The Top Instruments for Kids to Learn Compared

The options are usually overwhelming. One would like to choose the appropriate instrument to start off with without doubting whether you are making the right choice or not. In many cases, the kids are already inspired by a specific artist or dream which makes the choice easier.

To suit the needs of different people, we will compare 6 of the most popular music lessons being offered in various categories.

Have a look at the table below which is based on the statistics for kids aged 7-14:

Instrument Comparison
Starting price gear*
Starting price lessons (p/h)**
Space needed (approx)
Noise sensitive***
Learning difficulty ranking
Music theory relevance
Bass Guitar
Comparing different instruments to suit the needs of each individual beginner.

* The gear price was given as the cheapest option when you are buying a new entry-level instrument.

** The starting lessons are an average price from various states per hour. The prices also vary on how qualified or experienced your music teacher is.

*** There are various ways of reducing noise levels.

Choosing Guitar as Your Instrument

The prices of the instruments vary between the different brands. There are also options to buy starter packs which are nice to have “all you need” when you start.

The lesson price is influenced by the location, whether it’s live or online and the duration of a lesson. Generally, the price is 70$ per hour. My suggestion would be to try and find a package deal per term or per year. That offers your music teacher some security and you could save some cash.

I am one that believes that an instrument should always be easily accessible to practice. Even while watching TV or listening to music or a podcast. Getting the fingers hard should be the first step for a beginner. We normally say once that you’ve started practising, don’t stop, because it will hurt when you return.

Choosing Piano as Your Instrument

Take notice that you don’t need a complete and proper acoustic piano to start successfully. There are many different keyboards on the market that allows one to reach the same goals. They are also easy to place away and save space if needed.

So notice that the price per lesson is the same as with the guitar. The above prices are for solo lessons. But as you progress, I would also recommend adding an extra lesson with a group. This brings the price per lesson down and social exposure is important to stay motivated.

Other advantages are that your child will experience how to apply their instrument within a group and how it fits in. The average price per group lesson is between 30-50$ per unit.

Choosing Violin as Your Instrument

One might think that a violin is way more expensive, but there are some affordable deals online available.

If you are generally hesitant and unsure whether your child will be able to stay motivated and committed, then don’t miss the post I published about Why Students Quit Music. It is always good to understand which factors drive our kids to lose interest along the way and what we can do to prevent it from happening.

The price of the lessons is a bit higher compared to the others because there are not as many specialists around. The violin is also a more theory-driven instrument, therefore I would recommend lessons between 30-45 minutes maximum.

A girl playing the violin.

Choosing Vocals as Your Instrument

The only instrument that’s for free! 🙂 Vocals should also be practised and trained as with any other instrument. You get better the more you practice and gain experience.

Don’t underestimate the price of vocal training. The average price is similar to any other instrument and is currently at 60$ per hour.

Choosing Bass Guitar as Your Instrument

The starting price is a bit higher than some of the other options, but as you improve and gain experience, the more advanced instruments are also not much more expensive.

The bass guitar is an excellent instrument to start with if you are focused on playing with others. It’s quick and easy to learn and you experience the reward much faster. Since bass is used for filling the background and adding depth to the music, you could start taking part in a band within the first 3 months of learning.

If you are keen to start with the bass, don’t miss the post I wrote about which instrument is the easiest to play in a band. It’s just such a fun and versatile instrument to play.

Choosing Drums as Your Instrument

Be careful not to go too cheap here. A good drum set sounds much more rewarding than a budget one. Consult your music teacher about which symbols and toms they would like to have to start off with.

A drum set needs about the same space as a dinner table for 4 people. So plan your space well and take into consideration that there’s a lot of gear included in the art of playing the drums.

A boy practising his drum skills at home.

In the category of music theory, it is of course important to have a bit of a theory background, but since your drummer will take care of the pace of the music, they specialise in keeping various rhythms at an equal pace like that of a programmed metronome.

In general, there’s no wrong choice when choosing the first instrument to learn for your child. Once the musical basis has been laid you can also switch between the instruments until they find the one most suitable to them. The basics of music stay the same. As long as they don’t stop making music.

Being able to play more than one instrument also makes you more versatile and valuable. I know about various people that play different instruments in different bands. It depends on where the most interest is.

If you are keen to expand your knowledge on how to motivate your child to keep practising and not to give up after a tough week, don’t miss the article I wrote about Ways to Keep Your Child Motivated to Play their Instrument.

I am personally a big fan of 30-minute lessons. I feel you can do everything you need to during that time which includes:

  • A short warm-up (5 minutes)
  • Revision of the previous week’s input (5 minutes)
  • Check, correct and revise the homework or theory (7 minutes)
  • Teach a short piece of theory (7 minutes)
  • Practice a short piece together to work on for next week (6 minutes)

Lessons that carry on for 45 minutes normally include more repetition and more playing along. It obviously depends on the need of your child and for how long they can stay focussed.

If you are still drifting between options, don’t miss the article I wrote about factors to keep in mind when you choose the right instrument for your child. It addresses some more practical aspects one should think about to keep both child and family happy and motivated.

Rock it out!

De Wet

The dream started during a school tour at the age of 15 years old. One that might take a long time to reach. De Wet was 16 years old when he got his first bass guitar as a gift from his dad. The guitar was found, hidden under boxes. As if it was waiting for its owner to come by and pick him up. He practiced every day to improve and to teach his fingers to dance to the music. After finishing high school, he played in various bands where he collected valuable experience, before being signed by a record label as an upcoming band. He reached success at age 22 when he released two albums with his band, which also included televised music videos for publicity. By age 24, he co-started management, artist promotion, and booking agency for successful and upcoming musical acts.

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