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How to choose the right musical instrument?

There are many children who approach the study of a musical instrument every year: making a correct choice is also important for a satisfactory evolution of the educational path. We always remember that in many languages ​​“play” and “play” are the same word The “ideal” musical education provides a preparatory approach to singing and rhythmic movement in the first years of life, to arrive at the choice of an instrument in principle around seven / eight years of age.

Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all rule and it is up to parents to verify the inclinations and to indulge their children’s musical desires, without preclusions. There are children who already very young show a predilection for a specific instrument, others who may already have a piano or guitar at home and have tried in some way to play them, or an older brother or friend who is already studying music and invite you to try.

The more musical instruments a child has had the opportunity to approach, the more likely his choice will be correct. It must also be taken into account that the relationship with one’s own instrument as an object will be an important resource in the musical and developmental history of the child; over time you will grow fond of it, will often carry it with you, will have to learn to take care of it and be responsible for it, to feel it familiar and to know it perfectly in all its parts. Fortunately, today many music schools organize open days in which teachers allow you to experiment with a guided approach to the different modes of sound production, in order to verify the real possibilities and predispositions of each child. In orienting oneself, it is also necessary to evaluate practical and concrete elements, such as the size of an instrument, the handling and the costs to be incurred. These are important considerations that parents must make once they have decided to have their children study music.

Most loved: The Piano:

The piano is always the most requested instrument: it is an instrument with an easy initial approach (the production of sound is immediate, unlike a violin or a transverse flute), it allows you to see the notes on the keyboard and to facilitate the complex operation. cognitive control of movements and reading of the staff. It should be specified that the piano is an instrument with a fixed pitch and a static position, the student is always seated and the space – even visual and relational – is limited. Therefore it is essential that the teacher is very well prepared: he will have to teach correct breathing, a flexible posture and develop the perception and recognition of different sounds.

For this reason, stringed instruments, so frustrating at first, turn out to be invaluable: they effectively build what musicians call “the inner ear”, that is, the essential ability to recognize the relationships between different sounds. A myth to dispel is that of the ear: it is clear that talent and individual predisposition exist, but by themselves they are not enough: learning to play an instrument well is a process of continuous acquisition of skills, improvement and refinement of sound perception and yes, you also learn to “have an ear”.

The benefits of wind instruments:

Wind instruments deserve special attention, especially for those children who often have respiratory problems, who wear corrective orthodontic appliances or who have difficulties with speech and music. These conditions benefit greatly from the study of a wind instrument, precisely because of the possibility of regulating breathing, the fine motility of the mouth and muscle relaxation. Of course, it is essential that the teacher has adequate training and that he constantly takes care of his updating, didactic, scientific-formative and relational path.

The good relationship of the teacher with the child and with his parents is the basis of any success in the field of music education and instrumental practice. It is also up to the teacher to inform parents of the pupil’s progress and of the musical educational project: not all children will become professional musicians but everyone must have the opportunity to acquire a good education that allows them to take advantage of the enormous cognitive resources. and creative music. A well done music class is a gift for a lifetime.

Short catalog of musical instruments:

The piano is the best known instrument, the most complete from the harmonic point of view and the one that allows you to produce precise sounds from the first lessons. You can start very young, even at three / four years, making sure to maintain the playful aspect of learning and to take care of posture and breathing to avoid muscle tension caused by the static position.

Stringed instruments are a large family: the best known are violin, viola, cello and double bass. They require good control and independence of the arms that make different movements. Some teaching methods (such as Kodaly and Suzuki) allow a correct approach even to very young children, but generally one expects at least the beginning of elementary school.

Wind instruments: there are many divided into woods (recorder and transverse flute, oboe, clarinet, sax, bassoon) and brass (trumpet, trombone, tuba, horn). Apart from the recorder which can be started even at six / seven years, the others require the appearance of the final dentition and a certain body weight to allow breathing exercises. They are excellent training for functions related to the mouth and breathing.

The instruments of non-European tradition, such as percussion, are made up of a practically unlimited number of types: drums are usually studied in schools from the age of eight / nine, but every child has been experimenting with percussion since he was very young. It is an excellent course of study for disciplining energy and aggression and for working on coordination.

Plucked string instruments: the most famous is the guitar, which all the boys, sooner or later, try to play. It is a more complex tool than we think. You always start around the age of seven or eight, but you can also start older, especially as teenagers, and also learn electric guitar or bass. The classical harp and the Celtic harp are demanding instruments but of great sound beauty.

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