Want to boost your child's brainpower? Introduce them to an instrument. A recent article in Time magazine explained that taking up a musical instrument when you're young keeps your brain sharp as you age. But that's not the only benefit of hitting the high notes. Playing an instrument — especially if they excel — could provide potential scholarships for your child. Even if they don't go down the professional route, picking up any of these instruments is bound to boost your child's brain, social skills, and musical talent.
DrumsIf your little one likes to hit the pots and pans, then they may have drummer potential. Not only is it cool to play the drums, but it's also a great workout. A study found that drummers burn 250-600 calories an hour. Not bad for a sit-down instrument!
ClarinetThink of the clarinet as a larger slightly, more complicated version of the elementary school recorder. This woodwind appears in marching and performance bands, giving your child plenty of opportunities to play. Not to mention all that breathing will improve their lung capacity!
HarpSince not too many kids take on the harp, your child is bound to stand out for all the right reasons. And even parents will benefit from their playing, as the harp has been shown to calm and reduce blood pressure for those who listen to it.
Read about more brain-boosting instruments!
SaxophonePass down your love of the smooth jazz era to your little one. If they are good enough, the lessons will end up paying for themselves; since saxophonists are in high demand for college marching bands, your little one could earn a decent-size scholarship.
GuitarYou may not want him to have the moves like Jagger, but inheriting his guitar skills wouldn't be too terrible. Though there are a number of varieties — bass, electric, and acoustic, to name a few — they are played similarly, allowing your child to be a versatile performer.
FluteThis woodwind comes with many benefits besides a brain boost. Not only does playing build music skills and lung capacity, but it also builds arm muscles (you try holding up a flute for an hour!). For younger children, try the flute's smaller counterpart, the piccolo.
PianoCan't wait for your child to channel their inner musician? Your tot can tickle the ivories as early as 5 years old. Fair warning though: he probably won't be Billy Joel-good for a few years.
ViolinAll instruments require concentration, but the violin tends to take a little more — not to mention the multitasking needed to move the bow and manipulate the strings! Taking on this intricate instrument will teach her dedication and discipline at a young age. She'll also build calluses, but it will be worth it when she's sitting in the first chair.
TrumpetGiven the trumpet's fast-paced nature, your child will develop quick reflexes should he choose to play. See how he handles the plastic version as a baby before investing in the real thing.
What instruments does your child play? How have they benefited from it?