Is Instrumental Music Education the Best Option?

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Is instrumental music education the best option for your child? With so many different types of music programs available, it can be hard to know what’s best for your child. Here, we take a look at the benefits of instrumental music education to help you make the best decision for your family.

The Benefits of Instrumental Music Education

Instrumental music education offers many benefits to students of all ages. From developing fine motor skills and disciplining the mind, to enhancing creative thinking and acquiring a life-long love of music, the advantages are limitless.

One of the most commonly cited benefits of instrumental music education is the development of fine motor skills. Manipulating small objects such as instrument strings or keys helps to develop dexterity and hand-eye coordination. These skills often carry over into other areas of life, such as writing or using tools.

Instrumental music education also offers cognitive benefits. A recent study showed that students who participated in instrument lessons had improved performance in nonverbal tasks requiring manual dexterity, such as threading beads or jigsaw puzzles (Sousa, 2011). Furthermore, students who took instrument lessons showed increased self-esteem and confidence, as well as enhanced creativity (Sarunac, 2014).

One of the most valuable benefits of instrumental music education is the acquisition of a life-long love of music. Students who receive instruction on how to play an instrument often go on to enjoy music for many years after their lessons have ended. Playing an instrument can be a great source of enjoyment and stress relief, providing a much-needed break from the rigors of daily life.

Whether you are looking to improve your cognitive skills, fine motor skills, or simply acquire a new hobby, instrumental music education may be the right choice for you. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that more and more people are enrolling in instrument lessons each year.

The Drawbacks of Instrumental Music Education

Despite the many benefits of instrumental music education, there are a few potential drawbacks that parents and students should be aware of. These include the cost of lessons and instruments, the time commitment required for practice, and the pressure to excel.

One of the biggest potential drawbacks of instrumental music education is the cost. Private lessons can be quite expensive, and instruments can also be costly. While many parents are willing to make this financial investment, it is important to be aware of the costs before making a commitment.

Time Commitment
Instrumental music education requires a significant time commitment from both students and parents. Students must be willing to practice regularly, and parents must be able to provide transportation to and from lessons and rehearsals. This time commitment can be challenging for families with busy schedules.

Pressure to Excel
Another potential drawback of instrumental music education is the pressure that students may feel to excel. Because instrumental music is often competitive, students may feel pressure to perform at a high level in order to keep up with their peers. This pressure can lead to stress and anxiety, which may impact a student’s enjoyment of playing an instrument.

The Best Option for Music Education

When it comes to music education, there are many things to consider. One important factor is whether or not to focus on instrumental music education. While there are many benefits to learning an instrument, there are also some drawbacks that should be considered. In the end, the best decision for music education will vary depending on the individual child and what will work best for their learning style and needs.

Some of the benefits of instrumental music education include improved academic performance, enhanced cognitive development, and increased teamwork skills. Studies have shown that students who receive instrumental music instruction have higher test scores in math and reading than those who do not receive such instruction. Furthermore, playing an instrument can help develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Additionally, teamwork is an important part of playing in a band or orchestra, and students who participate in instrumental music programs often learn how to better communicate and collaborate with others.

There are also some potential drawbacks to instrumental music education that should be considered. One concern is that some students may feel pressure to practice for hours each day in order to keep up with their peers, which can lead to burnout. Additionally, some parents may feel that their child is not receiving enough attention from their teacher if they are part of a large ensemble. It is also important to note that instruments can be expensive, which may prohibit some families from being able to participate in band or orchestra programs.

Ultimately, the best decision for music education will vary depending on the individual child and what will work best for their learning style and needs. If your child shows an interest in playing an instrument, consider enrolling them in beginning classes or lessons so they can explore their musical interests further. If you have concerns about whether or not your child would enjoy or benefit from playing an instrument, talk to their teacher or another music educator you trust to get more information.

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