According to the results of research carried out by BBC Worldwide, fewer children are learning to play a musical instrument than in their parents’ generation.
Commenting on the results, Stephanie Cooper, editor of Zingzillas magazine, said that the research highlighted the fact that many parents are unaware of the positive benefits learning a musical instrument can have for a child.
“Young children love responding to music by dancing, singing, creating pictures or talking about what they hear, which gives them creative confidence,” she told the BBC.
“Hearing musical rhythms, patterns and sounds are beneficial for early literacy learning.”
Elsewhere, Fiona Harvey, education consultant for the Association of British Orchestras, said that the results of the BBC-backed survey were surprising.
She cited government initiatives such as the Music Manifesto, which was launched in 2004 and pledged to give every child in England the chance of free or cut-price instrument tuition.
“Other research about children learning instruments has suggested that at least 50 per cent of children have learned or are currently learning an instrument,” she told the news provider.
In addition, she drew attention to the Wider Opportunities scheme which was rolled out in 6,500 schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and involved children learning to play instruments as a class for free.
According to the study, the most popular instruments for children to learn are the guitar, the keyboard and the recorder.
Boys are most likely to learn the guitar (17 per cent), the keyboard (eight per cent) and the drums (seven per cent), while girls are more likely to choose the recorder (11 per cent), followed by the guitar, piano and keyboard (all nine per cent).