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How to Pick the Perfect Starter Instrument for Your Child: 3 Factors to Consider

You’ve finally decided to give in to your child’s pleas for music lessons, and you’re eager to get them started on their journey because you know that music is a great way for kids to express themselves and explore their creativity! But before you can start lessons, you need to pick an instrument. You might be wondering what kind of instrument is the best fit for them. It’s a big decision, and one that you shouldn’t take lightly.

After all, the instrument they start with could likely be the one they stick with for many years to come. So how do you choose? In this blog post, we’ll show you how to pick the perfect starter instrument for your child and give you some things to consider as you choose so that they can get the most out of their music lessons.

How to Pick the Perfect Starter Instrument for Your Child
How to Pick the Perfect Starter Instrument for Your Child – Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

Inspiration

Firstly, and arguably MOST importantly, you’ll want to choose an instrument that will inspire your child to spend time with it for practice time. Interest is both a psychological state of attention and affect toward a particular object or topic, and an enduring predisposition to re-engage over time. It’s a powerful motivational process that energizes learning, guides success trajectories, and is essential to curricular and extracurricular success.

If students are not genuinely interested in the instrument, they’re not likely to enjoy practice. At MJS, we believe that taking enjoyment out of the lesson is a massive no-no..   Here’s why: The student, when forced to play something they don’t enjoy – often and easily confuses their dislike for the instrument with a dislike for playing music as a whole …and that is just not something we’re interested in (or willing to be) contributing to!! 

Then there’s also the fact that these students just won’t get the most out of their music lessons, which practically turns the lesson into a glorified babysitting session / waste of time and money.

Talk to your child about their interests and see if there’s an instrument that they’re particularly drawn to. If they have a natural affinity for a certain instrument, that’s usually a good place to start. However, sometimes it takes trying out a few different instruments before landing on the right one. Most studios are willing to work out a few lessons on each instrument you’re seriously considering to help you (and your child) decide!

If your student isn’t really sure what excites them, think about it this way. If they’re interested in a particular type of music, like rock or folk, there are instruments that are better suited for those genres. If they’re interested in rock music, a rock instrument like guitar or drums might be the best option. If they love singing, you might be best served to find a voice teacher with experience in pop and rock genres.

If they generally prefer calmer music, then a ukulele, violin, or piano might be better suited for them. For singing, a classical approach might suit this type of student. Ultimately, your child will be impacted most by the decision — so be sure to involve them in the process!

How to Pick the Perfect Starter Instrument
How to Pick the Perfect Starter Instrument for Your Child – Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Accessibility

Start simple – think about accessibility and practicality when choosing a starter instrument. For example, if your child is interested in playing the piano but you don’t have one in your home or regular access to one, it may be more practical to start with an instrument like the ukulele which is more affordable and doesn’t require a lot of space. 

A good keyboard is a great alternative for those without a piano, but those can be a little pricey and not everyone’s ready for that upfront investment. It’s important to remember that once your child has really explored and experienced their starter instrument, they can always move on to an instrument that requires a little more investment and commitment when they’re ready.

How to Pick the Perfect Starter Instrument for Your Child
How to Pick the Perfect Starter Instrument for Your Child – Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com

Practicality

Another thing to consider is practicality. Some instruments, like pianos and drums, can take up a lot of space, make loud sounds, and be quite expensive. Others, like guitars and violins, offer more affordable options and the noise level can be more easily managed. 

You’ll also want to think about how portable the instrument is. If your child plans on taking their instrument with them wherever they go, a smaller option like a ukulele or small acoustic guitar might be best. Large instruments are hard to move about and therefore take special arrangements to manage ongoing lessons, like having to learn online or invest in two instruments – one for the lesson space and one for home practice. 

You also want an instrument that’s practical for your situation. For instance, if you live in an apartment, it might not be wise to get an acoustic drum set. To learn drums, you might need to invest in an electric set you can use headphones with. If you have young children, you might not want an expensive violin in the house, because of the higher cost of repair or replacement. 

How to Pick the Perfect Starter Instrument for Your Child
How to Pick the Perfect Starter Instrument for Your Child – Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com

Congratulations on taking the important step of finding the right starter instrument for your child!

