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Posted by Laurie Russell, Executive DirectorI typically smile a bit when a parent says to me, “my child wants to the play the drums but I think I’ll have them take <insert almost any other instrument here> instead.” At that point, I silently thank my own mom and dad for not telling their fifth grade daughter she could not choose the drums for her instrument. Things probably would have turned out very differently for me if they had…I went on to become a professional percussionist, music educator, and arts administrator. Thank you, Mom & Dad!
So what does go into helping your child or yourself (I know you adult learners are out there) choose an instrument? The first thing I typically ask the prospective student is, “what do you want to play?” If it is an instrument that is appropriate for the student in terms of size and physical coordination, then my advice is, “let’s try it!” More than half the battle in learning an instrument is actually liking the sound, shape, color, and feel of your instrument. For a parent, if the child is excited about their instrument, then they will want to practice more often. Practicing an instrument on a regular, consistent basis is how we learn to play better.
But what if you or your child have no idea about what instrument to choose? Then my advice is to do a bit of exploration into the world of instruments. Here are some ideas:
Choosing an instrument for the first time can be a very exciting and fun process. Learning to play an instrument—that you like!—can bring a lifetime of pleasure. Enjoy your musical journey!
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