Choosing an Instrument
Some children express a profound attraction to a particular instrument, whereas others are happy to be guided. Ultimately, it is the parent’s responsibility to select which instrument their child will learn, taking into consideration a number of factors.
Choose an instrument whose sound you like, so you can easily and whole-heartedly express pleasure when listening to your child play. Your feelings of genuine delight will be caught by your child and become their own.
Consider the interests of your child. A child expressing a strong interest in a particular instrument over a sustained period of time is likely to also maintain that interest when learning and practising. In addition, some children feel an affinity with instruments that play noticeably low-pitched, or high-pitched, sounds e.g. viola (lower) compared with violin (higher), cello or double bass (low) compared with flute (high).
Evaluate your family’s resources of time and space as well. Piano students need an acoustic piano to practise on (not an electric piano or keyboard). Do you have space in your home for a piano? If you are considering a larger instrument such as a double bass, will it fit in your car along with passengers? Will you be able to travel to the teacher’s studio and group classes using the transport options and time available to you?
It is worthwhile spending time observing various teachers to find the one who you feel best matches the needs of your child. The relationship between teacher and student is a rich and long-lasting one, and your endorsement strengthens what can become possible.
No matter which instrument is chosen, it is the relationship between teacher and student, the support of the parent, and the experience of learning that are at the heart of the Suzuki approach.