Choosing a musical instrument for your child
When your child is in school, he/she may have the opportunity to play a musical instrument. There are so many instruments to choose from, so how do you know which one to pick?

Most music shops ask for a commitment on the rental of the instrument, but some will let you switch with another instrument if your child is not happy with what they have chosen.

There are many factors to decide when choosing an instrument for your child and you should try to take your time and make sure you get what you want.

The first thing to consider is an instrument's size. If your child is small or has to ride the school bus or walk a long distance to school, a tuba is probably not going to be a good choice unless you plan on driving them to and from school each time they need to bring their instrument home. Choose an instrument that is easily transported unless you are sure you will be committed to making the extra effort. A trombone case is quite long and can be difficult to manage on a crowded school bus.

Be sure to let your child hear every instrument that they have the option of choosing. See if there are any they really like more than others, the sound of it and the way it is played. Some music shops will allow you to try out different types of instruments before you decide on one or your child's music teacher may do this.

Find out what is involved in the care and maintenance of the instrument. Some instruments have parts that need to be replaced regularly such as strings or reeds. Violin bows may need to be restrung and they need rosin, find out what your instrument's special needs are. Decide whether you will be simply renting the instrument or renting with the option to buy it eventually. Musical instruments can cost hundreds of pounds and some are more expensive than others. If you are considering renting to own, be sure you start out with an instrument that is new and not reconditioned.

Once you have decided on an instrument, be sure your child knows that this is a long-term commitment. Even though some music shops will let you switch instruments, they will not let you end the commitment altogether. Don't let your child give up, make them keep their end of the bargain and encourage them to practice. Your attendance at all of their performances will be a great boost for them and their horizons will be broadened with a new appreciation of music and a respect for their instrument as they care for it.

Studies have shown that children who learn to play a musical instrument, are more likely to be successful in other school subjects, not to mention that fact that your child will be learning an appreciation for music.