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(30 Posts)
amotherofthreechildren Sun 07-Jun-15 15:50:27

Hello mothers and fathers and just people in general smile,

I just wanted to ask a question. My daughter (13)has currently passed her grade 4 exam (piano), and she wants to play another instrument, I am thinking of singing but there are a lot of instruments she is interested in. Sorry to bother you and if this thread is posted in the wrong place I just want some honest opinions and maybe if you all could contribute your children's experiences. My son who is 10 is starting drums he loves it but it does get a bit noisy but if my daughter wanted to play the drums I wouldn't mind as long as she is happy :D :P

In your opinion what would you personally prefer to play?
Voice or

Thank you all. Have a good day xx

Magmatic80 Sun 07-Jun-15 15:52:31

I played the flute, and I was massively thankful how easy it was to transport compared to my friends' instruments.

amotherofthreechildren Sun 07-Jun-15 15:54:20

Thank you I played it too, I highly recommended it but I didn't want my daughter to think 'if mum did it I have to' and thanks for that rapid reply. I love playing the flute! smile

Delphine31 Sun 07-Jun-15 15:58:40

I'm a flautist. It's a very convenient instrument to play from a transporting point of view, as already pointed out by Magmatic.

The violin & cello are fab instruments. I think they are slightly more satisfying to play on their own than the flute (very much my personal opinion here; others will disagree) and there are lots of playing opportunities (slightly more than for flute) with string quartets, string orchestras, folk groups, jazz, used in pop music etc. and every orchestra needs a full section of violins and cellos whereas a lot of orchestral repertoire only has two flutes so places in orchestras are harder to come by as a flautist.

I can't comment much on drums or voice.

amotherofthreechildren Sun 07-Jun-15 16:02:52

Wow, that is a hugely detailed explanation I was not really expecting that thank you for that incredible insight and she does seem to have taken a liking to the flute.

amotherofthreechildren Sun 07-Jun-15 16:22:07

My dd1 is at her friends house but I recieved a text from her

Hi Mum, can I play the cello w my friend thxs bye x

Teenagers and their slang -I need to make sure she uses English when she texts-

QueenofLouisiana Sun 07-Jun-15 20:59:58

I have a 10 yo drummer too- he loves it. We have an electronic set do it isn't too noisy with headphones on, however it isn't exactly portable smile.

I think that drummers who have been taught to play properly tend to be in demand as they get older as there aren't many of them!

Worriedandlost Sun 07-Jun-15 21:27:14

How about guitar?

twofalls Sun 07-Jun-15 21:30:04

Queen you are right, my DH is in a band and says good drummers are hard to find.

How about guitar?

foolonthehill Sun 07-Jun-15 21:41:16

the best instrument to play is the one you fall in love with..............hours of practice need to be self motivated especially as Y9/10/11 pass by with the higher expectations of study, revision and exams. For DD to feel motivated and to make progress it has to feel like a break from work rather than drudgery. Playing with a friend definitely helps.

has she been to see and hear lots of different instruments? You will probably find she is drawn to a particular type.

Sometimes it is said that tactile people have an aptitude for strings whilst more "oral" children (mouthy babies) tend towards woodwind and the bashers make percussionists...PhDs have been done on this stuff.....not sure how much I believe it!

Bass is a highly transferable instrument...double bass in orchestra, jazz, pop, folk, bass guitar (similar technique and smaller) in bands. Inconvenient to transport a traditional but electric and stick basses work well.

RedKite5004 Mon 08-Jun-15 09:16:34

Does she have any personal preference? Is she even likely to need to take said instrument on the school bus? If yes go with the voice, flute or violin as cellos and drum kits are a nightmare for transportation. My DS is 7 and we've had to buy a bigger car because he decided he had to play the cello and it simply didn't fit in my previous, little economical run around! shock

OldBeanbagz Mon 08-Jun-15 11:22:57

How about guitar? It's reasonably transportable.

