Music Education: Choosing The Right Instrument For Your Child

The best instrument for your child

Read our previous article on music education, Music Education: Why Kids Should Learn Music. Here’s an age-by-age guide when your child can start learning a specific musical instrument, The Best Age To Begin Musical Lessons. Choosing an instrument for a child is the beginning of a musical journey of discovery for them. Many parents aren’t sure which instrument their child should play. In this article, we share some tips to choose the best instrument for your child. Below are some of the factors you should consider.

Age

Most instruments are available in smaller sizes so that children can start as early 4. They can move up to the full-size instrument when they grow taller and develop the necessary strength to hold the instrument. These instruments include Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass.

Physical strength

Of yet another important factor to consider is will your child have the strength to hold the instruments to play as well as to transport the instrument? Instruments such as the tuba and the cello, for instance, are bulky and heavy.

Size of hands

If your child has large hands with long fingers, s/he will have an easier time playing the piano. Experts agree that piano is the best first instrument a child can learn. They provide a solid musical foundation. Citing Pianist Magazine;

In 2013, the Beijing Normal University released the results of a study which concluded that individuals who started learning the piano before the age of seven benefited from advanced cognitive skills later in life. The benefits remained even for those who stopped practising in their teenage years.” 

Personality

If a child is passionate about an instrument, it is a good indication that they want to learn it. According to the research done by Atarah Ben-Tovim and Douglas Boyd, the following instruments suit specific personalities:

  1. Concert Flute: Appeals to shy or lonely children who enjoy their own privacy.
  2. Clarinet: Appeals to bright, alert and sociable children with several different hobbies or interests.
  3. Saxophone: Very suitable for children who are labeled as ‘casual’ or ‘absent-minded.’
  4. Oboe: Ideal for determined, tight-lipped, stubborn introverts who prefer only one to two close friends.
  5. Bassoon: For responsive and pleasantly-gregarious children, with a quiet sense of humour.
  6. Trumpet & Cornet: Appeal to sociable children with lots of ‘nervous energy’ and can accommodate the aggressive, dominant and ambitious child, as well as the easygoing. 
  7. Violin: For the quietly behaved children, neither solitary nor gregarious. 
  8. Piano: Most suitable for the quietly, intelligent and conscientious child (from the age of eight). Gregarious children are miserable on this instrument, for it takes many years of study before it can be played with others.  
  9. Percussion: For the tense, nervous, often irritable, hyperactive, restless child the percussion section of an orchestra offers satisfaction and fulfilment.

References

Coetser, M. (2020, February 25). Choosing the Right Music Instrument for Your Child’s Personality. Retrieved March 27, 2020, from https://wehavekids.com/youth-programs/A-music-instrument-suits-a-specific-personality-dont-choose-the-wrong-music-instrument-for-your-child

What is the best age to start learning the piano? (2019, February 28). Retrieved March 27, 2020, from https://www.pianistmagazine.com/blogs/what-is-the-best-age-to-start-learning-the-piano/

How do I choose the right instrument for my child? (2015, December 23). Retrieved March 27, 2020, from https://www.joytunes.com/blog/learn-to-play/how-do-i-choose-the-right-instrument-for-my-child/

Supernanny. (2017, May 17). How to Choose an Instrument for Your Child. Retrieved March 27, 2020, from https://www.supernanny.co.uk/Advice/-/Travel-Play-and-Lifestyle/-/Gear-and-products/How-to-Choose-an-Instrument-for-Your-Child-.aspx

Jun, E. (2017, August 23). How do I choose the right musical instrument for my child? Retrieved March 27, 2020, from https://www.libertyparkmusic.com/choose-right-instrument-child/

Choosing an Instrument? (n.d.). Retrieved March 27, 2020, from https://musicaustralia.org.au/discover/parental-engagement/choosing-an-instrument-for-your-child/

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