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I’ve been wondering how many on this forum play a musical instrument. Or sing socially with friends.

I play an Autoharp. I hated them when I was in school because they were always out of tune when the teachers played them. Years later I rediscovered Autoharps when I was looking for an instrument that my daughter could play. It turns out there are many qualities of instruments and many ways they can be set up to play music, and I became good at restoring vintage instruments. My daughter can play when pressed, but she really prefers for me to play so she can hold the microphone and sing. The good part about the Autoharp is that there is a strong, supportive online community similar to SMF. Next week I am going to Pennsylvania on our annual pilgrimage to hang out with friends and play at the Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering. I will be taking soap and bath bombs to give to friends.

Do you play an instrument(s) with friends and family?
 

TheGecko

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I used to sing semi-professionally, was in a CW band in the early 90s. Won a bunch of Karaoke contests. These days my singing is limited to church, my vehicle and the occasional grocery store aisle.

Husband is a bassist. Played professionally until he became disabled. Now he just goes over to a friend's house a couple of times a month and plays for a few hours and smokes weed...hurts too much to do more than that.
 

cerelife

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Piano and violin because music and dance lessons were what little girls did in the 70's. I started at age 5 and continued training through high school. It's a wonder I don't have lead poisoning from all the sharpened pencils jabbed into my wrists and fingers to remind me to 'arch your wrists/curve your fingers'!
I've enjoyed playing throughout the years even though I sadly do not have the "spark" required to truly be a musician. Like I was great at sight-reading competitions, but not so much at practiced solo pieces. There is a huge difference between being able to execute a technically perfect performance and being able to do so and make it your own. My brain just isn't wired that way and I've always been in awe of true musicians who make such beautiful music!!
I still play (for myself) occasionally, but my piano and violins spent more time gathering dust than being played.
 
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I have some musically-talented family members, including a brother who taught himself to play piano (and read) at age 4, graduated from UCLE with a 4.0 as a double-major (music-math), and has a photographic memory. He can sight-read, play anything he hears, and have a jam session with any type of musician: jazz, classical, rock, boogie, big band. He has been in many bands and played on movie scores. He still does some professional gigs today. Music is such a part of him that he would probably lose his mind if he were unable to play.

Sadly, my greatest musical gift is my "ear." I can detect anything even slightly out of tune or off tempo, which very sadly includes ME more often than I'd like. I mean, I am generally on key but it's so painful when I'm not, and the quality of voice just isn't there. Sigh.

I was also forced to take piano as a kid. As a pre-teen, I taught myself to play guitar and liked that much better. But like @cerelife, I never had that... something. I realized in my late teens that I'd have to work really, really hard all the time just to be passable, and working that hard took the joy out of it for me. So I laid down the instruments long ago, and don't really have a desire to play them anymore.

So, my musical activities these days consist of singing along with the really talented singers at our church services, or while doing housework with my playlist cranked up. :)
 

IrishLass

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I play piano and just recently started voice lessons, and I'm now also learning to sing and play the piano at the same time, which is something I never thought I'd be able to do in a gazillion years, but I'm actually able to sing and play 2 praise & worship songs now! You could just knock me over with a feather! LOL

My hubby plays the trumpet (jazz and big band), I have a friend that plays the auto-harp, and my amazingly talented niece (who is also my piano and voice teacher) can play just about any instrument she puts her hand to, and can sing anything from opera to pop, and can play piano or guitar and and sing at the same time. I'm just in awe of her talent.

Most people I know that play instruments started learning them early in life, but I didn't start learning how to play the piano until I was in my early 30's. It's something I had always wanted to learn how to play ever since I was little, but back then it just wasn't to be. It wasn't until after I got married and my wonderful hubby bought me an electric piano with the full 88 keys and realistic touch that I started.

At first, I pretty much taught myself with some help from my hubby, who taught me how to read music, and also with some book & video guidance from Scott Houston (aka The Piano Guy), but when my niece started giving me lessons, she took me to a whole new level and got me playing things I never thought I'd be able to play. I'm definitely no Liberace or anything even remotely close 🤣, and I'd never in a million years qualify to be a part of an orchestra or band, but I just absolutely love being able to sit down at my piano and have something beautiful come out. There's nothing like it in the world. It's so enjoyable, relaxing and therapeutic to me.

I never really had any interest in taking voice lessons, but out of the blue my niece asked me back in April if I was interested, and I thought to myself, "Heck, why not?". And now she has me singing and playing piano at the same time. lol Who knew?! It's pretty amazing and I'm having so much fun!

I'm proof that you're never too old to learn something new.


IrishLass :)
 

Zany_in_CO

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Piano, sang alto in Church Choir and High School & College Chorus. My one and only claim to fame, I played Maria in the play version of The Sound of Music in High School. Musicals in college - Oklahoma, The Music Man, I forget what else. The best years of my life!

I got married in November of my senior year in college.... graduated Summa cum Laude in 1965 -- 5 months pregnant! After that, Life interferred with musical pursuits, much to my dismay. However, I love theater. When the kids were in school, I painted stage flats and did stage makeup for the actors. Fun, fun, fun!
 

MellonFriend

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I've played acoustic guitar since I was eight (I'm 23 now). I'm told I'm very technically skilled, but I don't really know how to figure out a song by ear or make a song my own. That's a skill I'm trying to develop. When I was fourteen my dad bought me a Martin guitar and that thing is probably my most prized possession. In my opinion no other acoustic guitar brand sounds as beautiful as a Martin. When I was eighteen I bought myself a violin and I've been limping along trying to play it, but I've been out of it for a while and so I haven't really gotten to where I can play it well yet. Vibrato being my bane. I really would like to try and find some more time to dedicate to playing music, but I have so much going on right now it's hard to prioritize it. I've also dabbled in Ukulele and I have an ocarina too. Kudos if you know what that instrument is without looking it up. 😀
 

earlene

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LOL, when my kids were young they would say "mom, don't sing". But there is a certain amount of wine I can consume that makes me think I'm actually a pretty good singer. And dancer. 😂 🤣😂
I also sing and when my kids were little, they used to say, 'Don't say anything or mom will start singing!' I still do it. A single word (or vision) will spark a musical memory & I'll start singing a song. Yesterday at the Farmer's Market, it was budding cotton in a vase on display, and I had to sing Huddie Leadbetter's (Lead Belly) Cotton Fields Back Home. My dad used to sing it, and I tend to pop out in song at any word that brings Dad's songs to mind. But not just things my dad sang.

Musical instruments, not so much. I played the flute as a youth in school band, but didn't much enjoy it. I gave my clarinet to my nephew when he showed an interest in learning. I have my mom's organ, but have never attempted to learn; I am sure it is sorely out of tune after moving from California anyway. My sons and granddaughter are instrumentally talented, and I much prefer to hear them play anytime.

Budding cotton:
1654435947535.png
 
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