Are Music Lessons Worth the Cost?
Does your child love to sing? Love plunking on the piano or pounding on the drum? Do you think you might have a future musician in your home? The average cost of private music lessons ranges from $15-40 per half hour (www.takelessons.com). Keep in mind the cost will vary depending on location and the expertise of the teacher. With these numbers, private lessons cost parents $1,000 to $2,000 a year. This may make you wonder, are music lessons really worth it? Let’s look at some short and long term benefits of music lessons.
Learning to play beautiful music doesn’t happen overnight. All students must start from the beginning playing scales and mastering basic skills. In our society instant gratification is the norm. Music teaches the value of patience and discipline because children must set aside time for practice and make it part of their routine in order to further their skills.
Music teaches children a good work ethic because they see the value of practice as they improve and reach new achievements. Students will learn how dedication creates good results, while failing to do all the necessary practice results in mediocre results. These lessons carry into school studies and future employment.
Is your child always forgetting things? Music requires kids to practice memorization. Even if sheet music is used, students memorize how to play each note and the sheet music eventually becomes a guide. Students can use their developing memorization skills in a variety of ways in school and at home.
Math and language skills
Music helps develop math and language skills that give kids an edge in school. “Students who have early musical training will develop the areas of the brain related to language and reasoning. The left side of the brain is better developed with music.” (National Association for Music Education)
Teamwork isn’t just for sports. Music students may have an opportunity to participate in a band or orchestra. This provides kids experience working as a team and a sense of camaraderie. Teamwork develops social skills that they will use for a lifetime.
Confidence and social development
Kids will gain confidence as they begin to perform music for an audience. This helps kids learn to face their fears and builds self esteem. As kids build up this confidence, they are more likely to boost their communication skills and have increased social development.
In music, there is always room for improvement. This creates the opportunity for students of any age to improve and challenge themselves for many years to come.
Playing an instrument can be an outlet for kids. Music can be relaxing and a form of stress relief, as well as a way to express yourself creatively. Kids who have this outlet are less likely to find negative ways to relieve stress, like drugs and alcohol.
Expression and creativity
Kids who play music are trained to think creatively. The ability to think outside of the box in many other situations is a coveted asset among many employers.
Kids who play instruments develop their hand-eye coordination. Just like in sports, playing an instrument requires these skills and develops their motor skills.
Higher test scores
Studies show that children who are exposed to music education have higher SAT scores and better grades in school overall. (Children’s Music Workshop)
Introduces children to other cultures
Through music kids are exposed to other cultures, teaching them awareness and empathy for others. This helps them become more accepting of other cultures at an early age.
My daughter recently started taking piano lessons. As I sat in the room observing her first lesson, I witnessed something. As she played her first chord, a smile spread across her face. It was clear she has a true love for music. To me, this makes the cost of lessons worth it. Each family will have to weigh the overall price of music lessons against their child’s enjoyment of music and the many benefits to make a decision whether music lessons are truly worth the cost.