f you are new to music lessons and wondering which instrument might be best for your child, loved one, or yourself, please read on for some helpful general guidelines on choosing an instrument, or seeing whether or not the instrument that you are considering is age-appropriate.
8 to 10 years old: Through our years of experience working with thousands of students, we have found that 8 is generally the “safest” age for students to truly benefit from working with an instructor in a one-on-one setting. By age 8, many students are physically able to hold heavier instruments, have more dexterity in their hands and fingers, and are capable of greater lung capacity and better focus than they were at a younger age. For these reasons, there are more instrument choices available to this age range.
Recommended Instruments: Piano, Guitar (fractional size), Drums, Voice, Violin (fractional size), Clarinet, Flute. Piano and Drums are still fantastic choices to begin lessons on at this age since the experience is so easily transferable to other instruments, and since it still helps to eliminate the factor of having to hold up an instrument, while also learning the skills involved with music-making. Stringed instruments (Guitar, Violin) will take more time to learn the basics on (due to their more delicate nature and the fine motor skills necessary to manipulate them), but because smaller (fractional) sized instruments are available to fit children, we see many young beginners that appreciate a challenge choose to give them a try. The smaller woodwind instruments (Clarinet, Flute) are recommended over larger, heavier instruments like Trumpet and Trombone (although some 8 and 9-year-olds may certainly be strong enough to try). For those kids who can’t stop singing, voice lessons are another great option!
10 years old and up Once children reach age 10, it is generally a great time to begin on any instrument that they are excited about learning. We always suggest starting on an instrument that excites the student. If your child is trying to decide between a few instruments, just let us know and we’ll give you the chance to try them all before committing to one.
When choosing an instrument, you may wish to consider factors such as:
Can you rent the instrument, or do you need to buy it upfront? Please note our affordable rental rates for band and orchestra instruments. Also, many drum students begin with only a practice pad and drumsticks. For piano students, a keyboard is a perfectly acceptable instrument to learn on.
– Musical Genre.
What style of music do you most enjoy? Think about what resonates best with you, even if you don’t really know why. If you’re a rocker at heart, you may want to consider guitar, bass, or drums. If jazz is your cuppa tea, you might be best suited for trumpet, saxophone, or trombone. If you prefer a more formal, classical music education, piano or violin could fit you. Although most instruments are found in a variety of musical genres, if you are undecided as to which one to try first, it may help to consider the genres, artists, or songs you like best and think about which instruments shine through to you as you listen to your favorite songs.
– Learning Curve.
Although it takes a substantial commitment to become a professional on any musical instrument, some are simply easier to learn the basics on than others. If you know that your child does not have much patience, you may not want to begin with “harder” instruments like violin or trumpet, unless the child is ready to make a commitment, and understands that progress is slow and steady. The instruments that we typically notice the quickest progress on are drums and piano (since you eliminate the factor of having to support/hold them) followed by guitar, bass, and ukulele. For band and orchestra instruments, it can take significant time to learn the basics. With that said though, daily practice (even in doses as small as 5 minutes) is the key to making progress on any instrument. Although some instruments often take longer to get started on, any student who is willing to put in (even minimal) daily practice will succeed, no matter what instrument they choose.