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Sports and Music: Both Good for Kids

Organized sports for children offer obvious benefits such as physical fitness and sportsmanship, but did you know that a musical education program has many of the same benefits? Music education and participation in sports are both great ways to prepare your child for future success.

The benefits of sports

Participating in some type of sports program gets your child off the couch and out of the house. The physical demands of a sports program can help reduce your child's risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Those are just the most obvious benefits.

Consider these other important benefits:

  • Improving physical skills such as coordination and balance

  • Learning teamwork

  • Learning discipline

  • Learning to focus on a goal

  • Experiencing the rewards of participation

  • Having fun

The benefits of music education

Participating in a music program will give your child many of the same rewards as participating in sports, including teamwork, discipline, focus, and fun. A music program will sharpen your child's mental and physical coordination, much as a sports program does.

Other important benefits include:

  • Learning creative thinking

  • Learning to express feelings and emotions through art

  • Developing the part of the brain that deals with language and reasoning

Some studies show music education can raise IQ and SAT scores. Music seems to increase spatial intelligence, which is the ability to see the world and make accurate mental connections.

One study found that children who took music lessons for one year increased their IQ score by 2.5 points compared with children who didn’t have music lessons. The authors of the study suggest that the increase in IQ may be because of the focused attention, memorization, and concentration skills required for music.

Exposure to music education develops the type of intelligence that doesn’t depend strictly on following rules. Music and other arts increase imagination and develop the confidence needed for your child to make independent decisions in situations that have no standard answers. That kind of intelligence is increasingly valued in our quickly changing world.

Music and sports as part of a complete education

If you want your child to succeed in the world of today and tomorrow, he or she will need more than reading, writing, and arithmetic. A well-rounded education also requires social skills, discipline, the ability to work with others, and the ability to think creatively and independently—all of which both sports and music training provide.

Self-esteem, self-discipline, and self-confidence are the fruits of hard work and high levels of achievement. Sports and music can help your child develop these essential tools for a full and productive life. And one more benefit of sports and music is that they can really be fun, not just for your child, but for the whole family. Because of their unique as well as shared benefits, consider enriching your child’s life with both types of activities.