How to choose a musical instrument for your child

If only there were some kind of sorting hat you could put on your head to discover what instrument you were meant to play. Who wants to invest years into learning an instrument, only to learn you've picked the wrong one?

Then again, that's only a problem if you believe that there's a such thing as the wrong instrument...and if you believe it has to take years to learn an instrument!

Music is a language. And like any language, there are different levels of fluency that are possible. If you want to be the principal violinist of a major orchestra, be prepared to put in a few decades of effort to get there. But if you want to be able to perform a song at your friend's wedding, we're talking mere months. 

And here's the other thing: The language of music applies to any instrument. Learning how to communicate musically -- that's the hard part. But once you can do it, learning a new instrument is simply applying that language to a new physical interface. In other words, "hold your hands like this and press here." You learn where the notes are, and you're able to use everything else you know right away. 

One of our longtime piano students (she started in kindergarten and now she's in eighth grade) recently took up guitar. She's been playing ukulele for a year, too. So when she started guitar, it took her about a half hour to get to where the average adult would be after several months to a year of playing. The initial investment pays off!

So how do you choose the right instrument for yourself or your child? Honestly, you just pick one and start. And once she learn a few songs, pick another one. 

That said, for young children we like to scale things down a bit. They ride a balance bike or a tricycle before a regular bicycle, right? And they learn uppercase letters before lowercase...and they read picture books before chapter books..and so on. So ideally, we like to start with kid-friendly instruments (e.g., desk bellsOrff xylophones, ukulele, and hand percussion) to help them learn the language of music before we escalate to an instrument like piano that demands precise technique and fine motor skills. It's more enjoyable and progress is faster.

Our popular and innovative Playground program allows kids to learn songs on multiple instruments, including piano and guitar, all while learning the language of music as expressed through countless songs.

And if you’re looking for traditional piano lessons, guitar lessons, ukulele lessons, saxophone lessons, drum lessons, or violin lessons, we’ve got you covered! We offer lessons on these instruments and more in Virginia-Highland, Morningside, Inman Park, or right in your home.

Whether your child would like to try out a bunch of instruments or focus on one in particular, we'd love to have your family join us for summer camp. There's nothing more motivating than being able to play with others from day one!