By Gail Bristow, State Women’s Ministries President, Southern Ohio
One of the most important questions that we the church world need to ask ourselves is the question, why should we encourage our young people to study and get involved in music? We already know the value of music in our worship services and the scriptural references relating to it. I cannot imagine the church without music. It sets the stage and prepares our hearts for worship and for receiving the word. I'm becoming alarmed that very few of our young people are studying music. Parents do not realize the value in offering lessons to their children.
Here are some thoughts on why children should study music.
- It’s a study of a new language which offers many wonderful challenges.
- Music develops the mind just as sports develop the muscles of the body.
- Involvement in music helps toward the total education of the child.
- Memory skills are enhanced.
- One of the best ways to teach creativity is through music study.
- Music lessons teach the student to accept critical evaluations. It also teaches the student to analyze himself and to critique himself.
- Music teaches one sincerity, loyalty, earnestness, unflaggering zeal, drive, motivation and patience.
- The young person studying music will develop positive self esteem.
- One of the best ways to instill discipline in the life of your child is to offer music study. The student must discipline himself in preparing for lessons and for performances, self control and poise grows.
- Music teaches the child to be a positive person.
- Music students learn to play and sing from the heart rather than perform like a machine. This characteristic will carry over into life. The Bible says in Colossians 3:23, “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord.”
- The student learns to treat music as a necessity and not merely as a juvenile occupation. He learns not to manufacture music but to live in it, especially church music.
- Music teaches perfection. Beethoven once said, “Perfection should be the aim of every music student.”
- Music develops the ability to proceed step by step in steady, systematic process omitting nothing. The study of music teaches, “It is not what you do, but how you do it.”
- The study of music enables the child to learn how to set goals for his life and then teaches him how to reach those goals.
- The music student has an insistence on a high standard of achievement. He learns not to begin practicing for his lesson at the eleventh hour.
- He learns not to make excuses.
- In making music we have to use our minds in planning and remembering. All that we do must flow out by second nature, the same as everyday things must do.
- The music student learns to think of many things at once. Concentration is developed. This, too, carries over into everyday life.
- Music, of all the arts, is the one in which the demand for enthusiasm is the greatest. Find the most enthusiastic musician and you will find the most successful musician.
- The study and performance of music develops personality.
- It teaches the student to think.
- Music study teaches a child to bear disappointment with gracefulness.
- The music student learns to strive for personal improvement and to make sacrifices for music.
- The student learns to associate with those who know more than he does.
- Music helps to build good habits early in life.
- Music helps to the student to adapt to healthy competition
- Responsibility is learned in music performance.
- It is important that a child be successful and one of the most important elements of success is self confidence. In this commercial age, when there is so much competition in the areas of commerce, science and the arts, the person who succeeds is the person who has faith in himself. If he has no faith in himself how can he compel others to believe in him? It has been proved that a person can do what he believes he can do. The moment he allows doubt to enter his mind he fails. Self confidence is a quality that requires training just as much as memory, concentration, or any other mental quality. The study of music is a great plan of success for our young people.
One final comment and possibly the most important is music offers involvement in God’s work. It provides an opportunity for service unto the Lord. Music performance ties us into the church. The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The sooner we expose our children to an area of service the sooner they’ll adapt to it. Children don’t know totally what they like. They must be exposed to many experiences from which they can choose.
I hope parents will see music study for their children as top priority for educational growth, social development but most of all, as a tool to serve and worship God.