenced. I remember humming to a random tune in front of my then three-year-old girl. To my surprise, she started mimicking me by humming too. It was then that I realised that I had to make sure I never said the wrong things accidentally in front of her, in fear that she might pick that up!” shared Rachelle Tan, mother of two.
Music education is seen as an outlet for children to release their emotions while relaxing – be it through vocals, dancing or playing an instrument.
More Than Just Music
In recent years, Singapore has seen an influx of music lesson and classes sprouting, with some even offering classes for newborns. According to Huzzy A Rahman, director (marketing) at Our Music Studio, there weren’t that many music lessons in Singapore 20 years ago, as compared to what they are today. In fact, some parents even share that they were ‘forced’ into taking piano lessons back in the day, which resulted in them dropping out halfway and living with bad memories of those dreadful lessons. But the perception is different now.
Using the music movement approach in her company, Huzzy adds that there is no pressure or force used against children. “The music movement adopts a holistic method where a child is able to learn and make sense of what they are doing visually, physically and mentally.”
Why Music Education Rocks
- It boosts confidence. The feeling of being successful at something new is always nice. That said, mastering a new instrument or dance step or even singing technique can seriously heighten a child’s self-confidence and make them feel extra good about themselves. “Through my 10-year stint of being a piano teacher, I’ve seen my students transform into confident piano players through constant motivation and perseverance,” expresses Margaret Chan, a freelance piano teacher.
- It teaches patience. When you are playing in a band or orchestra, everyone needs to wait for their turn to play, and that unconsciously teaches patience. “We have solo times in our lessons and before getting that solo time, the children understand that they have to wait for their turn. Interestingly, those who were impatient are now able to wait patiently,” says Huzzy.
- It improves concentration. Music studies can help your child’s ability to concentrate in school. This is because music training is able to “fine-tune” the brain’s audio and visual system, hence improving their ability to pay attention. “Music helps me to relieve stress and it keeps me calm during challenging times,” shares Gaston Liew, a 12-year-old choir student at Singapore Lyric Opera.
Is it too late to get started?
The answer is no. Regardless of your child’s age, taking up music as a new hobby or interest will always be open. Although children who start late may require more time to catch up and understand the whole know-hows of music, it is not impossible. “Assuming a child starts at six years old, their growth may not be as fast as the other kids who have been in the music movement from an earlier stage. But as the saying goes, having some form of music education is better than no music education,” advises Huzzy.
However, for those parents who aren’t sure which music classes to enrol your child in, notice what their interest is in, and then make a decision. A good way to find out which area your child is leaning towards is to allow them to have a feel of different instruments and anything musical. That way, their interests can be clearly seen.
What are some music lessons you’ve enrolled your child into? Share your experience with us below!