Instead of being just another learner of the piano, guitar, or violin, some children may prefer to be unique and recognised for having a very special, niche skill of their own. As such, they may rather learn a comparatively rare instrument.
Your child will also be in high demand by ensembles. However, finding teachers and resources for learning may pose greater challenges. Your child must be prepared to travel further just to attend lessons.
Perhaps most importantly, your child must at least be remotely interested in the instrument. While it’s normal for young children to gain and lose interest in things quickly, it’s essential that your child is enthusiastic in learning the instrument at the beginning. If your child can appreciate the sounds of the instrument, he or she will be more likely to enjoy learning the instrument. Consider letting your child experience each instrument at a shop before choosing one together. While your child may be indifferent to several different instruments, it’s quite likely that you can ascertain if your child prefers melody, harmony, or rhythm. If your child shows a clear affinity for the rhythmic parts of music, it’s likely that he or she would prefer learning the drums over the clarinet.
Once you and your child have a pretty good idea of what instrument he or she wants to learn, it would be prudent to plan for the costs of your child’s music education. As it takes years to develop competency in an instrument, you have to prepared to make a long term investment for your child. We outline the main costs to be considered below:
The instrument itself
- Pianos tend to be the most expensive, with a decent one setting you back around 2000 USD.
- Violins, flutes, and trumpets are a lot more affordable, starting with beginner models priced from 150 USD. However, you may have to invest in larger sized and higher quality instruments for your child as he or she grows and progresses.
- Consider rental instruments if you do not wish to commit large sums of money until you are sure your child’s interest is sustained.
- For pianos, digital pianos may offer a more budget friendly option. To find out more, do give our guide about digital and acoustic pianos a quick read.
- Pianos need to be tuned at least twice a year, which is typically at least 100 USD per session.
- Stringed instruments need their strings replaced
- Woodwind instruments need their reeds changed, corks replaced, and yearly adjustments by a instrument technician
Lessons and examinations
- Fees will vary by instrument and region, but they usually rise as your child progresses through the grades.
- Most instruments, apart from the piano, require an accompanist to play together with your child during exams. Unless you have a contact who is willing to do it for free, you will have to hire a professional to accompany your child during his practice sessions and examinations.
- Starting off with online lessons is a good idea as well, as they are often a lot cheaper than hiring a private teacher.
How about music theory?
After choosing an instrument, parents frequently ask if their children need to learn music theory as well. Without a doubt, knowledge of music theory will deepen your child’s understanding of music and the context within which his instrument is played, making for more sensitive and well-rounded musicianship. It’s especially important if your child will be playing in a group in the future, as music theory knowledge will give him or her a basic understanding of what players of other instruments do.