It can be daunting to find the perfect one, but if you take into account all of the factors we’ve mentioned in this post – inspiring, accessible, and practical – you’re sure to have a winner. And if you ever have any questions or need some hand-holding along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out. This is an exciting time, and I want to make sure you have all the information you need to make the best decision for your family. I want nothing more than for your family to get as much joy out of music lessons as possible! Here’s my email: musicjunkiestudios+kristi@gmail.com   I’ll personally reply within 2 days 🙂

Growing Your LOVE of Music | Cultivating Interests | Expanding Understanding | Honing Skills

Music Junkie Studios location: 1701 Enderly Place Fort Worth, TX 76104 phone: (682) 499-5732 email: musicjunkiestudios@gmail.com


Find Out More About Our 1-on-1 Music Lessons Here

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We fully customize all Music Lesson instruction because:

  1. We value about who you are as an individual
  2. We care to know what you need to succeed & have fun while doing it
  3. We care about your goals and interests
  4. We know one-size-fits-all programs don’t work

Copyright Music Junkie Studios September 2022 – Kristi Judd

BANDS is BACK!

We’re combining one-on-one instruction with group rehearsals and live performances, creating more well-rounded musicians who feel confident playing with other musicians as a band.

Here are a few benefits you’ll see from our BANDS experience:

Friendship and Knowledge

People who bond over a shared interest often form the strongest bonds. When you join BANDS, you’re joining a community of people who love music as much as you do. You’ll be able to share your knowledge and learn from others in the group. This is an opportunity to make some of the most lasting friendships of your life. If you’re looking for a way to connect with others and make some great memories, joining BANDS is the perfect solution. Nothing will compare with being part of a community that shares your passion.

Less Pressure

When you’re playing in a group, there’s a team dynamic that takes some of the stress away. Small mistakes get easily lost in the larger sound of the group, and progress is made together with your BANDS. When you’re playing by yourself, it’s easy to be aware of every little mistake you make, which can be very discouraging. The team effort involved in playing in a group can take a lot of that stress away and help you to relax and enjoy the music and environment.

Reinforced Learning

Students of all ages can understand why they learn to do something in a particular way when it’s reinforced in the work they accomplish as a group in BANDS. This is a great learning technique. To understand why is a good reason to continue. It’s a great motivator. This can help the students become more engaged and excited to progress even further.

When students are able to see how what they’re learning applies to the success of the group, it helps them retain the information better and also see its importance. This often leads to increased excitement and motivation as students see how everything they’re learning fits together like a puzzle. This is a vitally important part of the educational process.

Confidence Boost

Participation in a musical group like BANDS can provide a boost to students’ confidence levels. Through regular practice, students develop their musical skills and become more capable musicians. Joining our BANDS experience allows students to share their talents with others and see how their contributions help to create something greater. This can promote self-esteem and confidence, as well as a sense of belonging and camaraderie. In addition, musical performance provides an opportunity for students to express themselves creatively and connect with their audience more confidently.

Connection and Trust

We crave connections and musical groups and musical ensembles are built on connections and trust. In fact, music has been a key factor in forming bonds in groups and cultures around the world for a very long time. Our BANDS experience can be a supportive environment to propel cooperation and, consequently, fuel trust within its members. In today’s society, where we are often disconnected from our neighbors and communities, developing these types of connections can be more important than ever. By coming together to make music, we can learn to trust and cooperate with one another, benefiting both individuals and society as a whole.

If you’re interested in ways to make your learning process easier and more enjoyable, look no further than our BANDS experience. With friendship and knowledge at the core of the program, you can take the pressure off yourself and enjoy a relaxed environment where learning is reinforced. Plus, with a confidence boost from gaining new and sharper skills, you can connect with others in a deeper way and create trust-based relationships that will be beneficial in all areas of your life.

The benefits of friendship, knowledge, and support are truly invaluable. Not only will you feel a sense of relief from sharing the pressure of growth and performance, but your work from private lessons will be reinforced and your confidence boosted. Most importantly, through our program you will form connections with others who share your interests and build trust among this community. What could be better than that?

Next Steps

If you’re ready to sign up for an incredible journey filled with growth and support, click here to apply now! We can’t wait to have you join us!

