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.