Q: What is the best way to choose my child's first musical instrument?

A: Choosing the correct instrument for a child can be a difficult task but, at the same time, an important step in your child's musical success. There are several factors to consider when choosing an instrument such as your child's age, size, and musical taste. If the child is under 6 years old, there may be some physical limitations pertaining to his or her size. It is vital to match the child's size with that of the instrument to insure manageability. Violin is always a good choice as this instrument is available in different sizes that can accommodate very young children up to adult size. The piano is another good choice as it does not require manual tuning and you can hear both melody and harmony (chords) which serves as a vehicle to aid in learning and understanding music theory. Older children may consider other instruments such as those from the brass and woodwind families (i.e. trumpet, flute, saxophone, etc.). Allow the child to hold the instrument and consider its comfort and ease of operation. The sound of the instrument may also be a consideration in how it appeals to the player. A visit to your local music store would allow the child to see and hear various instruments by requesting a demonstration before making a final decision.