“School sucks” – Every kid ever.
Bearing in mind how overwhelming academic pressure can be on school going children, it is vital that there is a healthy recreational activity that they can indulge in apart from games on their parents’ tablets, phones, and TVs while at home. An activity that will genuinely not only gift your kid with a much-needed break but that will also teach them a skill or two in music and learn how to play an instrument.
Music is about self-expression, communication and of course having the time of your life, therefore creating a perfect escape for every child.
Often parents or guardians don’t need the Lord’s intervention to be persuaded that their child needs to learn how to count or better yet say the alphabet…No. It just comes naturally. There are even sites that will tell you the exact week your child should pronounce their first word, and parents just go with it. However, adding music to their daily routine often seems like a stretch.
Unknown to parents, there are so many merits to teaching your child music. From improving their ability to listen and focus, to enabling kids to gain self-esteem and problem-solving skills, playing music also gives them a safe place to have some alone time (yeah children also need some space).
It is important to understand that the kind of musical instrument a child plays is dependent on their age and length of their fingers. It is, however, still possible for every child to learn how to play an instrument.
Another important component to vividly consider is the aspect of interest that a child displays. Learning to play music involves intense commitment and discipline but with a spark of interest, the learning process comes naturally. But with so many musical instruments on display today, how do you choose the best and relevant one for your child?
Types of Musical Instruments
While there are various types of instruments, they all fall into one of the five categories as listed below.
- Woodwind – Saxophone, Flute
- Brass – Trumpets, Trombone, Tuba, French horn
- Strings– Violin, Cello, Guitar [ Electric, Acoustic, Classical]
- Keyboard– Piano, Organ, Electric Piano, Synthesizer.
- Percussion– Drum kit, Tambourine, Shakers, Conga Drums.
Musical styles to consider
Knowing the type of music your child likes is very instrumental –see what I did there, I had to do it… I’m sorry – in deciding what musical instrument will be a perfect fit for their personality.
Some instruments are heavily associated with some styles and depending on what style of music your child prefers, this will help ease your decision. The categories are shown below;
Acoustic Guitar – Associated with Folk, world music, country, blues and even classical
Electric Guitar–Associated with Rock, Blues, Jazz, Pop
Woodwind Instruments–Associated with Pop, Jazz, Funk, Gospel, Classical and even folk music.
Brass Instruments– Associated with Trumpets which are linked with Jazz, Funk, and soul.
Percussion –They are associated with basically all types of music.
Keyboard– One of the most flexible instruments that associate with all kind of music. It’s considered great for learning technique at the beginning of music classes.
Musical Instruments to Consider
- The piano
Ideal for kids aged 4 and above
Many of the worlds distinguished composers like Beethoven, Mozart, Bach or Wagner began playing the piano at an early age. Beethoven played publicly at age seven. The piano is made like a musical staff making it easy to understand theory and learning of the notes. It even teaches kids how to learn to read Bass Clef and Treble Clef. Piano basically prepares your child for using other instruments.
Ideal for children aged 4 and up.
The violin is a smart choice because it’s easy for the children to handle. Violins are generally in small sizes. They are recommended as opposed to the guitar as they lack key or fret hence, your child only goal is to focus on the sound produced. It helps the children play in tune.
Ideal for children above 3 years old
For parents that want a musical instrument that your child can play with at any age group then the Maracas is your go-to choice. Maracas are not only fun for even toddlers, but they also help a child develop their motor skills earlier on in life.
Maracas can even be made at home if you are up for a DIY [Do It Yourself] project. All you need is an empty water bottle and dried cereal.
4. The guitar
Recommended for children aged between 5 and 8 years old.
A favourite for kids’ even adults and this is not because of the endless Ed Sheeran videos that are on your radio, TV and every YouTube recommended video…NO, there is just something about the guitar that screams serenade. And who doesn’t love to croon to something nice?
Acoustic guitars are perfect for beginners. Once your child is comfortable with the small-sized instrument and his interest has picked tremendously you can smoothly transition them to an adult one.
5. The Flute
Ideal for kids aged 10 and up.
Once a kid hears their own tune it’s impossible to take away a flute from them. Science has actually proven that. Don’t ask me why this is the case, just go with the flow. Truth is, the flute is an exciting instrument for any child. Kids who have a problem in finding balance when holding it can play the flute with the left hand. Flutes are very advantageous for skill acquisition as they let the child’s talents take form during their early developmental years.
Ideal for children aged 10 and up.
Definitely not for the faint-hearted parents. If you are ready to be driven mad by your kid constantly knocking the bejeesus out of their toys then drums are for you. If your kid is holding a stick and constantly knocking anything on their path please get them drums.
There is a 5- piece drum set for kids who are just beginning and it is an ideal package for any child who likes to bang. When your child finds his rhythm, and actually find a way of expressing themselves, you would be surprised at the beautiful sounds of the drums.
One Last Thing…..
Away from the stereotypes and prejudices between the haves and the have-nots that have existed for years…that music and playing instruments is not for everyone, well its time to thwart those misconceptions. What is sad is that we all feel music in the air and love the sounds of instruments whether you rich or poor.
Unlike in the past generations when playing music was only something most of us could dream of; our children are living in a diverse vibrant generation and the best part is that they can access all these resources everywhere around them. Plus you really don’t need to rob a bank to buy your child an instrument anymore, so you really don’t have any excuse.
Plato once said ‘’I would teach children music, physics and philosophy but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the key to learning’’. Think about that and bring out the soul inside your child. Raise a music child and you will never regret it!