Making Practice Work: Instruments = Toys (Part 3)

Buy toys and use them!

(This is part of a series on building better practice habits at home. Please start from the beginning here: Post #1 & Post #2)

Musical instruments are toys. Yes, you read that correctly. They are not delicate museum pieces that should be handled with kid gloves as if they may break at any moment. Your child needs to feel comfortable getting their hands dirty with their guitar often. They need to be able to bang on the piano if that’s how they feel. They need to be able use and abuse that bass guitar!!

Ask yourself a simple question: How often does your daughter play with a china doll that may shatter at any point? Yup…never. Either because she doesn’t have a fragile doll, or because you keep it out of reach. Kids don’t need instruments that they–and you–are afraid of breaking.

When starting out, children need instruments that are basic, rugged, and replaceable.
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Often parents will ask about the investment… They may say something like, “I’m not sure I want to invest in an instrument until I see that they are truly interested.” Totally understandable. Instruments can cost a bunch of money, and what happens if your child quits after only three months? Nobody wants to get stuck with more stuff in their apartment, especially when it cost a pretty penny and is just collecting dust.

But hold on…. No Instrument = No Fair = No Fun = No Music.

I want you to think of another activity and whether or not you have made an investment. Let’s start with an easy one, soccer. Did you send your child out onto the field without a uniform and cleats? Probably not. Or what about something even more basic like school? You made sure to invest in books and supplies and probably a whole lot of other items (fancy erasures & pencil sharpeners that were totally unnecessary…BTW), but you were hoping that by buying the equipment, you would inspire your child to learn & even love studying.

Music is absolutely the exact same. The only thing that is guaranteed is that your child WILL quit if you do not invest at least something in an instrument.

Without a toy to play with, kids are not going to stick around the playroom.

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on an acoustic piano or a Fender Strat guitar, but you do need to invest a few hundred dollars. And in the case of drums, you can get away with a lot less than that to start.

So, let’s talk about our top choices in each category: keys, guitar, drums & bass.

All of these links are for an online retailer in New Jersey that is cheap and 100 percent reliable. If you want to shop local, try the Musician’s General Store  on Smith & Wyckoff, and ask for Brian or Mingo. They will give you 10 percent off when you mention you are part of the Brooklyn Music Factory community. Bam!

Now make your move by clicking the links below.

1. The Perfect First Digital Piano
More Toy
More Serious

2. An Acoustic Guitar for the Beginner
Ages 6-9
Ages 10 & up

3. The Beginning Drum Set Up
Practice Pad
Mini Drum Kit (Great for Ages 6-16!)
Electronic Drums (need it to be as quiet as possible?)

4. An Entry Level Electric Guitar Rig

5. An Entry Level Electric Bass Rig


Have fun playing with your new toys!

– Nate

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