Which instrument for school music lesson: guitar or clarinet?

(33 Posts)
Fayrazzled Sat 15-Jun-13 19:39:59

My daughter has just started private piano lessons at home and has the opportunity to start peripatetic music lessons at school next year (y4). I think the clarinet would be a good choice for her and would give her the opportunity to play in a group (band or orchestra) a bit further down the line should she wish to. She wants to do the guitar (because her mates are doing it). I think the guitar is a) difficult to do well, especially if she's only receiving 20 minutes lesson a week in a group and b) is another solitary instrument when she also does the piano. What do you think?

Fayrazzled Sat 15-Jun-13 19:41:16

Oh yes, her current piano teacher is also qualified to teach clarinet so could help her with that in the future if necessary.

I think at Y4 age she's old enough to pick for herself what she wants to do.

My DS plays guitar and drums (his choice), has private lessons and he's doing really well and practices lots.

At school he had to choose a brass instrument for lessons, and he barely picks up his trumpet to practice it from one week to the next - he couldn't be less interested in it, so we don't push him on it.

curlew Sat 15-Jun-13 19:55:27

I think she should choose. Noting worse than doing an instrument you would rather not be doing.

ZZZenagain Sat 15-Jun-13 20:04:38

has she heard/tried the clarinet? I would let her play guitar with her friends. There will be some possibilities to play guitar in a group later on, will depend what her secondary school offers. She could maybe have a go on clarinet with her piano teacher though, she might really take to it.

BackforGood Sat 15-Jun-13 20:05:09

I think if she were undecided, then she'd be better going for the clarinet. But I agree with others that she'll do better on an instrument she wants to play, rather than one her Mum is making her do.

Fayrazzled Sat 15-Jun-13 20:16:19

She has heard the clarinet and I think would be interested in it if it weren't for the fact her friends were choosing to guitar.

I don't want to push her into an instrument she doesn't want to do, but neither do I want to fork out for an instrument and lessons that she isn't necessarily suited to simply because she wants lessons with her friends.

Having said that, perhaps I should just et her see how she gets on with the guitar, since she has the option of adding the clarinet at a later date via her piano teacher. Thanks for your thoughts.

valiumredhead Sat 15-Jun-13 20:24:07

She needs to decide for herself if she is going to play it-I speak as a mother who tried to get her ds to play guitar when actually all he wanted to do was play the drums, and he does now really well. Incidently 3 years on he has now picked up the guitar again and is having some lessons. I have to say the guitar is a nice instrument just to pick up and put down,I often find ds sitting on the sofa watching Telly but strumming the guitar too. Plus he loves teaching himself songs from you tube as there's loads of tutorials on there.

Soooooooo long winded way of saying let her choosegrin

valiumredhead Sat 15-Jun-13 20:25:23

There is as lot to be said for being able to play with your mates and swap notes/learn new songs etc so not a bad thing.

JudithOfThePiece Sat 15-Jun-13 20:25:35

Not only would I say it's incredibly important that she does what she wants to do, but I would also say she is far more likely to practise if her friends are doing it.

Also, IMHO, playing the guitar is far easier than the clarinet. I have attempted to learn both in my life and am far more accomplished on the guitar. When I was at school, I got to play at the Royal Festival Hall with my guitar and a number of other venues, with the school orchestra. I was also in a wind band, but we only played in the school hall at Christmas!

JudithOfThePiece Sat 15-Jun-13 20:27:09

By the way, what I mean by 'easier' is obviously 'easier for me' and my point is that everyone finds thing different so it might be easier for her, too. Sorry, didn't think I explained myself well!

MyThumbsHaveGoneWeird Sat 15-Jun-13 20:35:19

I learnt the clarinet for years and I always wish I had learnt the guitar instead. I was never in a good orchestra because they only need a few clarinets (violin better for that, they need loads) and despite getting to grade 8 I haven't touched it since I was 18. Guitar is such a sociable instrument, my favourite way to spend an evening is a singsong with someone playing, and I wish I could do it myself. I keep meaning to learn but I learnt 3 chords and now it sits reproachfully in the corner...

valiumredhead Sat 15-Jun-13 20:37:48

I agree about it being a sociable instrument most definitely.

GrumpyKat Sat 15-Jun-13 20:39:35

Clarinet <disclaimer:is a Clarinet teacher so may be slightly biased grin >

curlew Sat 15-Jun-13 20:42:23

I have a guitarist and a clarinettist- both now at secondary school. Guitar is definitely cooler - clarinettist only gets any street cred when she plays the saxophone!

Dackyduddles Sat 15-Jun-13 20:45:53

I learnt the clarinet. It's shit. Shit fuddy duddy music.

She's doing piano, mostly classical/exam stuff. Fun stuff when she can. Let her do something fun (guitar) with her mates in a group musical setting. It's not 'lonely'. No where close.

Dackyduddles Sat 15-Jun-13 20:47:08

Guitar and piano have to be the most sociable instruments ever really. That combination is frankly knockout.

MyThumbsHaveGoneWeird Sat 15-Jun-13 21:07:23

Classical guitar may be difficult to do well (don't know) but the brill thing about guitar is that if you can sing along you can use it to entertain people even if you only know a few chords. Took me years to learn anything entertaining on the clarinet.

Fayrazzled Sat 15-Jun-13 21:22:22

Brilliant, thanks for all your thoughts. Guitar it is then.

WeAreSix Sat 15-Jun-13 21:25:54

I c

WeAreSix Sat 15-Jun-13 21:30:55

I completely disagree that the clarinet is shit. I've played for 25 years and still love it. I play in a concert band and it is really sociable. We play some Dixie jazz which is fun, kind of competitive between brass & woodwind. Well, I enjoy it and I am no fuddy duddy!

However... Guitar is good for a sing along with friends, supporting vocal work if she can sing.

I think both have their merits.

Theas18 Sat 15-Jun-13 21:56:07

ds says guitar "it's cool" , he wishes he could play beyond a few self taught cords

DD2 says "clarinet s more sociable" she plays properly.

So 2 opinions (usually you get more than 2 form these 2 kids but you did only give 2 choices LOL) clearly they both are good!

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 16-Jun-13 08:37:20

My DS plays guitar and clarinet (and saxophone). You can get quite far with the guitar using you tube tutorials. For the clarinet (which is most certainly not shit, anyone who thinks so is projecting) you need lessons. So I'd go for buying a guitar, and having clarinet lessons.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 16-Jun-13 09:58:36

DD plays the clarinet she is also year 4. She choose it because it is used in so many genres of music she loves that it can be a lovely classical instrument and also fab jazz too. I think we are blessed that she has a great teacher who has her in an orchestra and small jazz group quickly so she could see the adaptability of the instrument.
If it is still on the iPlayer it maybe worth listening to the clarinet section in radio 2s guide to the orchestra.

Theas18 Sun 16-Jun-13 13:09:57

Caveat dd1 played clarinet from about aged 9 to 18. Distinction at grade 7 but never fell in love with it and gave it to dd 2 hen she left school...l but dd1 is inherently a "less sociable" musician. Her thing is small group stuff at high standard. She mainly sings.

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