Best Instruments for Young Children to Learn

One of the most common regrets from adults is that they didn’t learn a musical instrument at school. Having the ability to play a musical instrument is a wondrous thing that offers a wide range of benefits to children, with a lasting impact into adulthood. Whether it is building up one’s confidence, teaching the child helpful or productive skills, or developing social skills, encouraging a child to learn a musical instrument is gift that has life long benefits.

As part of one’s musical journey an important consideration is which instrument to choose? As Parents.com notes in their article, “The 6 Benefits of Music Lessons“, the instrument you and your child choose should depend on a number of factors. Their list of questions to consider are:

  • Is your child excited about the instrument? Does she like the way it sounds and feels? Some music schools offer a “petting zoo” that introduces kids to multiple instruments.
  • Is the instrument too challenging or is it not challenging enough (for both you and your child)?
  • Does your child’s temperament match the instrument?
  • Can you afford the instrument and the maintenance that comes with it?
  • As a parent, do you like the sound enough to listen to your child practice it for hours at home?
  • Is your child specifically interested in a particular music style? If so, factor that into your instrument choice, as some specifically cater to certain styles. For instance, a violin player will have a hard time fitting in a jazz ensemble.
  • Experts don’t always agree on which instruments are best for big kids to learn, but many music teachers do agree that it’s hard to go wrong with the piano, percussion (like the drum or xylophone), recorder, guitar, or violin.

When considering the best musical instrument for young children, Moms.com has written an article titled, “Top 10 best instruments for young children to learn”. A summary of their list, which a few additions from us, follows:

10: Guitar

Guitar is one of the best musical instruments to learn since it is extremely popular in most countries, it’s incredibly cool, there are smaller guitars for smaller hands, and the guitar can be learned at any age. Guitars aren’t that expensive, especially when compared to other popular instruments.

9: Piano

While piano’s can be a bit too large for some kids to get into, keyboards act as great substitutes and are also much more accessible. Unlike woodwind, string, and brass instruments, piano doesn’t require the initial training to make it sound out properly, which is rewarding for some students. Piano teaches the skill of multitasking, and it doesn’t have to be tuned (well, not that much, anyway) which is a convenient benefit. If you’re interested in starting your child on piano, check out Moms.com article, “The Best for Piano Lessons“.

8: Violin

The violin can be difficult for students to learn; it takes perseverance to move beyond a sound reminiscent of an injured cat. The challenge of mastery teaches your kid to keep on trying, no matter how difficult something can be. That beign said, the violin has a lovely sound, and has grown in popularity over the years, for which it’s often featured in rock, country, and folk.

7: Harmonica

The harmonica is a great starter instrument since it’s cheap to buy and doesn’t take effort to make a sound; however, the harmonica is difficult to play well. The harmonica is popular in rock music, and is often played at the same time as other instruments, which teaches the skill of multitasking.

6: Drums

Drums are a wonderful instrument for young children to play since they help kids release pent up energy. Most importantly, playing the drums helps the music student with rythmn, coordination, multi-tasking, and endurance.

5: Flute

The flute is popular due to its size, as it can be carried and stored away easily and effortlessly. The flute is not too difficult to learn and can be a great introduction to woodwind instruments as a whole and acts as a great crossover for other musical instruments since it’s fingering is similar to other woodwinds.

4: Harp

The harp is a rather complicated instrument, which requires (teaches) patience and perseverance. If you’re considering buying a harp it is important to know that harps come in different shapes and sizes and can be adapted to fit each child no matter how big or small they may be.

3: Saxophone

The saxophone is a popular instrument since it can be played in marching bands, jazz bands, and is a popular addition in everything from classical to rock music. Playing the saxophone is said to be connected to memory skills and neurological control, which provides a positive workout for the brain.

2: Steel Pans

Steel pans first originated in Trinidad and Tobago, and have become popular instrument to learn in some music school programs due to their unique sound. For parents looking to introduce their child to drums, steel pans can be a nice alternative over the loud bass drums and crashing high hats of the traditional drum set.

1: Triangle

The triangle is a great musical instrument to introduce your kids to music and rhythm as well as playing in a band or a team. Furthermore, it also teaches discipline, with kids learning how to time themselves. Plus, kids can start playing the triangle at any age and may even spark an interest in music as a whole.

You can read the entire moms.com article at https://www.moms.com/best-instruments-young-children-learn/


Playing an instrument helps children develop leadership skills, patience, and perseverance. Our music course for Kids introduces young children to the world of music, helping to establish a foundation for musical ability. We offer a free trial lesson, with group music classes and private music lessons at our music center or online.  We provide music lessons to students of all ages and skill levels in Citrus Heights and surrounding areas, including Fair OaksOrangevaleRosevilleNorth Highlands, and Sacramento.