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Maintaining the Musical Interest

Updated on June 9, 2015
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Neil has a BA in Liberal Arts, a minor in Computer Science and finished classes for a master’s in instructional and performance technology.

Could this be one of those instruments that are hiding in a closet somewhere?
Could this be one of those instruments that are hiding in a closet somewhere?

With the push for science and technology education and hands-on learning, this link quoting Mythbuster Adam Savage is another motivation to keep the musical interest alive.

http://www.jtmp.org/2015/05/21/mythbusters-adam-savage-if-you-want-kids-test-scores-up-bring-back-band-class/

How many musical instruments are sitting in a closet, un-touched since high school, or perhaps college? For Tuba players (like me) probably not many. For those who played an instrument that was a bit easier to take home with you (like Clarinets, or Violas) probably more than one would imagine. In the past virtually every home had a piano, but not so much today. So what happens after high school and college? For most of us, once out of high school or college, the opportunities to play our instruments disappear completely, even for those who were the primary players. Skills learned from piano lessons have been long forgotten as the few remaining pianos collect dust. So, what is the solution to this problem?

First, you have to have a desire to play your instrument, and have access to an instrument. Look in that closet, and pull out that old instrument. Dust off that old piano (or the piano at your parents house). If you enjoyed your experience in school, you’ll likely enjoy working with the local community band (or orchestra). If you didn’t enjoy your school experience, stop reading this and find another hobby.

If the instrument has not been played for a while, have it cleaned and tuned up. This will ensure that it’s really the player and not the instrument that is having issues. The local music shop should be able to take care of this, and the shop will be a good resource for finding out where the nearest community band is. If there is not a store nearby, check on-line (there are shops that you can ship your instrument to). If you live in an area where there is a community band or orchestra already established, join (look at the websites listed at the end of this hub for help finding a local group). The best scenario is, to have recently graduated and to still be proficient playing your instrument. If not, join anyway. The skills will eventually come back to you.

If there are no local groups, then you have a couple of choices. Expand your search and travel a bit further to join a group, or start your own. (And the crickets chirp) Yes, starting a community band is a difficult process, and more complex than one might think, but it can be done. The first couple steps are fairly straight forward, after that it gets too complicated for this hub.

First, partner with the local high-school band teacher (they may know of groups in the area as well). This will help with access to music and instruments for members who do not have their own. Next find an event to perform for. Many local communities have yearly events or celebrations. These celebrations are great opportunities for local bands to perform. Finally, get the word out. Look for a good mixture of instruments, and of course, a conductor (the band teacher may be willing, but having a back-up never hurts.) Once a group is established and has performed, the group can determine what comes next.

There are musical instruments sitting un-used in closets (or under layers of dust) everywhere. Isn’t it time to rescue them?

qed.

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