Forcing your kid to learn guitar will not make him the next Jimi Hendrix, and it could in fact make your child hate making music all together. So how can you help them choose an instrument they will enjoy? Here are four steps you can take to help you decide together:
- Consider Your Child’s Age
If your child is six years old or younger, you should consider the purpose of learning an instrument at such a young age. Piano and violin are two of the most popular instruments for children under six because they create a good foundation for expanding into other instruments later on. Additionally, the violin is small and easy to handle.
- What is he or she already doing?
Watch your kid while music is playing. What are they doing? Are they singing along? Playing air-guitar? Dancing like crazy or beating anything they can reach to the rhythm? If your child seems to embrace melody, you may want to choose a string instrument or possibly wind, like clarinet or French horn. Give them something they can create melody with. If they just can’t seem to get enough of that rhythm and they are dancing or drumming on everything they see, try an instrument that incorporates percussion like piano, guitar, or drums (if you can handle it in the house).
- What kind of sound do they like?
This one is kind of obvious but it may not cross your mind right away. Plain and simple, if your child doesn’t like the sound of the instrument they are playing, they will have zero motivation to play it. Keep in mind that the band director at your child’s school might try and encourage your child to play the tuba because the band needs a tuba – not because your child is actually interested in the instrument or likes its sound.
- Don’t be overtaken by the “cool” factor.
Let’s face it. When kids reach a certain age, their highest priority in life is to be as cool as possible. This may affect which instrument they choose to play. While this can lead them to their life’s instrument, it can also be an epic failure. You may not be able to change the way your child perceives an instrument, but try not to ignore the other factors previously mentioned when deciding.
Ultimately, helping your child choose an instrument is not an easy task and it may take some trial and error. However, with a little patience and perseverance, you just might stumble onto a musical talent your child was born to use and enjoy.
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