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Instrument options for a 6 year old

 
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Calla_Dragon
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:14 pm    Post subject: Instrument options for a 6 year old Reply with quote

I'm toying with giving my son the option to start learning an instrument to play (aside from the recorder we are learning for our music curriculum). He's expressed passing interest in playing the violin, but since I know virtually nothing about the violin or how to play it, I don't know if it's even a good choice for a first time budding musician.

I played the flute, piccolo, clarinet, bass clarinet and some piano when I was in school though I'd be amazed if I can still get a decent note out of any of them. We don't have room in our house for a piano and I'm not really into keyboards so I don't think the piano is an option. Grandma has a piano at her house and the knowledge to teach it to my son if he so chooses - and since he's there regularly, he's got a decent shot at progressing at a decent pace as well, so I'd like to choose something different for at home.

Suggestions? Thanks in advance.
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keyboards aren't that awful - you can buy a size that's good for his fingers, and it won't be too expensive. Given, the sound won't be as good as with a real piano, but it's still useful for practice. You can buy models that give louder or softer sounds depending on how hard you press the keys.

Both my sisters practice with a keyboard at home.
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ncmom
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Joined: 13 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally think that if he wants to try let him, he may love it, he may not. I started violin when I was 7 with just private lessons. My mom let me pick out the instrument of my choice and once I got started I never quit. I still play and now am teaching my own children and give lessons in my area.

As far as not knowing anything about the violin, neither did my mom. In fact she still doesn't! Memorization of where to place the fingers for what note is what I find most people struggle with, while technique (how to hold it, bowing, ect.) is usually not such a problem. There are however ways to help students with these problems you would just need to find a teacher in your area to show you. As long as you can read the treble clef, and once you know the basics, it shouldn't be to hard for you to learn with your son. Like all instruments it just takes practice. Personally I found that overall Suzuki has worked best with my students in the past. There are also some good DVD instructional videos out there; however, you may find that you still need a person to ask questions or give you general help right at first.

Good Luck with whatever instrument you decide to go with!
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Calla_Dragon
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I've always wanted to play the violin so if that is what he chooses, I will very seriously consider taking it up with him because I know I won't do it on my own. That will probably make private lessons more cost effective with both of us taking them vs. my son just taking them by himself. Plus we can practice together. Very Happy
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Ramona
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 7:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Instrument options for a 6 year old Reply with quote

I was always told violin is an excellent choice for young instrumental beginners. I started in 4th grade at age 9. Suzuki starts teaching kids by rote when they're very small, not yet reading. They make tiny violins--I think 15th-size and maybe smaller.

Ramona
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Mark
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm partial to winds myself, but my daughter plays violin. Smile

oh, and as far as practicing together, that is a good idea. It is also one
that you can carry over to recorder. And, should you grab yourself an alto
recorder, you can play harmony with him using the same music.


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twiggybumble
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Joined: 25 May 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have to agree with some posters that keyboards aren't necessarily a bad choice. I have an electric piano, and it was fashioned to look like a real wooden piano. It also uses sounds sampled from actual instruments, so it is authentic in reverberation. My favorite feature, however, is the option to use the keys as you would on a real piano, with harder strikes producing louder tones. It doesn't have percussion and ten thousand instrument choices and fancy lights, but I am not into that sort of thing anyway.

As far as violins go, my husband plays violin, and I have picked it up a few times and actually carried my own silly tunes. The finger placements aren't nearly as complicated as with a guitar, IMHO.

My ten year old is learning guitar, very slowly, at his own pace. If you do choose a guitar, I would suggest nylon strings, which are much softer on the fingers and easier for beginners. They produce a different sound than your standard acoustic strings, its something akin to classical guitar.

If you would like any more info on my part, just let me know. And good luck to you!
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jacky
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi - dont know if you'vew decided on an instrument yet .. I am a musician and my daughter is now at music school having learnt violin since age 3. I have the philosophy of letting any child try any instrument they want to - for the enjoyment. As for whether they'll be any good at it is a totally different matter. The violin is all about precise finger placement - a which a good ear is essential - if your child can sing in tune he is more likely to be able to do this. Also it is very technical and requires a good deal of coordination between the hands. BUT - dont let me put you off... just have fun!!!
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ThatGirlWithGlasses
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am 17 and I started playing the violin three years ago. My cousin ( who was 16 or 15 and was just taking lessons herself) taught me to play with a few stuttering lessons. I taught myself the rest of that I know and I only just started taking lessons in town.
I love the violin. My parents claim they love the way I sound on it ( but they could be trying to make me feel better), but I warn anyone intent on playing the violin or teaching anyone to play the violin: a well played violin is a gift to the World a poorly played violin is a gift to no one. And I mean it. I am sure that at first ( and at times now) I sounded more like a sick alley cat then a musican in any right. But if your kid shows real interest in it and is willing to tog on even when he sounds awfull ( and I am sorry but at some piont he probably will) then buying the kid a 40 doller violin for him to practice on and getting him a few lessons isn't much for teaching him dedication to an instrument. Music helped me get though some of the harder times of my teenhood. Plus it opened up the doors to the recorder, the piano. the chanter ( bag pippes without bags), and several other instuments I can putter at.
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Jakk
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 6 yr old DD wants to learn how to play hand bells. She had seen them being played in Church. I found a cute set on Amazon and they come with color coded lesson cards. She hasn't started playing them yet but they do not seem like they will be that difficult for her to play.
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heartsease
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Joined: 07 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:01 am    Post subject: Instrument options for a 6 year old Reply with quote

Playing the violin is reckoned to be the most complicated activity known to mankind, yet a 2 year old can be taught to do it. If you stick to it, the benefits will be enormous - from a better brain to a bigger spirit. However, please bare in mind that practicing is not a childlike activity and your child will need you to be actively involved. I learned with my children and it basically changed my life.

You will seed support from a caring teacher so I really recommend looking for a qualified Suzuki Violin teacher in your area. “Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.” Shinichi Suzuki
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tanyaviola
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both violin and piano seem to be very popular for young children. And they can learn to play them well, even if they are complicated. With piano, you don't need to worry about finding the right pitch Smile On the other hand, pianos are much more expensive than violins (or violas!!). But if you already have one, even an upright piano, perhaps that's the way to go. But if you, as a parent, also want to learn violin at the same time....even better! So long as you have a teacher willing to teach you both at the same time.
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heartsease
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are many instruments suitable for a 6 year old. I have written a detailed analysis of temperament, physique, intelligence needed for each with guidelines on expense and portability. See my blog at http://www.musicinpractice.com/2011/choose-the-perfect-instrument-for-your-child-by-analysing-temperament-physique-intelligence-initial-expense-and-transport/
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