Learning a musical instrument is not just a fantastic skill, it’s also an opportunity for your child to boost other areas of development, such as memory, organisational and coordination skills. And there’s a wealth of different instruments for your child to try and enjoy.
Of course, learning to play an instrument isn’t a skill that can be mastered overnight. Learning music and how to play an instrument takes time and effort, but can help children understand that if they want to be good at something, they’ll need to put in the hours and organise their time effectively.
Different students will succeed at different times but learning a musical instrument can help improve their memory – not only cognitive memory but also muscle memory as well. Researchers have found that learning to play a musical instrument can enhance verbal memory, spatial reasoning and literacy skills. Which means playing an instrument makes them use both sides of the brain, which in turn strengthens memory power.
JUNIOR EDIT: We show you 9 fascinating musical instruments for children to learn
We suggest: The Yamaha Acoustic Guitar FG800
Why: A beautiful-sounding guitar that may look like a normal acoustic but behind that satinwood finish is some clever sound technology that enhances the guitar’s natural sound. You get a little more volume, a kick of bass and some stunning sound. With superb projection and volume with a warm, rich tone, the FG800 makes a great full size acoustic guitar both for those starting out and those upgrading from smaller beginner models.
Best age to learn to play the guitar: Around age 7. It’s important to note that all students are different, so there really isn’t a best age to start guitar lessons. Realistically, students can start guitar lessons as soon as they can comfortably hold a small-scale guitar and press down the strings.
SHOP HERE >> Available at Yamaha Music London, from £255
We suggest: Hohner Chrometta 14 Harmonica
Why: Another great starter instrument, the harmonica can be played in pop, folk, blues and jazz music, so great for playing along to favourite tunes. The Chrometta 14 was designed to allow beginners to play their first songs in no time, as it has a special designed mouthpiece (extra wide channel openings) that make it much easier to play single notes.
Best age to learn the harmonica: All kids can enjoy playing the harmonica, so if you don’t want to invest in an expensive instrument just yet, getting a harmonica is a good choice. We suggest from around age 3 years as a guide.
SHOP HERE >> Available from The Bax-Music -Shop, from £96
We suggest: Yamaha Electronic Drum Kit DTX402
Why: An astonishingly versatile (and fun) electronic drum kit that can be played almost silently and is suitable for beginners, but will also grow with budding drummers. There’s a brilliant free DTX iPad app to download, which enables you to change sounds – so you can switch from Black Sabbath kick drum to electronic 4-on-the-floor dance beats. Plus the app will also help you learn how to play.
Best age to learn to play the drums: Between the ages of 6 – 7, as this is the age where most students gain the mental focus needed to learn an instrument.
SHOP HERE >> Available at DrumShack, from £329
We suggest: Tech Will Save Us Synth Kit
Why: For older children, this is a remarkable educational piece of kit, helping musical kids bring technology to life by creating their own synthesiser. After connecting all the elements together, your child can then experiment with pitch, frequency and volume, playing with three synths in one. Amazing.
Best age to learn synth: 12 years and up, however this is a great kit for anyone who is interested in learning more about how synths work and enjoys getting creative with sound.
SHOP HERE >> Available at Tech Will Save Us from £24.99
We suggest: Yamaha YEV-104 4 String Electric Violin
Why: Because, this is different. If your child wants to take violin playing to a new level the YEV-104 is a cutting-edge instrument. Beautifully crafted, the design is something else and yet it has the feel of a traditional violin but, it allows violinists to explore and enjoy other music genres beyond the classics.
Best age to learn to play the violin: Between the ages of 5-7 years old is a good. But, there’s no perfect age to start the violin – some have started as young a 3 years old.
We suggest: Cordoba 15cm Concert Ukelele
Why: A ukulele is a brilliant first instrument for children. It has four strings rather than the six of a guitar, and a slightly shorter fretboard, which help to make it easier to play some chords compared with a guitar. The Cordoba 15CM gets consistently good reviews that talk about a lovely tone and attention to detail, plus it has a beautiful mahogany top, back and sides.
Best age to learn to play the ukulele: It is possible for kids as young as age 3 to learn a musical instrument, but a good starting age for ukulele is generally age 6 and up.
SHOP HERE >> Available at GAK Music, from £85
We suggest Yamaha YRF21 Fife
Why: This is a brilliant very first instrument, especially if your child is interested in learning the flute, as you blow across the air-hole with a flute lip rather than playing like a recorder. It’s extremely lightweight and small enough for little fingers.
Best age to learn to play the Fife: 10 years old. To play the flute children need to have arms long enough to reach the holes, and be strong enough to support the instrument out to one side while you play. Although, it can be played by people of all ages and skill the general recommended age to start flute lessons is 10 years old.
SHOP HERE >> Available at Amazon, from £17
We suggest: A-Star Glockenspiel Percussion Kit
Why: Glockenspiels combine a keyboard style layout with a percussive feel. This beginner’s steel glock comes with its own carry case and has a foldable base for portability. A lovely slightly different instrument that allows exploration of melody, rhythm and timbre for a curious child.
Best age to learn to play the Glockenspiel: Around the age of five as many children are now ready for first experiences with a melodic instrument. Also, their eye-hand coordination is improving, melodic memory is stronger, and a pre-school child has a keen interest in re-creating the melodies he or she sings and hears.
SHOP HERE >> Available from Normans, from £119.99
We suggest: Yamaha U1TA Transacoustic Piano
Why: If you’re looking for an incredible musical family centrepiece, the Transacoustic is part traditional acoustic piano and part digital, giving you a full orchestra of sound in your home. The range of voices are mind-blowingly good – from a concert grand piano to a 60s style Rhodes piano to a harpsichord. It’s also a Silent Piano so you can practise with headphones while still feeling the true feel of the keys underneath your fingers.
Best age to learn to play the piano: The best age to start piano lessons is typically between the ages of 6 and 9-years-old. While older students may have an easier time learning to play, students as young as 6-years-old can also learn since the keys of the piano are easy to operate.
SHOP HERE >> Available Rimmers Music London from £17,000