When I was growing up, I loved music. I played the piano when I was younger, and when I started Grade 6, I played the trumpet. I didn’t find it challenging enough, so in Grade 7, I switched to the flute. After I graduated, I played in a band with my mom and played the saxophone. I took a guitar elective in Grade 9 and can play a few cords, but I haven’t really kept up with it, although I kind of wish I had.
My eldest daughter and I attended a band meeting last night for all Grade 5 kids in her school district who were interested in playing in the band in Grade 6. As of right now, she eventually wants to end up playing the saxophone, but is going to try out the clarinet for a year first.
Here are a couple tips for helping your child choose the right instrument:
1. Ask your child which instrument he would like to play. He may have a friend or relative that plays or played a certain instrument and he wants to play it, too.
2. Listen to the sounds of the different instruments. Does your child like a specific-sounding instrument? They may simply be drawn to one in particular.
3. Try out as many instruments as you can. Your child may have a specific instrument in mind, but when he tries it, he might change his mind to one that he can get a sound out of.
4. Make use of instruments you already have at home. Do you already own an instrument? Does your child want to play it?
Most music stores will have options when it comes to acquiring an instrument. Do you want to rent? Rent-to-own? Purchase outright? For your child’s first year in band, it might be best to rent an instrument, just to confirm he chose the right one, and to prevent frustration if he wants to change his mind.
Did you play in your school band growing up? What instrument(s) did you play? Did your child choose the same instrument you did, or a different one?
Jen Wilson is a married mother of three super-awesome children—two girls and a boy—who range in age from 0-10. She enjoys photography, organizing, reading, TV, and sarcasm. She drinks her coffee black and dreams of one day owning a dishwasher. You can also find her on her blog, Hey Mrs. Wilson, where she has been writing about life in Saskatchewan since 2004.