Choosing Your First Musical Instrument

band instruments

Choosing their first musical instrument is an important moment in a child’s life–they could be choosing their life’s work and beginning a musical journey that will last decades.

Or they could quit after a year and never play again.

How do you know which instrument to choose?

First, remember this–YOU CAN CHANGE LATER. If you pick the clarinet this year, you can pick the saxophone or even the trumpet next year! During your year of Clarinet, you will be learning how to read music, how to breathe correctly, how to play in an ensemble, musical terms, and music theory. None of that is lost when you change instruments. Even if you choose an instrument that plays in a different key or in a different clef, the foundation you form in your first year is much more than fingerings–it is the basis for the rest of your musical life.

Still, how can you tell which instrument you might like to play?

Teachers look at both body type and personality when advising students and parents on which instrument to choose. A more extroverted child might enjoy the flute, trumpet, or saxophone, as those instruments are often featured in ensembles. An introverted child might prefer a trombone or a clarinet. Students with smaller lips have an easier time with trumpet or french horn, larger lips with baritone or tuba. Is your child on the small side? A bassoon might be too tall, but an oboe might be just the thing!

What is the number one most important factor in choosing an instrument for your child?

Which instrument will they PRACTICE? Which instrument makes them want to come to school, want to get better, want to work hard to play well? That’s the one!

Bertrand’s Music rentals include all of the standard band and orchestra instruments: Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone, and stringed instruments, too. Pick one! If you change your mind, you can come in and exchange your first choice for another instrument and continue on, without losing your built up equity toward the purchase of a new like instrument.

Which instrument they choose could be make-or-break for your child’s musical future or their first instrument may be a stepping stone to a better experience. The important thing is they are learning about music–and learning to enjoy making it, too!