My DD plays guitar and it's great because she can play in the bands both at school and at the local music group. Playing with other people has brought her music along massively.

Christelle2207 Mon 08-Jun-15 12:10:55

I would recommend violin as is portable and if she gets the hang of it will be able to play in orchestras etc.
I had great summers with county youth orchestras including tours in europe etc. LOTS of girls play the flute which can make it hard to get into anything. And orchestras will have 3 flute spots as opposed to up to 36 violin places.
I think flute easier than violin tho. Cello good but is big and bulky and expensive to buy a decent one.

LooseAtTheSeams Mon 08-Jun-15 12:11:46

Purely on the practicalities - if your daughter is interested in cello, get a case with wheels. (A tip from a friend with a cello playing teenager!) My DS2 is younger and plays piano and cello and loves both. The advantage of the instruments you mentioned is ensemble playing and that's something he has definitely experienced with cello. DS1 plays flute and drums so usually only has to worry about sticks or a small case but he also loves bass guitar, which has meant a case with rucksack-style straps! But I would really echo the PP and say let her try out a few instruments and see what really appeals to her.

Mistigri Mon 08-Jun-15 12:58:38

If she's a singer, guitar is the obvious choice. Plus it does not take much work for a teen who already plays an instrument to be able to play simple guitar pieces - my daughter started guitar at 11 (second instrument) and was able to play simple song accompaniments, while singing, within a week.

The learning curve for the other instruments you mention, except perhaps flute, will be much longer. So it depends on her motivation and patience.

Worriedandlost Mon 08-Jun-15 13:06:59

What an interesting theory foolonthehill!

Worriedandlost Mon 08-Jun-15 13:09:21

There is viola as well...

JulieMichelleRobinson Mon 08-Jun-15 21:27:57


Because it's only marginally bigger than a violin (you can get small ones, though) and not as popular, so she will always be in demand for orchestras and things. It will also annoyingly force her to learn alto clef, which she'll need for grade 5 theory anyway. But as a violinist-who-plays-viola-a-lot I love the sound it makes and the instrument is deeply underrated. I think you need to hear someone play it well to appreciate the surprising depth of tone - it's like a violin with added gravy.

JulieMichelleRobinson Mon 08-Jun-15 21:28:23

Haha I hadn't read Worried's post when I wrote that.

Ferguson Mon 08-Jun-15 23:13:30

It may partly depend what her favourite types of music are, and then select the instrument accordingly.

Most of the woodwind use similar fingerings, so flute could lead on to saxophone.

Also brass instruments, though different in size and range, have similar 'blowing' characteristics (though not identical).

LooseAtTheSeams Tue 09-Jun-15 12:24:40

I love JulieMichelle's description of the viola sound - I think that's spot on! In the most junior string orchestra at our local music centre there are no viola players but the violin teacher plays it for their concert pieces. This was DS2's first encounter with viola and he was very taken with the sound. If he ever wants to add a second stringed instrument to cello, I will definitely suggest to him that he at least considers the viola (his other interest is double bass and I can't see where we're going to store one of those!) His interest in music is mainly orchestral whereas his brother is keen on rock and jazz as well, which suits his percussion/bass guitar bias! So, it really does depend on what kind of music the child wants to play, I think.

JulieMichelleRobinson Tue 09-Jun-15 14:48:38

This may be of interest (and indeed the whole series - intros to instruments from the London Phil):

drummersmum Wed 10-Jun-15 12:09:40

I have always loved the viola sound...
DS plays drums and piano and I would not recommend the combination unless she was crazy about percussion. Why? Major transportability issues!!

GooseyLoosey Wed 10-Jun-15 12:12:52

Why that list - what about something like a clarinet - more opportunities for different types of music than a flute.

Dd (10) has grade 3 piano and took to the clarinet like a duck to water.

Worriedandlost Wed 10-Jun-15 22:21:22

Dd's violin teacher said the same about viola JulieMichelleRobinson
she will always be in demand for orchestras and things

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