Second Instrument Points


Guest columnist Judith Brown, B.A., B. Ed.
  Music is a journey of thresholds and much of what makes you successful on your first instrument, such a recognition of sounds and pulse, is easily transferable to subsequent instruments. Here are some reasons why learning a second instrument is beneficial to overall musical development.
1. Sharpens the ears. Focusing on the technique of a different instrument requires the player to inspect pitches from a new perspective. Development of the ear is critical to playing duet or ensemble pieces.
2. Reveals growth areas. Musical skills don’t develop equally, so switching to another instrument for a bit shines a light on musicianship issues that are not instrument specific.
3. Uses muscle memory in a new way. This makes new connections in the brain and makes you a faster learner.
4. Vocal / instrumentalist support. Singing makes you a better instrumentalist by demanding that you hear the note in your head before producing it. Learning an instrument to accompany yourself as a singer keeps pitches accurate and is nuclear-level empowering.
5. Keeps music fresh. Learning a new instrument allows you to transfer skills in a meaningful way.

Common Combinations

Not an exhaustive list, here are common pairings by association and contrasting skills:
Piano – Drums
Vocal – Guitar
Vocal – Piano
Violin – Guitar
Guitar – Drums
Summer is a great season for learning second instruments, as six to eight lessons seems to be long enough to see results. Our Summer Concert runs Mon Aug 27 so you can show your accomplishments! Click to see our Summer Calendar and Registration Form.

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