Should my child learn a musical instrument?
There’s been a national upsurge in efforts to finance music lessons in public schools. It’s become apparent that lack of access to tuition and equipment was creating a significant void in education.
However, providing students with diverse enrichment is something that independent schools have held firmly to for centuries! We have continued to offer excellent arts programmes, unaffected by political opinion, budget cuts or the current ‘flavour of the month’.
Investment in musical instruments and coaching at Rendcomb College is certainly unfailingly high.
This is not just to enhance the way music is taught in the classroom (though that is important, as this article will explore). Rendcomb College’s expansive music programme is also designed to provide students with music tuition and performance opportunities in their free time too.
The advantages of this are numerous and the perfect answer to the question ‘Should my child learn a musical instrument?’.
The effect of music on young minds
There is a long list of benefits wrapped around the process of learning to read and play music. We will come back to those. First, let’s look at the effect music has on learning and relaxation in general.
Numerous studies have shown that music has a calming, relaxing effect. Which is why music therapy is so important in many medical areas. It can positively affect mood, stimulate nostalgia and encourage involvement.
For these reasons and more, every generation has its own music culture and preferences; an intrinsic part of their social life and ‘chill time’. Giving our students the opportunity to expand their musical horizons - and make their own music - can be an exciting adventure for them. Particularly as we don’t ignore their tastes or restrict them to classical genres!
The hidden extras of learning a musical instrument
The discipline and concentration required to play an instrument - or perfect a new melody - bring with them wide-ranging additional advantages. This includes improved memory and listening skills. Playing a musical instrument also develops hand to eye coordination and stimulates perseverance and a great sense of achievement.
Of course, being part of a group of music makers increases social contact and confidence too, particularly when they get opportunities to perform in public. The sense of belonging and team spirit from being in an orchestra or band can be highly formulative. This is especially true for shyer young people, who can experience big steps forward if they perform with more confident peers.
However, even as a solitary pursuit, practicing musical skills can be important. It can boost self-worth and the feeling of gaining mastery over their instrument of choice.
The diversity of learning musical instruments
One of the keys to success in stimulating a healthy interest in music – and the arts in general – is choice!
Top private schools like Rendcomb College make sure that students can explore different music genres and instruments. We certainly do not expect all students to sit playing Frère Jacques with a recorder and call that a music lesson!
Both in the classroom and in their free time, students have the chance to ‘play around’ with music and fully realise their own tastes and preferences, as well as studying the way music has shaped and reflected the society we live in.
It’s important to note that musical tuition and practice outside the classroom is not mandatory! Rendcomb College provides an extensive range of extra-curriculum options for boarders. If they prefer to ride a horse, learn French or rock climb, that’s fine with us!
Choosing a private school
However, when you have such a rich and diverse arts programme at residential school, it becomes tempting to experiment and learn new skills. This is why so many of our pupils add musical prowess to the list of accomplishments.
Having access to wonderful opportunities such as these is just one of the reasons some parents choose private schools. Every child should have access to the arts, without relying on political winds and school postcode lotteries!
So, if you are wondering ‘should my child learn a musical instrument’, we believe the answer is loud (but melodious) YES! Especially if it is part of an extensive and inspiring arts programme at an independent boarding school.
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