Joe's Music Blog
Joining band is a big step for a lot of kids. Here at Joe’s Music, we get a lot of questions as to whether a particular stage in a child’s life is the right one to start studying a musical instrument. We feel that any time is the best time to start the practice of an instrument. Here are some ideas as to the right instrument, a practice schedule, and steps towards success.
· Which is the best musical instrument for you and your child?
We say for both you and your child because we understand that there are logistical issues that are involved in certain instruments. Further, a parent should be involved at every level in the support of their child exploring the world of music. But generally, a musical instrument should be considered on these factors –
· Is the particular instrument convenient and within the family’s budget plans? For example, Oboes call for special reeds. Other instruments, such as brass instruments and woodwinds, have certain price points that need to be planned for.
· Does the family have the space and surroundings for convenient practicing of the instrument? For example, drumming after dinner in a tight residential space may not be optimal.
· Is the instrument’s shape and size compatible with your child’s? Is it easy to play?
As discussed in this Banddirector.com article , there are physical considerations as well as social ones for instruments – kids often want to play “cool” instruments which may be impractical, and it may be smart to start with a smaller, related instrument and then graduate into larger sizes – for example, from a cornet into a trumpet, and from an alto saxophone to a tenor or baritone.
· Setting a practice schedule
Setting a practice schedule is essential for success . Preparing a space that is just for music practice that’s away from other family activities, putting away phones, and practicing consistently each day for a short time is guaranteed to get consistent results.
When preparing to practice, some relaxation exercises are recommended. It’s important to limber and loosen the limbs , fingers and muscles and to clear the mind so that the young musician can concentrate entirely on the music.
· Used or new instruments
Used or new instruments can be equally as good, but the advice of a reputable music retailer and shop is recommended. Most music retailers have the breadth and depth of experience to make a good recommendation as to reputable brands, and may even have used sections or be able to recondition older instruments.
· Keeping things fun
Parents should be involved in supporting enthusiastically their children’s exploration of music, and should be present when they practice, to support and encourage them. Above all else, music should never be seen as a chore or as something to be done as an expectation, but instead as something that is done to be both enriching and developmental as well as to bring pleasure and fun to the child. Musical practice stimulates the mind, body and emotions, and if approached with a positive attitude can be one of the positive pillars for academic and personal development during childhood.By following these steps, you and your child can know the pleasure and benefits of music performance and education for years to come.