Child Development: Benefits of Learning a Musical Instrument

Musical Instrument

Though many parents may think otherwise, there are many benefits to be had when a child learns how to play a musical instrument. This article will explore some advantages of learning an instrument.

Benefits of Learning a Musical Instrument for Children

A 2014 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry showed that learning to play a musical instrument is beneficial to children. It can help lower children’s anxiety, increase attention focus, and improve emotional control. The researchers followed children over the years and measured the cortical thickening in their brains through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). They found that children learning to play musical instruments had cortical thickening in brain areas corresponding to memory, attention control, control of inhibition, emotional processing, organization, and future planning.

Research in 2019 from Mind, a charity organization, showed that nearly 60 percent of young people aged 11 to 19 had a mental health problem. However, those who learned a musical instrument experienced decreased fatigue, stress, tension, confusion, and anger. The positive effect on their mood also reduced depression and anxiety.

A 2020 study at the Liberty University School of Music found that students who played a musical instrument used it for one to two hours to deal with negative emotions. They stated that it worked better than merely listening to music.

A study published in Frontiers in Psychology in 2021 showed that playing a musical instrument improved cognitive abilities and well-being among students. Cognitive skills include thinking, reasoning, problem-solving, judgment, and remembering, among others.

Learning the Violin

Running girl with violin

The violin is a string instrument that is played with a bow. It has four strings tuned in perfect fifths. The lowest-pitched string is the thickest, and the highest-pitched is the thinnest. The strings are stretched over a bridge, which transfers the vibrations to the violin’s body.

The right age to start playing the violin depends on the child’s interest, attention span, and ability to follow directions. If a child is interested in playing the violin, has a good attention span, and can follow directions, they can start taking violin lessons at any age. However, most children start taking classes at six years old.

The Different Sizes of Violins

Violins come in different sizes to be played comfortably by people of different heights. That makes it perfect for children.

There are four main types of violins: full, three-quarter, half, and quarter size.

  • A full-size violin is 23.5 inches (59.69 cm) long from the top of the neck to the bottom of the belly.
  • A three-quarter size violin is 22 inches (55.88 cm) long.
  • A half-size is 20.5 inches (52.07 cm) long.
  • A quarter size is 19 inches (48.26 cm) long.

The right size violin for your child depends on their height and age.

  • If your child is between 3’7” (109.22 cm) and 4’1” (124.46 cm), they need a half-size violin.
  • If they are between 4’2” (127.00 cm) and 4’6” (137.16 cm), they need a three-quarter size violin.
  • If taller than 4’7” (139.70 cm), they need a full-size violin.

Children under six usually start with a quarter-size or half-size violin.

Why Choose the Violin?

The violin is an excellent choice for children who want to learn a musical instrument because it is small and portable, so they can take it with them anywhere they go. It is also relatively easy to learn how to play compared to other instruments.

In addition, the violin is a very versatile instrument. It can be played solo or in an ensemble, such as an orchestra, string quartet, or band.

The violin also has a wide range of dynamics, which means that it can be played loudly or softly. This gives the player a lot of expressive possibilities.

How to Choose a Violin Teacher

When choosing a violin teacher for your child, it is important to find someone who is experienced and has a good teaching method.

The best way to find a good teacher is to ask around or search online for reviews. You can also ask the music store employees for recommendations.

It is also important to make sure that the teacher is a good match for your child’s personality. Some children learn better with a more strict approach, while others prefer a more relaxed atmosphere.

Once you have found a few potential teachers, you should set up a meeting so that you can observe them teaching and get an idea of their teaching style.

You should also ask the teacher questions about their experience, methods, and philosophy of teaching.

Supporting Your Child’s Musical Inclination Will Lead to Success

It is evident that children who play musical instruments have increased cognitive abilities and well-being.

The violin is a great choice for children because it is small, portable, and relatively easy to learn how to play. In addition, the violin is a very versatile instrument that can be played solo or in an ensemble.

When choosing a violin teacher for your child, it is important to find someone who has the experience and a good teaching method. It is also important to make sure that the teacher is a good match for your child’s personality. Supporting your child’s musical inclination will lead to success.

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