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

person in white long sleeve shirt playing piano

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


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


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


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

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