Sax Appeal: Choosing An Instrument For Teenagers
Many children do not express an interest in learning a musical instrument until almost a teenager. This creates a dilemma because often his or her peers have been learning piano or guitar for years, which can become discouraging when comparisons are made. Alternatively, the saxophone is the perfect instrument for your child to begin learning after 10 years of age. Children need enough arm strength to hold the instrument and should no longer have milk teeth so that the mouth can fit comfortably on the mouthpiece and reed. Your child will therefore feel confident playing with others and will be completing exams at the same level.
Advantages of Learning the Sax
In general, the advantages of learning a musical instrument are well documented. From an increase in memory capacity to improved maths ability, your child will benefit greatly from playing an instrument. The saxophone has a number of specific advantages which can assist with your child's development.
- Playing the saxophone expands your lungs and strengthens the diaphragm. Both these factors reduce asthma attacks. Many saxophone players including Kenny G and Adolphus Hall credit saxophone playing with curing their asthma.
- Most instruments will improve your auditory skills, but, the saxophone takes this to a new level. A player must control the volume, pitch and timbre of a note after it has been played.
- Most school orchestras include saxophone players thus enhancing social and team-work skills.
- It is easy to learn the basics of saxophone with most players able to play simple tunes after a few lessons. This gives your child incentive to persist with practice and master the intricacies of the instrument.
- Sax players can join a marching band which further improves fitness and social skills.
Where to Start
Once your child has decided to learn the saxophone, it can be daunting to purchase an instrument. A few simple guidelines will help you to make a suitable choice.
Alto saxophone: Most children begin with an alto saxophone as it is easier to play because it fits comfortably in smaller hands and requires less air. However, allow your child to listen to a range of saxophone music and if he or she really prefers the sound of a tenor or baritone saxophone, these are still quite achievable for a beginner.
Moderate price: Whilst your child's school may offer an instrument hire program, it is possible to buy high-quality student models for less than the rental cost. Yamaha, for example, make affordable saxophones with features such as naturally-shaped keys and adjustable thumb rests which are suitable for beginners.
Recognised brand: By buying a saxophone from a big-name brand, you will easily be able to obtain service and parts. You are also guaranteed a certain level of quality. Problems with the mechanics of an instrument can cause young musicians to become discouraged.
Check out instruments on sites like The Music Place to learn what will best suit your child.
Hitting the Right Note
If your child wishes to learn an instrument at a later age, the saxophone is an ideal choice. Once he or she becomes adept, you will be able to enjoy jazz and rock solos in your own home. That certainly hits the right note.