Learning to Play an Instrument

Learning an instrument is a wonderful opportunity! No matter which instrument, be it percussion, string, or otherwise, you choose to study, you will need discipline, drive, patience, and initiative. You will learn to take instruction, pay attention to detail, and to work in harmony with a group in order to create a beautiful composition, or make a piece of music, come to life. When attempting to learn a new instrument, it is important to find a good instructor who understands you as a student, as well as the finer points of music education and skill development.

Consider all of you options before you commit to learning a single instrument. It is important to experience all of the musical possibilities that are available to you and what you might like to learn more of. If you are entirely new to music education, consider learning the piano. The piano has been called the backbone of all music and helps students learn how music works and fits together into a larger composition. The piano reinforces music-reading and once you've mastered the piano, you'll have the basic knowledge needed to learn other instruments, like the organ, synthesizer, and accordion. The guitar is also a popular choice for those interested in learning an instrument. The skills built through learning the guitar can be the foundation for learning the banjo, bass guitar, and, interestingly enough, the harp. Those interested in the string family may choose to pick up the violin, viola, or cello. The brass family includes the trumpet, tuba, and trombone, while the woodwinds include the clarinet, flute, and oboe. Percussion goes beyond drums to include the bells, congas and bongos, and the xylophone.

When choosing from the many musical options available, consider your size and any physical limitations and the equipment and footprint of the instrument. Doing this will help to ensure you are comfortable with your instrument and you have the space needed to practice.

Once you choose your instrument, take the opportunity to find the right teacher to support you. Your local public school likely offers band or orchestra for their students. Many music stores also offer lessons. Our online resources can provide valuable support, no matter how you choose to learn. Be sure to learn how to tune your instrument and do so as needed. Reading music is equally important and students with the right teacher can benefit greatly from a thorough understanding of music notation. Be patient. Properly learning a new instrument takes time and dedication, and lots of practice.