How actually do music classes develop social and emotional skills? Real reviews from children, moms, and dads

Yamaha Music School offers a variety of music education styles that nurture children's rich sensibilities. In addition to playing skills, the curriculum develops social and emotional skills, which have been attracting attention in recent years. With teaching methods to hone individuality and creativity, and group lessons that encourage collaboration with friends, how are children developing through this type of music education? Find out by feedback* from students and parents!

*The feedback is the Results of a survey of 20 elementary school students attending Yamaha Music School and their parents in Japan

Survey question #1: What kind of growth did you experience in terms of playing skills and musical ability?

Many students and parents answered that they are feeling the growth of their basic music abilities, such as "I can read the score" (8-year-old girl), "I can now play the piano with both hands" (9-year-old boy), and "I gained a sense of rhythm" (9-year-old girl).

In addition, many respondents said that they were experiencing higher levels of growth, for example perfect pitch. "My son is able to compose music. I sensed his growth when I heard him playing music about game's one which a score did not exist" (father of 10-year-old boy). "I can now play songs I hear on TV and other places" (9-year-old girl). "I witnessed my daughter’s growth when she heard a song, played it by ear, and immediately added a cool chord to it" (mother of 10-year-old boy).

Lessons that foster creativity and expressiveness also lead to personal growth.

Survey question #2: "How has your child grown in ways other than musical ability?”

The most common answer was that the child has learned the habit of trying harder. "My child now makes more effort and understands that this effort will be rewarded, and this is also affecting his studies in school” (mother of 10-year-old boy), “By practicing hard every day, my child has learned to be patient” (father of 10-year-old boy), and “I have become more able to focus on things I like” (11-year-old boy).

Some respondents felt that the classes also had a positive effect on creativity, such as “She loves drawing, but I think musical sensibility will also prove useful” (father of 11-year-old girl), and "My daughter has developed an artistic sense and delicacy, and a compassion for people resulting from that delicacy" (father of 9-year-old girl).

Lessons are important when learning music, but so is daily practice at home. Yamaha Music School education is designed to boost motivation so that students can continue steadily with their daily efforts.

“During the lessons, the teacher acknowledges that the child has been practicing and praises him or her for their growth. In group lessons, children present in front of their friends and gain their approval, which is very motivating. Striving towards goals and reaching them results in enjoyment and happiness. This is connected to success for the children, who realize the importance of daily practice and steady progress,” Horita explains.

The photo of surveyed families, practice continues at home!

Group lessons are a major feature of Yamaha Music School. Children get in sync with one another, perform ensembles together, and listen to their friends' performances. A certain joy, excitement, and motivation that cannot be experienced through individual lessons enhances the growth of children in various ways.

Survey question #3: What is the most appealing factor about group lessons?

"Learning teamwork" (father of 9-year-old girl).

"Having fun with children in the same grade, measuring one's ability relative to others, developing a competitive spirit which leads to taking on challenges spontaneously" (father of 10-year-old girl)

"Through ensembles, children not only learn to cooperate and consider those around them, but also respond to the instinctive desire to display their own efforts when working hard with others. Based on my own experiences, too, I can say that continuing one-on-one lessons is difficult without a great deal of passion" (father of10-year-old girl).

"Both the children and us parents can work naturally with a sense of unity and companionship" (father of 11-year-old girl).

Group lessons seem to benefit both the students and their parents. What does Yamaha Music School consider as benefits of group lessons?

“An ensemble is a musical experience that cannot be experienced alone. The sense of accomplishment is immense when the song is finished, and sharing this feeling with friends is an invaluable experience. It is also said that acquiring abilities such as a constant speed, tempo, and balance in music is easier in an ensemble than when playing alone. Children can learn from each other by listening to the performances of their friends, which motivates them to try harder. Through all these components, children develop a sociability and cooperativeness through group lessons," Horita comments.

Survey question #4: What kind of place is Yamaha Music School for you or your children?

"A place where you can be yourself unlike school" (10-year-old boy).

"A place where you can feel confident, have fun, and enjoy music" (father of 9-year-old boy).

"An irreplaceable place! A place where I can relieve stress" (9-year-old girl).

"The joys of growing up with friends and the sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that cannot be experienced at school are important assets of life. That is what a place of learning for children should be about" (father of 10-year-old girl).

Yamaha Music School is full of learning that cannot be experienced at school or at home.

Learning music does not happen overnight. It takes time and effort, but it can be enjoyable when the method suits the child’s physical and psychological development and fellow students are present to share the experience. If children can put in the effort and achieve their musical goals, the result is an irreplaceable experience that remains as a source of vitality for the rest of the children’s lives.

Yoichi Horita

Music School BR Project, Customer Group 1

Yamaha Music Foundation

Text: Yukiko Soda