Guest post by Alex Lafontaine, My Studio Party
Looking back on my childhood, I’m glad I was exposed to music and art because it taught me valuable lessons that I don’t believe I would have learned otherwise. I took piano lessons for 15 years, and aside from the occasional vacation, I practiced every single day. That was how I learned that it was possible to reach my goals – through practice, persistence and determination. It was also a way for me to safely let out my emotions. For instance, if I was angry or frustrated, I’d play fast and loud, and if I was sad, I would pour that emotion into a slower piece.
Today, being a professional photographer and an MSP Pop Star Party host, I apply the skills I learned on a daily basis through my work. Without those skills, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’m living proof of the importance of exposing children to music and art at a young age.
My Studio Party’s approach to music and art
Luckily, My Studio Party shares my values when it comes to music and art. In fact, MSP’s team of professional musicians, dancers, photographers, and artists are passionate about sharing their individual crafts with kids, and with good reason. The scientific evidence of the positive effects of music and art on the developing brain is astounding.
Here are just five of the awesome, scientifically-proven reasons why you should expose your child to music and the arts:
1. They encourage creativity
When children are encouraged to express themselves through music and art, they tap into their inner creativity. They learn how to think outside the box and discover better ways of doing things. These are must-have skills that will be of benefit to them throughout their lives.
2. They boost brain power and academic performance
Research has shown that young musicians have a larger growth of neural activity than non-musicians. What does that mean? Better memory and learning skills such as verbal memory, literacy and verbal intelligence. These skills have also been linked to an increased performance in reading and mathematics courses.
Did you know that children who take part in visual arts learn to develop their organizational skills, visual memory and their emotions? Students with these skills are more prepared to learn and are often able to see connections that other students may miss.
3. They boost confidence and self-esteem
Self confidence is one of the greatest benefits of art and music. While learning an instrument or creating a piece of art, kids learn concentration, dedication, and persistence. These skills are then naturally applied at school and result in positive classroom performance and test scores. When a child is successful in the classroom, they develop a sense of pride and confidence that translates as an increase in self-esteem.
4. They help develop motor skills and visual learning skills
The motions needed to learn an instrument or create art are great for developing fine motor skills. In fact, using their hands and fingers to play an instrument, holding a crayon or a paintbrush to make dots and lines, mixing paint colours, using scissors to cut paper, or kneading and rolling play dough are all fun ways for children to increase their dexterity and coordination.
5. They enhance a child’s overall well-being
As children grow, they take in large amounts of new information that can sometimes become overwhelming. I’m sure we can all relate to that! Music and art provide a safe space for them to explore and deal with their emotions. They can then easily express their ideas and better manage their feelings. For instance, learning to deal with their emotions at a young age is a tool that they will be able to use throughout their lives. In fact, the Research Center for Arts and Culture (RCAC) has found that artists have lower rates of loneliness and depression compared to the general population.
Music and art are powerful tools for your child’s development, tools that can easily be incorporated into your child’s every day life.
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