Friday, July 5, 2013

Why Choose A Musical Instrument To Learn

Music To Your Ears

Music is, tv, movies, theatre, concerts, cd's, dvd's and more. Wherever you go , you are most likely to hear music somewhere, in some form, whether it be someone performing a solo or a group of musicians playing together. In fact many of these people have created their music on musical instruments and would have had a reason to learn them. The sound of music could be just you..... having a moment ......playing your favourite tunes .....on your chosen instrument..... be it the piano....or violin.... or tuba.....or guitar.......whatever.

So basically we get this Music To Our Ears by musicians playing musical instruments.Therefore it is useful to know what musical instruments are and the reasons people learn a musical instrument or two? This will help one decide on whether a musical instrument is right for you to learn.

This article covers an outline on musical instruments, eleven reasons why people learn a musical instrument, why I learnt a musical instrument ( or more) and some places to go to help you decide on what musical instrument to learn. Basically you will gather a picture behind the creation of Music To Our Ears which give people happiness by simply playing and/or listening to Music and which could inspire you to learn a musical instrument or to carry on playing a musical instrument.

Musical Instruments - An Outline

A musical instrument is an object which creates sounds and hence music when played by a musician.

There are many different types of musical instruments and these can vary depending where in the world you come from.

For instance you can play the :

Celtic drum and fiddle from Ireland
Spanish Guitar and Castanets from Spain
Harp and Singing in The Male Voice Choir of Wales
Bagpipes from Scotland
Koto and Taiko for Japan
Sheng San Xian from China
Digeridoo from Australia
Gamelan from Indonesia
Tabla Sitar from India
Conga Drums from Africa
Steel Drums from Caribbean

And you can find certain instruments in various group settings.

For instance the instruments found in a large orchestra consist of four main sections.
1. The String Section consisting of violins, violas, cellos, double bass and harp
2. The Woodwind Section consisting of flutes, oboes, clarinets and bassoons.
3. The Brass Section consisting of trumpets, tubas, french horns and trombones
4. The Percussion Section consisting of various types of tuned and untuned instruments e.g. marimba and drums

 A metal band might consist of electric guitars, bass guitar, drums, keyboard, screamer/singer.

 The list goes on.

 Just remember there are many instruments which people can learn and play and that there are many varieties of groups to play in which involve different instrumentation.

Eleven Reasons Why People 
Choose a Musical Instrument To Learn 

1.  Parents want to give their children an opportunity. Maybe they play an instrument themselves and want their children to share the pleasure that they get or had


 They have an instrument at home which needs dusting down.

 My mother played the piano and my father played the bagpipes, piano and organ and had a consort of recorders. They wanted to pass their love of music on to their family and hence gave all my sisters, brothers and myself an opportunity. I think we all learnt the recorder and piano. One sister learnt and still plays the clarinet, one brother learnt the cornet, B flat bass. Another brother added the guitar and I learnt the flute and later added the saxophone, keyboard and ukulele myself. Being a parent myself I have given both of my kids an opportunity. My son learnt the bass guitar, guitar and drums and is currently studying jazz at polytech. My daughter learnt the violin for a year and enjoyed singing in choirs a a few years.

2. Children want to learn because their friends play an instrument

This is exactly how my son got hooked with the guitar. At intermediate school around age 11 my son went round to a friends garage to hear this friend and another friend play drums and guitar together. He thought it was going to be another boring afternoon. However, there was a spare guitar at this place with just 2 strings. The friends showed my son 2 chords to play along with them. That was it ...hooked for life.

As for me, I enjoyed learning the piano at the same " time " as my friend. We were at the same level and had our lessons one after the other. This enabled us to have a combined time between our two lessons for about 10 or so minutes to play duets with each other and hence an opportunity to get together out of lesson time and have fun playing music together.

It is great playing music with other people and so if children learn because there friends do then this presents a great opportunity for group playing, friendship and fun.

3. The school orchestra or band are short of a particular instrument

 for example bassoon or trumpets. You learn that instrument to fill the gap in the group.

 I have not personally learnt an instrument for this reason. But I know of people who have e.g. a flute player I know took up the double bass. Maybe because with many people playing the flute it is harder to get into some musical groups like an orchestra. And with not so many people playing the large double bass then this presents greater opportunities.

4. You find that people in bands can play guitar, bass and drums, or that it is common for people to be able to play flute, clarinet and saxophone. You may be a flute player and have an interest in playing in orchestras for musical theatre. To save on space in the orchestra pit the parts are written for one player to play flute, clarinet and a range of saxophones. 

This was annoying to me at one stage when I wanted to play the orchestra for a musical. I played the flute and saxophone but not the clarinet. I did think of adding the clarinet to my repertoire of instruments but have not done so yet. I may still.

