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Musical Instruments For Kids & Getting Started – Parents Make These 10 Mistakes (Part 1 of 2)

Updated on May 7, 2012

Getting your child started in music is an exciting and momentous occasion. Your child is entering the wonderful world of music. I want to begin by saying thank you for encouraging your child to learn a musical instrument. You are not only enriching and culturing your child's education and development, but you are also placing your child on a path towards prosperity in whichever profession he/she chooses. The point is that if your child can learn a musical instrument, anything can be accomplished.

Music is not a simple matter to get your child started in. There are many things to think about. You wouldn't buy a car without proper research or even a computer for that matter. Proper research ensures that you make the best investment for your own personal set of circumstances and preferences. Buying a musical instrument is not the only thing that you will have to research to make the right choice. There are many other purchases and issues worth considering. We'll discuss the first 5 out of 10 most commons mistakes in this article.

In order to ensure that your child gets started on the right foot in music education, I have listed ten mistakes that any parent could make.

1. You could buy the wrong size instrument

Depending on the age and height of your child, you will have to buy a musical instrument that is appropriate in size. Certain instruments come in many different sizes like a violin, and others may only come in 2 or 3 sizes like a guitar. Another important point is that you want to buy the size that is appropriate for your kid's height now, not how tall you think she will be one year from now. In other words, a musical instrument is not like a coat. Don't buy the next size up because you think she'll “grow into it.” The reason is because your kid will not be able to learn effectively because it will be too difficult physically to play the instrument.

2. You could choose the wrong teacher

Choosing a teacher is a big decision. In essence, the teacher can have a great impact on the destiny of your child's musical development. There are many attributes to look for in a good teacher, but one that is a must, is that he/she must have at least a bachelor's degree in music. It's also possible that you may not know that you chose the wrong teacher for you kid until down the road a little. And that's OK.

Once you learn that the teacher could be the reason for your child's progress slowing down or vanishing completely, you can switch teachers. You want a teacher that can customize their approach to teaching your child. Every kid learns differently. The main point is to stay involved in your child's music education so that you can make changes when necessary.

3. You could be overcharged for the instrument purchase

Whether you decide to purchase your child's first musical instrument on the internet or at a local music shop, you will have to do some research to understand what the appropriate price range would be for the instrument. Not all musical instruments are created equal. It's important to understand which brands make better quality instruments and which ones are so cheap that they may have no value in a few months.

Musical instruments are just like cars, there are chevy's, Lamborghini’s, and everything in between. There is no need for the most expensive and highest quality instrument for a first-time purchase. My advice is to find a good quality instrument, that is reliable in quality, and is in the low to medium price range.

4. A salesperson may talk you into buying some accessories that your child doesn't need

If you buy your child's first instrument at a local music store, the salesperson will most certainly offer you some accessories. The truth is that some you will need right away and there are others you may need several months down the road. Again, you will need to do a little research to understand which accessories your kid needs right away in order to get started with no delay.

For example, every student will need a music stand to place their music books and sheet music onto in order to learn to read music properly. If your kid has to learn reading music with the books placed on the bed, she won't learn to read music quickly and efficiently. Other accessories like a metronome for example, will not be needed til several months later or more. The music instructor will determine when it's a good time.

5. You might not buy the right book that is best for your child's age

In my opinion, the first instructional book is a crucial part of early success in your child's music education. If the book is blasé, boring, and not engaging, your kid is going to lose motivation to practice. No matter what, the child must learn discipline in order to practice daily and consistently. But, an engaging book will go a long way in achieving a consistent practicing regimen.

You want to get a book that is also appropriate for your kid's age. There are many beginner books out there and they are directed towards a certain age group. For example, a 12-year-old can concentrate much more than a 5-year-old could with a book that is in black-and-white. That 5-year-old is going to need a book full of lots of colors and drawings. Perhaps even a section for the student to draw in.

A Parent's Guide: How To Get Your Child Started In Music

There's more...

In Part 2, I will discuss the next 5 mistakes that parents can make when getting their child started in music.


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    • TheMusiconomy profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from New York City

      Sounds like you have a musical family. That's great! If I had to bet, your kids are probably also doing well in school academically. Take a look at They are one of the best online violin shops.

      I also have written a parent's guide for how to get your child started in music. I go into more detail on what to look for in terms of violins and how to choose the right teacher. It's for sale on amazon. If you're interested, there is a link above for amazon, or you can get it cheaper on my music education website, The Musiconomy. See below. Good luck!

    • Learn Things Web profile image

      J Jahan 

      7 years ago from California

      This is excellent advice. My eldest plays piano and guitar and wants to start playing the violin. My youngest will be starting piano soon and also wants to play the violin. Getting them started on piano was so easy. The violin has been a bit more of a challenge, so I've been doing a lot of research to make sure I choose a good teacher and a good beginner instrument.

    • TheMusiconomy profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from New York City

      Wow! That's a lot of money. Helping parents get their children started in music is one of the priorities of The Musiconomy. I'm sorry it took me so long to get this info out. There is no need to spend thousands of dollars on violins and supplies in the beginning. However, it's certainly possible to spend a thousand dollars per year in private lessons. But there are ways around that too.

      What were some of the things that you found to be wasteful?

      Look out for Part 2 which I'll publish next week.

    • Cogerson profile image


      8 years ago from Virginia

      Great tips....we have spent thousands of dollars on our daughter's violin and supplies over the years...I wish we could have seen this hub before buying some stuff which turned out to be a complete waste of money...voted up and useful


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