How to Help Your Teen Choose an Instrument

How to Help Your Teen Choose an Instrument

Guest post by Jennifer Hughes

Adolescence is a difficult time for anyone. It’s a time of great character change, social pressures, and of starting to find one’s place in the world. For many teens, the ability to express these difficulties by playing a musical instrument is immeasurably rewarding. Though your child may be discouraged for not having picked up an instrument earlier, they are far from being too old to learn a new trick or two. People have even been known to pick up musical instruments well into their retirement. In fact, learning an instrument involves coming to terms with the ideas of failure, persistence, and continuous development, concepts which will have a place in many parts of your teen’s life in the coming years. So, which instrument is right for your teen? This isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly, learning an instrument takes countless hours of dedication and focus, something teens all too often struggle with. So if you really want them to stick to it, the best thing to do is to help them choose an instrument that aligns with their interests.


The 5 Best Instruments For Teens

Drums for Homeschooling Teens

Learning the drums is an amazing experience. Not only are drums an incredibly versatile instrument, featuring in genres ranging from smooth jazz to electronic dance bangers, they are also seriously valuable for brain development, combining both the creative and logical/mathematical areas of the brain.

Once your teen gets a couple of lessons under their belt, they’ll be able to put the drums to good use for a cardio workout too – a fantastic way to let out that teenage angst. One thing to consider though is that a drum kit is pretty big, so you’ll probably need space in the garage or spare room. They are incredibly loud too, so if you have nearby neighbors or live in an apartment, this might not be the most suitable instrument.

Singing for Homeschooling Teens

Yes, vocals are an instrument too! And unlike the drums, they don’t take up any room at all. Learning to sing is incredibly rewarding; it develops both rhythmic and melodic understanding, and can be applied across a range of types of music.

Learning to sing is super cost-effective too, no need to go out and buy any expensive equipment. Confidence can be a huge issue when it comes to singing though. For some reason, we tend to be more shy about our developing singing abilities than we are about our terrible guitar playing…

If your teen isn’t particularly confident in general then they may struggle to perform in front of others, such as their teacher, or to practice at home when others are around.

Guitar for Homeschooling Teens

Pretty much everybody’s go-to instrument, the guitar is a great instrument for your teen to pick up. Whether they are interested in learning fingerpicked acoustic pieces, playing soaring blues solos or thrashing out a set of punk songs with their friends, the guitar will get them there.

There are a number of factors to consider when picking up the guitar, such as whether to start out on an acoustic or an electric guitar. Whichever you choose, it’s a good idea to invest a little cash in a decent guitar. Learning on an old or poorly constructed instrument is an easy way to lose interest, plus your teen may feel embarrassed bringing it along to lessons or social gatherings.

Keyboard for Homeschooling Teens

The piano is one of the most common instruments that children learn, however it may or may not interest your teen. Piano’s are big, heavy, and expensive too, which makes learning to play on a keyboard a suitable alternative.

Keyboards are also much more likely to pique your teen’s interest, as they can be used to control synthesizer instruments, which are incredibly common in a lot of dance and pop music. Of course, this depends on your teen’s musical interests, but purchasing a MIDI keyboard that connects to their laptop can give them access to a world full of sounds and textures, all using the same controller.

Violin for Homeschooling Teens

If your teen shuns bass-heavy pop music for the more refined, elegant and intricate sounds of orchestral and jazz music, then the violin might well be the instrument for them.

A decent violin can run up quite a bill though, as can the required lessons, so make sure you’re prepared for that. You should also prepare for a painful few weeks of practice until they get the hang of fingering and bow techniques. That said, most instruments have a pretty steep learning curve, and it’s unlikely that your teen will be performing beautiful sonatas for some time.

The world of musical instruments is wide, and we’ve barely touched the tip of the iceberg. Though the chances that your teen wants to pick up the tuba are pretty slim, you might be surprised. Spend a bit of time listening to some of their favorite songs with them, and try to identify what interests them most about it.

Jennifer Hughes blogs at!












April 21, 2020


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