Why having your child learn a musical instrument is a good thing.

Learning to play a musical instrument can be very rewarding for a child. What starts out as an awkward endeavor, becomes easier and more fun over time, as fine motor skills develop and a better understanding of the structure of music is acquired. Developing these skills helps children gain confidence and self-esteem.

But I think what’s most important is that it gives a child a huge head start on a skill that will most likely be an important hobby, and in some cases even a profession that they can enjoy forever. One of the most important things about playing music, especially an interactive form like bluegrass is the social rewards of playing with other people and building friendships that last a lifetime. We live in an era that can be very isolating, with children (and adults) spending more and more of their time in front of a screen of one form or another, and less and less time interacting with people. The bluegrass community has informal jams in houses, pizza parlors, and at festivals and camps all across the country. Most musicians I know watch way less TV and spend more time with friends than your typical non-musician types. This, I think, is a good thing.