Tsue ~ That's What She Said: Helping Your Child Choose A Musical Instrument

Friday, July 6, 2012

Helping Your Child Choose A Musical Instrument

Over the last few months, my son and I have been exploring musical instruments together.  Our motivation?  Over the past school year, along with his 5th grade classmates, he has been participating in music exploratory classes at school.   Our local school district recently restructured course requirements and is now requiring all students to participate in a musical course each year, beginning in the 6th grade.  This Mom thinks the change is a fantastic improvement!

Music, Music for Strings, String Instruments, School Orchestra, Cello

The children in our district spend a quarter of 5th grade learning about the musical options available to them:  Band, Orchestra, Choir and Music Appreciation and select a musical path at the conclusion of the school year.  In elementary school, students in the 3rd and 4th grades are taught to play the recorder, which makes their musical survey in 5th grade more comprehensive.  During each mini course, my son and I discussed the instruments he had opportunity to play, what he enjoyed about them, as well as the pros and cons of each program.

In the end, my son faced a great internal debate:  Would he elect the Bassoon or Oboe, beginning is musical adventure in Band or choose Orchestra and learn to play the Cello, eventually moving to the Bass?  

Helping him work through the decision process was a rewarding experience.  Both the Teen Diva and I shared our experiences and stories from our participation in Band in school.  We relayed our stories about marching band, jazz band, as well as the fun perks of summer band camp, parades and field trips to fun locations like Disney World and New York City.

Although my own musical experience included participation in Pit Orchestra and Full Orchestra, our family knowledge of string instruments beyond the piano are fairly limited.  To assist with a fair presentation of the benefits of the local Orchestra program, the Diva solicited assistance from a friend currently in the Orchestra program.

Michael Maggs, String Instruments, Orchestra, Instruments for Students, Selecting Instruments for Students
Photo Credit:  Michael Maggs
In the end, my son decided to to choose the Cello and this Mom couldn't be more thrilled.  Although my lack of personal experience with stringed instruments necessitates private lessons to help him excel, rather than informal instruction from Mom, I'll enjoy learning about the instrument with him and look forward to the mellow notes to fill the house.

We have already begun shopping for his new instrument and researching to make the best selection.  My son is very much looking forward to having the instrument in hand and has been busy looking for great scores to begin his own sheet music collection.  With music stands and metronomes available for his use already at home, I'm happy to encourage his enthusiasm with a smile, knowing it will take a bit of time getting to know the Cello before he is ready to tackle sheet music.

Do your children play instruments?
Which instruments did they choose?
What kind of music program is available in your school district?
Tell me in a comment below!  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

The opinions above are both honest and of my own experiences.  Please find my disclosure policy.  Sheet Music Image.


Daisy TrendyMomReviews said...

My son doesn't play an instrument yet, but maybe when he is older. I know that our school district has a music program.

Crystal said...

My boys don't play an instrument. This was the first time one of them had the chance and he decided he wasn't interested. I don't think it worked out in his favor because some form of music is required. So they gave home chorus. Needless to say he isn't happy.. He should have just picked an instrument.

Pam said...

My daughter played the trumpet for a while. She didn't care for it though and elected to go a different direction.

Samantha said...

mine is soon to start piano

Grace Hodgin said...

I played clarinet and guitar. Learning to play music is such an awesome step for your son.

Closer to Lucy said...

My son plays several different instruments...changes his mind every year.

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