If your kid is 8 to 11 years old, you should look for a C flute. Don’t worry, you won’t have to spend hours looking for such an instrument, as it is the most common and widely accepted key of flute. You should also choose an off-set G and not an inline G otherwise your kid won’t be able to stretch his left finger to easily depress the key. Besides, an off-set G is built on an angle so it is easier to reach and your child will be able to learn faster what speed and accuracy means. This type of flute will also help your little rookie play only with the left hand, on the notes G, A and B, and to leave the right hand around the barrel of the flute when he cannot achieve strength and balance.
If your child is too small for his age, you should be careful that the flute you want to buy has a footjoint that will be very useful until your kid succeeds in adjusting to the size of the instrument. In addition, he will be able to learn play many notes, chromatic and diatonic, low, middle and high octaves. In time, he will be able to extend G, A, and B in order to include F and E.
Moreover, if your child has never played the flute before, you should purchase a closed hole, or “student” flute, because it is easier to master by the child’s small sized hands and the child will be able to focus on playing without having to worry for not covering the openings with his little fingers. On the other hand, if your child is not exactly a rookie and he has played the flute for at least a year, than you should think of spending a little more money on a beginner’s level flute such as the closed-hole Jupiter Prodigy with smaller finger buttons and reduced length flauto traverso.
Nevertheless, don’t let your eyes be fooled by the brand. There are expensive flutes that won’t be the right choice for your kid now and there are cheaper flutes (obviously not those made in China) that don’t cut the quality for price. If you want something good for your kid, choose between Yamaha, Armstrong, Geimenhardt, Selmer or Azumi by Altus.
Furthermore, you should be aware of the description “nickel silver”, as this type of metal contains no silver at all; it’s nothing else than an alloy of copper, nickel, and zinc that is not very qualitative. Though many brands use this material for student level flutes, you should actually avoid it.
And, most importantly, if your child is under 8 years of age, you should buy him a plastic fife and not a real flute as he will find it impossible to use it with his tiny fingers. As for the rest, happy flute hunting!