What Non-Musical Skills Every Homeschooler Can Grow in by Playing a Musical Instrument

What Non-Musical Skills Every Homeschooler Can Grow in by Playing a Musical Instrument
Playing a musical instrument isn't just about mastering melodies and rhythms; it's a transformative journey that nurtures a diverse range of non-musical skills crucial for personal growth and success. From fostering discipline to enhancing problem-solving abilities, here's how homeschoolers can develop essential life skills through their musical pursuits.

Patience: Learning to play an instrument requires patience. Whether it's practicing scales or perfecting challenging pieces, progress often unfolds gradually. By embracing the process and persisting through difficulties, homeschoolers cultivate patience—a skill that proves invaluable in various aspects of life.

Discipline: Consistent practice and dedication are essential for musical proficiency. Homeschoolers who learn to prioritize their practice sessions and adhere to a routine develop discipline, a trait that extends beyond the realm of music, positively impacting their academic performance and extracurricular endeavors.

Concentration: Playing music demands focused attention. Whether deciphering sheet music or refining technique, homeschoolers learn to immerse themselves fully in the task at hand. Strengthening their ability to concentrate not only enhances their musical performance but also improves their overall cognitive function.

Problem-Solving Skills: Music presents a myriad of challenges that require creative problem-solving. Whether tackling a complex passage or improvising during a performance, homeschoolers learn to think critically and find solutions—a skill set that prepares them for the complexities of the real world.

Time Management: Balancing practice sessions with homeschool assignments and other activities teaches children the importance of effective time management. By learning to allocate their time wisely, homeschoolers develop a valuable skill that empowers them to achieve their goals efficiently.

Confidence: Performing in front of an audience can be daunting, but through music, homeschoolers gradually build confidence in their abilities. As they conquer new pieces and showcase their talent, they gain a sense of self-assurance that extends beyond the stage, positively impacting their interactions and pursuits.

Persistence: The journey of learning a musical instrument is filled with both triumphs and setbacks. Homeschoolers who persist through challenges develop resilience—a quality that enables them to bounce back stronger when faced with obstacles in the future.

Playing a musical instrument offers far-reaching benefits beyond musical proficiency. By nurturing patience, discipline, concentration, problem-solving abilities, time management, confidence, and persistence through musical pursuits, homeschoolers are equipped to thrive not only in music but in all aspects of their lives. So, let's encourage every child to embrace the transformative power of music and embark on a journey of personal and musical growth that will last a lifetime.

Want your child to grow in some of these areas before taking on learning a new musical instrument? It is SO helpful to be growing in skills like concentration and patience already before starting to play a brand new instrument. For more about these foundational skills, check out the Classical Collective FB group for practical resources and ideas.

What Every Child Should Know Before Beginning to Play a Musical Instrument

What Every Child Should Know Before Beginning to Play a Musical Instrument
Embarking on the journey of learning a musical instrument is a transformative experience for children, shaping not only their musical abilities but also fostering important cognitive and emotional skills. Most people choose piano or ukulele as the first instrument, as those are the most accessible for younger children and smaller hands. Before diving into instrumental training, though, it's crucial for children to develop a strong foundation in three key areas. Outlined by Dr. John Feierabend (America's leading early childhood music educator), these 3 elements are tunefulness, beatfulness, and artfulness. Let's explore how parents and educators can facilitate the development of these essential skills to ensure a successful musical journey for every child, especially at home.

Becoming Tuneful:

Tunefulness lays the groundwork for musical proficiency by honing a child's ability to perceive and produce accurate pitches. To foster tunefulness, parents can incorporate music into daily routines, from singing lullabies to exploring a variety of musical genres together. By engaging in activities that develop pitch discrimination and encourage vocal experimentation, children develop a strong foundation in melody, setting the stage for future instrumental learning. One important point to note is -- make sure young children are not given too difficult of a song to sing. The tune should be simple and follow a predictable pattern, at least until tunefulness is acquired. Caregivers can of course model more complex songs that children will learn to sing in the future! But when assessing tunefulness, make sure children have a simple melody to sing and have heard it enough times to be familiar with it in their "musical ear."

Becoming Beatful:

Steady Beat is the heartbeat of music, making beatfulness a critical skill for aspiring musicians. Children should feel comfortable moving to the pulse of music and maintaining a steady tempo before delving into instrumental training. Children cannot accruately develop rhythm skills without first having an internal sense of steady beat. Activities such as clapping, marching, and playing beat games help children internalize this and develop coordination. By incorporating movement and beat keeping into daily activities, parents and educators lay a solid rhythmic foundation for children, ensuring they're ready to tackle the challenges of instrumental learning with confidence.

Becoming Artful:

While technical proficiency is essential, true musicality lies in artfulness – the ability to infuse emotion, interpretation, and personal expression into music. Encouraging creativity through improvisation, composition, and interpretation empowers children to find their unique voice in music. With young children, this is best practiced by doing fingerplays, action songs, and moving to music for form and expression. By fostering a supportive environment where experimentation is encouraged and individuality is celebrated while also demonstrating that the music matches the expressive intent, parents and educators nurture children's confidence and authenticity in musical expression.

Before beginning to play a musical instrument, it's essential for children to develop these 3 foundational skills. By prioritizing these and providing opportunities for exploration and expression, parents and educators set children up for a lifetime of musical fulfillment and success. With intentional guidance and support, every child can unlock their musical potential and experience the joy of making music.

For practical ideas and resources to support your child's musical journey, join us in The Classical Collective Facebook group. There, you'll find a vibrant community of parents, educators, and musicians sharing valuable practical tips, activities, and resources to enrich your child's musical development. Join us and let's make beautiful music together!