Posts Tagged ‘recorder’
Children are capable of learning to play a musical instrument at a very young age, but not all instruments are appropriate for certain ages. Starting a child out on an instrument that is within his or her capability will build confidence and make them eager to move on to bigger musical challenges. There is a natural order of progression in learning instruments that works best for most children, and will keep their enthusiasm for learning intact.
The easiest instruments for the youngest of hands are simple percussion instruments like hand drums, tambourines or rattles. Even very young children show a natural understanding of rhythm, perhaps a “sense memory” of the rhythm of their mother ‘s heartbeat while in the womb is what sets the stage for this natural ability. In any case, children as young as six months old can enjoy playing simple percussive instruments, and by age five they can be ready for moving on to more advanced percussion instruments such as a piano that actually produces a tune when a key is struck. The transition from just making a noise when striking a drum to making an actual musical sound when striking a key, and then discovering that different keys make different sounds, and that striking several keys in succession creates a “tune”, is a discovery that encourages a child’s natural sense curiosity and wonder; and the first step to “music appreciation”.
At the age of five, some children have developed the needed strength in their hands, along with coordination, to try out a violin, or child-sized guitar. By age seven, most children will have hands that are big enough for a regular sized guitar or perhaps a cello or viola. By seven, children are also old enough that they can begin learning how to read musical notation. At earlier ages, children can remember only simple tunes and rhythms. Only later can they attempt to master chords and harmonies.
Woodwind instruments like the trumpet, flute, recorder, trombone or saxophone require a larger lung capacity than a small child has, as well as the careful control of lips and mouth for producing sound. These skills are usually out of reach until a child is at least ten years old. Waiting until then will maximize the chances that the child will have success, and the desire for learning more complex music will be evident.