Music changes and shapes our lives. Whether it’s classical Beethoven or the classics of Jimi Hendrix, we’ve all come to rely on music as a way to frame our thoughts and experience the world around us. Schools rarely receive all the funding they need for music and the arts, with a nationwide focus on science, engineering, technical and math classes often taking the fore. Still, music’s impact on our lives can’t be understated.
Children who express an interest in music from a young age develop their social skills and are more likely to retain that interest as time goes on. Parents use all sorts of toys and games to drive interest in preschool kids, but school-aged children also benefit from watching and attending musical performances. Teaching students basic musical notes, scales or popular guitar riffs can give them the leg up they need to start pursuing play at a higher level.
As children age, they may lose much of the inclination to continue exploring music. That isn’t because they love it any less than you did at that age, but because of the focus on other areas in school and society. By the time puberty hits, the band geeks and wannabe DJs may find themselves waning in popularity. Encourage improvement during this time and explain to your kids that music is important in all stages of life.
Of course, parents have to give more than lip service to musical education. Attending recitals and other public performances where your kids participate is paramount. Take photos and record video whenever possible, and keep those digital treasures organized! These heirlooms may be one of the true bonding elements that you share throughout your lives together. They’ll also make great momentos should your little star hit the big time.
Music education is one of those things that’s easy to miss with all of the importance given to math scores, spelling grades and “real-world” learning. Still, it’s one of the areas that is likely to always have a major role in the life of your child and your family. Take time to share your love of music with your children and listen to the music they love, as well. It’s likely that somewhere between Hendrix and Kendrick Lamar, your tastes will align and you’ll find something to enjoy together.