10 Best Musical Instruments for Kids Reviewed in 2020
Our interest in music and musical instruments usually starts at an early age. In order to develop the talents that we may have in music, practice with instruments is necessary. Music and playing instruments are very beneficial for kids. Music can strengthen human memory abilities. Music is important most of all because it makes us happy. Playing musical instruments, such as the ones we list here, can provide a child with increased fine- and gross-motor skills, concentration, cognitive abilities, finger dexterity, determination, and listening and verbal skills. Whether your child is just starting band practice or truly desires to try a favored instrument, manufacturers have created some wonderful products that can spark a child’s imagination and musical abilities. Below you will find the 10 top rated and reviewed kids' instruments of 2019.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 32 hrs of research
Comes with two mallets
Can be played with mallets, sticks, or hands
Includes a Rainforest finish
Perfect for drum circles in classrooms
Made of fabric
10 Best Musical Instruments for Kids Reviewed
1. Remo KD-5080-01 Percussion
Comes with two mallets
Can be played with mallets, sticks, or hands
Includes a Rainforest finish
Perfect for drum circles in classrooms
Made of fabric
The sound was disappointing to some
A few remarks about the quality of the graphics
This Floor Tom Drum from Remo is offered as an individual item but can be part of a set if you order the other drum pieces the company offers. Kids can choose from the other pieces of a bongo drum, gathering drum, kids’ percussion frame drum pack, and a Konga drum.Read more
If your child is participating in a drum class, music class, school activity with drums, or just a hobby at home, this compact drum is perfect for beginners and those with some musical experience. Both boys and girls will enjoy this floor drum equally.
The floor drum has a beautiful, colorful design around the perimeter of it reminiscent of a Rainforest. It comes with two mallets but can also be played with sticks or just the bare hands.
The sound is professional, fun, and high-quality. This drum has an Acousticon shell and a Skyndeep drumhead that is pre-tuned. Children in drum groups have a wonderful experience of getting their rhythm in sync and enjoying the fun.
Kids three-years-old and older will love learning how to use this floor drum that is made of high-quality fabric. This drum is compact in size and can be a wonderful part of a drum circle in classrooms.
Ease of Use
This brightly colored floor drum can be played in several ways. Kids can beat it with the included mallets, drumsticks, or just their bare hands. Each method will give different sounds and tones.
2. Official Kala Learn to Play Ukulele
Made by the most well-known ukulele maker in the world
Choose from soprano, concert, or tenor
Is the choice instrument brand by schools
Comes with a free app and several accessories
Strings are smooth and soft
A few complaints about the sound quality
Some buyers said the instructions are not great
Ukuleles are played by some famous musical icons such as Zac Brown, One Pilots, and Vance Joy. Kala is the most famous ukulele maker in the world, as they are the best at creating these fine, high-quality musical instruments. The company began its operation in 2005 and is going strong today as a leader in musical advancements.Read more
This is the choice of ukulele brand by schools for music lessons and classes. This instrument comes with a free app tuner, free lessons online, a booklet on how to play the ukulele, and a tote bag with the Kala logo on it. Quickly tune the ukulele with the App on your phone, computer, or tablet. From the online lessons, you will be able to learn the basics, such as chord formations, tuning, and various techniques you will be enjoying the songs you play in no time at all.
For your first ukulele or musical instrument of choice, buy one from Kala, the famous maker of instruments that possess amazing appearance and tone. If your child is interested in playing a stringed instrument, then possibly this fantastic ukulele is just the item for them.
You can choose from soprano, concert, or tenor when you purchase this instrument. The strings are smooth and soft when played and have a sweet, clear sound that is quite captivating.
It includes a Soprano Mahogany Ukulele, which contains containing traditional laser-etched Hawaiian rosette, Graphtech NuBone saddle and nut, satin finish, and Italian strings of Aquila Super Nylgut.
Ease of Use
Because of this wonderful age of technology, we can now learn how to tune and play musical instruments such as this wonderful ukulele with the downloadable App. Plenty of guidelines and help for beginners is on this incredible site.
3. Yamaha YRS-20 3 Piece Soprano
Comes with a fingering chart and carrying bag
Available in a choice of blue, green, and pink
Perfect for all levels of players
Made of ABS resin and durable
Easy to adjust, play, grip, and tune
A few did not like the sound
The plastic covering seemed cheap for some people
The basics of playing music can be introduced in the most fun way with this simple recorder. Children will learn how to read music and play with great breathing control.Read more
This instrument is great for all levels of players and can even inspire children to take on other instruments. Once they learn the basics of reading music and executing the sounds desired, it will be easier for them to play other wind instruments.
