This is a general guideline for age appropriateness and difficulty level for various musical instruments but please keep in mind that individual preferences, physical abilities, complexity, techniques involved, and learning styles may vary so its essential to consider these factors when selecting an instrument. To work out the difficulty rating you should remember you will also need to consider the instruments size, weight and the possibilities of it being a learning curve to get it right. 

Difficulty 0 - Suitable for 3 years old +

Children that are three years old are just beginning to explore the world around them and develop their motor skills. Introducing them to simple percussion instruments like maracas and tambourines will spark their curiosity and help develop their hand-eye coordination and rhythm awareness. Music engages their senses and fosters early social interactions as they learn to create sounds and rhythms with others. These instruments are easy to play without help. The collection includes; whistles, percussion instruments and hand drums.

Discover Extremely Easy Instruments

Difficulty 1 - Suitable for 5 years old +

At five, children's cognitive skills improve, enabling them to handle slightly more complex instruments. They become eager to express themselves creatively, showing interest in melodies and songs. Music helps learn patterns, boosts memory, and offers a fun way to express themselves. Instruments in this collection include heavier percussion instruments, kazoos, tambourines, drums, basic xylophones, smaller whistles with notes and recorders.

Explore Very Easy Instruments

Difficulty 2 - Suitable for 7 years old +

Seven year old children will be independent and curious. They enjoy exploring sounds, nurturing creativity and problem-solving. Music offers emotional expression and builds confidence. Practice makes progress; younger players may need a few days to a week to learn. These instruments will provide a new self discovery challenge. Instruments will include xylophones with more than four notes, beginner recorder, flutes, ukes and djembes.

Find Easy Instruments

Difficulty 3 - Suitable for 9 year olds

By age nine, children are developing a deeper understanding of music and its components, such as melody, harmony, and rhythm. Intermediate-level instruments like flutes or clarinets offer them a chance to refine their technique and express themselves more fully through music. They may start to participate in school bands or ensembles, fostering teamwork and collaboration skills while honing their musical abilities. (Flute and Clarinet)

Shop for Somewhat Easy Instruments

Difficulty 4 - Suitable for 11 year olds

As children enter their preteen years, they become more focused and dedicated to their interests. Instruments like guitars or keyboards provide them with a new challenge and outlet for self-expression. They may start to explore different genres of music and develop their own musical preferences, which helps shape their identity and sense of self. Music becomes a source of passion and inspiration as they strive to improve their skills and pursue their musical goals. (Guitar, timpani, keyboard)

See Moderately Easy Instruments

Difficulty 5 - Suitable for 13 year olds

By age thirteen, teenagers are developing a deeper appreciation for music and its ability to convey emotions and tell stories. Instruments like electric bass or drums allow them to express themselves more boldly and experiment with different styles and techniques. They may start to form bands or join music groups, building friendships and connections with like-minded peers. Music becomes a powerful form of self-expression and a way to navigate the challenges of adolescence. Require consistent practice weeks to months (electric bass keyboard, piccolo, cello, conga drums, guitars stringed instruments)

Check Moderate Instruments

Difficulty 6 - Suitable for 15 year olds

At fifteen years old, teenagers are refining their skills and pursuing their passions with determination. Instruments like violas or trumpets offer them a new challenge and opportunity for growth. They may participate in music competitions or performances, pushing themselves to excel and achieve their goals. Music becomes a source of pride and accomplishment as they continue to develop their skills and pursue their dreams. (Dideridoo, violas, trumpets)

Play Moderately Difficult Instruments

Difficulty 7 - Suitable for 17 year olds

takes longer to learn from months to year. As teenagers approach adulthood, they are more focused and committed to their musical pursuits. Advanced-level instruments like oboes or French horns challenge them to reach new heights of skill and artistry. They may consider pursuing music at a higher level, such as studying at a music conservatory or auditioning for professional opportunities. Music becomes a lifelong passion and pursuit as they continue to strive for excellence and make meaningful contributions to the world of music. (Full size violin, cello, flute, trumpet, oboe, French horn, marimba) 

Try Difficult Instruments

Difficulty 8 - Suitable for intermediate adults

For adults, learning a musical instrument offers a fulfilling and enriching experience that stimulates the mind and nurtures the soul. Whether picking up an instrument for the first time or returning to it after years away, adults find joy and satisfaction in the process of learning and mastering new skills. Music provides a creative outlet for self-expression, a means of relaxation and stress relief, and a way to connect with others through shared experiences and performances. (Piano, keyboard, violin, saxophone, clarinet, singing, drum kit, Handpan, electric bass

Learn Very Difficult Instruments

Difficulty 9 - Suitable for advanced adults

Suitable for adults willing to dedicate time to learning**: For adults willing to invest time and effort into mastering a difficult instrument, the rewards are immeasurable. Instruments like violins or vibraphones challenge them to push their boundaries and expand their capabilities. With dedication and perseverance, adults can achieve a high level of proficiency and artistic expression, enriching their lives and the lives of those around them through the power of music. (Tuba, steel tongue drum, saxhorn, oboe, French horn, violin, viola, vibraphones)

Browse Extremely Difficult Instruments

Difficulty 10 - Suitable for highly skilled musicians

No age limit, reserved for highly skilled experts**: Instruments at this level require extraordinary skill and dedication to master. Reserved for highly skilled experts, such as virtuoso performers and professional musicians, these instruments represent the pinnacle of artistic achievement. Mastery of these instruments requires a lifetime of practice and study, as well as a deep understanding of the nuances of performance and interpretation. The most difficult to play instruments - it may require a lifetime to master and a deep understanding of the performance techniques (pipe organ, flugelhorn, grand piano, taiko drum, harp, traditional Japanese instruments such as the shamizen)

Attempt Impossible Instruments