How to choose an instrument for your child

The benefits of learning to play and read music are slowly becoming acknowledged in wider educational circles. It offers social benefits, a boost to confidence when appearing in public, encourages attention to detail, promotes learning about physics (e.g. why is it that a violin produces the sounds that it does?), mathematics (music can be represented to a very accurate degree as numbers on paper and this is the basis of most musical notation) plus opening up a whole world of other interests – a friend of mine became interested in electronics through music and designed and built his own production desk. Another has written software for programming complicated changes in rhythm and tempo. Another friend became interested in woodwork and builds his own instruments.

As you can see, the benefits of learning an instrument are many in number and add on top of that it promotes self-discipline and is fun, and you should now be asking yourself what instrument is right for your child. Your child may have an opinion on this, and you’re strongly advised to along with it. If your child is already showing interest in a particular instrument without having picked it up yet, it seems that they have already made the decision for themselves. Whether this is an interest in learning the drums or the electric guitar simply because they love heavy metal music is not an issue at all. It’s time for you to start figuring out where you are going to put the drum kits or browsing online with your child on sites such as in order to find the most suitable instrument for them.

If your child doesn’t have any strong preference for one instrument or another, you can take them to your local music store and ask for someone to show you both various instruments and discuss how they are played, their suitability for your child’s age, maintenance and so on. Most music stores will be happy to do this as they are looking at not just one potential sale, but a potential regular customer who will come back to buy sheet music, replacement strings, a new model of their instrument, perhaps other instruments and recommend the store to their friends and family members.

Instruments such as the piano are popular as they are able to effectively reproduce most musical works which can be inaccessible to other instruments. After all, you can’t play harmonies on a trumpet. The violin is a popular choice for young children due to its size and weight. The bagpipes would be a poor choice due to the child’s smaller lungs being able to produce enough wind to keep playing. A cheap and smart choice for children who are unsure is the electric keyboard. It allows many creative opportunities, is easy to carry and can come with smaller keys to suit young children’s hands. Many people who learned to play the piano at a young age will undoubtedly remember bursting into tears at some point simply due to the inability to make their tiny hands play music on an instrument designed for an adults.

Whatever instrument you settle on, it will have a profound influence on your child’s life.