When one of my older teenaged cousins found out that I listened to music a lot, she gave me 2 vinyl records of Def Leopard. Once I heard that band, I knew I had found something special. I was 9-years-old and hooked on Def Leopard. I already knew that I was a music addict.
Since my mom knew I loved to listen to music so much, she encouraged it by giving me a “boombox” for Christmas. Since my boombox ran on batteries, I used to bring it in the bathroom with me when I had to take a shower. I think all kids hate taking showers, so I used to make it more tolerable by listening to music while I washed myself.
Once I got my first guitar, there was no turning back. I took formal lessons for 5 years and then went off to college and got a bachelor's degree in music and then a master's degree in music in jazz performance. As I got older, I fell in love with classical and jazz music. It's amazing how I went from one genre of music to another and today, I still love all of the music that I've mentioned in this article.
The point of my story is that the “seed of music” was planted at an early age. If you're a parent reading this, and you would like your child to learn a musical instrument, then you need to create an environment early on that is filled with music. All types of music: rock, pop, funk, folk, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, jazz, and classical. Always have music on in the car. Try to turn the TV off and put on a streaming radio station on your computer while you wash the dishes, while you are cooking, or while you're relaxing outside on a summer day. Your kid will get exposed to it. That's how you plant the seed.
Your child doesn't necessarily need to learn an instrument so that he/she will go off to college as a music major. That's not the goal of learning an instrument. The goal is to have a well-rounded education and musical training provides enormous benefits in other academic areas like Math, Reading, and Science.
From my own experience, I discovered in my junior year of high school that not only did I enjoy learning, but my GPA really took off from that point on. I am convinced that it was my musical training that contributed to my new-found appreciation for learning in school and improving my grades. If I had started learning an instrument sooner, I would have seen an improvement in my grades much sooner as well. It takes time before the benefits of music training show themselves through test scores and grades in Math, Reading, and Science.
So plant the seed now, get your child started in music, and watch the grades and test scores fly sky high.