When summertime hits, the motivation stops. Kids get out of school, friends come over, and before you know it, they’re struggling to get back into the groove. But don’t fret, there’s a musical solution! Experts believe playing a musical instrument can help keep students motivated during downtime, and this study from Northwestern University supports the theory of motivation-boosting musical play.
So, what gives? Interestingly enough, having dedication alone doesn’t provide the same benefits as activities that introduce a musical element. If you want kids to thrive in the upcoming school year, prevent the much-feared “summer slide” by introducing them to music. Here’s why:
All Subjects are Interrelated
Not only are they interrelated, but music covers most of them. Playing music helps kids develop determination, focus, confidence, creativity, collaboration, perseverance and problem solving skills. Whether it’s music’s high mathematical focus, its constant attention needs or its reproducibility, it can provide substantial benefits for proactive learning.
This is an invaluable tool set to fortify over summer as parents repeatedly cite the summer months as incredibly difficult to keep kids productive. Playing music is a one-size-fits-all solution for keeping their mental tools sharp.
A Much-Needed Time of Disruption
Today, experimental education is getting good press—and for good reason. The structure of formal education in a summer setting may actually hinder childhood learning development. During the summer gap, it’s important to introduce new methods of learning when academia only goes so far.
Music, on the other hand, is simultaneously structured and unstructured. The use of experimental methods in education, reports MIT Press Journals, is invaluable. Introducing a child to an instrument, guiding them along an unorthodox learning route and forming a lesson plan around their progress—rather than a school curriculum—may be the way to go for summer learning.
In the long run, kids who play instruments develop enhanced academic skills, physical skills, discipline and patience. It can even cultivate social skills, teaching kids to coordinate their efforts with those of an administrator. Music benefits are likely to stick around for a while, so whenever they need a break from traditional teaching, music can help them prepare to return to the old grind.