Jan 1, 2024
4 Musical Instruments Suitable for 4 Year Olds

4 Musical Instruments For 4 Year Olds

Many factors can influence a child’s decision to play an instrument. For example, some instruments require specific mouth formations that may be difficult for young children.

Physical size is also important. Children with shorter arms might not be able to manage the larger sizes of some instruments, like trombones.

Violin or Viola

The violin is a common first instrument for young children. Whether you start your child at 3, 4, 5, or 6 years old, the value of installing a love for music in their heart and mind is one of the most important reasons to take this step.

Most children begin their string studies with a so-called fractional violin (i.e. 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/10, 1/16 and 1/32 sized instruments). The most well-made fractional violins are made of wood, while cheaper plastic versions may also be available.

When determining the size of your violin, measure your child’s arm length to ensure a proper fit. A poorly fitted violin can be uncomfortable and difficult to play. It can also cause the student to lose confidence, resulting in poor performance and discouragement. Many parents prefer to rent a small violin for their child, then upgrade to a full size instrument once they have outgrown the smaller instrument. These rentals are inexpensive per year.


A ukulele is the perfect musical instrument for a 4 year old to start on. It is small, acoustic, and relatively inexpensive. It is also very portable and a good introduction to stringed instruments before kids move on to guitars.

Ukuleles are made for kids with a focus on durability and style. Kids can be rough on their instruments so you want something that will hold up to those training sessions. Look for a ukulele that is unaffected by moisture and crafted with a hard shell case.

Many ukulele manufacturers make starter kits that include everything a child will need to get started. These typically include the ukulele, a tote bag, strap buttons, a clip-on tuner, and an instructional booklet guide. Look for a kit that comes in soprano size as this is the smallest of the four ukulele sizes. This will give your child the best chance of success. Most children are attracted to the smaller toy sized instruments but Concert and Tenor ukuleles should not be dismissed outright.

Little Tikes PopTunes Guitar

A guitar is a great toy for any musically inclined child. It helps them develop an appreciation for music by listening to existing songs or by composing their own. This Little Tikes PopTunes guitar comes with five fun songs and is a great choice for kids who love to rock and roll.

It lights up any time a button is pushed and has real strings they can strum. It also has a volume control and a wild whammy bar that makes the instrument even more fun to play!

Kids who have an appreciation for music at a young age are more likely to pursue it as they get older. Singing, dancing and playing instruments all stimulate a child’s creativity and imagination and can help them learn to appreciate fine music later in life. Even if your child doesn’t have the talent to become a famous musician, they will enjoy learning how to play simple musical toys like this click n’ play set of toy xylophones and trumpets.


Often called the “doo-doo” instrument, the recorder is one of the easiest woodwind instruments to learn. It only requires the child to blow and it can produce a wide variety of notes. It is used to teach instrumental note reading in general music programs and as an introductory instrument in the year or two before band instruments become physically viable for students.

Recorders have finger holes that can be covered in different configurations to produce the different notes, so a student needs to be able to move their fingers quickly and accurately. When changing from one note to another, be sure to have the student play each note a little longer than the other to minimize squeaking from uncovered finger holes.

It is important to have a quality instrument, as cheap models tend to break easily and will frustrate the student. This can turn them off to playing an instrument forever, as they will believe their failure to make good sounds on a crappy instrument is due to their own lack of talent instead of the poorly made instrument.

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