Which Musical Instrument Should My Child Learn?
~5 min read
I’ve heard this question several times over the years. Parents see the benefits of music lessons–increased math, language, and social skills, for starters–and they want to know:
Which musical instrument should my child learn? What’s the best instrument to get started on?
Before we look at the particulars of any one instrument, I recommend sitting down with your child and talking through these questions:
“What instrument looks like fun?”
“Why would you like to learn that instrument?”
“What kind of music do you hope to learn to play?”
As you develop this “team” perspective with your child, you’ll create a sense of buy-in so they feel heard in the process.
Of course, there are some other details to take into consideration. Let’s look at each musical instrument or instrument group.
Starting with piano lessons
The piano is a great place for any kid to get started in music lessons. Unlike some bigger, bulkier instruments, the piano is accessible for younger kids to play and can offer some immediate rewards.
Here are some of the benefits of starting on the piano:
- The piano is very easy to understand visually, with the keys being arranged chromatically. This helps students establish a solid music theory base.
- Smaller children can handle the piano keys more easily than a bigger instrument.
- Learning piano improves dexterity and control.
- The piano is automatically in tune, so it’s more pleasing to the ear for kids (and parents).
- Children can easily pluck out a familiar tune, which is rewarding and encouraging.
- The skills and concepts learned on the piano transfer to other instruments, giving your child more options for the future.
- For parents, you can generally find an affordable beginner practice piano/keyboard.
If you think the piano might be right for your child, schedule an introductory piano lesson (special discount for first-time students) with one of our teachers in Mesa, Queen Creek, or Gilbert, AZ.
Starting with guitar lessons or string instrument lessons
For many children, the guitar is a fun way to discover the joys of music. Often, kids can jump right into their favorite songs, wowing their friends and classmates.
If you pick guitar or a string instrument for your child, you can expect these benefits:
- Ear training begins early. As guitars and string instruments need to be tuned every time they’re played, your child will learn how to match pitches from the get-go.
- Your child will get to play popular songs, which will encourage them to keep practicing.
- As guitars and smaller string instruments are easily transportable, it makes it easy to take the music “on the road,” playing with other musicians and performing for family and friends.
- Guitars and string instruments can be made to a smaller scale (e.g. ½ size, ¾ size), which makes them a good option for small hands just starting out in music.
Starting with drum lessons or percussion lessons
In marching bands, the percussion section is often called the “battery,” which is a good way to think of it. Drums and percussion give the music energy and tempo–making them a lot of fun to play!
When your child learns to play the drums or a percussion instrument, they gain these benefits:
- They develop an excellent internal sense of rhythm and tempo.
- Children can start at an earlier age since drumsticks and mallets are easier to lift than other instruments.
- Students learn control and discipline as they practice.
- Drums are a great outlet for energy!
- Learning the drums/percussion provides kids with skills that transfer to other instruments.
- Starting children in drums at an early age gives them a competitive edge in both drums/percussions and other instruments down the road.
If your child wants to learn drums, reach out today to schedule an introductory drum lesson (special discount for first-time students) with one of our teachers in either San Tan Valley, Queen Creek, or Mesa, AZ.
Starting with singing lessons
Most kids start singing as soon as they learn to talk (sometimes, even before that!). Singing is a natural part of our daily living. So, lessons in voice and vocal technique could be just the right path for your little singer.
Here are a few benefits from singing lessons:
- Children can apply their learned vocal technique in many contexts: choir, church, theater, band, etc.
- Kids often begin with familiar songs (from the radio, church, etc.), which is gratifying and motivating.
- Singing will be relevant for the rest of their lives–lessons allow them to shine for decades to come.
- Learning proper vocal technique strengthens lung capacity and develops breath control.
- Starting on lessons from an earlier age will keep your child from learning bad habits they’ll need to unlearn later.
- For parents, you won’t need to purchase any instruments for practice.
If you’d like your child to try out an introductory singing lesson (special discount for first-time students), you can schedule one today in the Queen Creek, AZ, area!
Starting with wind instrument lessons
Learning wind instruments is exciting and offers countless opportunities to enjoy every genre of music. However, we do generally recommend students start these instruments when a little older (over nine years old), simply because it could require more muscle to carry the instrument, hold an embouchure, and control airflow.
That being said, here are some of the awesome benefits of learning a wind instrument:
- Not only does a wind instrument teach eye-hand coordination, but it also requires a student develop control of their air. (A tuba requires a lot of air.)
- Depending on their wind instrument of choice, a student’s skill could be more in demand for certain groups.
- Along those same lines, there is a possibility of college scholarships as college bands and orchestras are always scouting for students who play high-demand instruments.
- Wind instruments are often used in larger ensembles, so students are taught teamwork and healthy competition.
Finally, you’ll want to consider the price of each instrument–both for the instrument itself and the upkeep (extra strings, mutes, mallets, etc.) And if your child is considering participation with the local band, orchestra, or choir, we encourage you to reach out to the director to make sure your instrument choice lines up with the group’s needs and offers.
If you’d like help picking the right instrument for your child, please contact us. We’re here to answer any questions you have about lessons.