Studying music has great value. Music is an international language that touches people to the point of laughter, nostalgia, and tears. The impact of a note, of a tune, of a song can be everlasting.
Learning to play that song, to hit that note, to carry that tune, or to master any skill requires steady practice. Children can start making music and learning to play an instrument at any age, the younger the better. Making a commitment to accomplish a goal like learning to play an instrument or to sing a song teaches children the importance of practice, setting goals, and building strong habits.
There are so many significant benefits to learning to play a musical instrument. I’d like to share four reasons music has changed my life.
- In addition to building strong habits, learning music, whether it be learning an instrument, writing music, singing, or working in musical theater, helps children develop greater confidence, public speaking skills, teamwork skills, social skills, memorization skills, and concentration skills. These are skills that can be applied to all aspects of life.
- By studying music, children are also fostering strong mathematical skills. Music has a strong mathematical element. Music composition is, in itself, a mathematical exercise. Both math and music use formulas and theories to solve problems. Sounds, counting, tempo, pitch, and rhythm all require mathematical skills to perfect. Composers’ notations are connected to mathematical formulas.
- Music offers children the opportunity to travel around the world from their own room, and eventually to leave their room to travel. Music teaches children about history and diverse cultures, letting children understand different expressions of emotion and sentiment. Eventually, if a child pursues a career in music, he or she might have the opportunity to perform all over the world.
- Learning a musical instrument is like learning a foreign language. Every instrument has similar nuances. Once you learn to read the language of music and develop a deep understanding of tone and rhythm, it is easier to pick up new instruments. Especially instruments within the same family. If a child can play piano, learning other keyboard instruments is much easier. Learning these different instruments provides children with multiple ways to express themselves.
Music presents endless possibilities. It can be a career that leads you from piano bars, weddings, and cabaret shows to Broadway musicals, and onto the sets of movies and television shows. Musicians can play by themselves or with others. And it is a career that can take you all over the world.
The most important lesson of taking a musical instrument is learning endurance. So many times, people regret that they did not practice piano when they took lessons, or they regret that they didn’t stick with it. Find the right teacher, a teacher who is passionate about music, a teacher who will guide your child patiently and enthusiastically. And don’t give up.
Rachel, one of GAMECHANGER’s exceptional music teachers, is an established music director and vocal coach and a multi-instrumentalist who has music directed and/or played for well over 300 musicals and cabaret shows world-wide. Theater credits include: Off-B’way: Tale of Two Cities (10th year reunion concert at the Birdland Theatre), Goldstein: The Musical (with Megan McGinnis), Oliver! (with Brian Stokes Mitchell, James Barbour & Melissa Errico), Schoolhouse Rock Live!, and A Taste of Things to Come (Lorin Latarro, dir.); Tours: Rent, Phantom of the Opera, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Five Guys Named Moe, and Smokey Joe’s Café; Regional: Tom Jones (North Shore), Hallelujah, Baby! (Arthur Laurents, dir.), and Golf: The Musical. She has also worked with such Broadway greats as Donna McKechnie, Baayork Lee, Savion Glover, and Donna Murphy, just to name a few. Additionally she has worked as a teaching artist and/or accompanist with kids of all ages at such places as Stagedoor Manor, TADA!, PPAS, and ACTeen, as well as at such schools as NY Film Academy (Professional Conservatory for Musical Theatre), Tisch Grad School of Acting, Stella Adler School of Acting, et al. Rachel holds a B.A. in Music (and Russian) from the University of Chicago. For more information about working with Rachel, please contact GAMECHANGER.