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Lessons offer a forum where children can learn to accept and give constructive criticism. Turning negative feedback into positive change helps build self-confidence. By learning about and playing a variety of instruments, kids can discover how music plays a critical role in other cultures. For instance, bongos and timbales may introduce children to African and Cuban styles of music. Although the modern-day violin has roots in Italy, learning to play it exposes children to classical music popularized by German and Austrian musicians.

Certain instruments, such as percussion, help children develop coordination and motor skills; they require movement of the hands, arms, and feet. This type of instrument is great for high-energy kids. Learning an instrument teaches children about delayed gratification. The violin, for example, has a steep learning curve.

Before you can make a single sound, you must first learn how to hold the violin, how to hold the bow, and where to place your feet, Larew says. Playing an instrument teaches kids to persevere through hours, months, and sometimes years of practice before they reach specific goals, such as performing with a band or memorizing a solo piece.