22 Nov How to Choose the Right Instrument for Your Child
Children who get the opportunity to learn how to play an instrument early in life benefit from the experience in many ways. Arts education can develop self-esteem, teaches kids the importance of studying and practice, and helps their brains reinforce skills they learn in the classroom. All of these benefits come with a caveat, and the child needs to enjoy playing the instrument. Parents need to pick an instrument that their child likes, otherwise, the student won’t put forth the full effort. At the Rochester Conservatory of Music, we offer classes for a wide range of musical instruments, so whatever instrument you choose, you know where to find excellent instructors. Here are some tips on how to choose the right musical instrument for your child.
Parents need to consider multiple factors when deciding which instrument they want their children to start with. Practical considerations, such as the size of the instrument, will limit the available choices. For example, a 6-year-old would find it very difficult to manage a large instrument like a harp. Similarly, most students won’t have the lung capacity to play the trumpet at a proficient level until they get a little older. Instruments like the piano or violin are suitable for kids under six because they’re easier to handle, and they teach music fundamentals that apply with all instruments. Furthermore, violins are instruments that can be scaled down to sizes that are easier for small children to use.
With enough practice and dedication, most people can play nearly any instrument. However, when choosing a starter instrument for a child, parents need to consider the child’s physical features. A kid that’s too short won’t be able to play the cello until they get taller. Similarly, a student that’s too small will have a difficult time working with a long instrument like a bassoon.
Parents should also take into account the size of a child’s mouth, especially their lip size. Smaller lips work well with instruments like the French horn or trumpet. However, these pieces of musical equipment are often harder to use by students with larger lips. Similarly, parents should also consider the size of their children’s fingers. As an example, long and slender fingers will do better with a piano than short, stubby fingers. Keep in mind that these physical considerations aren’t limitations. There are many cases of children learning to play instruments that many would consider inappropriate for the child’s age. If the child has enough passion for the instrument, they may be able to overcome size-related handicaps.
The child’s personality is something else for parents to consider when trying to find the right instrument for their children. Certain instruments are better suited for outgoing individuals. Flutes work great for outgoing children since flutists are generally near the front of the band. Similarly, louder instruments, like the saxophone and trumpet, are another good choice for outgoing children. Parents should also consider if their child can put up with issues that are related to playing specific instruments. Diligently playing and practicing stringed instruments can lead to blistering or even some small cuts. If you don’t think your child has the personality to tough it out during these rough times, you may want to consider another instrument.
At Rochester Conservatory of Music, we offer lessons in a wide range of instruments, so we can help parents and children decide on the right instrument. And since we have different offerings, parents are less stuck if their child decides they want to switch to another instrument.
Contact Rochester Conservatory of Music online if you want to discuss the best options for your young music students. We can help you make the right decision and get your child set up with professional lessons in private or group classes.