So many things about this recorder make it a perfect first instrument for kids. It is lightweight, durable, has a good sound, easy to play and adjust, and easy to grip. It is available in a choice of blue, green, and pink, plus this high-quality recorder is perfect for all levels of players.
This Soprano Recorder features double holes in C, C#, D, and D# and a Baroque fingering. Yamaha are well known for sturdy structures and great sound features and this item is no exception.
Made of ABS resin, this lightweight recorder has a good sound and is easy to grip. Included with the recorder are a fingering chart and a carrying bag. This is a wonderful combination of durability and superb Yamaha quality.
Ease of Use
The intonation is uniform, and the instrument is very easy to play. Adjusting for fine-tuning is simple, and sheet music can be found on the Internet, as well as some easy, basic instructions on how to play.
4. SMALL FISH Xylophone
Mallets are made with non-toxic materials
Exceeds standards of ASTM International Toy Safety Standards
Is free of BPA, odor, Phthalate, and lead
Comes with music sheets, harmonica, and a mesh storage bag
Some received damaged instruments
A few buyers did not get the mallets
Turn your home into a musical wonderland with the Small Fish Xylophone. The fun doesn’t end there, your child will also receive a harmonica.Read more
Boys and girls as young as one can be introduced to music using both of the included instruments. Each key is brightly colored and designed to match its assigned notes. Not only will the keys help increase your child’s knowledge of colors but they will also introduce them to music notes. The teddy bear sticks are a fun addition to the set and are sure to have your child excited to make music. Grasping the sticks and hitting the keys will improve your child’s fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Both the Xylophone and the harmonica are lightweight and can easily be taken to a variety of locations. Now your child can make music anywhere.
This xylophone will arrive on your doorstep perfectly and accurately tuned so that your child can begin producing great-sounding music immediately after opening. It doesn’t matter how often your child plays with their xylophone, it will remain in tune. Parents, you will be able to appreciate clear sounding notes instead of half scales and high pitches.
The entire toy is odorless and composed of non-toxic materials. It is free of BPA, phthalate, and lead thus giving you the peace of mind that your child is safe to play. To enhance the level of safety, this instrument was designed without any sharp edges. The wooden mallet serves as a sturdy base for the keys and helps produce better sounds. It has met all of the ASTM International Toy Safety Standards, so you will be receiving nothing short of the best.
Ease of Use
Along with the instruments your child will receive Learning Resources musical sheets. You may recognize the songs as the sheets include several classics. Your little one can use the sheets to learn how to play Mary Had A Little Lamb and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The notes on the sheets are colored to match the keys, thus making learning how to read the sheets a tad bit easier. Learning how to read the notes may take a few tries, but if your child’s goal is to simply have fun then they can easily enjoy both instruments. Blowing into the harmonica will produce sound just as how hitting the keys on the Xylophone will. Your little one can unleash their creativity and create their own music.
5. RockJam 61-Key Electronic Keyboard
Full-sized keyboard with 61 standard keys
Includes an LCD screen, playback and record functions
Comes with 100 rhythms, 100 keyboard sounds, and 50 demo songs
Includes a stool, stand, power supply, and headphones
Terrific for beginners
Issues with the product not working after several months
A few had problems with the LCD screen staying on
So many extras are included with this instrument, consisting of headphones, a stool, a power supply, Face to Face lessons, and the Piano Maestro App. Kids will be busy for hours just trying out all of the wonderful features of this multifaceted instrument.Read more
The Piano Maestro App provides 30 extra songs to play along with, plus the teaching modes are accessible on the LCD screen. The LCD screen has playback and record functions, plus provides just the right chords and keys to play for the demo songs. It also lets you know the pace to keep while playing. A microphone can be plugged into the keyboard, so you can play and sing at the same time. Practice songs include rock, pop, and classical artist creations, such as Pharrell Williams, Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Handel, Schumann, Bach, and Beethoven.
The name of SuperKit does not begin to justify all of the items that come with this combo set. With the full-sized keyboard with 61 standard keys comes 100 rhythms, 100 keyboard sounds, and 50 demo songs.
Both the quality of the sounds and the number of rhythms and songs available with this keyboard are incredible! Plus, there are songs to play along with as the LCD screen and App monitor the progress.
This sturdy set comes with a pair of quality headphones, so players can practice without disturbing others nearby. A padded, durable stool perfectly suited to the correct height of the keyboard is included.
