Music is a language, and learning it stimulates the same areas of your brain that are required for learning to speak in any other language. Playing instruments requires scanning written music, decoding itís meaning, and sending the relevant task towards the fingers. Moreover, this must be done within the confines of time and with the embellishment of style. These are transferable skills. Processing information is a prized ability, and itís desired in many workplaces. With music, processing alone isnít enoughóyou have to do something with it. This is a testament to the level of processing thatís taken place and confirms the thoroughness of oneís ability. But this is far from the only tangible benefit one receives.
Being able to play music with grace suggests a strong work ethic and a willingness to sacrifice time and mental energy towards an external goal. What boss can be indifferent towards this show? Children have time to be idle, and perhaps itís necessary to explore with friends and spend time in unstructured environments, but there needs to be a balance between this kind of time and moments spent in substantial concentration outside of ordinary school. Going to school is legally required, but playing music gives the child a sense of purpose outside of what heís bound to do. Pursuing goals and abilities outside of whatís necessary is a good principle to instil in young people. It teaches them how to juggle multiple tasks and responsibilities and directs them to reap the reward of self satisfaction one receives upon successful completion of difficult challenges.
The importance of self-esteem for the young is impossible to quantify, as is the degree to which learning an instrument improves it, but nobody would doubt the serious impact it has on children who successfully learn a difficult, coveted skill. Other challenges become smaller in comparison. Itís a platform from which to take off. The experience of practicing alone in a room with single minded determination is one they can draw from in other difficult circumstances theyíre sure to encounter throughout their adult life. It hardens you.
But no discussion about the benefits music provides is complete without mention that, simply put, music is its own reward. Being able to personally perform the music that you love gives you a kind of satisfaction nothing else can match. It makes you happy in the most wholesome, grounded way possible. It fills and nurtures a corner of the spirit that canít be filled in any other way, and itís spawned by a combination of ones innate ability, the hard work theyíve put in alone, and the collaboration theyíve enjoyed with friends and teachers.
To be sure, some children arenít musical and want nothing to do with instruments. There are countless other hobbies to beneficially take up, but itís hard to say the gifts they bestow are greater abundance or better quality than playing music.
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Article Added on Monday, April 23, 2012
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