Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best age to start learning an instrument?
Opinion is strongly divided over the best age to start learning an instrument, but most teachers would agree that starting at a young age is best. Where opinions differ is on the definition of ‘young’. The famous Japanese Suzuki method advocates starting children of pre-school age. But a lot depends on exactly which instrument the child is going to learn. It’s important for the young learner to have the physical strength to be able to hold and operate the instrument correctly, because although some instruments come in different sizes – violins for example – many don’t. For the piano, the student’s hands should be sufficiently big enough for the five fingers to rest on five consecutive keys. However, it doesn’t matter if the child’s feet cannot reach the pedals.
Is it ever too late to learn an instrument?
Is never too late to start learning something new, including learning how to play a musical instrument. However, it’s important to have a clear and attainable goal.
Which instrument is right for my child?
There have been whole books written on this subject, and we believe that certain characters match certain instruments. However, this shouldn’t dictate the instrument you allow your child to start learning. If a child shows a particular interest in an instrument he or she should be encouraged.
It’s worth mentioning that if a child wants to change from one instrument to another, some of the musical skills learnt learning the former can be applied to the latter. For this reason, learning the first instrument shouldn’t be viewed as a waste of time and money. However, it would be a mistake to change to another instrument just as the one being learnt starts to get more difficult.
What should I do if my child wants to stop learning his or her instrument?
First of all it’s best to try and establish exactly why your child wants to give up. Is it because he or she doesn’t like the teacher? Is it because your child is missing out on something else at the time of his or her music lesson? There could be any number of underlying reasons for your child wanting to stop, and it could be that learning the instrument isn’t the problem. If you can identify the problem there may be an alternative solution than giving up. However, if your child seems to have stopped making progress, doesn’t respond to encouragement, and clearly isn’t enjoying learning the instrument, then perhaps it’s time to stop. Talk to the teacher first though to get his or her view. It could be that your child would prefer to play another instrument, or simply that their natural interest lies in another field.
How much should I pay for my child’s first instrument?
Paying a lot for your child’s first instrument is not a good idea for two reasons. First, you can’t be sure that your child will continue to learn; he or she might lose interest and want to give up after just a few weeks. Second, giving a child an expensive instrument won’t make him or her sound any better. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should buy the cheapest instrument you can find though. Take advice from your child’s teacher.
Some manufacturers of high quality professional instruments also make lower-priced ‘student’ models. However, the price of these may still exceed the amount you are willing to pay for your child’s very first instrument. A good option might be to rent. Some shops have rentals programs where your child can try, i.e. rent, an instrument before deciding whether to buy it. There are also rental programs where the money you have paid to rent the instrument can be used as part payment for the instrument if you decided to buy it at a later stage. Again, take advice from your child’s teacher.
Some instruments are very cheap. Are they any good?
For the most part the answer to this question must be ‘No’.
How can I find a teacher?
You can check our teachers here: https://www.playtunes.institute/our-team
How much do lessons cost?
You can check our fees here: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/e82637_f52875ea969146958b906e2279b6d86f.pdf