Ease of Use
This instrument can be played by children or adults. It comes with an adjustable keyboard stand to hold the instrument securely, plus Face to Face guidance for two months with the Take Lesson feature to become great with your instrument.
6. Jameson Guitars 5-String Banjo
Has five strings and is full-sized
Great for many musical styles
Comes with a banjo book including chord charts
High-quality workmanship and materials
Durable, simple, and versatile instrument
A few received damaged items
A few comments about the sound not being the best
For kids that are taking an early interest in musical instruments and particularly stringed instruments, why not give this fantastic banjo a try. The sound is great, and the lessons learned can last a lifetime. It just may ignite the musical genius in your family.Read more
Many different music styles can be played or enhanced with the sound of a banjo. Children will be able to play along with songs of rock, classical, and many other music types. The possibilities are limitless!
This banjo has five strings and is full-sized. The fifth tuner is geared, and it contains a closed back for clawhammer or bluegrass type music. It is undeniably a well-designed musical instrument.
This banjo has a professional drumhead and a maple fingerboard, plus it includes 24 brackets for loud tone and ring. The overall quality of the sound is beautiful and perfect.
It sports high-quality workmanship and materials. This is a durable, simple, and versatile instrument. This instrument comes with a banjo book including chord charts and is fully assembled upon arrival.
Ease of Use
Even if your child cannot read music or has never played an instrument before, this banjo will be easy to understand and play. It comes with chord charts in a free banjo book with the purchase.
7. Flexzion Half Moon Tambourine
Available in seven bold colors
Has a durable and hard body of plastic
Jingles have a percussive rhythm
Has a comfort rubber grip handle
In a half-moon shape and a professional size
Some said this was not very loud in a crowd
A couple of comments about it coming apart
Tambourines are perfect to use in various settings and for many forms of music like Gospel, Persian, Classical, and Rock. Both boys and girls love to play with tambourines, and kids as young as three-years-old will want to grab it and give it a shake.Read more
So many places are wonderful to play the tambourine in bands, classrooms, and orchestras. It can even be played alone to favorite tunes or as an accompaniment for other instruments in a small gathering.
The half-moon shape of this tambourine with the many jingles on it makes you want to get up and dance! The design is very attractive and will make children want to jump at the chance of playing it.
The jingles have a percussive rhythm that is crisp and clear, and the handle in the middle has a comfort, rubber grip handle. Children especially love the joyful sound and will enjoy playing with it.
This tambourine is available in seven bold, bright colors and includes forty total jingles in ten sets of four jingles each. It has a durable and hard body of plastic with an Ergonomic grip and is shaped in a half-moon in a professional size.
Ease of Use
This easy-to-use Flexzion tambourine is perfect for an instrumental ensemble or as a compliment for dancing and singing. It is meant for curious beginners or those with some experience.
8. Mendini by Cecilio 3-Piece Drum Set
Available in five color choices
Great for kids aged three to eight-years-old
Includes several individual instruments
Includes two drumsticks of wood, drum pedal, and easy instructions
Cymbal and drums are mounted from the bass drum
May tip over easily
Some said it was smaller than expected
For those kids that want an instrument to play, but don’t know which one to choose, this drum set by Mendini may be the perfect item. Both boys and girls will love this set and the colors it comes in.Read more
Set up should be very easy with this instrument because the cymbals and drums are mounted from the bass drum, plus the manufacturer supplies a set of easy-to-follow instructions with the purchase.
The metallic colors that this drum set comes in are fantastic! The selection is not huge, but the colors are bright, bold, and very eye-catching. Drums are the most visible instrument in a band, so they must be exciting and colorful.
Two drumsticks, a drum pedal, and easy instructions for set-up come with this instrument. Included are a bass drum, mounted tom, snare drum that is mounted, and cymbal arm with a cymbal for a fierce sound experience.
It has genuine wood shells with hoops that are triple-flanged. The cymbal and drums are mounted from the bass drum to allow easy set-up. A drum throne that is padded, round, and adjustable is the provided seat.
Ease of Use
Kids in the age range of three- to eight-years-old will love this flashy drum set by Mendini. It comes in five stunning color choices and is perfect for beginning music artists.
9. Mugig Accordion
Bellows are tear-resistant
Lightweight, portable, and easy to hold
Instruction booklet makes the instrument simple to learn
Safe for the environment and your child
Some reviewers would have liked it to include more keys
The Mugig Accordion will provide your child with hours of fun while also stimulating their development. Their hand-eye coordination, concentration, and fine motor skills will all improve by playing this instrument.Read more
Weighing in under two pounds, this instrument can easily be transported from place to place. In fact, children as young as three can carry, hold, and learn to play. When your child is done playing they should buckle the accordion up to extend its lifespan.
