We all know the power music (lessons) has to move us physically. The right beat can make even the most solemn nod their head to the rhythm, and a sweet melody will cause even the most static to sway back and forth in agreement. However, music has an even more potent power to move us – the power to move us emotionally.
Many children are acutely sensitive. A chaotic home life, being teased at school, and even the feeling of not measuring up to other children can have long lasting effects far into adulthood. Parents often wonder how to give their children the tools to deal with these issues without being overbearing and contributing to the problem themselves. I suggest the empowering skill of music. Music education has the ability to improve a child’s self esteem in a multitude of ways.
One way music can help your child’s self esteem is by showing them they have talent. With so much influence at schools being but on academics and athletics over the arts, it’s easy for a creative child to feel stifled and inadequate to their peers. Music lessons, however, give them an outlet for their auditory impulses.
Though initial practice is key, once they familiarize themselves with their instrument they immediately begin to become expressive. Suddenly they are able to translate their emotions into notes and chords. As they improve their enjoyment grows, and pretty soon a simple skill becomes a full blown talent. Musicality becomes something to be proud of. They start to realize if they can be good at music, there’s probably many other things they’d be good at as well. They’ve taken the first step towards better self esteem.
Music also contributes to a child’s self esteem by attracting positive attention. Many children act out in order to receive attention from adults and their classmates. While not always the intention, this behavior is often disruptive and a bright child bored with his studies can quickly be branded a troublemaker.
Music puts this energy into focus. Their hands are comfortably occupied on the keys of a piano instead of places that could get them into trouble. All eyes are on them at recitals and performances for the music they are making, and not for calling out in class. As they grow and meet others with similar skills, opportunities to join bands and jam sessions pop up and they find themselves immersed in the positive and supportive social circle they had always been seeking.
It is one of the great joys of teaching to see shy, depressed, or rambunctious children blossom into well round, free thinking young adults. It is tempting for me to take credit for this change, but I know it is the power of music. Music has an incredible capacity to elevate self esteem and to vastly improve life holistically.