“If music be the food of love, play on!”
It’s come to our attention that music lesson funding in some UK schools has been cut and we hope this isn’t a trend that’ll spread. The thought of hindering the next Ed Sheeran, Adele or even The Beatles doesn’t bear thinking about! To bring on the next generation of musical talent, we take a look at why you should encourage your little rock star to pick up that guitar.
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Why learn an instrument?
From wind to string instruments, there’s no question that music is a great way for children to expand their skills and knowledge. In fact, research suggests that it can even make you smarter! Experts at the University of Zurich believe that the structure and functionality of musicians brains is different than that of non-musicians, with music even used in therapy to improve cognitive skills. Plus, it can increase IQ in adults and children by seven points. But if that isn’t enough, here are some other reasons to learn a musical craft:
1. Train motor skills
Besides having another extra-curricular activity to do after school or over the weekend, learning to strum guitar strings or stroke piano keys supports your kids’ developing muscles by strengthening their mind-body coordination. You’ll also see improved hand-eye coordination and rhythm.
2. Teach discipline
Becoming a skilled instrument player doesn’t just happen overnight (unless you’re a genius like Mozart) but even the great ones still need to regularly train. It teaches children that there’s no easy way out and the path to success requires patience and practice (the formula to life). Teach your kids as early as possible that patience is a virtue.
3. Build confidence
Having formal musical education allows for the opportunity to join competitions or public performances which would greatly boost your kids’ self-esteem. As they get used to performing in front of a crowd, confidence will grow and the next thing you know, stage fright will be a thing of the past. Trust us, confidence will set your child apart and they’ll be ready to take on the world!
4. Harness creativity
Musical training can be intensive but at the end of the day, it’s art and there’s lots of room for creativity. Performance can require improvising, whether it’s putting your own twist on a guitar solo or switching up your styles, learning an instrument allows you to harness the right side of the brain to deliver a stellar performance on and off the stage.
5. Cultivate social skills
Joining ensemble classes and lessons allows your little one to bond with other kids over their love of music. Together they can collaborate and create something beautiful! Peer interaction and socialising is integral to child development, so by having that exposure in a familiar space (or with someone that has the same interests) is a step in the right direction.
6. Stimulate brain strength
Besides activating the right side of the brain (that manages creativity), learning how to play the piano or the violin (among other instruments) also trains your kids’ analytical skills. For instance, recitals require relying on their short-term memory, while learning different musical theories needs logical understanding. While beats and rhythm requires some fundamental arithmetic skills to have timing; after all, that’s what it takes to make a good song!
7. Acquire a new skill set
Obviously, learning a new instrument gives your youngsters a new set of knowledge and skills. Kids can sometimes get bored easily so it’s important that they stay interested and stimulated by learning something new.
8. It’s fun!
Yes, it might be challenging at times but learning any instrument is also meant to be fun. Nothing beats seeing your kids up on a stage with the biggest smile on their face, or the sense of accomplishment they feel after getting through a full song. It’s a safe way for kids to have fun while learning something new. Plus, who wouldn’t want to learn how to play their favourite tunes?
Where to buy musical instruments in Hong Kong
If enrolling your kids in formal musical classes is too much of a commitment, why not invest in an instrument to practice at home first? There are lots of YouTube videos that teach basic skills, so it can even turn into a bonding session for you and the kids as well.
Here’s where to go shopping for inspiration if you’re looking to make a purchase:
- Tom Lee Music, various locations around Hong Kong, www.tomleemusic.com.hk
- Parsons Music, various locations around Hong Kong, www.parasonsmusic.com.hk
- Harmony Music, Block D-F, 1/F, Honland Building, 108-118 Prince Edward Rd West, Mong Kok, Hong Kong, 2381 2025, www.harmony-music.com
There’s also a great range of second-hand stores you can check out across the city too, including:
- Hong Kong Blues Rock Guitar Shop, Unit E, 28/F Block 2, Vigor Industrial Building, Kwai Chung, Hong Kong, 3525 1613 or 6888 3676, Facebook
- Spring of Grace Music, Unit 6/FD, Wah Fat Building, 96-102 Hei Po Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong (Exit D3, Mong Kok MTR Station or Exit B, Mong Kok East MTR Station), 2395 2960 (WhatsApp: 9303 1508), email@example.com, www.springofgrace.com
- Flight Music Centre, Fa Yuen Street, 2-16 Ho King Commercial Building, 5th Floor, Mong Kong, Hong Kong, 2878 7665 or 9626 2136, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.flightmusichk.com
- Home Sweet Home Ukulele HK, 5 Sai Yeung Choi Street, Good Hope Building, 10/F Flat 1008, Mong Kok, Hong Kong, email@example.com, www.homesweethomehk.com
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