How to choose musical instruments for children
Buying a musical instrument for a child can be an expensive outlay for parents, and making that step from plastic to wooden guitar can be daunting
If your child has expressed an interest in music, you really shouldn’t ignore it. Playing a musical instrument is a great talent to have, and who are you to deprive the next Mozart or Jimi Hendrix?
On the other hand, you could be the one pushing a musical instrument on a reticent child. Whatever your reason for purchasing the equipment, second-hand musical instruments can be ideal for those children just dipping their toe in musical waters.
Bernadette Hayden, director of Herbert Lodge Arts Centre, says that it doesn’t matter whether an instrument is new or second hand as long as it is quality made and undamaged.
She recommends that parents talk to their music teacher before buying any instrument, however.
Research the item as much as possible. Read buyer product reviews and go into online communities to ask musicians and instructors there.
Making the purchase
Hayden says you should never buy an instrument without seeing and examining it first. Always try the instrument before you buy it, and consider its quality.
Old doesn’t necessarily mean bad, so look at its history. It may not have been played much over its lifetime. Also ask about its repair history, and keep in mind that it may need some repair, which should be factored into your budget.
Finding the right instrument
Music lessons are an essential part of learning for any child, according to Hayden, but she adds that children can have lessons before they decide upon the instrument they’d like to play.
“It’s very important that the child has an appetite for the instrument. An introductory course can provide them with the opportunity to try out all the instruments – wood, wind, brass, strings and piano – and they can then decide which one they like best.”
Hayden said by looking through all of the different instruments, children can become aware of the timbre and technique of each one, as well as their possibilities.
Selling an instrument
Many children start off enthusiastically but soon find that music isn’t their thing. Unfortunately, this decision can come after you’ve forked out hundreds of euro for the piece of equipment.
DoneDeal’s Instruments section can help you recoup some of your investment.
- Sellers should carry out their own research about the brand so they can pass on the details to buyers. Likewise, research the price to see how much second-hand instruments of this kind sell for.
- Does your instrument come with accessories such as cases, strings, tuners or instructional books? List all accessories and any other interesting features.
- If it was barely used, say so, and even mention the duration of its use.
- Take photos in a bright location and from all angles, giving potential buyers an idea of the condition.