My niece (age seven) is really wanting to learn an instrument. My sister lives in an apartment building and is worried about bothering neighbors, as they have neighbors both above and below them. But, she also wants to encourage her daughter's budding musical interest. What instruments should I steer my sister towards?
A keyboard. I play a few instruments myself and I teach lessons to children. I think the keyboard is the easiest instrument to learn over webcam or through video tutorials. Something like that might be important to your sister since we're still in the middle of a pandemic. Plus, you can turn the volume up or down on a keyboard and you can even use headphones so no sound leaks out to the neighbors.
Strum Drum Messages: 117 Registered: November 2017
I think it's best just to let your niece pick. Most instruments can be played softly. It's a matter of controlling the technique. If the neighbors are fussy she could dampen the noise with mutes or pads. If percussion is her thing, then steer her towards one of the quieter kits. You can get low-volume cymbals and drum pads to help minimize the volume. Or just replace the heads with mesh heads. There are also different techniques for holding the drumsticks that affect the volume, or she could use brushes instead.