The ocarina plays at the same pitch as the descant recorder and sounds well alongside recorders in groups. Ocarinas are much easier instruments to play, with fewer holes and a more immediate range of notes. Reading from Oc-pix™ and Oc-box™ music, and handling just four holes, make the ocarina a more accessible instrument for any beginner. Its round shape means that it tends not to squeak, even if played over-enthusiastically, reducing the suffering of player, parents and audience in the early stages!
If your ocarina has more than 4 holes on the top, or if the holes are all the same size, then you will not be able to use Play your Ocarina books. All Ocarina Workshop ocarinas are precision-designed and tuned to play a full octave of notes following the methods shown in Play your Ocarina books. Other ocarinas are not tuned in the same way and are sometimes not tuned at all. Where there is no method, just blow and hope!!
Some children start to play the ocarina as young as 3 or 4. The age depends on the reading-readiness of the child. A beginner aged ten will obviously be able to progress further sooner. You can start to play the ocarina at any age, even as an adult!