The surprising musical instrument parents want kids to learn


The idea of listening to some off-key chords may not seem ideal. But, contrary to popular belief, most parents actually want their kids to learn a musical instrument.

A new study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Guitar Center surveyed 2,000 Americans about their musical choices for their children –with some surprising results.

The survey found that 82% of parents think it’s important that their child learn to play an instrument — although the recorder was not their No. 1 pick.

The instrument 18% of parents most want to hear being practiced in their home is the piano.

However, the surprising No. 2 pick, according to 17% of respondents, is — drumroll, please — the dulcet tones of the drum, followed closely by the violin (16%).

That’s right: one in six parents want their children to learn to play drums.

As far as what the children themselves want, it’s a potentially bombastic choice: The top instrument is the electric guitar, according to 22% of the parents polled.

Most parents were keen for their children to receive musical education.
Guitar Center

More than half — 1,200 — of the parents surveyed said they have played at least one instrument in their lifetime.

The survey revealed one of every four Americans can play an instrument — with 17% picking up old musical habits during the coronavirus pandemic and 37% saying they’d learned an instrument in the past but don’t currently play anything.

A quarter of respondents said they have never learned an instrument and only 9% of parents said their children hadn’t yet expressed any interest in learning an instrument.

In addition, 26% believe that music education should be encouraged in schools, and 29% think it should be required or prioritized at school.

Top 10 most popular instruments

  • Piano/keyboard: 27%
  • Acoustic guitar: 20%
  • Violin: 19%
  • Electric guitar: 18%
  • Drums: 18%
  • Voice/singing: 18%
  • Saxophone: 17%
  • DJ equipment: 16%
  • Trumpet: 16%
  • Bass: 16%

Top 10 instruments parents want kids to learn

  • Piano/keyboard: 18%
  • Drums: 17%
  • Violin: 16%
  • Electric guitar: 15%        
  • Acoustic guitar: 14%        
  • Trumpet: 14%        
  • Flute: 13%        
  • Percussion: 13%        
  • Vocals/singing: 13%        
  • Saxophone: 13%



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