Should Your Child Play a Musical instrument?

My parents put both me and my sister in piano lessons as a kid. My sister was a natural; she played beautifully and it came easily to her. I, on the other hand, was definitely not a natural. My parents insisted I practice every day for 30 minutes, which I hated and did not seem to help me improve.  Day after day, they patiently listened to my terrible playing without complaint. For five years they encouraged me to continue saying I would thank them someday, then finally let me stop.

I’m not sure I ever thanked them, but I wish I had. As an adult, I now better understand the benefits of children learning to play an instrument and I encourage my children to participate in the band. Experts agree that learning to play music gives children the chance to experience learning in a whole new way that provides benefits for years to come.



Playing a musical instrument has great potential to build a child’s self-confidence. Even if your child proves not to be a musical prodigy, translating musical notes from a book into a simple tune with an instrument can provide them with a source of pride and accomplishment.

 Academic Performance

Studies show learning to play an instrument can increase reading comprehension, verbal memory and math skills. Music helps fine tune parts of the brain that help in academic performance.


Practicing on a regular basis and taking care of an instrument and music books requires discipline and organization. Your child may be more responsible as a result. The life skills kids develop while learning music can be applied to other areas of their life.


Taking music lessons requires good listening skills. Playing an instrument will help your child develop better listening skills. 


Learning to play an instrument requires time and perseverance. Few people are good with a new instrument right away. Patience is not a skill that comes naturally to most of us, especially in today’s fast-paced world.

Emotional Health

Music helps improve emotional well-being of being.  The benefits include improving stress, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, depression, social withdrawal and much more.

“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” – Billy Joel  

The Bottom Line:

The answer to the question, “Should your child play a musical instrument?” is a resounding YES! There’s a lot of evidence that playing music is good for children. In addition to the benefits listed above, playing an instrument as a child keeps the mind sharper as we age, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association. Painful as it might be to listen to your child practice, especially in the beginning, know that you are giving your child a wonderful gift by encouraging them to play an instrument. I’m very glad my parents encouraged me to continue with piano lessons for as long as I did.



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