September marks the start of a new school year for many parents and children across the country. For many students, from kindergarten all the way up to high school, a new school year marks the beginning of a journey with music. Many brand-new musicians don’t necessarily know what they are looking for in an instrument. Rockley Family Foundation will walk through the process of selecting an instrument for a brand-new musician.

There are many things that go into selecting an instrument. Some are easier to learn than others, while others provide a broader baseline that can translate into other instruments. And other instruments, like the guitar, are so universal and popular that learning them early can be helpful. Below are three of the best music instruments for beginners.


The violin is a string instrument whose small size and ubiquity make it a great starting point for music. The violin is a relatively inexpensive starting instrument and finding tutorials or an instructor should be a breeze because of how popular the instrument is. Its small size makes it convenient to store and easy for parents to move around as needed. There also is plenty of music that is written for the violin specifically, which can make it more exciting as a starting instrument. Overall, the violin’s convenience, popularity and prominence as a string instrument make it a great beginner’s instrument.


Almost everyone remembers starting with a recorder at some point in time. The recorder, which is an upright tube with holes that you can put your fingers over to change the pitch coming out of the instrument, is used by schools across the country as an introduction to music. For students who are still in elementary school, a recorder is a great start in the world of woodwind or brass instruments. Recorders are inexpensive and easy to carry to and from school. They are controlled with breath, something that makes them a great precursor to more complicated instruments like the saxophone or trumpet. For young students that have a music program at their school, the recorder is a great beginner’s instrument.


We at the Rockley Family Foundation think that a piano or keyboard is the best instrument for beginners. The piano provides the most universal lessons in music and music theory while also being relatively easy to learn. Every scale can be learned on the piano, every part can be transcribed to be played on the piano and, because of the way the instrument is laid out, you can see every note that is being played in these scales and parts. Because of the instrument’s popularity, it is also relatively easy to find piano teachers and learn through piano lessons. Pianos or keyboards are priced reasonably at the beginner’s level, too, so it won’t break the bank to start out on the piano. For an overall music education that a young musician can appreciate, there is no better choice than the piano.

Learn more about the Rockley Family Foundation and for easy ways to purchase a beginner’s violin, piano and more, find out about events near you.