February 6, 2014

As parents and teachers, we are always striving to help our children succeed, especially in their education. We understand how important it is for them to develop creativity, coordination, concentration, and comprehension. These are skills which will enable our children to advance in their studies and in any career they choose later in life.shutterstock_121007071_zpsae9ba062

Studying music is an important means of developing the areas of a child’s brain that will reap a lifetime of benefits. SWAN is reaching out with their music programs to help children whose parents have a history of incarceration so these children will not be left behind because of the difficulties they may face at home.

The following details the ways in which learning and practicing a musical instrument helps children achieve these important skills:

Developing Creativity: Music has a way of unlocking our creative thinking. The ability to play an arrangement of notes and rhythms while creating the desired sound enables children to explore other avenues of expression with more confidence. It also enhances a child’s problem-solving skills and allows a more innovative thought process.

Developing Coordination: Playing a musical instrument requires good hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Students will learn to control their movements to execute the precise tone of the written music. These skills are helpful to the child as he or she learns to write, draw, play sports, and perform a myriad of other activities.

Developing Concentration: As a child learns to master a musical instrument it takes a great deal of focus and patience. Concentration will be an essential key that needs to be developed as a student progresses. Posture, rhythm, timing and even pressure of the fingers on the instrument are just a few of the things the student will need to pay attention to. Students learn quickly that careful attention and practice help them improve and eventually get things right. These skills of concentration will help students in their academic classes. They will be less distracted and better able to focus as the teacher instructs the class, as well as be less discouraged when they don’t get it right the first time. Practice and concentration are two vital skills students learn that help them succeed, not just in music, but in everyday life.

Developing Comprehension: Playing a musical instrument involves thinking ahead, visualizing, recognizing patterns, and utilizing spatial skills. Researchers believe that due to these learned skills children improve in their scholastic studies. A child who has had music instruction shows marked improvement in their reading and math scores over other students. “SAT takers with coursework/experience in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and 43 points higher on the math portion than students with no coursework or experience in the arts.” (The College Board, Profile of College-Bound Seniors National Report for 2006.)

These skills learned through music instruction are helpful building blocks that enable the SWAN students to succeed. Through them, SWAN students can gain the confidence to achieve their goals and dreams.

Find out how you can help SWAN enrich the lives of these vulnerable children.

For additional information on these and other benefits of music study, click on this link: Benefits of Music Study.