Some advice on choosing the right instrument for your child.
Parents often call us saying that they would like to sign up their child for music lessons but aren’t quite sure where to begin- even which instrument to choose. While this might seem like an easy decision to make, multiple factors go into choosing the right instrument for your child.
Arguably the most important of all factors is what instrument your child gravitates towards. Even if this instrument might not be the most reasonable one to start with, children tend to feel more inspiration to practice and enjoy their music lessons when they request an instrument. And if they enjoy themselves, there is a greater chance that they will continue playing music. Music education is so helpful for a child’s development, so only good can come from continuous music education.
However, some instruments simply wouldn’t be the best fit for your child’s age group. And you wouldn’t want your child to give up early just because the instrument is too difficult. Of course, all instruments have their challenges, but some are more friendly to very young children than others. For instance, piano is an instrument we often recommend for very little ones because producing a sound is rather simple, given the hammer action. So they might learn their first pieces rather quickly (check out our post about the best age to start piano lessons). Violin, on the other hand, requires extra patience for posture set up and sound production. Small children can certainly learn to play violin, but some children might want to see quicker results when starting off with a new instrument. Or an instrument like the tuba for instance might simply be too big for a small child.
A third factor to consider would be the amount of space you could offer in your home for your child’s instrument. Even if your child is not taking in home lessons, a huge percentage of music education is done at home with daily practice. You might have to decide if you have room for a full piano or even a keyboard, or if you prefer something smaller like the violin or guitar. Or maybe you don’t have room for any instruments, in which case you might consider voice lessons.
Of course, if you choose one instrument it doesn’t mean that your child has to stick to only that instrument forever. Sometimes it’s nice to begin foundational music training with an instrument like piano, and then switch to something with a more challenging setup, like violin. The most important aspect to consider is that music lessons are supposed to be enjoyable, and whatever makes your child love music will be the right choice.