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How Music Plays a Part in Literacy… and Much More

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Like all parents, you want to see your child succeed in school, and that’s why you should get them involved in music. That may sound strange, as most education focuses on the core skills of math, science, and reading. But playing an instrument can help your child with all of them, as it promotes cognitive development and improves literacy, and there are numerous scientific studies that back this up. If you’re still not convinced, here’s a closer look at what learning a few tunes can do for your child and how to get them started in their adventures in harmony.

It Starts with Rhythm

Think back to how kids learn to read in school when they’re still in kindergarten. It’s through songs and chants like “The Wheels on the Bus” that they become familiar with words and how they make sentences, and that enters their minds through rhythmic movements and clapping their hands to the beat. According to a writer with parenting magazine Fatherly, this is the stepping stone that helps them develop strong reading skills and language fluency overall.



Aids in Concentration

It’s a true challenge for many children who can barely sit still at times, making it difficult to devote their attention to anything for very long. Music changes all this, and even those who suffer from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder can benefit, says one writer with Attitude, a website devoted to ADHD and related issues. Learning an instrument aids in auditory

processing, and that makes it much easier for youngsters to focus on tasks such as reading and studying without getting distracted.


Boosts Memory

An important part of literacy is learning new words and recalling vocabulary from the recesses of your brain. That’s another area in which music plays a strong role, and there’s more scientific research to support it. As a neuropsychologist tells the Guardian, “Music reaches parts of the brain that other things can’t. … It’s a strong cognitive stimulus that grows the brain in a way that nothing else does, and the evidence that musical training enhances things like working memory and language is very robust.”



Encourages Reasoning

There’s more to it than just reading — it also helps us to understand what others are saying and formulate logical arguments using language, both of which are generally easier for those who have studied an instrument. In one study in the Netherlands and involving almost 150 students, those who had studied music for a period of 2.5 years outperformed their peers without such an education on many cognitive skills test, including for language-based reasoning.


With little time and money devoted to the creative arts in the schools, it’s up to you to get your children stoked about music and ready to choose an instrument.

Here are a few ideas.

* See the Symphony They’ve likely never heard classical music in all its power and glory, and this could pique their interest in violin, cello, or trumpet.

* Go to the Music Shop

There’s nothing like seeing the rows of instruments on offer, trying them out, and making your first tentative strum on the strings. This also gives your child a chance to choose an instrument based on their personality and body type.

* Invest in a Studio It’s not as expensive as it seems. In fact, on average, it costs around $1,642 to soundproof a room in your home. There, your child can explore their musical creativity without bothering the rest of the household.

* Explore Other Arts

There are many other ways of being creative that have similar benefits to music. These include the visual arts as well as dance, drama, and even puppetry.

Whatever instrument they choose, your child’s interest in music will pay off for years to come, both in school and out. It would be almost a crime not to get them started as soon as possible.

Image via Pixabay

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Eric Kelly of My Dadventures [email protected]