Here in North America, the days are shortening, the temperatures are sinking, and the leaves are dropping. You know what that means. Winter’s just around the corner, and it’s bringing conditions that force all of us inside, including your kids. Convincing them to stay inside during sub-zero temps might be a challenge, especially when the freshly fallen snow is just begging to be rolled into a snowman. If you don’t have an activity set up to occupy their young minds as the next polar vortex rages on, you’ll have to deal with a litany of ‘I’m bored’s throughout the day. Quite frankly, there’s only so much whining a mother can take, which is why you should distract them with a musical instrument.
This diversion tactic may seem self-serving initially, but this hobby can have a positive effect on their entire lives should they stick with it. What starts simply as a quick fix for cabin fever can evolve into a lifelong commitment, with significant benefits to theirphysical, emotional, and social well-being. Regular practice can improve your child’s ability to understand languages, mathematics, and spatial reasoning, giving them a greater chance at succeeding in their academic studies. They can tap into a well of creativityand unlock a wealth of self-confidence that serves them later in life.
How does simply plucking at a guitar or stroking the ivories set them up for success? Well, for one thing, it can’t just be a passing interest. They need to commit to regular, deliberate practice if they want to see the benefits of their studies. For another thing, it’s how their brain works as they’re learning the vocabulary of their instrument. The synapses in the left hemisphere are deeply affected when children pick up an instrument. Every time they play or read music, the areas of the brain responsible for communication and problem solving get a work out. Over time, these pathways strengthen and their abilities to express themselves and process the world around them improve exponentially.Studies have shown that the mental callisthenics of musical education correlate to increased IQ scores and improved performances in school.
As you see their test marks go up, their stress levels will go down. The physical act of playing their instrument is made up of patterned movements that can lower the amount of stress hormones affecting their moods. In fact, the power of music can even lower their blood pressure as it will release endorphins every time they play! Music is also a creative outlet for self-expression that can help your children communicate their emotions in new and healthy ways.
Keeping your children occupied during the winter months now seem like the added bonus. The true advantages of enrolling them in lessons this season are the better opportunities they’ll have as smarter and more emotionally balanced individuals. And it all starts by finding the perfect instrument. It’s notoriously hard to get children to stick with their lessons. Your task is only made harder when they don’t like their instrument and the outside world is a winter wonderland. If you live in the Great White North (where the winter conditions are harshest) check out Canada’s online music store. You and your kids won’t even have to leave your home to pick out which instrument they like best. From keyboards to guitars and everything in between, you’ll be able to find something that they like and that fits your budget too.
So it may just start as a distraction to keep them occupied when the weather’s too extreme, but it can turn into a lifelong hobby with significant benefits to their IQ and emotional well-being. Take the time to explore instruments together at an online music store, and get them started on the right path.