How learning music can unlock the gateway to a successful life, through being in the moment
Why is it so important for children to learn music? There are many, many reasons. Music education for children has immense of benefits supported by research, including:
· Improved concentration
· Better grades in school
· Higher test scores
· Development of motor skills
· Enhanced creativity
· Increased social development
· More patience
· Higher levels of self confidence
· There is much more too!
We could spend time focusing on each one of these things, any we likely will in future blogs, but today I want to focus on one thing in particular: How learning music and learning to play an instrument helps people live a much happier life!
There are so many reasons for the correlation between music and happiness, but let’s talk about how music puts us in the moment. We’ve all heard about being in the moment, in the zone, so to speak, but what does it mean?
Being in the zone means focusing all of the mind’s attention on what is happening right now. It means we are not thinking about yesterday or tomorrow, we aren’t stressing about what we have to do in an hour or regretting something that happened an hour ago. Being in the moment means right now, the only time we can control, is what we are paying attention to.
So, how does knowing how to play an instrument help with this? It’s rather simple really. When you play an instrument, you can only play it in the moment. Now, the mind can wander when playing an instrument. It can start thinking about the last thing you played and how it was not executed as well as you would have liked, or how the next part of the song is tricky. But, as we musicians learn over time, the more you put your attention on what you are playing right now, the better the music becomes and the more joy we get from playing it.
Truly, in my experience, this joyful musical moment is one of the most amazing things that I have ever felt. Being truly connected with body, mind, music and the moment, all as one, is one of the greatest feelings one can achieve. This is one of the reasons I love music so much. It’s also one of the reasons I love teaching music to children. When I see a child’s face when they first experience this gift that music can bring, it is wonderful! They unlock a part of life that was previously hidden.
This mysterious blending of our attention and our musical ability is what we, as musicians, strive for. And learning music, especially starting in childhood, is one of the ways we can achieve this beautiful, rich feeling. Now, it isn’t always easy to reach, this state of being in the now with music. But, music allows us to recognize that we can find this mystical place and it creates a desire to strive for it.
As human beings we naturally think about the past and future. In fact, probably too much. We realize that we can’t control the past or future, but in our mind, we are trying to control them, or at least analyze them. This can create stress. And stress, as we know, is very unhealthy. So, we are always looking for stress relief. What better way to de-stress than by playing music!
When kids build the relationship between themselves and music from an early age it gives them an outlet. An outlet to creativity, but also an outlet to connect to the moment. And, when we learn to connect to the moment through music, we can do in other parts of our life as well.
Learning to be in the moment, is one of the greatest gifts we can receive. It is like a muscle that we can strengthen, and learning music is one of the ways we can strengthen this muscle. Even practicing music forces a musician into the moment. True and deep practice is always achieved by being focusing on right now. We must move the mind into the body and control our motions, our actions to achieve what we are seeking.
Learning music as a child was a blessing to me. It set me out on a path that continues today. I’ve had the pleasure of playing with some world class musicians and I have been able to perform live to thousands of people but it’s the moments between myself and music that are the most enriching. These moments can happen when performing in front of large crowds, or alone with an instrument. The point is that learning music can lead to a career in music, but in most cases it won’t, and that is ok. In fact, this is great. Because, music is accessible to anyone, not just the pros, or the absolute best musicians. This magical, musical moment is accessible to beginners and children as well as experts and professionals.
The key is to know it exists, know that it is what we, as musicians, are looking to achieve. It’s not about the perfection of the performance, or even the level of skill, its about connecting with music in the present moment that makes all the difference, and that makes music such a wonderful gift. Especially in the lives of children. I believe wholeheartedly in music education for children, because when children learn music, they unlock the gates to a hidden world, a magical world that has no end in its breadth or depth. When you think you know how wide or deep music can be, it shows you, every time how much wider and deeper it goes.
Cheers to children learning and loving music. It is our passion here at My Music Workshop. We are so grateful and happy to be musical ourselves, but even more grateful to get to share the joy of music with children around the world. We think about you, our students, every day, without fail, and we hope that they find joy in music and with My Music Workshop. We hope to help children achieve their musical dreams and more importantly their life dreams.
If nothing else, we hope that My Music Workshop helps children find their magical, musical moment, and that they keep finding it, and deepening this moment, throughout their entire life.
If you are interested in giving our online music learning program, My Music Workshop, a try for free, click here, and we’ll see you inside. All of our lessons are on demand and available to you and your child 24/7. We have music lessons in all kinds of musical topics, plus piano, drum and ukulele lessons, as well as worksheets downloads and other resources for your budding musician.
Thanks and we’ll see you soon!