Views #1441 | Intermediate (B1)

Music Appreciation

John and Sarah talk about the various instruments they play and if age is important when learning music.

John: So Sarah, do you play any musical instruments?

Sarah: Yeah. I play two. I love to play the guitar. I started playing in college, and I like to play the piano, too. I started learning the piano when I was really young. How about you?

John: Oh that's interesting. For me, I started playing the trumpet when I was really young, and I don't play it much anymore. But I started playing the piano when I finished high school, and I still play it now.

Sarah: Oh wow. So you started learning the piano when you were older.

John: Yes.

Sarah: Do you think people can start to learn an instrument at any age?

John: Yes, I think so. Do you have a theory about that?

Sarah: Yeah. I think that if people start to play an instrument when they're older, I think they enjoy it more because they chose to learn it. And I think they're going to play it longer. But if you have to learn an instrument when you're younger, I think you won't continue playing it.

John: Oh, because you have to practice for homework or something like that.

Sarah: Yeah. I have five brothers. And we all learned how to play the piano, but as soon as my brothers graduated from high school and went away, they stopped playing the piano. And they don't play it now. In fact, they forgot everything.

John: Oh, wow.

Sarah: Yeah.

John: Well, I do think that music education is very important for children because reading sheet music is like reading a language. And children can learn it much easier than adults learn. So no matter what instrument you play, if you're a child you learn how to read music.

Sarah: And I think too, it's really important for kids to be a part of a group like that. For example, singing in the choir or playing music in the orchestra, I think it's really good for kids to learn to work together and make music as a team. I have some really good memories about being a young kid in the orchestra.

John: Me too. I was also in choir and orchestra and marching band. So I don't play the orchestra instruments anymore and I don't play the marching band instruments anymore but I'm very glad that I had the experience of learning to read music and learning to work together as a team.

Sarah: That's true. Me too. Okay. I changed my mind. Even little kids, they should learn how to play a musical instrument.

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary


Do you play any musical instruments?

An instrument is a device used to play music, such as a guitar, violin, or flute. Notice the following:

  1. He can play three instruments.
  2. The high school band wants to buy new instruments for the students.

went away

My brothers graduated from high school and went away.

When someone goes away, it can mean they have moved away from an area. Notice the following:

  1. I went away after college.
  2. She went away and never came back.

sheet music

Reading sheet music is like reading a language.

Sheet music is printed music that musicians read as a guide as they play. Notice the following:

  1. I cannot read sheet music.
  2. An orchestra must use sheet music.


For example, singing in the choir or playing music.

A choir is an organized group of singers. Notice the following:

  1. I am in my church choir.
  2. We listened to the choir sing.


Playing music in the orchestra.

An orchestra is a group of musicians that play different instruments. Notice the following:

  1. We listened to the orchestra.
  2. The orchestra has many good musicians.

marching band

I was also in choir and orchestra and marching band.

A marching band consists of a group of musicians that march, or walk in step, as they play music. Notice the following:

  1. I was in a marching band in high school.
  2. The marching band played in the parade.

Vocabulary Quiz

Use the words below to complete the sentences.

instruments • went away • sheet music
choir • orchestra • marching
  1. Are you in the band?
  2. I hear that they for good.
  3. Do you play any ?
  4. She plays violin in the school .
  5. Can you read ?
  6. I used to sing in my school .

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Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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