Which Instrument Should I Learn to Play?

At Baltimore School of Music, one of the most common questions new students have is what instrument to play. We’ve come up with some tips to make selecting your first instrument easy.

TRIAL LESSONS

Choosing which instrument to play is a difficult choice, which is why we offer trial lessons so students can experience different instruments and teachers to make sure you find the perfect fit. Trial lessons are an important first step to a life-long love and study of music and any good music school should have the option for students to try out classes before committing. We even offer some instruments for new students to use during their trial lessons.

HOW OLD ARE YOU?

The first thing to consider when choosing a musical instrument to study is what age you can start playing each instrument. When considering music lessons for children ranging in age from infant to 4 years old, we recommend looking for early childhood music classes to get a general introduction to music.

At 4 years old piano and violin are great instruments to begin playing. Either of these instruments is wonderful to start any musical journey. If you’re set on playing classical guitar, 6 years old is the starting age. By 8 years old a whole new world of instruments opens up to you as you can take lessons for any woodwinds or brass instruments.

For any 10 year old who loves to sing, you are in luck, as this is the age at which it is safe to begin voice lessons. And for anyone over the age of 10, all of these instruments are an option for you to study!

DO YOU LIKE WORKING INDEPENDENTLY OR IN GROUPS?

If you find that you work best on your own, you might consider learning to play a solo instrument such as piano, classical guitar, or voice. As with any instrument, these can also be played with a group of musicians or an orchestra, but they lend themselves very well to solo work.

If you love to work with others, we recommend you try any woodwinds, brass, or string instruments. These instruments are rewarding in group settings and you can join a school band, community orchestra, or play with friends! 

WHAT’S YOUR PERSONALITY?

If you like to make a lot of noise, brass, voice, woodwinds, and piano would be great instruments for you to make some loud musical sounds. If your personality leans towards the quieter, gentler side, you might like to try classical guitar or string instruments. Lots of people find that playing an instrument is a way to express themselves in a different way, so don’t be afraid to try the opposite of your personality as well! And if you are somewhere in-between, don’t worry; all instruments (including your voice) have a wide range of dynamics, or loud and soft sounds.

HOW MUCH OF A INVESTMENT DO YOU WANT TO MAKE?

Some instruments, like a piano or top-of-the-line cello, can be major investments. But many instruments, like those in the string, woodwind, and brass familes, can be rented from local music stores. Want to study an instrument you can have for free? You carry your voice with you, so it doesn’t cost a penny!