I added keyboard and most recently the ukulele so I could not only have fun playing them but to earn money by teaching them.

 5. You like the sound of a particular instrument and just want to learn that

The BAGPIPES are a magnificant instrument to learn especially if you like the idea of playing in a Pipe Band. You never know , you might be in demand to play at weddings, funerals, Scottish musical evenings or to play Amazing Grace to bring in the New Year.
My father started learning the bagpipes in his school years and I grew up with it's magnificent sound. He took them everywhere and enjoyed playing them to people. Hence he was asked to play at weddings, funerals, soirees, at New Year and whenever he could really. I would go along and enjoy the pipe band contests with him. My father taught me the recorder and I had lessons on the piano. I think I just wanted to learn a wind instrument and tried the oboe for half a year. I think I thought it was too hard so I changed to the flute. The clarinet was not an option because my sister was learning it!! And the bassoon well, too low in sound, too big and it requires a double reed to play...therefore too expensive. Though on saying this , not so many people learn the bassoon, therefore you could be in hot demand for your local orchestra or wind band.

 6. You were given an instrument for a present or inheritance


 You were lucky enough to win one.

 So why not give it a try.

 My parents had the piano and recorders I learnt from and then bought then bought the other instruments my siblings and I wanted to learn. I suppose I inherited a piano from my husband's family which was very useful for when we moved into our first home. I used it for a number of years before I bought a piano from my sister who was upgrading to a baby grande. This piano had been used in a relatives home on my mothers side for years.

 7. You have a particular instrument lying around the house not being used so thought it would be a great idea to learn it.

8. For Relaxation

You can while away the hours with an instrument at hand and relieve the stress of the day.

This is sooooo easy to do ...if you have the time.

9. You have the desire to play in a musical group such as a band, orchestra, chamber group or duets with a friend. This creates a great social environment. I play flute in a Big Band which meets weekly and a flute choir which meets fortnightly. T'is great fun. The Big Band plays regularly for dances and the flute choir plays occasionally as an item in concerts or at retirement villages. Since taking up the ukulele I have been interested in hearing them played well in the group setting. Earlier this year I had the opportunity to hear Great Britain Ukulele Orchestra in my home town. They were magnificent. Take a look.

10. As A Money Earner when you are good enough, by:

 ~ teaching it - this is great because it is a job with flexibility, that is, you work when it is suitable for you and the student. This is what I do. I always knew that I wanted to have children. And whilst bringing them up I wanted to earn a little money. So I thought that I could teach a student or 2 at home at a time to suit me ( and the students ). Therefore I obtained the qualification ( L.T.C.L ) in flute to do so. This involved a written and practical component and it ended up that I actually went for my L.T.C.L practical flute whilst I was seven months pregnant.I started with 1 or 2 students and added recorder as well. Later I added piano, then keyboard and lastly ukulele because there is a growing demand for ukulele playing in primary schools.

 ~ solo artist

 ~ accompanist

 ~ professional orchestra or band

 11. Learning an Instrument and hence playing music teaches you many things including:

~ the use of many parts of the brain
 ~ improved performance in all areas of the curriculum
 ~ listening, memory, communication, coordination, concentration,critical thinking, team and social skills
 ~ imagination and creativity eg improvisation and composition
 ~ cooperation and commitment eg in lessons and group playing
 ~ the development of self esteem and confidence

I am sure I have learnt all of the above from playing my musical instruments...but that is in the eye of the beholder!!

       Why I Learnt A Musical Instrument and More


My father had a mini consort of recorders which included a sopranino, several descants and a treble recorder all of which were made of wood. He taught me how to play, starting with the descant recorders. He had a variety of simple music which we would play in parts with other members of the family especially on holidays. I was always in charge of putting the recorders in the car at holiday time!! I later took group lessons. And now I teach it.

  2. PIANO

My parents had a piano and all family members including myself took lessons - some longer than others. I had private lessons for nine years and enjoyed playing duets with a friend who had her lesson either before or after me . We spent a short while eg ten minutes,at the beginning /end of our lessons on duet learning.


I wanted to play in an orchestra and so learnt another instrument which took over from the recorder lessons I was having. As my sister was learning the clarinet I wanted to try a different instrument. After a two term attempt at trying to master the oboe I chose to learn the popular flute with group lessons and then private lessons. I got my wish of playing in an orchestra plus a variety of other groups over the years including varied sized chamber groups of different instruments, musical theatre orchestras, flute choir and a big band. After learning for a while I decided that I would like to earn some money at home teaching the flute whilst bringing up a family. So I sat the required examinations to gain the qualification.


I am teaching recorder, flute and piano through a school of music and the opportunity came up for the need of a keyboard teacher in my area. So I bought myself a keyboard, taught myself with the help of the music shop and other musicians and then started teaching it.

            Did You Choose An Instrument To Learn?

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