Many first time musicians choose piano as their first instrument to learn due to its accessibility and versatility. You can dabble with the beautiful melodies of classical music or the rhythmic drive of jazz and it’s all at your fingertips (literally!). The piano is also a great instrument for learning music theory from the most basic (think high and low sounds or loud vs. soft) to incredibly complex chord progressions. Once you’ve gotten a feel for the piano after taking piano lessons in Houston, there’s a good chance you’ll be itching for more. The million dollar question is, what next?
How to choose which instrument to learn next:
When deciding on a secondary instrument to learn, the options are practically limitless. This might seem overwhelming at first, but keep in mind as long as it’s an instrument you’d like to learn, you can play it! You might already have a list of some of your favorite instruments. That’s a great way to pick your next musical endeavor! If that doesn’t narrow it down enough for you, there are a couple criteria that you can choose from to help decide which instrument is right for you.
Instrument family: There are 4 families that all instruments fit into – string, woodwind, brass, and percussion. Do you like the long melodies of the strings and woodwinds, the blare of the brass, or the rhythmic excitement of the percussion?
High vs. low: If you’ve already picked an instrument family but aren’t sure which instrument to choose, this simple criteria can help! Do you prefer the glittering sounds of the violin, flute, and trumpet or the rich sounds of the cello, bassoon, and trombone? Or maybe you want something right in the middle like the viola, clarinet, or French horn?
Melodic vs. rhythmic: If you prefer to be in the spotlight, you might like a more melodic instrument like the violin or voice. If you want to set the groove, try drums or bass guitar. If you’d like a little of both, practice the guitar or marimba.
If you still aren’t sure, here are a few suggestions:
The guitar is one of the most popular instruments in the world (second to the piano) and is a great secondary instrument. Many of the techniques you’ve already learned from your Houston piano teachers can be directly translated to guitar. This makes learning the instrument much easier than starting with no experience and you’ll pick it up much faster than you would otherwise. It is also just as versatile as the piano as you can easily play melodies and harmonies simultaneously in practically any genre you can think of. This makes the guitar a great instrument to break out into lots of different types of music. However, there are some things a student should do before starting to learn the guitar.
The violin is most known for it’s beautiful, soaring melodies. Although it is mainly a melodic instrument, it can be performed as a solo or with an ensemble like an orchestra or bluegrass band. The violin is a great choice for children as it comes in many different sizes, some are so small they even look like a Christmas ornament! Having already established good finger independence and strength with the piano, having private violin lessons is a great new adventure.
Drums are a great way to perfect your sense of rhythm. There are also tons of different drums you can play. This makes it really fun to try different drums out and become well versed in a lot of instruments at the same time. You can choose the drum kit, snare drum, or marimba just to name a few.
Don’t forget about the instrument we’re all born with, your voice! In-home voice lessons are a great choice because they don’t require any equipment to get started and you can practice it (almost) anywhere. It’s also advantageous to take voice lessons after learning piano so you can sing and play at the same time! This is an awesome skill to have and will make learning new songs even more rewarding. You could even go back to some of the songs you first learned to play on piano and sing with them with your refining vocal technique.
If you’re ready to test the waters of a completely new instrument family, the trumpet is a good start. Because it is one of the smaller brass instruments, it can be a sound choice for students big and small. Although the trumpet has a distinct, brassy sound, it can still be a rather versatile instrument. If you’re interested in the flamboyant melodies of big band and marching band music or the more serene tones of taps and smooth jazz, then the trumpet is the instrument for you.
The clarinet is the perfect choice if you’re looking for something that can do a little of everything. High sounds? Check. Low sounds? Check. Melodic? Check. Blends well with other instruments? Check. Can be played with many different genres of music? Check. Can learn a couple instruments at the same time (there are over 10 types of clarinets!)? Check. If this list included most or all of the boxes on your list, then the clarinet is the instrument for you!
Have you picked your next instrument?
Learning multiple instruments is a fantastic way to continue your musical journey. As you diversify your instrument library you will continue to improve your technique and musicality with every instrument you play. At Lessons in Your Home, all of our instructors are professional musicians and gifted instructors. They will come right to your home for every lesson, plus we offer virtual music lessons, too. Our online music lessons are being taught by local music teachers with live lessons tailored to your child! Contact us today to learn more. Contact us today to find an instructor near you.
By Tracy Gibler