Introducing a child to a musical instrument could be the beginning of a lifelong hobby. It could also be the start of a creative journey that leads to a career in music later on.
Although not every child will become a musical household name, learning an instrument is a beneficial pastime. There are plenty of benefits from learning a musical instrument that your child will take into other areas of their development.
If you want to help your child learn a musical instrument, then keep reading to see what the benefits are, and what instruments they could learn.
Why should children learn to play music?
Not every child will want to learn a musical instrument, so it should be pointed out that no matter how much you want your daughter to learn violin if she has no interest, it isn’t going to happen.
However, if your child is keen to learn to play music, they will benefit in many areas. With some schools cutting budgets and programs, it is easy to ask, is it important for kids to learn music?
When you consider how it helps them to grow creatively and in other ways, it has to be a yes.
Learning to play an instrument can increase a child’s confidence, improve their social skills, improve memory, learn patience, and become more resilient. Learning anything involves the occasional setback, and this helps them to understand resilience and perseverance. They will grow in confidence as they progress and overcome difficulties in learning chords, or songs.
What instruments are good for children to learn?
Often children might gravitate towards a certain instrument while they are in school. Many schools will have a range of instruments that children can try, and these can include anything from the triangle to the piano.
They might even start out on piano but realize they want to be a drummer and switch at a later stage, much to some parents’ distress.
There are though, some instruments that children should learn, or at least are popular choices:
The piano and the violin are classic choices for children entering the world of music. The piano offers a much quicker sense of gratification as the instrument sounds instantly good regardless of any playing skills. However, mastering these instruments like any other will take time.
Keyboards are a good choice too for anyone wanting to learn the piano. The layout is identical, they can be less expensive, and headphones can be used to eliminate noise.
What is the easiest instrument to learn as a child?
There are plenty of entry-level instruments that a child could learn, and the recorder is a very popular choice. Many children have started their musical journey by learning to play 3 Blind Mice on the recorder.
There is another instrument though that might give your child a bit more creativity, and lead them to try other instruments down the line; the ukulele.
Although there was a slight decline in ukulele sales in 2020 – Statista reports that ukulele sales dropped by around 100,000 in 2020 – 1.5 million instruments were still snapped up that year.
The ukulele is an ideal starting instrument if your child has no interest in the piano or violin, and isn’t ready for the guitar. It is simpler to play than the guitar, produces a lovely sweet sound, and is inexpensive. It could also be a gateway to learning other string instruments as they progress.
What other benefits are there to learning an instrument as a child?
Learning a musical instrument could lead to them studying music full-time later on. It is entirely possible to major in music, and there are plenty of career options available.
A keen musician could end up imparting their knowledge as a teacher themselves later on, or they might become a professional in their own right. Session musicians are in demand too. Even though most musicians won’t become famous, there is still a great joy to be had from performing for others and playing with fellow music lovers.
There are some real benefits to a child’s cognitive growth too. There is plenty of evidence that shows musical training can help cognitive development. According to the NCBI, it prepares a foundation for a range of skills and helps to nurture cognitive development. This can help keep the mind healthy in later life too, especially if the person continues to play through the years.
Encouraging your child to learn a musical instrument could be a rewarding experience for both of you. Help them to choose what instrument suits them, and what they will most enjoy. Letting them select an instrument to learn, and the style of music is more likely to end in success than pushing them in a direction they don’t want to go in.
Music is a hobby that can be carried throughout life, and the student never stops learning. Your children can grow with their instrument, as their talent and creativity will also grow.