Music is an integral part of the human experience, from the playlist of songs repeated every single day, the movie soundtracks that seemingly stick even after one has left the cinema, and to the jingle that plays in the elevator.
Even as a passive listener, music gives one the much-needed comfort and slice of entertainment. For teenagers, music marks an integral part of their lives – you can see this by observing how a pair of earphones are always within reach. Apart from the obvious reasons, there are several benefits in allowing teenagers to engage with music, especially in a more proactive and holistic approach. So before you scold your child for having their ears plugged in virtually all the time, discover how music can serve your child and their development.
1. Improved Cognitive Function
If you wish to exercise your body, you will head to the gym; if you wish to exercise your brain, you listen to or create music.
Whilst it may not appear as such, music is structural, mathematical and architectural. Beyond simply sounding nice, music in and of itself is actually very complex.
Even when you are not aware of the fact, the brain does a lot of computing to make sense of it. It ignites some of the broadest and most diverse networks of the brain, keeping a myriad of brain pathways and networks strong. Areas that are in charge of learning, language, literacy and overall cognitive function are stimulated. For a teenager whose brain is still developing, this translates to an overall intellectual development – accelerated language acquisition, stronger memory retention and improved critical thinking skills, amongst other things.
2. Boost Creative Thinking
Have you ever heard about the Mozart Effect? It was the first study that tried to link classical music with improved spatial reasoning, the ability to imagine in one’s mind the positions of objects and shapes in relation to one another. Whilst this theory, in particular, has been debunked a few times (it’s not limited to classical music, any music will give you the same results), there still is an established relationship between creativity and music.
When your child listens to music that makes them happy, their brain enters a “mind-wandering mode” where almost all of the creativity occurs. Be it playing an instrument or singing, music offers a safe space for thinking out of the box. Your child can strengthen their creative muscles, which is vital in innovation and problem-solving.
3. Aid in Personal and Social Development
In addition to all the improved cognitive functions, music also acts as a social lubricant – it helps one find a place in different environments. This is especially important for teenagers who are more likely to experience anxiety and depression when they feel disconnected from their peers. By participating in music activities and curriculum, teens can tap into more opportunities to feel like they belong in a community.
In addition, partaking in music activities can lead to a sense of achievement by way of frequent practising and performing. The act of performing in front of a large audience will also increase your child’s self-esteem and confidence over time.
Supporting Physical Development and Wellness
When a teenager participates in a music curriculum, their physical skills will naturally improve. Learning to play an instrument enhances fine motor skills, for instance. Adopting good posture and proper breathing techniques during singing has been shown to improve mood and overall immune system.
Music has a major role in everybody’s life, that much is true. Whether it’d be simply listening to your favourite song, or proactively learning to sing and play, the benefits that it carries are seemingly endless. Give your child an opportunity to reap these benefits to their maximum potential by enrolling them into music programmes where they will be guided by a professional.
Teen Stars is one such programme, offered by MindChamps Académie of the Stars, a premier performing art school in Singapore. Teen Stars is a performance training programme that takes on a holistic approach wherein 13 to 16 years olds will be trained to sing, act, and dance – tapping into areas that are intrinsically tied to music.
To end it off, here is a quote from Former President Gerald Ford:
“Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them – a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.” – Gerald Ford.