Musicians: how to find your instrument


Cortnie Hulse

Spencer Carranza, Timur Brainard, Shaylin Prickett, Cortney McCausey, and Alexis Williams holding their instruments in the Highland band room after band class.

Inspiration from others drove many students to find their perfect instruments over the years, in order to participate in school music programs.

Step One: Finding what instrument is best for you. Many people say they are inspired by someone or something to learn an instrument. “I wanted to learn because I thought the Piano Guys were really cool,” freshman Taylor Simon says. Starting to play cello in 6th grade, she now plays for Highlands program. Mr. Andrew Wilson, our band director with twenty-two years of musical experience, also started playing instruments at a young age. Wilson said he was inspired by his sister. His sister joined the band and played the oboe. He wanted to do something similar. He started playing the recorder in fifth grade and continued on with his musical skills throughout several years, leading him to play eighteen instruments in all. Whether it’s the music you listen to or the people around you, many different things can inspire someone to start something new.

Step Two: Acquiring the instrument. Instruments are expensive, but most of the time they are durable. If you are starting out, a good thing to start with is cheaper student models. Wilson said price depends on the instrument, but you can expect to pay around five hundred to fifteen hundred dollars for a new student instrument. Used instruments are cheaper, and if you can find a used instrument in good shape, it is worth buying it and saving a few hundred dollars. Intermediate instruments and professional instruments can cost several thousand dollars depending on the instrument.

Step Three: Finding a private instructor. Andrew Wilson believes private teachers are awesome. There are several different places you can find a private teacher if you are in need of one. College professors at Idaho State University sometimes offer private lessons if they are available. College students are also an option for private lessons. If you aren’t sure how to get a hold of them, Mr. Wilson will be able to help you in room D-BR. After you find a teacher, it should take you anywhere from a month to a school year to understand the basics of your instrument. “It was probably under a month that I got the basics down,” says Tristin Pinkerton, a sophomore who learned to play the saxophone and the tuba.