Things to Consider When Choosing a Musical Instrument

Judy hands keysHow do you choose a musical instrument to learn? Some potential music students are drawn to a particular instrument. All a parent need do to provide music lessons is seek out a teacher of that instrument. But what if neither you or your child know what which instrument to choose?

Below, I’ve included a link to a PBS Parents article to help you with this. Before I get to that, though, here are some things to consider…

  • The size of your child. Did I really need to mention this? Asking a six-year-old to play tuba is just mean, but you already knew that. Some stringed instruments come in kid sizes so they can make a good option.
  • Physical ability – Motor skills. Again, this is pretty obvious. You have to gauge how much your child is physically capable of (finger dexterity, lung capacity, etc…) and discuss this with any potential teachers. Some lessons in specific genres also have specific physical needs. For example, classical voice lessons require a more developed body while non-classical modern singing lessons  work well for young students.
  • Attention span. If your child has trouble sitting still and focusing on a task, well, any lesson may prove to be a challenge. But he or she can still benefit from the joy of music education. You want to consider an instrument which is dynamic while also offering an opportunity to partake in music that is especially interesting to them. That often includes drums, keyboards, guitar or singing lessons, since young people are more commonly drawn to popular music. Drums can be particularly great for active children because you get to hit things with sticks.
  • What’s the purpose? Many private lessons focus in large part on the specific mechanical needs of an instrument. If you’re hoping that your child grows to master the craft of a particular instrument then this type of lesson is perfect. If you’re hoping to expose your child to a general musical experience, you may want to consider instruments that can teach a child to think in chords, keys, and meter. The top instrument for this would be guitar. Keyboards is another great option, although you want to be sure the teacher understands that you’re looking for a music theory-based approach, as opposed to simply learning to play written scores.

Still don’t know which musical instrument to choose? Maybe the link below will help…

Good luck and enjoy your lessons!

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