Every parent interested in enrolling their child in music deliberates over the choice of instrument. What will be the best for them? Voice? Trumpet? Guitar? The oboe that a family member played twenty years ago and left in the basement? There are many options out there, but thankfully, relatively few considerations to address.
The first concern many parents have is about size, particularly for instrumental programs that begin before the standard late-elementary band/orchestra time frame. While it is true that no kindergartner should be playing a full-size guitar or tuba, there are appropriately sized options in every instrument family: Violins come in ¼, ½, ¾ and full size. Flutes can be purchased with curved headjoints so that students can reach the keys comfortably. Acoustic guitars come in ½ and ¾ sizes, to make strumming and reaching the furthest frets a comfortable endeavor. The list goes on, but the idea should be fairly clear – every instrument family has a sized model that a youngster can physically handle.
The next question parents often have is, What is the best instrument to start out on? While this answer could be qualified with a discussion of the merits and challenges various instruments might provide, the real answer is that the best instrument for any student, regardless of age, is the one that they like the best. If a student is in love with the bassoon, and someone hands him a clarinet, then the best we can hope for is that the student will dutifully do as he’s asked. But how much more experimentation, exploration, and understanding will take place when that bassoon is put into his hands? We all learn better, faster, and more thoroughly when we are excited about the subject matter. This excitement, and the resulting increase in learning, is far more important than worrying about whether the violin or, say, the guitar might be easier for the budding musician.
Finally, if after a serious trial period (about a school year, generally) a child decides that their first instrument is not the right one for them, have them try another one! It will probably be slow going at first, as they learn how to manipulate their new instrument, but that’s all right. Eventually, they will be able to apply the musical terminology and the listening that they gained during their first musical foray. Of course, music takes patience and dedication, but anyone can learn, and there is an instrument out there for everyone!
Looking for info on lessons on ALL instruments? Contact this link and Happy Practicing!