Choosing an Instrument
Oftentimes, new students come to music lessons interested in learning an instrument, but unsure of which instrument to pick. One of my FAVORITE parts of teaching music is helping prospective students pick an instrument. This page contains resources for students (and parents) that will help guide your choice. Below you'll find:
See, hear, and learn about some of the instruments!
Check out what current and former music students and parents have to say about their experiences!
Designed to help you identify what instrument sounds you like.
Designed to help you match your personal preferences to an instrument.
Ultimately, my number one piece of advice is that I find students are most successful on instruments that they WANT to learn. Music is meant to be enjoyed and if you or your student aren't connecting with their instrument, there might be a better fit!
If you have any questions or need further assistance, please don't hesitate to email me!
For students under 10, I recommend beginning with Piano or Ukulele. Most other instruments are too heavy for the young beginner. Piano and Ukulele provide a wonderful starting point because they build skills that transfer to other instruments. The piano is a universal instrument, and the skills learned in piano lessons will transfer to ANY instrument your student wants to try in the future. Ukulele is fantastic for little fingers and will provide a great foundation for other stringed instruments like guitar.
All of that being said, I believe that students will have the most success on the instrument they WANT to play, so if you have a little one who has their heart set on a particular instrument, please reach out to me via email for further assistance.
BAND AND ORCHESTRA INSTRUMENTS
In order to pick an instrument, it's important to take time to check out what your options are! REW Music has a fantastic tool for exploring the band and orchestra instruments. On this page you can hear demonstrations of the instrument, learn about the parts of the instrument, how to play the instrument, and some of the history of the instrument. Click HERE to check it out!
About Being in Band and Orchestra
What Will YOU Play?
Where Are They Now? (Orchestra)
Where Are They Now? (Band)
CHOOSING INSTRUMENT SURVEYS
The following two surveys are designed to help you decide what instrument SOUNDS you like, as well as what instrument PERSONALITY you most likely fit. These surveys are intended ONLY as a guide or suggestion of where to start for students, and what they may enjoy learning to play. They are not intended to take the place of a face-to-face consultation.
The Timbre Survey is a listening activity designed to allow students to hear the instruments and choose the sound they like most, without a visual image that could influence or distract a student from the sound. The two examples played for each instrument are the same music and played in the same style. We did this so that students are comparing the sounds of the instruments and not the songs being played. This is a great launching point when picking an instrument!
1. Click HERE to download the Timbre Survey handout.
2. Play the Timbre Survey audio and have your students fill out the survey following the instructions given in the audio file.
INSTRUMENT TENDENCY SURVEY
This tool helps students choose their instruments based on a survey of personal tendencies.
People who play a certain instrument tend to behave a certain way. Because music educators know this, we thought there should be a survey identifying behaviors that tend to line up with certain instruments. After pulling our information from 3 different dissertations and other resources, we came up with this fun activity. It is designed to be filled out by the PARENT OR GUARDIAN observing their child's behavior. This is a great way to start conversations from student to parent or parent to director about instrumental music! This resource pairs with the Timbre Survey. From this, you can compare the two and have a good idea of what instrument a student may enjoy learning to play.
Click HERE to download the PDF.