Cool and Interesting Instruments Your Kids Will Enjoy Playing
Instruments become part of school curriculum in elementary/middle school. If your child is looking to play a musical instrument, there are three potential outcomes:
- They love it, become obsessed with it and become a virtuoso
- They hate it and quit soon
- Perhaps the saddest option: They don’t love or hate it. They remain indifferent about it until you suggest that they practice or try again. In adulthood they may have fond memories but never pick it up again
Obviously, most parents hope for option 1. However, you have a 2-in-3 chance that your child will be less than enthusiastic about learning a new instrument. They may be in band class in school, or you might sign them up for private lessons. Since you want them to enjoy it either way, here are some unique and fun instruments your kids might like!
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Awesome Instruments for Kids (and Adults)
I just want to say that although these instruments are geared toward children, there’s no reason an adult might want one too! I would totally be more interested in learning an instrument if it had a fun color or design. Although I’ll be gearing this post toward children, don’t feel left out if you want to play yourself!
1). Colorful Clarinets, Flutes and Saxophones
I have no idea about the quality of these, but they definitely look cool. They average 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon so that’s pretty good!
These also come with everything else you’ll need to play clarinet. I don’t understand why gloves are included…do you wear gloves to play clarinet? I don’t know, just keep them for cold weather I guess!
Here is a saxophone kit with a variety of colors also:
I played the flute in elementary school. I hated it. For weeks I cried and begged my dad to pull me out of class. We were late to register, so I started the class behind everyone else. We got a used flute from my dad’s coworker and it had been neglected for years. After replacing the pads and repairing it, it cost WAY more than buying a new one would have. I would have loved a colorful one like these, at least I would have been cool while being several weeks behind everyone else:
2). Cool Guitars
You can find guitars pretty much everywhere, but the quality is very important. If you get a cheap piece of crap, it will be difficult to play and your child will likely grow frustrated.
There is also the question of Acoustic vs Electric, and that’s a decision you’ll want to make carefully with your child. It completely depends on the music they like and what you think they’ll play most. Electric guitars are known to be generally “easier” to play for beginners:
Electric guitar strings are lighter and are supposed to not hurt the fingers as much as acoustic guitars. They are also lighter overall and easier to carry. Shape-wise, there are also a variety of shapes available:
If you want to go acoustic, you might want to consider a smaller version if your child is younger and/or smaller:
If you want to get a full-sized one, just be aware that it may be difficult for your child to handle at first. A lot of people recommend getting a full-sized one right away to get your child used to it, but personally I think that would intimidate me as a child. I don’t play guitar so I really don’t know, but when I was kind of becoming interested in them, I wanted a smaller one. Here’s a full-sized one if you want that:
Note: You *can* technically buy a regular guitar and allow your child to decorate it. However, some have said that painting an acoustic guitar will change the sound of it. I haven’t tried this so I don’t know if that’s true, or to what degree it changes. Just a warning in case you want to try it out!
3). Unique Instruments
There might not be many chances to learn these in private lessons, or to use them in band class, but if your child wants to stand out and be different, here are some options to consider:
A Balalaika is a Russian or Ukranian instrument that has a unique folksy sound. Here is an example:
It has only three strings which may be more or less confusing, depending on your child. With a unique instrument like this, you’ll want to look for specific lessons geared toward that instrument. There are a few lessons on YouTube for this one so I thought it would be a good match. This is a nice hand-painted one:
If your child has great rhythm but you don’t have the money or space (or patience) for a whole drum set, bongos are a great option:
The great thing about hand drums of any kind is that practicing is relatively easy: Play any song and drum along! Of course there are specific techniques and methods for each drum that you can learn, but if your child doesn’t like traditional “lessons,” they can still play a drum and get their energy out in a creative way.
It’s important to consider yourself when starting your child on instrument lessons. When they first start, they will not be good. What can your ears handle? I don’t have kids but I imagine I could last only about 10 minutes of terrible violin playing before I’d throw it out the window. If, however, you have more patience and durability than me, here is a violin:
A xylophone is also a good option. Although it might not be a big part of school bands, it is often used in professional bands and orchestras. Here is a video explaining the whole difference between a xylophone, marimba and glockenspiel, along with how each is played:
You can get small versions of xylophones on Amazon, which should be all your child needs to get started:
You’ll notice this one says all three of those instruments (xylophone, glockenspiel, marimba) in its description. This is probably because people use the names interchangeably. The reviews state that it is quite loud, so keep that in mind if your child wants this one.
4). Painted Pianos
Yes, any child can use any piano or keyboard and they’ll learn the same. However, how cool is this piano?? I took lessons as a kid and I would definitely have been more interested if it looked cool like this.
If you have an old piano you don’t care about, why not let your kids go nuts and decorate it? You could even make it contingent on their practice: Every time they complete an hour of practice, they get to decorate one small section. By the time it is completely finished, they’ll be advanced into their lessons!
Ukuleles are great starter instruments for kids. Billie Eilish talks about how that’s the first instrument she learned in Carpool Karaoke:
Since most kids love her, you might convince them to play by using her as inspiration. She actually has her own Ukulele by Fender here.
The great thing about Ukuleles is that they come in endless designs and colors:
Here’s a cute one, I would totally play this one right now if I had any ukulele skills:
Here’s a higher-end option that might be too expensive for a beginner instrument, but if you want to splurge it definitely looks cool: