The Importance of Learning to Play an Instrument
Music instruction has held an influential place in the world of general education for hundreds of years. As a formal area of study, music education in the United States from general music theory to the act of learning to play an instrument dates back to 18th century, when the first American school dedicated solely to the art of singing was established in Boston, Massachusetts in 1717. From there, music education in the U.S. continued to expand through the 21st century until fairly recently, when budget cuts and other educational policy adjustments have led to the decline of music education in public schools throughout the country.
Considering the plethora of benefits that musical education and learning to play an instrument provides, this decline is of great concern. Learning to play an instrument has been shown to enhance coordination, sharpen concentration, promote social and teamwork skills, instill discipline and self-confidence, and improve memory.
When parents encourage their kids to learn how to play an instrument, they quickly realize the added benefits of teaching them responsibility (in caring for their instrument), an appreciation for different cultures (by learning about various musical traditions and histories), and perseverance (through constant practice and repetition).