Learning a musical instrument has huge benefits for children.
Not only do they learn a new skill, which they can use for the rest of their life, but learning music has been proved to improve memory, boost self-esteem, improve reading skills, help coordination, promote maths skills and much more.
If your children have some extra spare time during lockdown, they can take advantage of some free music tuition to learn a new musical instrument. This is a great time to try out musical instruments and see if they will want to continue, without it costing you money. We have gathered together some of the best free offerings for you.
Guitar - Fender
Manufacturer of that most awesome of axes, the Stratocaster, Fender is offering three months of free online tuition. To gain access, you need to sign up to the subscription-based platform Fender Play. The offer is only open to the first 100,000 users, so get signed up now! You can also download the Fender app on Android or iOS.
We love Fender's attitude - they say ''We're all going to be spending more time inside - so we might as well make some noise.''
The service, which can be used by anyone learning guitar, bass or ukulele, has plenty of instruction videos to watch and tools to help you track your progress. There are hundreds of different songs to learn too. After the trial period, Fender Play costs £9.99 a month.
Northants-based teacher Bradley is streaming a free guitar lesson every Saturday at 12noon on his Facebook page.
He says that you don't need any prior knowledge of playing, but if you can tune your guitar and read Guitar TAB it would be a help, so go on YouTube and help your kids find out how to tune their musical instrument before Saturday comes around.
Bradley has great credentials - he has a music degree and has been teaching for 15 years.
Strings - Nicola Benedetti
Nicola Benedetti is one of the most sought-after violinists of her generation, so it's exciting that she is making herself and some of her talented friends available for young musicians during lockdown. The tutors come from some of the top orchestras and music education institutions in the UK, so it's a great opportunity. Log on to the live feed on the Benedetti Foundation Facebook page at midday every day for a new video. You might find someone showing how to play the cello, or hold a violin bow correctly, a discussion about making the most of musical practise, or even how to record a music video.
Practise Music Perfect
A group of generous music teachers have got together at Practice Music Perfect to bring quality music lessons to learners around the world. Join the Over the Rainbow challenge - the group wants everyone to learn how to play the song on their instrument of choice, so that they can join in on Thursday Night's Clap for Carers. Using the group is free but they are hoping to raise money for the NHS via donations.
Lessons provided so far include instruments such as the recorder, clarinet, ukelele and guitar, and the instructors have amazing credentials. For example, Rowena the ukelele teacher graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. The tutorials take you right from the start and have great advice on practical topics, such as tuning your musical instrument and how to hold it, so are perfect for absolute beginners.
Piano - HomeSchoolPiano
Free piano tuition until September? Don't mind if we do. HomeSchoolPiano is giving free access to children and adults who want to learn to play at home. The free offering covers HomeSchoolPiano Level 1, which takes most learners around six months to complete. Access is free until 1 September 2020.
Multiple instruments - Yousician
There's a 30-day trial offered on the Yousician service (you do have to enter payment details and remember to cancel before the end of the free trial though). he benefit of Yousician is that it offers multiple musical instrument instruction - guitar, bass guitar, piano, ukelele and voice - so is ideal if you have several children, or a child who wants to learn more than one instrument. On the website, you'll find lessons, along with tabs and chord charts for thousands of songs.
For older teens, it's worth exploring the massive online courses (MOOCs) that can be found on Coursera. Universities across the world have added free courses. Berklee in Boston, for instance, features the likes of seven-time Grammy-winning vibraphonist Gary Burton and Grammy-winning producer Prince Charles Alexander in its music courses. You'll find everything from music theory to music production and jazz improvisation. You can share ideas with other students on social media and even join a study group.
Music for younger kids
The BBC has put together a range of ideas for teaching music for early years and Key Stage 1, so you'll find plenty of inspiration here for littler kids. Get started quickly with Play It!, a fun interactive tool that encourages younger ones to listen for the beat and play along. So make sure you have some instruments to hand - even if it's just some wooden spoons and a pan!
Want to play something a bit different? How about the ocarina? It's an ancient wind instrument, rather like a flute but shaped a bit like a fat turtle. You might even have one knocking about at home - they are often sold at craft markets. It's a great instrument for kids - cheap and easy to pick up.
Ocarina Workshop has put together a series of six videos to help kids get started. There are tips on playing, tunes to learn and a chance to have fun playing along.
Brass - Warwick Music Group
If you have a young brass musician in the house, the Warwick Music Group in tandem with Music Gurus is offering eight free courses (until 30 June 2020). There are tunes for beginner trumpet players, instruction on how to play rock trumpet (who knew that was a thing?) and even Trombone Circuit training. You will need to enter the code MUSICTOGETHER to get a 100% discount.
Use the same code to get the top 10 best-selling music education titles from Warwick Music Publishing free. The lovely folk there have also organised a music festival on the web, so if your budding young musician has missed out on an exam or concert because of lockdown, they can still show off all their hard work while learning to play, in this showcase.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
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