One Saturday morning as I was working at the front desk, the father of one of our students came to me beaming with excitement as he exclaimed,
“All he does is practice his instrument now! I’ve spent forever trying to find a hobby for him to do besides playing video games. I’m so glad he has found something he actually enjoys that is also educational!” That is not the only time I’ve heard a parent from Pellegrino’s say something like that.

So parents, listen up! If you’ve ever wondered how to get your child away from the tv, or away from the video games and into something good for their brain, music is a great option!

Video games are one of the most popular hobbies for kids these days but they are not always the healthiest. Studies show that an obsessive amount of video games can produce behavioral and mental changes, lack of other hobbies and poor academic performance. It creates problems socializing and actually slows down the brain growth. There are video games that help in brain development but playing video games for hours everyday result in a slowdown in brain development. Scientists have also proven that the screen time negatively affects your eye sight and ability to sleep well at night.

Studies show that learning how to play an instrument can enhance verbal memory, spatial reasoning, and literacy skills. Playing an instrument involves using both sides of your brain, which strengthens memory power.

In both children and adults, learning to play an instrument stimulates the brain, improving the functions mentioned above, which are essential for maths and science. Not only is music good for your brain, it also boosts your confidence and improves your discipline and time management skills. Music is a wonderful way to express yourself and when learning an instrument, at some point you will most likely perform. In the beginning that idea can be terrifying, but after awhile it boosts your confidence and helps you get out of your comfort zone. Music isn’t something that happens overnight. That’s where the discipline and time management comes in. You have to set aside a time to practice so you can achieve your goal. Which also involves patience. Lots and lots of patience!

Okay, now that I’ve gone over those reasons why music is a great option, let me go over the more fun reasons. Music enhances the creative side of your brain, encouraging you to explore, and at the end of the day, no matter how long you study to make the piece you’re playing sound just like how the composer wrote it, you always have artistic license. You can put your own emotion into it, because what is music without creative style and emotion? That way you can make it your own and explore your creative side! Music is a great way to make friends!

Pellegrino’s offers band programs, as well as recitals, and free jam sessions. Playing in groups is not only a great way to develop relationships with new people, but it also builds skills in leadership and team building, as well as showing you the rewards of working with others. I overheard a girl talking to one of her band members as they were waiting for band practice one day, “This is always the highlight of my week because I get to enjoy music, and have fun with my friends.”

The last but probably most important reason to learn an instrument is that it’s fun! Yes, music theory is challenging, but at the end of the day you have to remember what made you fall in love with music in the first place and don’t lose the fun side of it!

So parents, if you’re trying to find a fun and educational hobby for your children, you should give music a try! And if you’re looking for something to learn and enjoy, you should try it too! It’s never too late to learn something new!

Gideon Pellegrino

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