Music awakens a sense of freedom and creativity within us. It puts into wordless phrases the emotions of our heart. Through music we can express the feelings and thoughts which we cannot explain with mere words. The wide spectrum of musical genres encompasses the entire emotional psyche of human nature. We find songs that help us through the tough times or buoy up our spirits when we are feeling down. A few minutes of happy, upbeat music can brighten our day or boost the excitement already beginning. Music strums the strings of our souls and draws forth the desire for the good and the beautiful.
Since we all enjoy music - whether it be classical, rock, country, hip hop, or any of a myriad of options - I believe it is important to be able to understand it at least a bit. The ability to create music oneself nurtures a deeper appreciation for what is truly good and beautiful in the musical world. A child who is exposed to the classical works will develop a greater understanding of talent and beauty. (Not to knock all other types of music. I love my pop and country and oldies. But nothing quite makes my heart soar the way a beautiful orchestra does.) One of the greatest methods of exposure to music is a total immersion, i.e. learning about it for oneself. Whether your child joins the church choir or learns to play another instrument, the concentration, dedication and artistic endeavors that accompany such instruction is a wonderful addition to a child's raising.
Most children don't really want to play an instrument, but a few years of elementary piano or violin teaches them important lessons such as hand-eye coordination, a good ear, and obedience. ;) Besides, the ability to read music is always a good skill to have. Choosing the right instrument can be difficult because of the numerous choices: woodwinds; percussion; string instruments. Most people fall back on the piano or the violin, or even voice lessons. These are all wonderful options (I play the piano myself.) But if your child shows interest in a different instrument, please let them pursue it. Their desire to play music will increase if they can play something they enjoy.
I am eternally grateful for the piano lessons and encouragement from my parents. Whenever I get a chance, I slide my fingers across the ivory and ebony keys as I revel in the musical beauty of pure notes. I also love singing, and I thank my parents for forcing me to join the choir at a young age. I did not want to join, but my parents knew best, and I have developed a deep love for singing. Every time I hear a beautiful polyphony or an acapella choir, my heart glows warm as I listen to the beauty reflecting God's glory. So don't despair if your child kicks and screams when you drag them to music lessons. They should one day appreciate the wonderful exposure to good music. If not, you will at least have tried, and that is all one can ask of a loving parent. :)