Arts
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How To Find The Instrument For You

Looking for a new hobby? A new way to impress your crush? Musical scholarships? Well, picking up an instrument may be for you. If we’re going to discuss instruments, we have to address Christian Brothers High School’s own musical arts program. I know for me and a few other seniors, CB band was an intimidating […]

Looking for a new hobby? A new way to impress your crush? Musical scholarships? Well, picking up an instrument may be for you. If we’re going to discuss instruments, we have to address Christian Brothers High School’s own musical arts program. I know for me and a few other seniors, CB band was an intimidating force of nature when we first stepped foot on campus back in 2019, such as requiring complete knowledge of an instrument before enrolling in the course.

Chase Owens (‘23) and his saxophone.

“It’s really not a problem”, says Chase Owens (‘23). “At CB, there are several levels of band, so obviously, Beginning Band requires no experience. The teacher, Mr. [Travis] Maslen, is very forgiving and open to new people.” If you are interested in playing for an audience or just having it on record that you completed a band course, try swinging by the George Cunningham ’40 Performing Arts Center before it’s too late.

But that’s enough about school — what about playing an instrument for you? There are multiple instruments out there, each with their own sub categories and classes. So, where to start? Adam Moreno (‘23) gives an interesting insight on how he found motivation to begin his musical adventure with guitar. “From a young age, I’ve always thought that guitar is just something cool people do,” he says. “Growing up on Disney, you see like the Jonas Brothers or something: they’re playing what? Guitar.”

Maybe you’re like Adam and you watch a lot of Disney Channel or Nickelodeon. Austin was able to win over Ally just from playing a few notes on stage — just saying. Or maybe you listen to a lot of music. “I think that if you listen to a lot of guitar heavy music you’ll be more inclined to want to recreate it on your own,” Adam says. “Listening to music is really therapeutic, and learning to play it is even more so.”

Riley Blacklock (‘23) performing in the drum line.

Let’s say you’re not a fan of television and you hate listening to music (which would be ironic considering you want to learn an instrument but I digress). CB’s own Riley Blacklock (‘23) advises that if you try everything once, your true instrument will speak to you. “Some people will struggle with one and never touch music again, others will be really confident with another and branch out to more. For me personally, I juggle between five instruments but always come back to my main: the alto sax. I love messing around with it and improvising my own little jazz melodies. It’s easy to pick up and play, no need to read any music.”

Think of it like a pot of spaghetti. Normally, to see if your pasta is done, you pick one out of the pot and toss it at the wall to see if it will stick. In this scenario, the pasta is a mix of instruments, and throwing it at the wall is you trying them one by one. Whichever one sticks to this metaphorical wall is the instrument for you. 

Whether you’re an experienced musician, or you are new to music all together, hopefully these insider tips and tricks helped you to find your instrumental soulmate. And if you’re even slightly interested in CB’s band program, don’t forget to give the lovely people in Room 801 a visit.

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