We’ve all had the thought at one point in our lives: “what instrument should I play?” 

It’s a question we dwell on, but why?

student musician wondering which instrument to play

When it comes to music, it’s easy to sift through a variety of styles and genres to decide which kind of music we like. It’s nearly effortless. Eventually when our music tastes evolve, what we listen to does just as smoothly. But it doesn’t quite work the same way when deciding what instrument to play. 

Maybe your mom chose the violin for you when you were five. Or, did you pick the trumpet in middle school based on what your friends chose? Possibly, you picked percussion with the main goal of annoying your parents. 

In any case, the process for deciding on which instrument to play takes a great bit of time. You can hold an instrument to get a feel for it but understanding if that instrument is the one for you will only come after you play it and then play it again and then play it a hundred more times. 

However, we don’t always have that kind of time. If you’re still wondering what instrument you should play or curious if there is another one you should add to your skillset, Pacific Music Institute developed a quick way to decide which instrument you should play based on your personality.


Describe your personality...

What Is Your Spirit Instrument?

student playing the tympani drums

If you’re down for whatever, and have a carefree mindset, so does the percussion section! Drums give you the chance to add to almost any music where you can steal the show or blend in with the crowd. Or, switch to the xylophone or marimba if you feel like playing a melody. It really gives you the range to be free.

student playing the bass

Life runs more smoothly when there’s less uncertainty. However, you always have a plan no matter what comes your way. The bass is an iconic instrument that understands discipline and structure.

children playing the ukulele

Have you ever seen someone playing the ukulele without a smile? The answer is no. This instrument is fun, uplifting, and perfect for you!

student playing cello in an orchestra

You never understand why people say something if they can’t honor it. You look at all the factors before making a decision so you know what you’re getting into. That’s why the cello is your spirit instrument. Every symphony needs one, but few can handle the responsibilities that are required.

student flute player in a symphony

Whether it’s a small task or an entire project, you look for ways to help lighten the burden for others, just like a flute. A flute adds much needed sound to the symphony and keeps the mood happy and light.

student saxophone player in a jazz band

When you are in a room, it’s hard to keep the spotlight off of you. You carry an energy that people are drawn to and can command a stage with ease, just as a saxophone does.


Remember, no matter what instrument you choose, you can always learn another! Just have fun and don’t stress about it. Now that you have your instrument picked out, find the summer music program for you!