Over the years more and more research emerges that shows the benefits of learning to play a musical instrument at an early age. Brain development, confidence building, and social skills are just some of the valuable benefits that have been linked to playing a musical instrument. All children benefit from learning music, the trick is to find an instrument in which they love.
Many of us remember our parents forcing us to take piano lessons and perform in recitals when we were not ready to do so. It can be difficult to help a child find the right instrument fit, and if they do not love what they are learning, they will not gain value from their experience. Giving children the options to try various instruments is a great way for them to learn what they like the best.
The piano is the most popular instrument for children to learn, and the guitar is next in line. Many children connect with a guitar because they see their favorite musicians play them. Like the piano, the guitar is a wonderful foundational instrument that has added benefit of being fairly easily learned.
The guitar can help children develop manual dexterity while teaching them the basics of music. Not to mention, they can learn to play their favorite songs, something that keeps them invested in the process.
Similar to the guitar, the ukulele is a great beginners instrument. It’s compact size fits well with children, and with a few learned chords, they can play familiar songs in a short amount of time. The ukulele is also easy to take anywhere, and is easily incorporated into any lifestyle and budget.
If woodwinds are what you are hoping to have your child play, the recorder is one of the easiest to pick up. There are often group recorder lessons and a simple fingering chart may be enough at first to get the ball rolling. Recorders are used by most music teachers as an introductory instrument to the flute or clarinet, both of which share a similar fingering system.
The recorder teaches the important beginning techniques of woodwinds, finger positions and breathing. It is also less of an investment to have a child learn on prior to picking up more difficult instruments.
Giving your child the opportunity to pick up different musical instruments and learn about them is an important step in the right direction. Oftentimes, parents feel like it is best to work hard at one instrument, but in reality, our brains thrive on the different techniques required for different pieces.
Involving your child in programs such as the various music classes taught at Westminster Arts Academy is a great way to expose them to the world of music while giving them the chance to develop a passion for an instrument. Whatever instrument that they ultimately fall in love with will bring them many years of fun and fulfillment.