Catapulting into Classical

A headlong leap into music, history, and composing

Advice to Not-So-Young Musicians

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In case you missed it in my Twitter feed, I thought you might enjoy this humorous video, “How To Be a Classical Musician.”

Since you’re reading this, you are likely to be over five years of age, and (according to the video) too old to learn violin, so, if you don’t play an instrument already, which instrument would be best for you?  Again, more silliness to help you make your selection, a funny flowchart titled “Which musical instrument should I choose?”  It is too detailed to see small on this page, so the link takes you to the attachment page, where you can magnify it clearly (click the image, then click it again to magnify).

The long and short of it all?  It doesn’t matter–pick the instrument you love/can afford/can fit in your space/can play without getting evicted.  If that doesn’t work out, pick another one. And don’t let little things hold you back.


Want more advice?  See the Robert Schumann essay from which my title is drawn, “Advice to Young Musicians,” which I have written about previously (see post here).  Cellist Steven Isserlis will release a new version of this classic soon that includes his own insights.

And then, to quote a more recent source of musical advice, “Rumble, young musicians, rumble.”1




Image attributions: Musical instrument flowchart from the now defunct Sinfini Music, which has been absorbed by Deutsche Grammophon.  Ritardando illustration from


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