Life without music can get quite dull. From the time we are born, we are attracted to various sounds and melodies that can soothe us, calm our anxieties, and take us through a roller coaster of multiple emotions. However, while everybody enjoys music, not everybody is a musician.
Becoming a musician or becoming adept at playing an instrument requires years of practice and proper guidance. Many musicians start playing at an early age, getting several years to hone their talent. If your child is inclined towards learning music, helping them select the right instrument could be the first step on their musical journey.
Whether your child wants to be a musician or you want to help them build creativity, memory, and discipline – learning a musical instrument can help your child in more ways than one, but only if you pick the right instrument for their age and interests.
Six Tips for Helping Your Child Choose the Right Instrument
There are numerous benefits to introducing music to children at an early age. Various studies have confirmed the positive impact of music on the mental health of children.
According to a study by Martin Guhn, children who actively make music tend to get better grades than their peers. The study was based on data collected from over 110,000 students in Canada. It also stated that students who have played an instrument for several years are generally a year ahead of classmates who are not musically inclined.
But how do you help your child develop their musical instincts at an early age? It starts by selecting the right instrument for them – one that will become their faithful friend in all situations. Violin, guitar, flute, keyboard – there are endless options to choose from, but you need to consider your child’s temperament, personality, and physique before selecting an instrument for them.
Here are six tips that will help you make this difficult decision:
- Consider Your Child’s Personality
No two kids are alike and will not learn to play an instrument the same way. Therefore, it’s essential to find an instrument that matches your child’s personality to motivate them to stick to it.
For instance, an energetic and vivacious child may enjoy learning to play the drums. Similarly, a child who likes being the center of attention may prefer to play the electric guitar or trumpet. That’s because such instruments are prominently featured in music groups.
Conversely, a quiet or introverted child may like to learn the piano or the acoustic guitar. These instruments can be learned solo and provide immense company in solitude.
- The Popularity of an Instrument
The popularity of a musical instrument is also something that makes a difference. Children who want to be popular are often motivated to learn instruments like the guitar, violin, or trumpet, which are well-known. They can find recognition with such instruments and make friends easily.
As parents, you’ll find more teachers for such popular instruments. The con is that your child may face a lot of competition in music schools or elsewhere for popular instruments.
Having said that, some kids are drawn to lesser-known instruments. These children want to be unique and wish to learn a rare instrument. While finding classes for such musical instruments may be difficult, it will give your child some extra boost if they want to get into a music school, owing to comparatively less competition.
- Gauge Your Child’s Interest by Engaging in Musical Activities With Them
Instead of simply talking to your child about what instrument they may want to play, you could do some music-related activities to find out what interests them.
You can listen to different types of music with your child, check out live performances, introduce them to new artists, and visit some music concerts and programs to help them discover their interests.
- Keep Your Child’s Physique in Mind
It’s possible your child isn’t interested in any instrument. In that case, you may want to select a musical instrument according to their age. This is especially true for small children. These age-appropriate guidelines may help you:
- Most small kids take well to the violin, but their hands might be too small for some string instruments, like the cello. Make sure to check for this.
- Once your child is about eight years old, their hands are generally big enough to play the guitar.
- If you don’t want to go for a string instrument, the clarinet can be a good option for kids above seven years of age with growing lungs and hands.
- If you can’t decide, a piano is the safest bet and comes in various sizes.
While these guidelines generally hold, you may want to check your child’s physical attributes before making the final decision. Check the size of their fingers, sensitivity to strings, dexterity, motor skills with feet, etc.
Your child will naturally enjoy an instrument that they are comfortable playing. This includes the way they hold the musical instrument and how they play it. Once they feel comfortable, they can happily spend hours practicing the instrument and honing their talent.
- Consider Whether Your Child Has a Role Model
Does your child revere any well-known musicians? Kids who like a particular musician may want to become like them in the future. If your child has already found a role model in the music industry, they likely want to emulate them by playing the same instrument as their idol.
Having an idol also makes the learning process easier. When your child is frustrated, they can always look up to their role model for inspiration.
- Budget and Availability
Before you ask your child to play an instrument, find a teacher for music lessons in Burlington. You should also check their school’s instrumental music club to learn about the opportunities available for your child. If your child wants to perform in the future, you may want to consider a music school that offers more than just media arts courses.
How Can You Bring Academics and Music Together?
An art-focused education at an early age can give your child the foundation they need to succeed in life and pursue any career they want.
From guidance on how to pick an instrument that’s right for your child to performance opportunities and proper focus on academics, the Burlington Royal Arts Academy (BRAA) proudly offers art-focused education to children to foster creativity and teach them essential life skills.
The Music Program at BRAA, Halton’s only arts-academic private high school, provides students with an appreciation and deepened commitment to music. We teach technical skills, music theory, and history and also offer performance opportunities to give our students a holistic taste of the field of music.
For students new to instrumental music, we help them select and develop skill sets for specific instruments. We also partner with the Burlington Symphony Orchestra to provide more opportunities to our students.