Friday, April 5, 2013

Five Benefits of music lessons for kids

Musicians with Benefits by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt

Gipsy Rondo, Musical Art collage 12x12" by Miriam Schulman
When my daughter was in third grade she had the option to learn a string instrument through her school: violin, viola, or cello. She wasn't very coordinated with sports and what not I couldn't imagine her balancing a violin under her chin. So I told her she should pick the cello. She was ( and still is at fifteen) very petite for her age and it was very cute to watch her play an instrument almost as big as she was. She also found it very empowering to be able to make a big noise. at the same time my grandmother had offered me her piano, the one that my mother and I both learned to play on. Before she could change her mind or my sister got jealous and got involved, I hired a moving van and had it brought to my house the next day!

music art
Poppy Hoppy, musical art, 16x20" by Miriam Schulman
Next, they needed lessons. I found a sweet Julliard graduate to come to my house and teach my kids lessons and put stickers on the music and stars on the keys. My son was only in kindergarten then but I was tired of watching him trip the kids in soccer to get the ball and I figured for 30 minutes the piano teacher could deal with him instead of me. 

tree art
Tree Treasury, 12x12" music collage
When my son reached the third grade he picked the clarinet-- or maybe once again I picked for him. He wanted to learn the sax but that wasn't an option for third graders and then once we rented the instrument I made him stick with it the following year. Being the tiger mother that I am I signed him up for clarinet lessons at my the music school-- they had both graduated from home lessons. What I like about them being in a music school is that it makes learning an instrument into a social activity. They both play in ensembles and they are part of the "music team" ( no, it isn't called the music team-- I just like to think of it that way because they aren't on any sports teams.) My son plays in a jazz ensemble and this makes him feel cool and gives him an identity. I wish I could say that it disciplines him too, but he doesn't really practice as much as his sister.. I mean he practices-- but usually when he is in his school band he will play his other pieces... Both my kids they feel a sense of accomplishment whenever they master a piece. Now music is a very important part of all of our lives. I spend a lot of time shuttling them back and forth to the school but my daughters best friends are in the orchestra and my son is looking to learn more instruments. As a result of all this music, my art is full of music too. I often use piano music in my collage compositions.

so to sum it up here are the benefits of getting your kids music lessons:
1) Empowering
2) Gives them a sense of community
3) Gives them a hobby
4) great for non-sporty kids to feel a part of a team
5) Facilitates goal setting