What Instruments Can a 5-Year-Old Play?

Musical instruments offer growing children with such a wide range of benefits, that it is natural to want to instil our kids with the magic of music, as soon as possible. In fact, through singing nursery rhymes and lulling with lullabies, we begin this process as one of the earliest stages of providing comfort, enjoyment and a connection through sound and language. Join Jaques, as we meander the musical matters and ask, what instrument can a 5-year-old play?

Whilst infant indexes and pup pinkies may not be quite developed enough to properly grasp the playing of an instrument, experts suggest that, by the age of 5, most children will be ready to begin their journey into audio experimentation.


Finding the Perfect Instrument for 5-year-olds

Locating a suitable infant instrument means gifting them something that sparks their imaginations, whilst being invigorating to the senses and offering immediate feedback. As such, Jaques suggests refraining from instruments that require high degrees of nimble-fingered accuracy. Equally, seeking out colourful instruments is a must. At a young age, children have already developed a strong sensory connection with colours. Bright and varied colours help young players to feel comfortable approaching a new instrument, whilst colour and note connections can be utilised across a wide variety of instruments. With these tuneful tips in mind, what is the right instrument for your five-year-old performer?



Once the confusing spelling has been explained, young children revel in the simplicity and instant reward of the xylophone. Our own vibrantly coloured xylophone is perfect for 5-year-olds or anyone new to the joys of music. With letter and colour combinations utilised to create an instant connection between the keys played and notes provided, the very best xylophones for children marvel in Montessori magic. For an instantly accessible route to musical magic, the xylophone is calling. We have even seen whales playing the xylophone. We suspect they were part of an orca-stra.



What would your favourite song be without a bass building beat to get behind? A louder house may not be the top list of parental priorities, but the excitement and instant engagement of the drums can be a perfectly uncomplicated introduction to rhythmic playing. Fortunately, digital drum kits can provide an ideal outlet for musical mayhem, without your household being noted as the noisy neighbours. Pop on a pair of headphones and let the beat babes begin. Accessibility is accompanied by activity, with the drums also serving as a fantastic outlet for excess energy. So, build on bass and take pleasure in tympany. We have a great drum joke for you, but it’s hard to beat.



The keyboard is a classic starting off point to a discovery of music. Unlike many instruments, the piano provides players with a direct link to the more advanced stages of music, without the need for deeper musical knowledge. Better still, sound begins with the press of a single key. As a result, children are afforded instant musical response. This allows for a Montessori Toys style of learning, with young players feeling more inspired to discover the full range of keys. Better still, with notes so neatly arranged, the keyboard is a wonderful way to understand the mathematics of music theory and everything that makes playing an instrument so special. But, a warning, if your new keyboard appears to be laughing, there is every chance you have bought a Yama-hahahaha.



The recorder has always been the beginner’s woodwind of choice. The simply designed mouthpiece is especially easy for new players to play a tune, whilst the learning of breathing and finger techniques can be easily carried over to more complex instruments, such as the flute or clarinet. Better still, as an incredibly affordable, quiet and mobile instrument, it may be the best choice for keeping parents as happy as their new musical prodigies. But, if you’re wondering who would win in a fight between a recorder and a flute, we think the recorder woodwind.


Digital Instruments

What better way to introduce children to a range of sound, without the added pressure of learning and developing a new skill, than with the wide array of digital music apps available across all mobile platforms? Touchscreens provide children with a wide range of interactive musical choices. Better still, many apps also offer a range of advice for purchasing and further musical learning once your child feels ready to make the move to the stage. So, why not try before you buy? Of course, if things stop working, you can always turn to iDad for your musical fix.


Music is an integral part of early learning. From the creative freedom afforded, to learning skills in concentration, problem solving and, even, basic mathematics. Music is a wonderful gift; one we all grow to love more with each passing day. When asking what instrument can a 5-year-old play, be sure to instrumentally inspire and musically marvel.


For more musical machinations, come and play a tune with the Jaques band, at the Mini Minds Hub.

Kate Luke
Head Of Brand
After graduating with a 2.1 Music degree, Kate pursued a career in the Music Industry, becoming a professional West End vocalist and a fully qualified Music Teacher, School Choir Leader and Songwriter. As one of Jaques of London’s Creative Editors, her specialism surrounds building confidence and expression through music & play—drawing upon her qualifications in Music Psychology & Child Development. As well as this, she is an accomplished blog writer and published journalist who enjoys promoting the importance of Montessori learning for all ages.
Ben Williamson
Creative Writer
Ben is passionate about Montessori learning for children and has written for many parenting publications to bring the magic of real play to families in the UK. After graduating in 2009, his career has enabled him to work in areas such as Child Development and Psychology. As a great believer that learning starts at home, he combines his experience with his own parenting style to help bring other families together.
Jess Casson
Marketing Assistant
Jess graduated from the University of York in 2022 with a degree in Sociology and Criminology; kickstarting her career in the creative marketing industry through content creation and social media management. One of these roles involved creating content for a children's holiday camp, which alongside a knowledge of Montessori Teaching, formed an interest in childhood development. Utilising her expertise in both these fields has allowed her to promote and share her passions with the online community while exploring her talent for writing and establishing collaborations.
Laura Henderson
Interior Designer
Interior Designer, Laura Henderson, lives in Surrey with her husband and two daughters. Taking a timeless approach to her designs and drawing on her love of colour, antiques, art, modernist furniture and photography she delivers luxurious compositions and peaceful sanctuaries within every space. Her previous experience in furniture design plays an integral role in the development of each of her projects, as does the time she spends getting to know her clients. She uses this to achieve beautiful, practical, reimagined layouts, resulting in projects that enhance a client’s lifestyle, reflecting their individual passions. To learn more see her website www.laurahendersoninteriordesign.com.

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