As a parent you have taken the right step to take interest in the music education of your child. And since you have decided to take the initiative, you might want to take into consideration other important factors when it comes to providing a sound & robust music education for your child. And with this seriousness comes a very crucial decision that you need to make for your child. That would be:
How to choose the right musical instrument for your child?
The decision making might seem like an overwhelming task but it has to be done the right way as it will be a very important factor in your child’s musical journey. So we are giving you a helping hand to simplify the decision making process for you. In this 2 part article we are sharing some tips & factors & information about the best musical instruments to make the right decision. You will have to keep in mind important factors such as his/her age, physical features, interest, personality, popularity of the instrument & of course your financial position.
The Age factor
For most of the kids, age is a determinant of physical strength & height. Both these factors should be considered while selecting an instrument. You cannot simply select a double bass or a cello for a 6 year old. He/she simply won’t be able to hold the instrument with ease, let alone try to learn the instrument as these instruments are relatively larger in size.
When a musician is playing a musical instrument, we just imagine him/her sitting with a musical instrument. However let’s not forget the fact that they also have to carry that musical instrument. Which means that a child needs to have the physical strength to play as well carry a musical instrument with them. Additionally core and back strength is also important for learners to maintain a correct posture while playing an instrument.
Consider the popularity of the instrument
Instruments such as piano, guitar, violin, flute & trumpet are popular music instruments. Children notice and usually follow the current trends which can sometimes lead & motivate them to learn music. The popular music instruments also tend to have more teachers & classes where one can learn. You are more likely to find a music teacher or a school for these kinds of music instruments in closer vicinity which will also help save time on the commute.
Your child’s Personal Interest
It’s not unusual for children to gain or lose interest in things very easily. At the same time it’s important for them to be enthusiastic about learning music in the beginning. So at the start of their music journey if they begin to appreciate the sounds of the instrument, they will more likely enjoy the entire experience of learning the musical instrument. If your child doesn’t appreciate the sound of a trumpet, they are not going to enjoy learning it either. So you might want to let your child try the sounds of the music instruments in a shop before short listing a few music instruments depending on other factors as well.
Some other important factors
There are some additional factors such as your child’s height – as certain instruments require your child to be of a certain size. Such as, double bass is a very long instrument and it’s usually played standing up. Size of their hands – in order to handle and play the musical instrument. Other factors such as oral features are also important especially if your child is playing a brass or a woodwind instrument as they need to develop the necessary embouchure (mouth placement). Kids with thin lips & even teeth will find it easier to fit into these types of instruments while others may have to struggle a bit more. However before you decide, there is one more factor left to consider which involves the expenses.
Just like regular academic education, music education also requires a long term investment & planning. It takes years to develop competency in a musical instrument so as a parent you have to be prepared financially.
Buying a musical instrument
Piano is one of the most expensive musical instruments. The acoustic piano range starts from INR 6 lakh onwards while the digital one is comparatively cheaper and the range starts from INR 50,000 onwards. Recorder, Violin and Guitars are comparatively cheaper. At the beginning you can buy a basic music instrument and then as your child progresses with their music education you can invest in a big size and a better quality music instrument. In case if you are unsure about your child’s prolonged interest in a musical instrument, there are some places that even rent musical instruments. This option can even save you from investing a huge sum initially.
Maintenance of an instrument
Other than buying the musical instrument, you also need to ensure the maintenance of the instrument takes place on a regular basis. For example, a piano needs to be tuned at least twice a year. Stringed instruments like guitar and violin need their strings replaced as and when required. Woodwind instruments need to have their corks, reeds replaced and they also need adjustments at least once a year by a technician. We would like to reiterate the fact that it’s very important to consider all the above factors before choosing the perfect musical instrument for your child. Please ensure that the instrument is of a suitable size & is of decent quality. This thought process will go a long way to support your child’s music learning process. In our next blog, we will be sharing information about the musical instruments you can consider for your child once you have given a thought to the above factors.