Future Mozart - Gift Ideas for the Musically Inclined Child
Dear April Masini,
My six-year-old son seems really interested in music! I'm not sure how this is possible since both my husband and I are practically tone deaf, but we really want to encourage my son in this new interest. We don't know where to start though; is he too young to start playing a musical instrument? His birthday is coming up and we want to buy him something "musical." What should we do?"
Parents of a Future Mozart
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Parents of a Future Mozart,
I'm glad you're asking and are admitting that you and your husband are not musically inclined. Sometimes when parents don't know a whole lot about music, they may think a Fender Rhodes guitar is a great idea for a two-year-old who exhibits a special affinity for "Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog." They would be wrong.
Here are gifts I suggest parents with musical kids:
- Simple instruments: xylophone, drum, recorder and tambourine or other percussion instruments like maracas and a triangle are all great beginning elements of music that kids can fool around with and beat time to music with.
- Generally, children should be about six or seven before they receive an instrument on which they are going to be given lessons. Don't break the bank on a first musical instrument for your child. Your child is most likely too small for an adult sized instrument. Some instruments come in child-sizes that your child can learn on, and if he or she likes the lessons, you can then plan on getting a full sized instrument in a year or two or three.
- If you're going to give your child music lessons, consult with the teacher BEFORE you buy your instrument. They may be able to give you good advice on what to buy, what not to buy, and where to buy it.
- For families with more than one kid, start a band with your children! Give them each a compatible instrument and costumes so that they can play and perform!