Part 2: On what instrument should my child start lessons?

In part one of this three-part blog series we explored the age that children should be when they begin lessons. You can read that article here. In part two we offer up our opinions on what instrument your child should play when they decide they’d like to start taking music lessons.

Should they start on piano before moving to another instrument?
If your child enjoys piano and wants to learn piano, then that’s a great place to start. However, if a child is enrolled in piano lessons, but they really want to play drums, for instance, there is a good chance that they will be less likely to practice the piano. We believe in eliminating barriers to success, and success when learning an instrument largely means practice. It is true that studying the piano is a great way to learn the basics of music, and that foundation of knowledge can benefit a student if they decide to learn other instruments. A solid understanding of music can be gained from studying ANY instrument, however. At Michigan Rock School, we often encourage students to explore other instruments, as well as their “primary” instrument, to help them understand music on a broader scale. Guitar and bass students might improve their rhythm by understanding some drum basics, while a drum student might gain some knowledge about song structure from some guitar lessons. There is a lifetime of knowledge available when you study music, but having a strong attraction to a specific instrument is a good way to begin the journey.

Should they start on acoustic guitar to see if they like it, before going to electric?
Again, if your child wants to play acoustic guitar, then that’s a great place to start. However, if they have their heart set on playing AC/DC riffs on electric guitar, they’ll likely be frustrated stuck on an acoustic guitar. It used to be that it was less expensive to purchase a beginner acoustic guitar than to purchase an electric guitar, amplifier, and everything else needed for an electric guitar setup. Many companies now sell electric guitar starter packs that include everything you need to get started on electric guitar, all at a reasonable cost.

Find the specific instrument that your child wants to play, and they’ll likely stick with it longer than if they don’t get to make that choice for themselves. Remember, while parents invest a significant amount of money for an instrument and lessons, the student’s success is related to their investment in practice time. Help them succeed by supporting their desire to learn a specific instrument.

In part three of this series we will explore when a student is ready to participate in a rock band, or performance-based lesson program.

Need a bit more information? Feel free to send us an e-mail, give us a call, or stop by our Downtown Milford location. We are more than happy to help!

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