Yesterday we spent a draining 5 hours ‘in town’ as part of our home school enrichment program: Wednesdays are our music lesson days.  We have to travel more than 30 miles one way, so have a very busy afternoon with children taking piano, violin, cello, and voice.  We also run errands to the library, grocery store, medical appointments, and gas station as we drop one here, and pick-up one there.

As a kid, my parents generously provided piano lessons for me (which I didn’t appreciate at the time.)  My husband never really had the opportunity for music lessons, so he gladly supports our kids having their chance.  We are blessed to hear their daily practice.

When our children were little, we sang them lullabies.  This grew their interest in music, and soothed their souls.  As they grew, we exposed them to live concerts of all genre.  We have always enjoyed watching (and singing along off-key) the great film musicals – Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof , Oliver, My Fair Lady, Phantom.  The kids know all the lyrics which is a good thing, and a bad thing.  I remember cringing one Sunday when our then 4 yo and 5 yo decided their favorite musical song to sing anywhere, including church, was “…pull out the stopper, let’s have a whopper…’ from My Fair Lady!  I digress….

All children, especially adopted kids with physical and cognitive delays, benefit from the opportunity of music lessons.  Playing the piano, for instance, helps the right and left brain ‘talk’ to each other, building nueral pathways which help with reading and math.  Eye-tracking and fine motor skills are improved simultaneoulsy while reading music with the eyes and playing keys with fingers.

Further benefits for adopted kids with social and emotional delays include the trusting relationship built during one-on-one weekly lessons with a professional, caring adult teacher.  Public performance several times a year builds confidence as kids learn to present themselves.

We have seen great improvement in our childrens’ ability to focus, stay on task, problem solve, manage time, and dress appropriately for their lessons and performance.  Not only do our kids enjoy making music, but their growth in so many areas is music to our ears.