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Learning Music : Age-Appropriate Instruments For Your Child

As shared in our previous post, music is a fantastic way for children to acquire some very important skills. It's a pleasurable hobby and companion that they can carry well into adulthood. But when it comes to actually choosing an instrument for our child, we are often puzzled, confused and all over the place. We either overdo it and introduce a whole host of instruments to them hoping they turn out to be a prodigy; or we just leave kids to it (which, err, often leads them to losing interest). So how exactly do we navigate this situation?

Thank god, we have created a list of age appropriate instruments for your child based on recommendations from ace musicians and music tutors worldwide:

  1. Under 4 years old: For children under 4, it's recommend encouraging them to explore the wonders and diversity of sound and motion before being instructed on musical rules, theories or techniques. This is best done in a group setting with more than 3 children involved. The less children feel intimidated at this stage, the more comfortable they will get with learning music.

  2. 4 to 6 years old: As children’s coordination and communication skills develop, we are tempted to assign them an instrument and begin private lessons at the earliest. Instead, we should embrace their natural, unbiased curiosity and creativity at this special age. I promise, another 6 months or year of 'play' before formal education will not leave your child behind. In fact, it’s going to do just the opposite!

  3. 6 to 7 years old: Children develop better motor skills, attention span and general concentration at this age. They are most likely to succeed (i.e., continue playing music for years to come) in music at this age. Piano and Drums are the most common choices for this age range, as children tend to flourish best when they do not have to lift or hold an instrument at first. We do not recommend ukulele, guitar or brass/woodwind (school band) and larger string instruments yet for this reason. Although violins do come in small sizes to fit children, it is important to realize that choosing these complex instrument does create many more challenges than learning music first on piano or drums.

  4. 8 to 10 years old: 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. Piano, Guitar (fractional size), Drums, Voice, Violin (fractional size), Clarinet and Flute are some recommended instruments.

  5. 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. Usually, children begin showing curiosity in specific instruments around this time. Let them choose and discover what they love for themselves!

Whichever age group your child is in, the best policy always is to let their natural curiosity run wild. Remember, in forcing your children to be little Mozarts, you might turn them against exploring music ever at all!

Let us know your child's age and the instrument they are playing in the comments below! We love to hear from you. If you found this article helpful, do share it in your social circles.

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