How to prepare children for learning musical instruments?

Do you dream of your child playing a musical instrument one day? Maybe you yourself play an instrument and you know how enjoyable it can be? Maybe you think it must have been great living in times when almost everyone who came from a ‘good family’ learned to play piano? Or maybe you’ve found out how music stimulates development of a child’s brain?

Every single reason is a good one when it comes to teaching children music. But the fact is that at age 7-9 when most parents decide to send their kids for music classes it’s already quite late to start learning musical instruments… If you want to know when is the best moment to start teaching children music, here’s my text on the subject.

So, what are you supposed to do to introduce your child to the world of musical instruments as early and as naturally as it gets? Where to start?

Homemade musical instruments for kids

– If you want to teach your child some basic elements of music like the rhythm or what an instrument is, it’s a great idea to use everyday objects. You may create different sounds using things like pots, cutlery, wooden spoons, boxes and tins with spices or grains, glass bottles filled with different amounts of water, bubble wrap, pencils and pens, rulers and so on.

– Whenever your child has a chance to play with an instrument (or you decide to spend some money and actually buy a few musical instruments for kids) let him or her discover on their own special and sometimes… innovative ways of using a given instrument and making sounds. You can choose some pitched or unpitched percussion instruments (like glockenspiels and maracas or boomwhackers and a triangle).

– However, musical instruments for kids can be quite expensive, so if you don’t want to spend a lot of money, let your children build their own homemade musical instruments (or build an instrument for them yourself). Older children can be really creative. So if you explain for example how a guitar works (what it’s made of and how it produces sounds), they’ll probably come up with an idea how to build their own guitar using an empty Kleenex box and some rubber bands. If your children are too young to figure that out on their own, check one of my DIY projects (how to make a drum for example) and create some homemade musical instruments for them.


Fun music education for kids – different styles and instruments

– When you listen to music together, try to choose pieces from different styles, cultures and periods. Always encourage your kid to name at least one instrument that can be heard in a given piece. It’s a nice way to broaden your child’s mind and appreciate variety and diversity of music. It also helps to become a mindful and informed admirer of music – and opens up a path for further music education.

– There’s also another fun and really easy way to teach kids about music – just give them a coloring book about musical instruments. You can find those in many online bookstores or download some free images from the internet.

In my opinion the best way to prepare children for learning musical instruments is through play – so that they enjoy the process and associate music with something nice and interesting.

What do you think of those ideas for homemade music education for kids? Let me know if your children like them!