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Getting kids started in music

 
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I would like to have my daughter get interested in playing a musical instrument... she is only 5 months old - so, you can see I am doing my homework early. I know I am supposed to play music at home, while commuting etc, so she kinda grows up with it. How do I pick an instrument for her? do they all start off with keyboards?

If she shows disinterest, some people tell me to be pushy, and make sure she goes to classes, atleast for a year or so, till we can be sure she really does not want to learn it. Others tell me to kinda let her go her own way and that she will come back to it, if she wants to. What do you all suggest?

Googling tells me there are some kinda of Yamaha music classes, but we don't have one where I live.
 
Desperado
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BY ALL MEANS DON't push her!

An inexpensive keyboard will be enough.

As I said in another post, Nature will take its course after that.
 
Sharmi Ragoth
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Ok, I can get her a keyboard. Do I also have to send her to some basic music classes? What age would be appropriate?
 
Tony Alicea
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That is an excellent question.



Not that I know the answer.



In fact I have a complete story to tell about it.



But before I forget, age 7 should be enough.



WHATEVER you do make sure she LIKES the instrument! Let her choose it.



It would be a mistake to FORCE her into one or the other instrument that she didn't like.
 
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indeed, don't ever push her.
My parents FORCED me and my daughter to play instruments whether we wanted to or not, which put both of us off from doing it completely.

If the kid wants to, she'll in time ask you for it. In the meantime you can try for toy instruments to wet her appetite, but don't you think 5 months is a bit young to try and impress on a child what you want her to do with her life?
 
Tony Alicea
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My story here will seem to fly in the face of convention but I am going to say it anyway

At age 12 my father made me take accordion lessons which after the first few weeks grew old. I wasn't thrilled anymore but I had to continue.

Cut to 2 years later in 1964 when the Beatles came out.

After some hesitation I decided NOT to ask my parents for a guitar for the money I made them waste on things like a Shwinn (sp.) bike and amateur radio station.

I had lost interest quick on those after the expense.

A neighbor, though, had a new guitar (this was 1964 when not EVERY TEEN had a guitar), and he could NOT play it at all but I asked him to come to my house and bring it.

Long story short, the MUSIC that I learned in those accordion lessons PAID OFF royally in learning to play the guitar. It became very easy for me to grab a music book from the Beatles and almost immediately start playing the songs. Needless to say, my friends were impressed.

But one day MY FATHER SHOWED UP with a used guitar that he bought for me because he heard me play many times in our porch with the neighbor's guitar!

I will always be grateful for what he did then for me when I least expected it.
 
Sheriff
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I agree: Don't force it. These things come in time, and it's different for different people. The important thing is to encourage and support it when that time comes.

I think I was around 8 years old when I first thought I wanted to play guitar. My parents got me an inexpensive acoustic, and I took group lessons at school. A dozen out-of-tune kids loosely strumming traditionals like "Kum Ba Ya," "Michael Row the Boat Ashore," etc.

I lot interest almost immediately and gave it up.

About 7 years later, I heard Dire Straits' "Sultans of Swing," and it changed everything. I had no idea a guitar could sound like that! I convinced my parents to get me an electric guitar and I took lessons to learn what I wanted to play... From that point, my obsession was rampant.

(It's also worth noting that as soon as I joined a band that could actually play, I was suddenly "popular" in high school. :roll: )
 
(instanceof Sidekick)
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I managed to get my own kids interested enough to play in band in school but not to practice to excell. For little kids, see if you can get any kind of call and response or imitative thing going, simple melodies, rhythms pounded on a cereal box, dancing with a beat, anything for fun. Try to show enjoying listening and playing by example, too. Have fun!
 
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My personal experience (with two daughters) is that they end up becoming and doing what they want. We bought my older daughter a toy piano (organ) when she was 3. Neither I or my wife has any musical talent or interest but she began playing music on her own imitating songs she would hear on commercials on TV. Over the years she has been very involved in music, all based on her own interest and motivation. Now she's in college majoring in music, doing what she loves. We didn't play much part in any of that except to support her. After seeing how much she loved music we tried to get her sister (6 years younger) interested in music but she won't have any part of it - no interest at all. Kids become what they want to become dispite what parents do - at least in my own experience. The best we can do is support what they are interested in.
 
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Here's a couple of great ways.

1. Get the Playstation Karaoke. It's amazing. It has great graphics, and kids and adults love it. It actually judges how well you sing! I bought it for a few girls I know a few Christmas' ago. Plus, you can combine it with DDR, digital dance revolution, which means that kids can sing and get some exercise too.

2. Go to radio shack and get one of those keyboards that has a bunch of songs in memory, and it can play the song and make the correct keys glow, so the person practicing has to touch the keys on time. Again, I buoght this for a friend, and was amazed that two months later, she was actually doing all the songs on her own.

-Cameron McKenzie
 
Sharmi Ragoth
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Thanks for all the nice replies folks.

Originally posted by Jeroen T Wenting:
but don't you think 5 months is a bit young to try and impress on a child what you want her to do with her life?



Nope. I have been slowly changing my entire lifestyle - eating healthy food, working out, and doing other healthful things etc from the day I realized I was pregnant, to try and impress her. The key word here is "try"
 
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When she is old enough to take care of electronic equipment, I recommend getting her an Omnichord. This has an electronic strum pad and a three-column bank of chord buttons in Major, Minor and 7th.

If she has any interest in music, this toy will help her quickly develop an ear for harmony. If she shows an interest, you can then give her piano or organ lessons.

The trouble with learning band instruments (e.g. trumpet) is that not only does it take years of frustrating practice to become any good, but all you learn about _music_ is the production of a one-part melody.
 
ranger
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One thing I highly recommend to do early on, and not force it of course.

Get a cheap keyboard, even the kid toy keyboards will work. And try to get your child to learn notes by ear. So play a single note, and like a game, ask them to identify the note. Is it a C#, or an Eb, or a G. Do this the exact same way as you teach them about the colors. Sure they get them wrong at first, but later learn to recognize them. But always make it a game. At some point they will get perfect pitch and recognize the notes, and then they will have that talent for the rest of their lives. Then with that they will love music, and let them decide what and if they want to learn an instrument.

Mark
 
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