The Impact of Music Education
In these challenging economic times, it is more important than ever not to lose sight of the important role that music education plays in the life of your child and your family. Some grandparents reading this may remember that even during the Great Depression almost every child had music lessons of some kind: piano, violin, accordion, etc. Why? The answer is simple: when families could not afford expensive trips or extravagant gifts, weekly lessons were a budget-friendly method of bringing something special into a child’s life – something the entire family could share and enjoy.
As parents, it is our obligation to enrich the lives of our children with opportunities that will last a lifetime. Music education in your home and the classroom is the ideal way to fulfill this duty. Music participation enhances problem solving, teamwork, setting and achieving goals, coordination, memory skills, concentration, self-expression, poise, self-confidence and esteem, and much more. The gift of music will last your children a lifetime and will enhance their mind, their body, and their soul. Other activities like sports, cheerleading, or ballet, have immediate impact and gratification BUT only a tiny percentage of children will continue these activities into their adult lives.
Your entire family will benefit from your children’s music studies through shared family experiences including: musical event attendance; family music making, performing for or with family and friends; learning about composers and the cultural history and heritage of many countries and regions; a sense of fun, pride, and accomplishment for the entire family. As a music educator for more than 30 years, I can attest to the fact that music education is life-changing for your child and your family.
Music in the Home – Economical Family Fun!
As stated earlier, music will last your children and your family a lifetime, but it is also important to understand the economic value of music study. In a study by Barbara Kreader, international piano clinician and Northwestern University faculty member, it clearly shows that all other popular extracurricular activities, i.e. hockey, football, ballet, karate, etc. cost on average $200-$2,000 dollars more per year than music lessons or music activity participation in your school or church.
How Parents Can Help
As our children grow up and their activities increase, how do we fit music studies into busy schedules? We use the same tools any good parent would use for other homework: schedule a consistent practice time; provide a quiet place where there will be no interruptions; remain nearby during practice whenever possible; praise your children for their efforts and acknowledge improvements.
The support system that you provide for your children will be a key to their musical success. You can begin by attending a wide variety of concerts and recitals or viewing them on television (the PBS series Great Performances is a wonderful resource), to expose your entire family to a wide variety of musical styles and genres. Encourage your children to discuss their likes (and dislikes) of these concerts and performances. I have many times heard people say that they hate opera, only to discover that they have never seen one. It’s a lot like asparagus, which I thought I hated growing up, although I had never tasted it, only to discover in my twenties that when I tried it, it soon became my favorite vegetable. A symphony or ballet performance could easily become your child’s favorite “vegetable” with your encouragement. And just as there are many ways to prepare asparagus, there are many different styles of music – so a Beethoven Symphony or Swan Lake may not be palatable but a Mozart Symphony or The Nutcracker may turn out to be a tasty treat. •
If you are looking for a teacher in your area, visit www.keyboardamerica.com, and click on “Find A Teacher.” Or, better yet, call me, Monte Long, Education Director, at KeyboardAmerica at 302-644-9375 and let me help you select the perfect teacher to match your child’s personality and musical desires. If you have any questions, or for more information, please contact us at: 16373 Coastal Hwy (Rt 1 North), Lewes, or firstname.lastname@example.org.