How to Raise Self Esteem With Music Lessons

If you're lucky enough to have a child asking to take music lessons, please do whatever you can to honor their request. It may be the most vauable thing you ever do for their self esteem.

It's a very tricky business to influence a child as they get older.  There is a magic when it's "their idea", not yours. It's one of those golden moments when your deepest wish for their well being and success in life match up with one of the 100s of demands they make from you.

Research shows that a child who takes 4 years of music lessons scores an average of 25% higher on their college entrance exams.  Why? Part of it probably comes because music lessons help development of their right brains, their ability to understand concepts and process complex problems.

And, playing music trains their "attention muscle".  In order to play music, it is necessary to focus your attention through time.  Playing a 3 minute piece from memory means that child can focus on one thing completely for 3 minutes continuously.  The average attention span of an adult right now is less than 20 seconds. Paying attention is actually a skill that can be improved. When children "pay attention" in school, they retain more, and get better grades.

Over the decades I've spent teaching music to children, I've noticed a consistent pattern with their self esteem.  Every time they master a new level of rhythm, their self esteem goes up a new level too.  Their inner confidence rises. Why? Well, a person's sense of musical rhythm comes from inside them.  It is connected to their will power.  That inner confidence, that inner will power hooks up with the beats when they play.  Repeating those beats during their practice and performing strengthens their will.  Music builds self esteem like lava creates new land as it flows out of a live volcano.

This is a very unique cause and effect.  The activity itself brings the benefit.  To children, especially with a good, patient teacher who cares for them, these steps forward in self confidence are filled with fun. A good teacher won't push the issue if the child gets discouraged from time to time.

And, as music students are learning to play, they also receive attention and admiration from those who hear them play. This is most likely what they'll notice.  The rhythm of the music itself is an invisible benefit.  It's there though.  I've seen it over, and over again.

What's magical about music lessons is that a parent can give this gift of high self esteem to their child, and it appears that it is the child's idea all along.  It's a form selfless love that is quite extraordinary, all by itself.