With seven vocal keys on the right side your child can make a variety of different sounds. The left side is equipped with bass, harmony, and deflated button all of which will enhance the quality of the music. Your child can produce music while holding the accordion or by placing it on a table.
Composed of food-grade ABS resin, this accordion is 100% safe for the environment and your child. The bellows are made using kraft paper, leather, and cloth to protect them from ripping. Using the wipe cloth, your child can keep their instrument in tip-top shape.
Ease of Use
Holding the accordion is easy as both of the ends are equipped with belt buckles that will provide your child with a firm grip. Included with the accordion is an instruction booklet which makes learning how to play a fun and easy process. Once your child masters the instruction booklet, they can use the songbook to play a variety of different tunes. Pressing the air valve will make playing the instrument even easier.
10. Hohner MP361NB Easy Grip Maracas
Easy to grip and hold
Passed several safety standards
Perfect for kids three-years-old and older
Is BPA free
Makes fantastic rhythmic sounds
Can be quite loud
May be smaller than expected
The colors of these adorable maracas are bold and eye-catching. They even have contrasting accents with a few graphic designs on the main color. They have passed several safety standards and are wonderful for kids three-years-old and older.Read more
Although this is not one of the usual musical instruments that come to mind when your child strikes an interest in playing an instrument, it is one of the most fun to use and can be played easily by any age. The colors of these are neutral, so both boys and girls will want to own them.
The beautiful colors are bold and vibrant and have cute graphic designs to match the sparkle of the instruments. These Easy Grip Maracas for kids are easy to grip and hold with the new, improved handle design.
Children can make super rhythmic sounds with these maracas as they practice their shaking abilities. They are quite loud since the manufacturers wanted to provide a realistic sound experience.
The materials have been tested for safety standards and are certified as child-friendly. These are BPA-free and will provide fabulous additional percussion to any music fun or activity.
Ease of Use
Even toddlers can enjoy playing this musical instrument because it requires no reading of music or following a set pattern to play them. Just shake – rattle – roll and have loads of fun!
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The overall design of the musical instrument is very important since it has to be developed specifically for children, yet still taken seriously in order for little musical geniuses to practice their skills and not mistake these objects for toys that they can easily break and fool around with. Therefore we looked for items made of high-quality materials that are easy to use and explore and come in various colorful patterns in order to be more appealing for children. They are durable and produce good sound quality so you children can further improve their musical abilities. All products on this list have received the most positive reviews from parents and purchasers who were very satisfied with their item. They have also gotten the best ratings among all of the products in this category online. We bring you the best by narrowing down the huge number of instruments available. In this way, you see the best items quickly and easily without wasting your time searching for that perfect instrument for your child.
We all know how annoying can musical toys be with the cheap quality sound that's bursting from the item while your child is struggling to play it! Each featured instrument on this list will give a child real practice with a genuine quality item. These are all made with kids in mind, so they may have fewer strings, keys, or be smaller than the original, professional instruments. However, they do play just as well and have the same great sounds and tones as the adult versions. Many of these musical instruments come with instruction books to help children with the notes, and in the case of the steel drum, the notes are on the drum for easy access. Many reviewers commented on the unbelievable high-quality of the sounds and music that can be played on these kids' instruments. A few of them look like childish-type toys, such as the maracas, accordion, xylophone, and the floor drum, but they are not toys. These are real instruments with real musical abilities for kids to practice and appreciate.
Only the best materials and work went into these products. The manufacturers stand behind their items with their long-time reputations and high-quality craftsmanship. These are all made just like the adult versions, but with some being a bit smaller. The same durable, long-lasting materials were used in these children’s versions, so they will provide years of musical enjoyment. The makers understand that kids will be rough with these instruments, so they were built with this in mind. These are durable, sturdy, and robust, so children can enjoy them for years of play. We all know that babies might not understand the purpose of some of these instruments and they might try to lick them or place them in their mouths. The manufacturers made sure the plastic used for some of these instruments is BPA-free so it's child-friendly, in case you have a younger meddling toddler crawling around. After all, when buying products for children, it is always more reassuring when the items have been properly tested and made of components that are safe for the well-being of the most sensitive members of the family.
