Christmas seems to sneak up on us just about every year. It's incredibly common to leave shopping until the last second, and somehow we never learn our lesson. Partially this is because the autumn is such a busy time: with kids going back to school and work picking up, the months fly by and before you know it, it's mid-December and somehow you haven't even begun to contemplate what you will buy your family and loved ones. This year, all that can change.
If you have children, then encouraging them to play music is a great way to help them develop intelligence and taste. While studying music in school can be great for them, having an outlet at home really takes it to the next level. If your child has shown an interest in learning how to play music but doesn't own an instrument, this holiday season is the perfect opportunity to supply them with that much coveted guitar or keyboard (or a tuba, if you're brave).
Get Them Some Lessons
Many large music stores even have rent to buy policies, so if you're not a hundred percent sure your child will take to the instrument, you may have an opportunity to switch instruments or encourage them in a direction that is more conducive to their personality – like karate lessons, for example. If they clearly love playing music but can't get beyond mashing the keys or noodling on the guitar out of key, you might consider music lessons for kids in your city as well. Buying lessons with a cool, down to earth teacher alongside your child's dream instrument is a great way to nudge them down the path to music stardom – or even just a cool artistic outlet that will allow them to express themselves and blow off some steam.
Start With Classical
While some parents may try and overdo it off the bat with a crazy expensive vintage Gibson, you may want to try a subtler approach. Nylon string acoustic guitars can be excellent for beginners, since nylon is easier on the fingers than harsh metal strings. Also, if your child actually learns how to pick classic guitar and run scales in a disciplined manner, by the time they pick up an electric guitar they will have all their fundamentals down and will be able to wield the electric instrument more comfortably. Later on they might want to get into looping pedals and other effects pedals, but it should all progress in a linear manner, so that their skill level matches the complexity of their equipment. Otherwise it can be overwhelming.
Keyboard & Bass
If guitar doesn't appeal to your child, you may consider getting them a bass or an electronic piano. The nice thing about a keyboard is that they can plug headphones into it, so that their practice will not interrupt your evening activities. Obviously you want to hear your kids playing music, but then again, it's never pleasant to hear someone work through the same piece over and over, making mistakes until they get it right.
A bass is a great option because it encourages a sense of rhythm and reliability. Bassists fulfill modest yet necessary roles in most musical acts, so playing bass could encourage a positive sense of humility in your child.
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