Do you play an instrument? What, or who, influenced you choice to play that particular one? | Coursera Community
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Do you play an instrument? What, or who, influenced you choice to play that particular one?

  • 10 September 2019
  • 4 replies

  • Music Community Leader
  • 258 replies
There are many factors that go into choosing an instrument that you'd like to play. It could be the sound of that instrument, for example, or it could be a desire to emulate someone who also plays that instrument that gets you started. What, or who, influenced your decision to play the instrument that you do?

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I play the flute and the piccolo -- and the recorder. The elementary school I went to for first, second, and third grade taught everyone to play the recorder. I liked it, so I went to the 92 street YMHA and took the recorder for another year. At that point, I wanted to play a different instrument. Dr. Abraham Binder was the director of music there, and he told my mother that I didn't have the hands for the piano, and that he thought I would do well on the flute. Lois Schaefer, who was still in New York at the time, was my instructor.
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I love to play the piano, keyboard and organ, mainly because of the music of The Doors. I was on 2 minds whether to choose the guitar or keyboard first; but I chose the keyboard mainly because I wanted to emulate Ray Manzarek's playing. I also love the guitar heroes very much, mainly Duane Allman, but there is something so intoxicating about the way Ray plays the organ and keyboards....not to mention he also plays the keyboard bass for them! I absolutely love the way how Ray absorbs himself in the playing and then gets fully into is so visible that he loves music so much. I love those jazzy and dark tones in his keyboard playing. These are some of the songs and interviews of his which I find very captivating: (The Doors - Unhappy Girl) (The Doors - When the music's over)
(The Doors - Not to touch the earth) (The Doors - Riders on the storm) (Ray's interview) (Ray's interview)

In the earlier days of me growing like at the age of 7. I saw my self playing Guitar not that am that very good but I was playing some nice tunes though it didn't last long because my teacher then was just a neighbor who play for his church and brings the Guitar home, I stoped as soon as he leave the neighborhood. When I was in the high school I also play flute without a tutor, that lasted a while before I started playing tiny solo keyboard which encouraged me when I was a teenager, I met a guy who plays well and he gave me some tips on chord so I started developing my self. After a while I started playing for church with my small skill. Wasn't that skillful but at least I play nice song. Up till now I can play keyboard but not on professional level, I still need training.
@Madcapmaggie , do you still play recorder? It’s the kind of instrument you can take with you everywhere. I am amazed at how you can buy one either very inexpensively or can purchase one that costs thousands! What’s funny about your story is that I had originally wanted to play the flute at a very young age, maybe 8 years old...had a teacher come to give me a lesson and told me my fingers were too short I couldn’t play!

Fast forward a few years.....
I was in a school where we had a unique music program. Every 10 year old was tested to see of he or she was musical. Your grades had to be excellent as well. If you passed you were placed in a special music class. This class stopped academic work every day after lunch and became an orchestra. We practiced 2 hours a day every day! But you had to take private music lessons.You were given a teacher at a reduced cost.

What instrument should I play??? There was a boy, one year older, who lived on my street and played clarinet. I had a schoolgirl “crush” on him.If I could play well, I could sit next to him one day! And that’s why I chose to play the clarinet, so I might be able to sit next to him!
I worked hard and became quite good, except, being a year older, we never got to sit next to one another. I sat right behind him and could always see his head, which thrilled me at the time, 😂.

One year later, I turned my attention to another clarinetist. We became close friends and rivals, and frequently practiced together. He was always the lead and I was second, which means he got to play all the solos. I thought I was better and asked the Conductor if he would audition us and hopefully change my status to lead. He laughed and said, “ Girls don’t play lead. “ He refused to audition us. I was furious, but dealt with it by practicing even harder. We both studied with the top NYC clarinet teachers of the time. I went to Music and Art High School and he attended local school. We didn’t see one another till College when, there he was! We were both trying out for band. Guess who became the lead clarinetist? I did! It was so wonderful.
After graduation, the Conductor who told me girls didn’t play lead, became a school Principal and offered me a job to create the same music program he did...I became a music teacher and loved this career. I do have to thank Gilbert Max, that boy who lived up the street who motivated me to play clarinet. We never even spoke to one another, 😂.