Curious to learn more?

>> We’ve got all the details right here. <<

BANDS

HOLIDAY BUY GUIDE 2020

Just in time for your holiday shopping frenzy, Music Junkie Studios presents:

THE HOLIDAY BUY GUIDE – the ultimate gift resource for the musicians on your list!

The MJS instructor team have been busy little elves collecting their favorite musical toys, apps, and gear. That’s right- we have firsthand experience with everything in this guide. Enjoy!

Click HERE to purchase an MJS Gift Card

Development

One of our core values at Music Junkie Studios life-long learning (ongoing personal and professional development).

One way to illustrate this concept is to imagine ourselves as bodies of water. We want to be running streams- full of energy, active, clean, always refilling from upstream and providing to the creeks downstream.

What do we mean by that? If we’re constantly the same (think of a puddle or pond) and never changing or challenging ourselves… keeping our curriculum the same and functioning on a “one-size-fits-all” or “wash and repeat” system, we become stagnant.

Think about stagnant water for a moment. It does have its uses, but it gets dirty SO quickly. It attracts yuck. Things growww in therrre. Things stale and settle in still water. No thanks.

The first way we can be be running streams of water is by challenging ourselves, overcoming obstacles, and always renewing our minds and filling our minds so that we are constantly learning and growing. That’s how we refill from upstream.

Develop Through Education

I’m teaching things today that I learned 5 years ago. In 5 years, I really hope that I’m teaching what I’m learning today. That stream just keeps flowing. And it doesn’t have to be 5 years – maybe it’s 2 hours from now. Constant inflow means that there’s more outflow and we’re constantly being renewed, updated. We want to be educating in a way that our students and clients are drinking from a running stream, not stagnant water.

Develop Through Mindset Work

We’re not just educating ourselves, but we’re working on our mindset, and staying up to date with the newest, best ways we can be teaching musical concepts. We ask ourselves questions like, “Is what we’re doing working the way we want it to? Is there a better way to be doing it?” We want to be always depositing into ourselves and into our students in different ways so that the outflow has an amazing effect on our community.

Develop Flow

If you’re from Texas or anywhere in the south, you know that stagnant water attracts mosquitoes and gets gross pretty quickly, meaning it isn’t just “not great”, but it’s dangerous! Disease grows, infection and nastiness grow in water that isn’t moving, isn’t thriving, and isn’t all the time being deposited into from a renewing source.

Consider pond water, or a birdbath… definitely not a healthy thing to be consuming. It’s a dangerous game to play in the world of education, too. We’ve learned throughout history that as our education isn’t updated accurately and with care, we are teaching generations the same old, tired stories that really aren’t true anymore and really don’t give full context. The same goes with music.

Develop To Evolve

Music is ALWAYS evolving. Learning is always evolving. There are always new resources, new pedagogies that are better and more effective and more relevant to our students. The lessons we teach shouldn’t look like the lessons we took as children. Music in the past 30 years has evolved, and so should the way we teach it. We shouldn’t pretend as if nothing has changed or evolved and that there’s no better context since the beginning of time. It’s just not true.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of educators that teach this way – even with math, literature, science, etc- maybe you know some. At MJS, our job in this is to be lifelong learners who are self-motivated to constantly be opening ourselves up to that greater source – the source of water upstream from us that we can be learning from, siphoning more knowledge, skill, ability, talent, discipline from, and opening ourselves up to the reality that we always have more to learn. 

To continue to grow and evolve is not only our responsibility but our joy – to continue to embrace this art and see where it goes and see what beautiful things people do with it, and to share that with our students.

development
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

The Art of Showing Up

I’ve been pondering the experience (or art) of showing up. It’s risky, right? Showing up means running the risk of messing up.. missing the mark.. or the oh-so-horrible failure. But the thing is, it’s only possible to fail if you’ve stepped up and tried something with the faith (not the guarantee) that you could do it.

Taking a risk and showing up to try new things is what led to all of the innovations in history, so it’s important that we take risks. The most successful people who ever existed were not always sure they would succeed but decided to show up anyway because their work was worth it even when scared or unsure! Showing up is worth the risk.

What does the phrase showing up mean?

