Here are the 10 most popular instruments to play

Grab your chopsticks, kids, and get ready to rock! According to a new study, one in six parents want their children to learn to play the drums.

That’s just one surprising finding from a new study that asked 2,000 Americans — including 1,200 who have played at least one instrument — to weigh in on the importance of music education.

Of all current and potential parents surveyed, 82% believe it is important for their child to learn to play an instrument, with the most popular preferences being piano (18%), drums (17%) and violin (16%).

But the best instrument kids actually want to learn is the electric guitar, according to 22% of parents surveyed.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of retailer Guitar Center, the survey suggests that only 1 in 4 Americans (24%) can play an instrument.
Francesca Collado/Zenger

Current parents also shared that while 47% of their children are already taking lessons, only 39% have joined a school band or music program so far.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of retailer Guitar Center, the survey suggests that only 1 in 4 Americans (24%) can play an instrument – although 17% have picked up one during the pandemic, and 13% would be interested in learn piano.

Among respondents with previous musical experience, 37% said they currently play nothing, implying that they may have given up on their instrument of choice.

Meanwhile, 39% of respondents with a musical background have never been in a band, with choirs (26%), garage bands (24%) and concert bands (24%) leading the way among those who have.

Interestingly, a quarter (25%) of respondents who had never learned an instrument admitted that they had no idea why they had never learned one.

Boy plays Paper Jamz guitar
According to 22% of parents surveyed, the best instrument children really want to learn is the electric guitar. In this photo, a boy plays with a Paper Jamz guitar at the Toy Retailers Association’s annual Dream Toys show on October 27, 2010 in London, England.
Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Twenty-six percent also think music education should be encouraged in schools, while 29 percent think it should be compulsory or a priority.

“Music education creates lifelong benefits that can enrich a child’s life, including increased social skills to higher levels of confidence and self-esteem,” said Donny Gruendler, vice president of education at the Guitar Center. “From guitar to drums, it doesn’t matter what instrument a child learns to play – the experience will nurture their identity and ignite a passion for life,” he said.

Compared to their adult counterparts, children today seem even more supportive of the idea of ​​learning instruments; according to the parents surveyed, only 9% have not yet expressed interest.

Anecdotally, however, children don’t always need that initial spark to reap the long-term benefits of music education.

“I chose trombone in fifth grade because my friends started making jokes about his name and [what] it looks like,” confessed a younger respondent. “I thought about quitting afterwards, but my friends encouraged me to continue.

“I had no idea that choosing this instrument would give me the experience of a lifetime in high school.”

“The survey further confirms that people have a desire to learn music, and that desire is so powerful that they even want their child to learn,” Gruendler said.

“Learning to play an instrument doesn’t have to be boring or intimidating, especially when you learn your favorite songs at your own pace with instructors who personalize each of your lessons.”

Top 10 most popular instruments to play

  • Piano/Keyboard – 27%
  • Acoustic guitar – 20%
  • Violin – 19 percent
  • Electric guitar – 18%
  • Battery – 18 percent
  • Voice/Singing – 18%
  • Saxophone – 17 percent
  • DJ equipment – 16%
  • Trumpet – 16 percent
  • Low – 16 percent

Top 10 Instruments Parents Want Their Kids To Learn

  • Piano/keyboard – 18%
  • Battery – 17 percent
  • Violin – 16 percent
  • Electric guitar – 15%
  • Acoustic Guitar – 14%
  • Trumpet – 14 percent
  • Flute – 13 percent
  • Percussion – 13 percent
  • Voice/singing – 13%
  • Saxophone – 13 percent

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.


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