Best First Instrument to Learn For a Child
Updated: Jun 23
Music education is an important part of a child's development. Even if you've learned an instrument yourself, it's hard to know what is the best first instrument to learn for a child. So, I want to give you some great starter instruments for young children (younger than 8 years old) to help you along the way.
Best Instrument #1: Piano
This may have been obvious, but the best first instrument for a child is the piano. The reason why this is such a foundational instrument is because the wide range of musical information that is easily grasped on this instrument. Unlike most other instruments, the piano lays all of the notes in a straight line in front of the musician, this is important when it comes to learning music theory. All the notes are a 1:1, meaning there's only one C3, D4, A5, and so on. The notes on the page, can easily be directly correlated to a note on the piano. Furthermore, to play the piano, all you have to do is essentially press a button. This is in contrast to many other instruments that require two steps or a certain level of lung capacity to make a note sound on the instrument. For these reasons, piano is one of the best first instruments to learn for a child.
Best Instrument #2: Ukulele... great Guitar substitute
This one may be a bit shocking, but the ukulele is a great first instrument for children to learn who want to learn the guitar, but are younger than 8 years old. The guitar is an instrument that requires a bit more finger strength than most young children can muster without getting frustrated. However, the ukulele will teach chord shapes that can be used on the guitar and help finger strength develop due to the instrument being easier to press the strings on the frets.
Best Instrument #3: Violin
This instrument, unlike the other two is best suited to being a first instrnument for a child because the child is young and fingers are small. The violin is the smallest of the string instruments in the string section and because of its size and relatively limited space between pitches on the string, it's particularly suited for small hands. Violin lessons can introduce students to the basic concepts of dynamics, timing and melody. Since many students start this instrument so early, they can progress quite far at a young age and be quite talented in music fairly earlier than other instruments.
Since music is so important for brain development it's extremely important for students to begin to learn as soon as possible. Some music teachers do not take students younger than 7 years old, however, at Southern Music Academy we help students as young as 4 get started on the piano.