Piano – When I was young, my parents had me take piano lessons.  Actually, there was probably a time when I wanted to take piano lessons.  But I didn’t do a very good job of practicing.  I’m surprised that the collective ‘we’ stayed with the lessons for as long as we did – and actually I don’t recall any more how long that actually was, but I think it may have been about five years.  These days, I can plunk out a melody line or some chords, but I’m mostly thankful for the piano lessons because I taught myself to play…

Guitar – Now granted, I’m not real good at guitar – basically, all I play are chords – but it’s the instrument that I play regularly.  It’s good for leading worship, entertaining daughters, and quieting myself when I get into a mood.  I’d love to be more skilled in a folk singer/songwriter kind of way, but time is a  limiting factor here.

Hammered dulcimer – Rich Mullins, one of my favorite musical artists, inspired me to take dulcimer lessons when I was in grad school.  I really enjoyed them, although I had trouble practicing, just as I did with the piano.  I even own my own dulcimer.  Alas – when the daughters arrived, the dulcimer was too susceptible to damage, and it was too annoying to set up and take down all the time.  So now I’ve got a dulcimer under my bed, waiting patiently for a few more years until it isn’t threatened anymore.

Violin – If I were going to learn a new instrument, this would be it.  I love its versatility to carry a melody line or add accompaniment, its suitability to a variety of musical styles, and its portability.  (That last one is the primary reason that the violin gets the nod over the cello.)  However, I can’t justify learning violin until the dulcimer comes out from under the bed.

Piano accordion – This is the instrument that I seriously considered  buying this week.  The newspaper at work had a used one for sale in the classified section, and I thought that I could probably pick up some passable skills on my own (sort of like I did with the guitar).  In the end, the cost was just a tad high, and storage was an issue.  And I didn’t want my daughters to have to go through therapy when they reach adulthood.