Why should you provide music instruction to children? I’m sure it’s a question that is on many parents’ minds when thinking about what kind of activities to involve themselves and their child in each week. In my last post I discussed the importance of self-discipline in the study of music and how it can contribute to success in life. I also mentioned how those same skills eventually helped me with my public speaking. These are just two of the life skills I was able to develop as I studied music over the years. Some other important ones are:
1. Self Discipline and Public Speaking
2. Math Skills
3. Critical Thinking
In the next part of this four-part series we’ll discuss the importance of math skills in music and life. No one will dispute the importance of math as a life skill, but what does math have to do with music?
Can you answer any of the following questions?
- Do you know how many thirty-second notes are in one beat? How many thirty-second notes would you find in a 4/4 measure?
- Are you able to pick up a piece of music and not only read it, but anticipate what it will sound like before it’s played?
- When you look at a new piece of music for the first time can you quickly know how far apart the notes are and make a fairly accurate attempt to play or sing the correct pitches?
When you use math in music, you can find the answers to these questions easier. Music is as much math and science as it is art. While some of the skills used are somewhat elementary, such as the use of fractions. Others parts of music get increasingly difficult and require more math and intuition as you move along. Sight-reading is one particular skill in which it is quite difficult to become proficient. Continued practice and an increasing ability to remember and recognize patterns and intervals will help you to become a better sight reader.