Question

Music for Young Children

My son is seven this year. Which musical instrument will be right for him?

What the Expert Says

By Gresilda Tan

Founder of Silversnow Music School

Diploma of Music in Popular Vocals (Distinction), London College of Music

Grade 8 in Piano / Flute / Music Theory from ABRSM / Grade 8 in Dizi from NUS

www.silversnowmusic.com

For a start, it would be difficult to determine which instrument is the “right” one for him as his music playing skills would only be at a beginner level.

Piano may be the Best Choice

Most students who are unsure of what to start with will typically start with piano as their first instrument because it is relatively easier for young kids to pick up. As compared to other instruments like the violin or guitar, each note is always played at the same spot whereas in violin or guitar, the same note can be played on different strings, which may be confusing for children.

It also helps when a child does not need to worry about intonation in piano as compared to violin where it can take years to build up. Similarly, In terms of understanding music concepts for children, it is also easier to learn through the piano as the keys start from low to high (left to right).

Fun is the Key

On the other hand, there are children who already have a strong interest to learn instruments like the violin at the start. In such instances, they would choose to learn that as their first instrument.

Typically when someone continues learning an instrument for a few years and still finds it enjoyable and manageable to learn, that would be the “right” instrument for him or her. Since the child would know that at the start, it may be better to let the child be exposed to more musical instruments and see which one he or she has more interest in.

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