How Learning Music at an Early Age Instils Discipline in Kids

A young girl is learning music at an early age as she plays an acoustic guitar with her father, displaying discipline.
Father with daughter on couch. Girl holding a guitar. Learning guitar.

Music education in early childhood plays a pivotal role in shaping a child’s overall development. More than just learning to play an instrument, children get the opportunity to develop their cognitive skills and language abilities through music. It also gives them the chance to learn and hone essential life skills, such as discipline, time management, and emotional resilience. The considerable impact music can have on many key areas of a child’s development is the primary reason that many early childhood educational institutions have historically incorporated music education throughout their curricula. 

In Singapore, Kinderland serves as a prime example of this philosophy. Kinderland’s music program is deeply intertwined with its core curriculum, incorporating elements such as the keyboard, percussion instruments, solfège singing, and rhythm training. The school’s approach, which harmoniously blends Eastern and Western educational practices, is meant to impart musical knowledge and also align seamlessly with the broader developmental benefits of music education. It’s also easy for parents today to learn about the Kinderland way on LinkedIn or see Kinderland education in action via the institution’s website and social media pages. 

This article aims to explore the various ways that music education, as exemplified by programs like Kinderland’s, can help cultivate discipline among young children. Let’s look at a few key lessons on discipline that children can learn from studying music at an early age:

1) Regular Practice

Whether a child is learning how to sing, playing an instrument, or studying the fundamentals or theory of music, regular and consistent music practice will inevitably become a major part of their routine. This provides many kids with a fundamental opportunity to learn the value of discipline, as they’ll need to commit to a set practice schedule in order to develop their musical skills further. Consistent engagement with music, as well as a desire to get better at it and explore one’s full potential in the craft, both enhances a child’s abilities and encourages a disciplined approach to other tasks and activities. 

2) Goal Setting and Achievement

Music education of any kind typically involves setting specific, attainable targets, such as mastering a particular technique or learning a specific piece within a set timeframe. No matter how small these goals might be, they’re instrumental in giving children a sense of direction and a clear idea of their own progress with their practice. 

As children work toward these musical goals, they’ll eventually learn how to approach their practice strategically, such as by breaking down large and daunting tasks into smaller units. Once they slowly begin to achieve their objectives, they’ll both grow in confidence and also begin to internalise a crucial life lesson: that they can overcome complex challenges with thoughtful planning and incremental effort.

3) Handling Criticism and Feedback

Feedback from instructors and peers is an integral part of music education. Children who are exposed to this feedback from an early age have good chances of developing a more receptive attitude towards constructive criticism. From there, they’ll learn to refine their musical techniques based on the insights they receive, a practice that requires patience and openness to change. This iterative process of improvement nurtures a disciplined approach to learning and personal growth.

Experience at handling feedback in music education extends beyond the music class. It also teaches children to approach criticism with a growth mindset in other aspects of their lives, be it academics or social interactions. The ability to embrace constructive feedback as a tool for improvement is one that will benefit kids in diverse scenarios throughout their lives.

4) Respect for Structure and Rules

Music, particularly the classical genre, is a highly structured art through which children can learn respect for rules and order. This begins with understanding the fundamentals of music theory, wherespecific rules govern scales, chords, and rhythms. Learning more about these musical structures and trying to apply them in practice will readily show children the vital role they play in creating a pleasing melody. 

This respect for structure will only be reinforced as children progress through their education. Composing or playing within set musical frameworks will teach children the value of working within boundaries, while also exploring their creativity. This balance between freedom and structure in music can translate to a broader understanding of the importance of rules in society.

Lastly, group performances, such as in orchestras or bands, also highlight the necessity of respecting rules for a collectively beneficialoutcome. This experience will impart some of a child’s most memorable lessons in cooperation and coordination. It emphasiseshow individual roles contribute to a larger structure and help furthercommunal harmony and success.

5) Persistence and Resilience

The journey of learning music often involves overcoming challenges and setbacks—experiences that stand to mould children into more persistent individuals. Music allows children to make mistakes and discover solutions to problems that arise in a relatively safe, consequence-free environment. The process will teach children that difficulties in learning are not failures, but opportunities for growth. 

In conclusion, music education in early childhood is valuable as much more than a means to learn an instrument. It’s also a profound tool for instilling discipline, which is a personal value that transcends musical boundaries and that will carry into a child’s emotional, cognitive, and social life. These early lessons in discipline will prove instrumental, so to speak, in shaping well-rounded and resilient individuals who are braver, more curious, and more committed to navigating the complexities of everyday life. 

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