Meet the Expert – Five Reasons Why Your Child Should Study Music
Kathryn Raats from West Coast Music School
Meet the Expert is all about seeking out insightful and helpful advice for your children. This week I caught up with Kathryn and we talked all things music. Her passion is clear and she shared with me some very interesting insights into the benefits of introducing music to children which I would love to share with you…
What are five reasons you should introduce music into our children’s lives?
Improve academic skills: Although music seems 100% creative, the foundation of all music is actually a massive maths problem! It is the musicians job to solve the problem through constant comprehension and critical thinking! Subconsciously, these skills are transposed into the academic aspects of your child’s life.
Improve memory: Learning an instrument trains the mind to create, store and retrieve memories more efficiently.
Improve coordination: Playing an instrument requires the brain to work at very high speeds. Reading music is converted in the brain into the actual motion of playing, which, intern, sharpens hand-eye coordination.
Nurture self-expressions: Playing music creates a beautiful channel for emotional expression!
Improve Listening Skills: While learning a piece of music, the student is required to listen for a number of different things. Not only do they need to listen for instruction from their teacher, they also have to listen for rhythm, pitch, timing and texture (just to name a few!)
When can your child start learning an instrument?
In my experience, the optimum age to start learning an instrument is between 5 and 6 years of age. However, in saying this, I am also a firm believer in ‘its never to late to learn’. The reason I have found 5-6 to be a real sweet point is because the mind is still developing, which means its easier for them to create new neural pathways.
How can I introduce music to my child if they are not ready to learn an instrument?
There are so many fun and exciting ways to introduce your child to music before they learn an instrument. Here are my favourite ways:
Create a day to day playlist: Having a backing track to your little ones life is a sure-fire way to strengthen their natural positive association to music. Have a play-time playlist that is fun and upbeat, and a ‘down-time’ play list to create a relaxing and soothing environment
Create music together: Whether you are musically inclined yourself or not, everyone can create music together with their children. You can even make some home made instruments to give your music experiences a little more creative edge. Sing songs and nursery rhymes to your child, or encourage them to sing to you!
Concerts: Concerts are fun and creative! Encourage your little ones to having singing concerts, or to have dancing concerts that they choreograph to their favourite song. Better yet, combine the two together to create a music theatre experience!
Do you have any tips for party music?
My number one tip would be to choose your playlist wisely! Keeping music age appropriate is a no brainer, but you can also use your choose in music to shape the energy level of the party. Keep the music upbeat and fun while the party is a warming up and at its peak! As the time comes to start winding down, commence the slower pieces! Use the music to help you relax the atmosphere and as a result, relax the children!
Kathryn Raats is the Director of West Coast Music School, based in Perth WA. Kathryn is passionate about music and believes it empowers children by enabling them to embrace their individuality and improve their self-esteem. To find out more and book your child’s one-on-one exploration lessson, please visit: http://www.westcoastmusic.com.au/