Our weekly survey ending on 15th September 2019, asked our students about their favourite musical instruments and in particular which instrument they would like to be able to play very well. Of the six instruments given as possible choices, over 60% of you chose the piano with the violin coming second.
One of the striking things about this particular survey was that it attracted more responses than any of our previous surveys. This week we had 1,517 respondees whereas last week we only had 602. Perhaps this isn’t surprising though when you consider that last week we were asking for opinions on Brexit, which isn’t the most exciting subject at the best of times!
In a future survey we will see which of the more 'trendy' instruments children would like to play – such as electric guitar, saxophone and drums.
One thing is for certain - playing a musical instrument is high on the priority list of children and it is therefore disappointing to read that there has been a 21% decrease in music provision at schools over the last five years.
Since the survey was conducted it has been pointed out to us that we missed from our options the most wonderful of all musical instruments – the human voice. If you haven’t properly considered singing then you really should. We suggest you read the page at Music Grotto where the enthusiasm of James Croad can’t fail to inspire you.
If you are lucky enough to go to a school where musical instrument lessons are still provided free of charge or at a subsidised rate, then take full advantage of the opportunity. Don’t be shy about asking to be taught.
If your school does not provide individual lessons it might have a school orchestra and this will provide a great opportunity to get involved. Failing that, does your school have a choir? If so, go along to your teacher and find out how to join. Singing in a school or church choir is often the best possible introduction to the world of music.
Not sure if you have a singing voice? Don’t worry, everyone does! There is an opportunity to have a free 14 day trial of online video lessons at the 30 Day Singer.
Becoming serious about learning to play a musical instrument usually involves having private lessons and this invariably leads to questions about the cost. Lessons cost in the range of £25.00 to £35.00 per hour but much depends on where you live and the instrument you want to learn to play.
A teacher will ensure that you never get your hands in the same sort of tangle as this kitten did!
When you are starting out, ask if the teacher gives half hour sessions because a few of these will give you a chance to discover if the instrument you have chosen is right for you. There is an excellent discussion about the cost of music lessons on Mumsnet.
Always remember that new musical instruments lose their value extremely quickly. You might find that a brand new piano will lose half its value within the first year and for that reason it makes perfect sense to start off with a second-hand instrument. That way you’ll be able to try it out for a few months and if you then decide that you would prefer to play a different type of instrument, it won’t have cost too much. A good place to start your search is Hobgoblin Music. They have 8 shops nationwide as well as a comprehensive Internet site.
Don’t be scared now – these are nothing like as bad as they sound! The ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) is the UK’s largest music education body and my experience with their examiners is that they are invariably kind and understanding. Always remember that it is the examiner’s job to encourage music making, they are not there to make life difficult for you! Taking graded exams (Grades 1 to 8) is the best possible way to make progress because you constantly have targets to aim for.
Here are the statistics of the survey when we asked 1,517 children which musical instrument they would like to play very well.