Showing up means you commit to focus on doing the job and then actually take steps towards your goal.It’s so hard to allow ourselves to exist in this kind of space, isn’t it? It feels unnatural and uncomfortable. It’s easy to think, “Why in the world would I sign up to feel that vulnerable and incompetent??” Like Homer Simpson said, “If at first you don’t succeed, give up.”  Sadly, sometimes we actually believe that! We’ll lock it up deep down inside of us and believe the lie that that we are not worthy of achieving something because we didn’t get it right the first time, so we fail to show up.

It’s for this reason that I’m challenging my students with their music every day. I’m pushing them to new greatness in themselves that they may have forgotten they’re capable of. And I know that I can’t expect my students to be the only people doing that, I have to expect that of myself and model showing up for them! It won’t happen overnight–in fact quite the opposite—but through consistency on both ends, we know that student achieve so much more than they ever thought possible. We’ve seen it time and time again.

I love to encourage my students by telling them that some of their work will be super breezy and familiar, we’ll learn little by a little so they’re always comfortable with the material. And sometimes it’s time for something new which challenges what they think possible in music! And wow- that last one can be frustrating, but a little secret I know is that we’ll take those steps only after I’ve gained their trust. I’ll be showing up to set the example!

Sometimes it feels like you know exactly what’s going on with your music, to the point it can feel boring or monotonous… and other times, the music feels gigantic and seemingly in another language entirely.  Taking risks is a scary thing. But it’s also a necessary part of life. We learn and grow through our failures, as long as we have someone there to help us pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off. That’s where the teacher comes in.

A good teacher will earn your trust before asking you to take big, scary risks. They know that failure is a possibility, but they also know that it’s how we learn. So next time you feel scared or vulnerable, remember that it’s okay to show up anyway. Failure is just a step on the way to success! Think about a time you were brave enough to take a risk, even though you were scared.

To let yourself be seen – by showing up – even though there’s no guarantee of triumph, is beautifully human and brave. It shows that you are alive, and curious, and willing to participate in all the joys that life has to offer, no matter how vulnerable you have to be to get it. And once we do venture out into the unknown, we often find that things aren’t as bad as we thought they would be. So next time you feel scared or vulnerable about something, remember that it’s okay to show up anyway. You might just surprise yourself with what you can achieve! The lie is thinking you’re not good enough to even show up and try.

Lucy Showing Up

Lucy had always been afraid of failing. Her entire life, she had worked hard to avoid any disappointments or setbacks. She was hesitant to try new things because she was worried that she might not be good at them. Every time she tried something new, she couldn’t help but think about what would happen if she failed. Would she be laughed at? made fun of? She didn’t want to risk it.

So when her piano teacher suggested that she learn a new song on a higher skill level, Lucy was hesitant. She wasn’t confident that she could succeed at a higher level. Her fears of failure held her back from reaching her full potential, because she didn’t allow herself to be seen fully showing up – to embrace her vulnerability and really try.

Lucy’s teacher quickly recognized that she was allowing her fear of failure to win. Instead of focusing on the possibility of failing, her teacher encouraged her to focus on her strengths and abilities and apply them not just one small section of the music. Focusing her energy on one small part at a time, her confidence gradually grew. She started to feel better about herself and her abilities. The small wins started adding up in to BIG wins! With each section she learned, she felt a sense of accomplishment. With a little effort, Lucy was able to overcome her fear and succeed.

Lucy’s teacher helped her see that failure is a normal part of learning. We all make mistakes and we all have to start somewhere. Lucy began to see failure as a way to learn and grow. And with that mindset, she became more excited about learning how to play the piano. She decided that showing up for her lessons was worth the risk of failure – and even more importantly, messing up is OK! When she did mess up, nobody made her feel stupid or small. She knew it was safe to be imperfect. It’s okay to need practice and to be a work in progress!

Student, you are always allowed to make mistakes, learn, and do it all over again. Showing up is worth, show out, The choice is yours. We hope that you feel encouraged to take risks in your own life after reading this post.

Think about a time when you were vulnerable, but decided to show up anyway. What happened? We would love to hear from you in the comments! And remember: You. Are. Enough. 

No matter what Homer Simpson says.

The Art of Showing Up
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