Half of all Americans learn to play a musical instrument and 31 % of these are children. It is a skill that can also improve so many other areas of your life. Scientific studies have found that learning an instrument when you are young actually changes the structure of the brain, encouraging brain development and improving your long-term memory. Playing music has also been proven to help speech processing and can even protect the brain against dementia. Encouraging your child’s musical talent is easy and there are a wealth of music resources for children in the southern states, both in and out of schools. You can even learn online without having to leave the house.

Buy your child an instrument

When you are buying an instrument for your child, make sure that it is the right size. Acoustic guitars are very affordable and available right down to ¼ size — these are easier to learn on for children as young as 4 or 5. As your child grows, you can get different sized guitars with different scale lengths to suit their growing bodies. Even string instruments like the violin can be bought in different sizes. If you don’t want to buy an instrument, most schools in the South have a rental plan, so that your child can try out different instruments to see what they prefer.

Sign them up for music lessons

The respected concert pianist and keynote speaker William Westney said, “The most crucial ingredient by far for success in music is what happens in the practice room.”

Signing your child up for regular music lessons will help them to get motivated, learning new music, and improving their playing technique every week. You can’t just hand a child an instrument and expect them to practice, but a good teacher will motivate and encourage them to play every day. You don’t even need to leave the house to arrange music lessons either, many teachers are now delivering lessons via streaming services like Zoom and Skype.  Even AirBnb has online lessons.

Go to see some live music 

If you want your child to get enthusiastic about music, then take them to go and see some musicians playing live. It is also good to expose them to lots of different styles, from classical to blues. For a country treat, head to downtown Nashville, where you can see quality musicians even in small venues and bars every night of the week. To see where the blues was born, take them to Clarksdale, Mississippi — the Gospel Festival is also held here in August every year. For a real treat, head to Charleston, SC to listen to some Gershwin being played.

The South has an enormously rich music heritage that can be really inspiring for your child. Nurture their musical talent when they are young and it could make a real difference in their life.