Question Our middle child is set on learning to play sitar. She's an intelligent, highly self disciplined child by nature and we have no doubt that she will follow through. However, she's also a petite six year old. To get to the point... Is she too young? If not, do you have any suggestions about style and size of sitar for a beginner who is roughly four feet tall? What do we need to get started? And what would be the best approach to finding a good, reliable teacher?
Answer Look into a half-size instrument, or smaller if necessary and possible, but before purchasing have your child hold it to see if it is the right size. Everything should be within reach, easily accessible without having to stretch the arms. Check with the store or source where you purchase the instrument for music method materials written for children learning the instrument. It might be difficult to find a teacher, much less a reliable one, on that instrument in many regions of the US. Your best bet would be to contact music departments at nearby universities and colleges. If they do not have private instructors then they might be able to provide some information leading you in the right direction. If those schools are unable to help, branch out and search farther away for universities that might be able to help. When contacting each college, ask to speak with their music education professors and ethnomusicology / musicology professors.
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