When your child is in his or her development years, finding them a hobby to enjoy is the most important duty you can provide. The two most popular choices are either taking up a sport or learning a musical instrument. Both have different benefits, be it either getting increased physical exercise or allowing them to get creative. Today we will be focusing on choosing the right instrument for your child, and why that can be music to your ears.
There are a lot of considerations to make when choosing an instrument for your children. Perhaps most importantly is to let them guide their own choices. Forcing something onto your child will ultimately only lead to resentment for it later on. Even at a young age, kids have a fairly good grasp of the things that they might enjoy. By sitting them down and talking it through with them, you can come to an understanding together. Of course, invariably you will have to use your discretion, and make sure that their choices aren’t just a passing phase. Here is my guide to some of the most popular instruments and their pros and cons:
By far the most popular choice of instruments for children to learn is the acoustic guitar. It’s seen as the ‘cool’ option for many kids and, as such, there’s more chance of them actually sticking at it. By getting them started early, they can have a good grasp of music before their teenage years when they may wish to experiment with joining bands. One potential downside will be the need to upgrade your equipment semi-regularly. Between amps, strings and new models, it’s an investment that needs touching up every so often. Some brands, such as PRS Guitars, can run into four figures. But with the higher end models, you are mostly paying for longevity. For this reason, it is wise to put money aside and invest in the long-term.
The piano is a fantastic starting point for children to learn the foundation of musical theory. By learning how to read music, they stand in good stead if they decide to switch instruments later on. They’ll also gain an understanding of composition. This can help them to express themselves creatively – a pivotal aspect of your child’s development. It’s worth keeping in mind that if your child has particularly small hands, they may struggle to extend their fingers between the keys. You never know, though, you may just have the next child prodigy on your hands.
Stringed instruments like the violin remain a wise choice for children looking to learn their first instrument. This is because many models are available in smaller sizes. Another advantage is the lack of fret-board, which means your child has to work the notes out for themselves. This can be extremely beneficial for the development of their perception skills. A lot of the skills involved in playing the violin can be later transferred to other instruments. So, it’s not the end of the world if they later change their minds.