It is almost back to school season and the time when children will start or continue their music lessons, join an orchestra, or play in a band. And whether your child never played an instrument or is a seasoned player, most parents are faced with the dilemma of choosing the right instrument for their child.
Fear not, it is not as intimidating as it might seem to buy an instrument, rent, or transition from renting to owning. With the help of your child’s music teacher, the experts in our studio, and this guide, your child will be playing the right instrument with great enthusiasm in no time, and who knows, he/she might be heading toward Carnegie Hall.
Here are four tips for choosing the right instrument for your child:
Instrument Size does Matter
Size does matter, and there are two things to consider when fitting your child to the right instrument:
- Is the instrument too large for your child?
- Is the instrument too large for your space?
Most students are not ready for a full-size instrument, so be sure to purchase an instrument that is right-sized for your child. Otherwise, it can lead to fatigue, disinterest in playing, and in some cases injury. You can rent a smaller sized instrument until your child grows a little, and is ready for an upgrade.
Besides size, your space matters, as many children express an interest in learning to play the drums, but not every home has enough room for a full-size drum set.
The experts at our studio will fit your child with the best-sized instrument based on your needs.
Experiment Before Committing
Though we think we know what our children prefer, or perhaps we dream of our child playing a violin concerto with the NY philharmonic, it is best to involve your child in the decision-making process and follow your child’s lead, instead of selecting an instrument for them.
- Do they already enjoy learning guitar chords from dad?
- Have they always admired their violinist aunt?
- Have they already taken flute or clarinet lessons in school?
If they are already showing an interest in a particular musical instrument, they are more likely to find the right instrument than if you decide what they should learn at random.
If you are not sure where to start, our experts would love to show you the different instruments available for rental at our studio.
Have your child look at the different instruments, let them pick up and hold what they find interesting, and experience what it feels like in his or her hands.
Your Child’s Age
Can a 6-year-old child play the trombone? Does a 4-year-old have the lung capacity to blow into a clarinet?
The right instrument for your child needs to fit not only his physique but also his or her age, as it is an important factor when it comes to choosing the right instrument. If your child is under the age of six years old, there will be certain physical limitations.
Many music instructors recommend the piano or violin for children this young because they’re easier for small hands to play and will help build a foundation for your child to choose a different instrument at a later time.
If your child is under four, please look into our Early Childhood Music Program where we start children out with small percussion and rhythm instruments that will help them develop their aural, pitch, rhythm, and coordination skills.
Stick to Your Budget
If your child is the next Mozart or Yo-Yo Ma, nothing will hold his talent back, but while he or she is still very young, having a specific budget in mind when going into the instrument-buying process is necessary.
The truth is, your child only needs the instrument, a case, and a few essential accessories to start, and you can pick up the rest along the way; otherwise, you can spend quite a lot. If you do want to save money or are sticking to a strict budget, we recommend renting an instrument.