Music Making: Ocarina

December 28, 2010

It was featured in the Nintendo video game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time attracting an increase in interest.

Heather Scott, an instructor with the St. Louis School of Music, has mastered the ocarina and is a spokesperson for STL Ocarina ( STL Ocarina is a company that designs and produces ocarinas which comes in models that start at about $10.

Here are some tips for parents who want to introduce their child to a musical instrument from Heather:

  • See which instrument excites your child. Take your child to concerts to introduce them a number of instruments at once. If they like a particular one, take them to a music store or someplace they can touch and try it. Help them find one that sparks their interest.
  • Make music part of your home life. Parents who sing and play music with their children help them to develop skills that can help them in academic subjects. Like learning a language, being immersed in music is the best way to learn it.
  • Make the timing right. When a child can begin learning an instrument depends on the instrument and the child. For violin, Heather recommends kids start between 3 and 5 before they have school and other activities vying for their attention. Kids can start learning piano and guitar at 4 or 5 but generally need to 7 to 9 to pick up most wind instruments. The exception is the ocarina, which can be started as young as 3.
  • Be involved with your child. It's important for parents to be involved with their child's music practice. Younger children especially need some parental guidance to learn to practice. Learning together is a great activity that draws families closer through interaction, a major benefit at a time when so much time is spent in front of screens.

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