You’ve no doubt heard that “we all learn differently.” It’s true!

We can categorize the different types of learners into three general groups–visual learners, tactile learners, and audio learners. Visual learners best absorb information they can see or read. Tactile learners learn best when they are active and able to physically interact and experience what they’re studying. Audio learners, as you might guess, easily retain information they hear…

…but that’s not all! This video explains how music impacts the brain and how learning to play an instrument benefits the brain.

Apparently the process of learning to play an instrument–any instrument–can benefit any type of learner, but for students who are audio learners, the whole-brain interconnections supplied by hearing and playing music are almost essential. The same would be true for a child with natural musical talents.

Does this mean you have to shell out big bucks for formal music lessons? That would be wonderful…but it’s not always possible. Consider, though, that there are many instruments that can be purchased rather inexpensively–perhaps second-hand. And consider the possibility of online tutorials. Hoffman Academy is one excellent example.

Be sure to give your child plenty of input! My mother worked sacrificially for long hours at a job she disliked so that I could take the piano lessons she never could afford as a child. The only problem was that I did not particularly like the piano. I wanted to play the flute, drums, or bagpipe. It was always a struggle to get me to practice the piano, and after many years of lessons I play adequately at best. But when our daughter chose to play the harp, something about that instrument kindled an interest in me as well. I am largely self-taught and play mostly for my own relaxation, but I practice eagerly because I both enjoy both the sound and relate naturally to the way the strings make melody. Somehow I can “see” my next notes in a way I never could on the piano.

Music calls on higher level thinking skills such as analysis, evaluation, and creativity. Long before your child is old enough to handle these academic levels in other subjects, you can introduce higher level thinking skills through music.

Instead of thinking of music as an elective “to consider if there’s money left over after we buy textbooks”, may I challenge you to think creatively about ways you might include music exposure and music training as an essential part of your educational plan? Once you’ve found the music that speaks to your child’s soul, stand back and watch the ways their mind celebrates!