When summertime hits, the motivation stops. The kids get out of school, the friends come over and—before you know it—they’re struggling to get back into the groove. You’re in luck, however, as experts believe playing a musical instrument can keep them in check, motivation-wise. A study from Northwestern University supports the theory of motivation-boosting musical play.
So, what gives? Interestingly enough, having dedication alone doesn’t provide the same benefits. If you want your kids to thrive in the upcoming school year, prevent the much-feared “summer slide” by introducing them to music. Here’s why:
All Subjects are Inter-Related
Not only are they inter-related, but music covers most of them. Playing music helps kids develop determination, focus, confidence, creativity, collaboration, perseverance and problem solving skills. Whether it’s music’s high mathematical focus, its constant attention needs or reproducibility, it’s a top-dog contender for proactive learning.
This is an invaluable tool set to fortify over summer, too, as parents repeatedly cite the summer months as incredibly difficult, productivity-wise. Really, playing music is a one-size-fits-all solution for keeping your kid’s mental tools sharp.
A Much-Needed Time of Disruption
Today, experimental education is getting good press—and for good reason. Formal education, structured as it is, can actually hinder childhood learning development. During the summer gap, it’s important to introduce new methods of learning. Sometimes, academia only goes so far.
Music, on the other hand, can be both structured and unstructured simultaneously. The use of experimental methods in education, reports MIT Press Journals, is invaluable. Introducing a child to an instrument, guiding them along an unorthodox learning route and forming a lesson plan around their progress—rather than a school curriculum—may be the way to go. At least for a couple of months, that is.
In the long run, kids who play instruments develop enhanced academic schools, physical skills, discipline and patience. It can even cultivate social skills, teaching kids to coordinate their efforts with those of an administrator. Music, like sports, deserves some time off. For this reason, its benefits are likely to stick around for a while. When a kid can rest, they’re more likely to return to the old grind—especially if it’s experimental and enticing.