Choosing a musical instrument is the first step of a long and fulfilling journey that can be sustained throughout your lifetime. It is important that you understand a few few important factors when is comes to selecting the instrument you would like to learn.
Be Professionally Evaluated
This is the most important step in selecting a musical instrument. There are many variants to selecting the correct instrument that most people that are not trained are not aware of. While it may be nice that your relative played a particular instrument when “they were in band”, it may not necessarily be a good fit for you. Attend an instrument selection event at your school of choice and allow a professional to fit you properly. They will be able to take in all considerations in account and help guide you through the daunting and sometimes overwhelming process of instrument selection. They may even introduce you to an instrument that you never thought of playing!
This topic goes along with the first point of being professionally evaluated, but is an important enough consideration to be discussed further. Not every person can play any instrument they want to play. While this is sometimes hard to swallow, there are physical considerations that must be taken into account. A professional can discuss any possible issues with you, but know that some physical attributes may make it more difficult for you to play certain instruments. It is important to know these possible difficulties a head of time in order to best help you in your decision making.
Quality Instruments and Supplies
Once you have selected your instrument, it is imperative that you are playing on a quality instrument and using quality supplies. Just because a relative or friend has an instrument that they used 30 years ago, does not mean that it is a quality instrument. As in all things, musical instruments need consistent maintenance to ensure everything is working properly. When instruments sit in a closet for as little as a year without proper maintenance, parts can warp, crack or deteriorate. There are also just plain bad instruments and instrument makers out there! Always play on quality instruments that are recommended by your band director. If you have a question on a particular instrument, ask a band director! We would be glad to look it over and let you know if it is of good quality.
Quality Instruction from the Beginning
Receiving quality instruction from the beginning of your musical career is the second most important aspect of a quality musical education. The information you receive from the very beginning can affect you both positively and negatively throughout your musical journey. While it is very tempting to try to learn a wind instrument on your own… be careful. Studies show that when you learn things wrongly, it takes seven times longer to relearn the correct behavior or action. Wait till you are taught by your band director and enroll with a recommended private lesson teacher. That is the best (and the quickest) way of becoming successful on a musical instrument. Bad habits are hard to break!
Prepare the Home Environment
You have now selected your instrument. Enrolled in a quality program with a recommended private lesson instructor. Your ready? Right? Well… almost. It is important to setup a quality home environment that is conducive to learning to play an instrument. Find a place that you can consistently practice in. Setup a small area that you can always go to practice. Having this space designated will help you practice consistently, which is the third most important part of learning an instrument. Ask people that you live with to come listen to you or even perform short “concerts” for them throughout the week. All of these small but significant things can reap huge rewards later on .