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Wich Instruments?

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The piano poses a vast tonal range and versatility which covers all the instruments in the orchestra. The fact that the piano can create every note of every instrument in ...

One of the questions we hear most frequently is, “Which instrument should my child play?” There is no one “best” instrument, but there are considerations for which instrument will be best for your child.

Before thinking about specific instruments, it is important to understand what is developmentally appropriate for children at different ages. Please see this page, What Age Should My Child Start Music Lessons, for more information on children who are younger than 5 or 6.

Should My Child Start with the Piano?

The piano is considered the king of instruments, and the piano is central to most music theory study. But students don’t need to start with the piano if their interest is elsewhere.


However, the piano is perhaps the most approachable and natural instrument, so it is the one we recommend most often for students beginning their musical journey. You can learn more about why the piano is usually thought of as the foundation for musical education in this article.



Can My Child Begin the Piano at 3 or 4 Years Old?



If your child hasn’t had any prior musical training that has laid the groundwork for the fundamentals of music, 3 or 4 years old is most likely too young.


If your child does have that background, then it is possible that piano lessons at this young age may be fruitful. There are always exceptions to rules like this, so we do recommend you enroll your child in an assessment lesson so we can help you make the appropriate decision.


When Can My Child Start Playing a String Instrument?

String instruments present challenges that require more focus, a good ear and more enthusiasm in order for a child to work through those challenges.


Our experience has been that a child who has had at least one year of fundamental music instruction can start violin or cello at 4.5 or 5 years of age. Again, we recommend signing up for an assessment lesson to make sure the student is ready.


When Can My Child Start Vocal Instruction?

We recommend that students wait until they are 9 years old, though some students can start earlier.


When a child demonstrates an extraordinary ability at an early age it is very common for the child to try to imitate what other singers are doing which is not necessarily a good influence and can lead to habits that can potentially damage young vocal cords.


For students who demonstrate an extraordinary singing ability, we recommend starting voice lessons before the age of 9 to avoid these issues.


Having the guidance of an expert will help shape the natural talent by providing positive examples for your child to emulate and establish good habits. Imitation is the first and most natural way for a young child to learn.




When Can My Child Start Playing a Woodwind Instrument?

By the age of 10 or 12, most children are ready for woodwind instruments, which can be an excellent way for children to develop lung capacity.


Among the family of woodwinds, the recorder is the only instrument that we recommend for a child younger than 10, though even the recorder can be a challenge for younger students.


Flute, clarinet, and alto saxophone are the most common beginner instruments for children between 10-12, as this is the age when students start playing in a school band.


Bassoon and oboe are considered the most advanced woodwind instruments and are recommended for slightly older students.


There are always exceptions to these rules, and some instrument manufacturers are now offering high-quality, affordable instruments for beginners that allow a young, motivated student under the age of 10 to start learning woodwind instruments. Because these instruments are priced affordably, you can worry less if your child prefers a different instrument.



When Can My Child Start Playing a Brass Instrument?

Like the woodwinds, we recommend brass instruments for students who are 10-12 years of age, and we find that the trumpet, horn, trombone, and tuba are the best choices.


Each of these instruments has advantages and disadvantages, and we are happy to discuss what you should consider if your child is interested in one of these instruments. A child’s physical development needs to be considered as the lungs play an important role in how well a student can progress with a brass instrument.


Brass instrument manufacturers are also now offering high-quality, affordable instruments that allow a young, motivated student under the age of 10 to start learning some brass instruments. Because these instruments are priced affordably, you can worry less if your child prefers a different instrument.

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“Max reads his student very well, and with great care.  His coaching skills as a teacher take into account the student's individuality."

L. Esposito, parent (Mother of Richard and Peter Esposito, 17 and 15 years old)

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