Have you ever taken music lessons? For lots of people, a big part of their formative years was spent practicing scales or repeating the same measure repeatedly. Music is an amazing combination of analytical skills and breathtaking emotion. Learning to read music is like learning a new language and takes just as much time and dedication to master. But once you do, you can see how melodies, harmonies, and movements can influence the things that people are feeling. It’s like telling a story without words.
Whether you are thinking about getting your kids started in music lessons, or starting them yourself, here are some important life lessons learned through music.
Learning any new skill takes dedication, and music isn’t any different. It can be hard to practice your instrument when you would rather be doing anything else, but the payoff is huge when you finally perform a piece. Learning to push through that mental block and practicing anyway is a big way to build discipline and commitment.
Sometimes musicians need help with this—really, everyone. Find an accountability buddy (or be one for someone else) and help enforce the commitment that has been made to practice. Remind the musician that if they want to reach a goal,
Music lessons are an amazing way to teach time management, as it takes many hours to master a piece of music. Practicing every day forces you to plan your time accordingly so you can accomplish everything else in the day.
Set time every day to practice. Just saying you must practice for one hour before you can sleep is a wonderful way to put the work in. Also, setting specific time parameters is helpful. For example, establish that from 1-2 p.m. is music time. Whatever the expectation is, follow through on it and do not skip it even for one day. There will always be other things to do, like sports, appointments, and chores. Making other plans work around your music practice will teach these time-management skills to anyone.
Whether it is nailing a tough piece or preparing for a recital, music lessons teach the importance of goal setting and following through. Music students are constantly setting new goals every time they are given a new composition to learn.
Set goals often and set goals of different completion times. Here are a few examples:
- Start by setting goals for performances. If you have a recital or concert coming up, analyze what you must complete to be ready. How many pieces will you be performing? What solos do you have? What techniques need to be improved before the deadline?
- Set goals for each week leading up to the deadline so you can be ready. Make sure you give yourself enough time to practice the whole piece from start to finish enough times.
- Set goals for individual practice sessions. These are the bite-size goals that will feed into larger goals. This can be nailing phrases of music that trip you up every time or working on instrument tone and technique.
Make sure to write down your goals so you can be prepared for your deadline!
Learning a new skill is an amazing feeling with many difficulties. It can be frustrating to not be able to nail a particular phrase within the song you are learning, but by repeating it, practicing it, and then overcoming, it breeds confidence in yourself that expands beyond your instrument. Suddenly the other big scary parts of life are more manageable because you know you can conquer hard things when you put your mind to it.
Being a Team Player
It might sound strange to hear that music teaches you how to work as a team, but it does. If you are playing in a band, orchestra, or another type of group, you learn that the music does not work if you are trying to be the center of attention. Listen to an amazing symphony piece and you will see that the instruments must work together to make a cohesive sound. Everyone gets a chance to carry the melody, and if a group of instruments was not there, the piece would not be the same.
Some have said it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill, and music is a great example of this. Even professional musicians still practice their craft for many hours every day to achieve greatness. So many life skills are taught through music, and the lessons last a lifetime.
Interested in learning more life lessons through fun? Read our blog “Life Lessons I Learned from Coaching Youth Sports.”