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How to Choose the Right Instrument for Your Child

October 12, 2016
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Music does more than just provide entertainment – early exposure to music can also help children build confidence, develop strong social skills, and it helps make neural connections in the brain to foster creativity and develop memory! That said, it seems obvious that introducing children to music while they’re young is a smart decision, but that poses the question of: which instrument should your child learn?

While they may already have an interest in a specific instrument, there are some other factors to consider to ensure that your child is pursuing the right one – they are:

  1. Their age. Keep in mind that there may be some physical limitations for super young children when it comes to certain instruments, so you’ll need to carefully consider how old they are and where their skill set is at. For children who are younger than six years old, for example, the violin and piano can help them build the musical foundation they need to pursue other instruments later on. As they do get older, children can choose to learn other instruments as well. As they grow up, they develop the physical strength required to play brass, woodwinds, and larger instruments. Still, it is important to make sure your child is comfortable holding the instrument, as this will signal if it is really the right choice for him or her.
  2. Their size. Some instruments are larger than others, so you’ll want to consider the size of your child regardless of age when figuring out what makes the most sense. For example, the cello and the bass are much larger than the violin or the viola, so smaller children may benefit from the latter and vice versa, depending on their ability to hold and maneuver such instruments.
  3. Their personality. Does your child want to be center stage or are they more introverted? Their personality will play a huge role in their success, especially if they choose to perform in front of a crowd one day, so it’s important to choose an instrument that will place them in the spotlight only if they want to be – for example, someone who is rather shy may feel more comfortable at the piano rather than singing.

Last but certainly not least, you’ll also want to consider how the instrument sounds and if it’s something your child will find pleasing or displeasing – after all, if they don’t enjoy the music they’re making, they aren’t going to enjoy that instrument! Being forced to play an instrument they don’t like can cause your child to resent playing it or music altogether.

Here at Grace Music School, our music lesson programs include everything from individual lessons to kindermusik (lessons for young children), glee club, ensembles, NYSSMA preparation and more. If it’s time for your child to start pursuing an instrument, visit us at our music school in Fort Salonga or Melville. And should you be uncertain about which instrument your child should take up, we can help you make an educated decision!

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