Get your kid a recorder

Get your kid a recorder

It’s one of the cheapest joys you’ll ever create.

This is my daughter’s fourth and final session of Kindermusik. After this semester, she will graduate, which is exciting, but also sad—and a little overwhelming since I’ll have to find her another musical class.

Last night was the first night of the semester, and my little girl got her instrument for the semester: a good, quality recorder. All evening she was attached to it like she had never been to another instrument (she’s also played the rhythm sticks, glockenspiel and dulcimer in the class—as well as piano one summer). She walked around the house playing it like Peter Piper, only instead of following her, the cats merely mewed and hid in her bedroom.

The thing is, I’ve purchased recorders for her before—two of them—as Christmas presents. We always try to include some kind of musical instrument as a gift, but both recorders met untimely deaths as they were hurled across the room (she was three—and definitely not ready for one yet!) or broken in experiments (ahem, shoving crayons down the inside). I think if we had stressed how these are instruments rather than toys, they may have had longer life spans.

That said, perhaps she simply wasn’t old enough to use them yet. There’s a reason that they wait until fourth quarter to give them recorders, after all. Maybe if you introduce the recorder at an earlier age, they just aren’t ready for the instruments. They like to bang on things quite a bit up to age seven—maybe that’s why the glockenspiel was a more appropriate choice for five-and six-year-olds!

Just seeing the joy on her face as she pranced around the house in her pajamas and socks with that recorder, however, made me reaffirm my vow to find her another musical program soon. She missed Kindermusik over winter break and will surely miss it dearly upon graduation this May; now all we have to do is determine her passion when it comes to an instrument and go from there. So far, she has indicated an interest in both the piano and drums, and we could go with either. Finding one that’s as affordable as Kindermusik will also be a challenge. I just hope we can find a teacher as good as the one she has now, too. Not only does she provide quality instruction; she’s also a fun, encouraging teacher who uses gentle methods and doesn’t give the blank “good job!” comments that bother me so much.

I am definitely open to suggestions!