Thursday, 24 January 2013

Advice on Taking Up a Musical Instrument

Research Your Instrument
I researched the violin for 18 months before I went out and brought one. Research is important before you make any choice to go out and buy one, as then you know what you are letting yourself in for, as well as gaining some basic knowledge about your chosen instrument. 

Look into Different Student Instruments

When purchasing your first instrument don't spend thousands of pounds, as you don't know whether or not your going to stick with it. Also when buying the instrument, make sure you get the correct size of instrument. If the instrument is for a child, they will need a smaller size to begin with, and as they get older they will need different sizes of instruments to help to progress. But an adult will only need a full size instrument, depending on individual needs. For a child I'd recommend a budget of £200, and for an adult about £500, but this does depend on the instrument you want to take up, so again, do some research. I'd also recommend you trying different student models to find one that us right for you and suits your personality; but to do this go into your local music shop as they will be able to advise you properly. But DO NOT buy off eBay, as you could end up spending more money than necessary to get it repaired.

Music Theory
When buying your first instrument it's a good idea to purchase some books on music theory, as it will help you to familiarise with some basic music theory. The two books I would recommend are :-
- First Steps in Music Theory by Eric Taylor (little red book)
- The AB Guide Book 1 by Eric Taylor (pink book)
Both books work hand in hand with each other

Music Schools/ Private Teachers

You really need to research this area well, as you need to find a teacher that is willing to take you on as a pupil as well as a teacher that you can get on with. Also, look for how much they charge per half hour/ hour lessons. You may also want to be self taught, depending on the instrument.

Exam Boards

It may be worth having a look into different music exam boards to see what they offer, and to see if they right for you. The exam boards are ABRSM, Trinity Guildhall, London College of Music and Rockschool.
Even if exams are not right for you, you will have to take both Grade 5 practical and Grade 5 music theory if you wanted to carry on progressing through your grades or higher

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