Ease of Use
These products are meant to inspire your child to learn how to play them, not frustrate them with complex features. After all, that is why they are meant for children. Kids will be able to play any of these musical instruments very easily and quickly. Most of them come with instruction booklets on how to read the musical notes and how to play the item. The floor drum, tambourine, and maracas can be played so easily by even a 3-year-old and without any guidance. They can just move and play these as the feeling moves them. They are great to use when listening to a song playing, as the child can just play along to the beat. The steel drum comes with not only a booklet to teach the notes, but those notes are also printed on the top of the drum. The indicated places are where the kid would tap the drum to play the melody. The electronic keyboard goes to great lengths to make playing it easy for a child with the LCD screen and the many songs and sounds that can be practiced with the aid of the helpful app.
There are many benefits to playing a musical instrument, but we have found some that target children specifically. They are not in any order of significance but are equally important for brain development. Playing musical instruments increases memory abilities and builds coordination, improves mathematical skills, increases reading and comprehension talents, enhances responsibility and sharpens concentration.
Studies show that playing a musical instrument can have a great impact on proper emotional development in early childhood since it relieves stress, boosts creativity and nurtures self-expression. It also generates a feeling of achievement, self-recognition and cultivates social talents. Not to mention, it improves listening skills, educates in discipline and stimulates happiness in you and those near you.
Other Factors to Consider
Playing musical instruments allows children to boost their creativity and be fearless in expressing their feelings. It opens a path for the youngest members of the family to learn how to generate their emotions in a healthy and amusing manner. Not only will your children become more skilled in the musical field but they will be able to unleash their imagination and embark on a unique artistic journey where the instrument is a vessel for self-expression. So many children grow up wanting to be a singer, performer, a DJ or a producer yet they do not have the musical background and often feel stuck and unaccomplished as adults. By investing in a quality musical instrument for a child when they are young, you are giving them an opportunity to be more productive and innovative during their free time while also allowing them to dream big and reach for the stars.
In a world where most children spend their days playing video games and watching Netflix, it is important to show them another way to keep them amused and learn another skill at the same time. And what can be more entertaining than the glorious and vast universe of music? They will spend many hours practicing and developing their craft since it won't feel like a class or a chore, as instead, a whimsical musical adventure. By listening, playing or creating music, children will not only stimulate their senses and talents but also connect with other fans and many of their peers that share the same interests. Soon before you know it, you might even have a whole orchestra playing in your backyard. After all, the whole point of these musical instruments made especially for children is to show them that music can be learned and comprehended in a delightful and enjoyable manner.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: For the two stringed instruments you review, can the strings be replaced? Do they come with picks to play the instrument and do they need tuning when they are received?
For both the ukulele and the banjo, yes, these are regular strings, so they can be replaced when they break. You should be able to purchase them at any music store or possibly online with Amazon. No, neither one of these instruments come with picks to play them. Yes, they both will need tuning when you receive them.
q: What is the difference between soprano and concert, especially for the ukulele?
The difference between the two types is the size. Concert ukuleles are larger. They are good for beginners because of the larger size. One reviewer found that it was much easier to learn how to play the instrument with the soprano.
q: Do the drums come with the mallets? What else comes with the drums?
Yes, all three drum instruments featured come with the mallets and so does the xylophone. The drum set comes with the whole set of the various drums and the symbols. The steel drum instrument includes a wonderful storage case that can be used to store it away or for travel and carry purposes, as it has a durable handle.
q: Do any of these musical instruments come with a case or something to put them in for carrying and storage?
Yes, the xylophone, recorder, steel drum, and the accordion come with a case or storage bag for travel purposes or storage.
q: Are these instruments considered toys, or are they the real thing that a child could practice playing music seriously?
These are all real instruments that a child can begin playing seriously. The xylophone is colorful and made of wood, so it could be deemed as a toy, but the sound is just like a real instrument.
q: Are the drum sets for a child only or can an adult play them too?
The Floor Tom Drum can be playing by anyone, but the Junior Drum Set is too small for an adult. The Steel Drum is playable by anyone, as the stand is adjustable for various heights.
q: Do all of these instruments come ready to use, or do they have to be put together? Do any require batteries or a plug-in source?
The Junior Drum Set must be assembled, but that is the only instrument that must be put together. None of them require batteries, but the keyboard must be plugged into an electric source to use it.
q: Does being left-handed pose a problem for a child wanting to play any of these instruments? Are there any that a girl should not play, meaning are any of them gender-specific or odd for a girl to play?
None of these instruments are specific for left- or right-handed kids. They are equally suitable for boys and girls too. Children of most ages, even as young as 3 years old can play these too.
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