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Sunday, July 21

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Sarah / July 25, 2007 7:29 AM

I like to sing. I used to sing in the chorus and stuff when I was a kid. Now I sing around the house and in my boyfriend's car and have thought about taking a class sometime at the Old Town School.

I learned to play the drums when I was a kid too, as well as a variety of random percussion instruments. You know like the cowbell. :)

I took a year or two of guitar, again when I was a kid, but I had trouble keeping up with my class. I was always better at picking stuff up by ear than reading music.

Justin / July 25, 2007 8:02 AM

Beside my bed is the classical guitar I loved with all my heart my senior year of high school and freshman year of college.

I won a music scholarship I wasn't qualified for, the department didn't know what to do with a guitarist, and my own interest in studying the instrument faded in light of literature, art, and graphics. I dropped the scholarship and quit playing in 1999.

Sometimes I dream I'm performing again.

Taylor / July 25, 2007 8:09 AM

I've been playing drums and percussion in various forms for sixteen years. I still hope to play professionally one day, but am happy just being able to continue playing at all. I also sing a bit and wish I was better at guitar (and could play the piano at all).

I think learning and knowing how to play an instrument is one of the most beneficial and rewarding things you can do for yourself.

Doyle / July 25, 2007 8:09 AM

I am a professional violist and my wife is a professional cellist. Moving back to Chicago was due in large part to the incredible music scene here.

Being able to see bands like The Books, Bjork, Under Byen, Califone, or Album Leaf, etc one night and then catch Wagner's "Gotterdammerung" at Lyric Opera the next is inspiring.

The best thing about Chicago, musically speaking, is the ability to go to a concert of someone you've never heard of before...and find your new favorite band.

Shasta / July 25, 2007 8:20 AM

I started taking piano lessons in the 4th grade, but quickly let it go. Mainly because I didn't like my instructor, Sister Calista and her racist music books. I mean, seriously, they were from the 20's and had people in black face. Even as a fourth grader I couldn't deal.

Sometimes I wish I kept up with it, with another instructor.

mike / July 25, 2007 8:52 AM

I wish I played the theramin. But it probably takes years of training to learn to wave your hand near a wand like that.

adam / July 25, 2007 8:57 AM

Guitar, bass (not upright; hands too small), melodica, a wee bit of piano, egg shaker, and trombone (if I ever get around to getting my lip back in shape). I'll call myself a semi-professional.

Took classical piano for about 7 years starting at age 7; not destined to be a classical player, since I'm not cut out to play the same piece twice in even remotely the same way. Started playing guitar in 6th grade (1976; yes I'm old) and putzed around with folk/rock for years until I heard Django Reinhardt and other jazz greats. I eventually sucked it up and took some jazz classes at Old Town School, formed a jam session and band or two, and have been delighting myself and hopefully others for a while now.

Doyle is completely right about Chicago's music; so much variety and so accessible. Plus, the number of trombone jokes is only exceeded by the number of viola jokes, or perhaps accordion jokes. All of which are instruments that I love, BTW.

Carrie / July 25, 2007 9:31 AM

I "played" flute in 5th grade. I had a weird instructor who, instead of using his own flute to show you the notes, he'd play yours and then wipe his slimy spit on his pants and hand it back to you.

I can't sing to save my life. So, one night, a few years ago, I was singing the Deedle-lee-loo the "I love you" song (yes it's a song I made up for my cat) and she looked at me so sweetly and put her paw on my lips to stop me from singing.

I really wish I played the piano.

Mikey / July 25, 2007 9:33 AM

I took piano lessons briefly from a nun when I was about 7 or 8, but never practiced so my mother dropped them (who, incidentally, is now a piano teacher herself). I couldn't handle sitting for lessons and practice on sunny days when I could hear all my friends playing outside through the open windows...

Of course, now I wish I could play the piano...or the saxophone...or the trumpet...or any jazz instrument, really...

How cool would it be jamming at dark, smoky clubs like the Green Mill late into the night? Certainly beats whatever I got going on now...

mary / July 25, 2007 9:37 AM

well, i sang in choruses/choirs from 3rd grade through high school graduation, played flute for about 4 years, and took piano lessons for about 10 years... now, i only sing to various songs on the radio/ipod... i wish i hadn't given up the flute, hope one day to own my own piano again, and wonder if i will ever take bass (guitar) lessons. id really love to play the bass guitar.

velo / July 25, 2007 9:43 AM

I too "played" an instrument... the clarinet. Which to my middle school self was the equivalent of wearing moon boots, totally unsexy and embarassing. After two years, I quit.

I wish I had the musical talent for the piano or guitar. Something that is enjoyable outside of a marching band.

In reality, I'm tone deaf. Probably why I got matched up with the clarinet in the first place.

cort / July 25, 2007 9:47 AM

I was always musical as a kid. School choir, church choir before I can remember, I played the flute for a while.

I always wanted to play the piano when I was a kid. Grandma had one, but not close enough for me to learn on.

Now I kind of wish someone would buy me a ukelele. I'm not sure I still know how to read music, but maybe it's time to try again, before I really have totally forgotten.

TaJ / July 25, 2007 9:52 AM

ha, i keep on wishing but haven't taken the lessons yet. so far on my list...the instruments on the list are the ones i really like to listen to as well...


Allan / July 25, 2007 9:56 AM

Time for more surprising shit about Allan.

I have played the guitar for years. So I also play other guitar-like instrument i.e. bass and mandolin. I also play the piano, harmonica and a bit of slide trombone. I also sing and write music and have taken theory classes at the Old-Town school of folk music.

jen / July 25, 2007 9:56 AM

unfortunately, none.
i had my mom's old clarinet re-corked and attempted to play in 4th grade, but that was a miserable failure (couldn't read the music).

i really wish i'd been forced into piano lessons at a young age, though.

kate / July 25, 2007 10:18 AM

wait, does the skin flute count?


jj / July 25, 2007 10:29 AM

Piano, although I haven't had accesss to one for years.

I was in a childrens choir for five or six years that actually recorded a few albums in a studio and everything. This famous singing nun connected somehow with our choir director and we backed her. Not making this up.

I want to learn the guitar sometime between now and when I die. Maybe harmonica too.

c-note2 / July 25, 2007 10:34 AM

i took three sessions of singing classes at Old Town and private sessions with one of their instructors, Gwen Pippin, who is excellent. I sing just for fun, on my own, and I get compliments. But I wish I could play a string instrument. I can't read music due to a learning disability but I would really like to be able to sing and play guitar at the same time.

nattles / July 25, 2007 10:37 AM

i played the viola for many many years, but i didn't want to pursue music professionally, so once college rolled around, my viola got played pretty rarely.

i played in a few indie rock bands in SF after college, but when i moved back to chicago, i didn't really find a band to play with. now i'm learning pedal steel for the hell of it.

doyle, i think i may have been in a youth symphony with you back in the 1996-ish era.

Josh / July 25, 2007 10:49 AM

I've been skillfully playing guitar for nearly 20 years, and I've been maneuvering myself around drum kits for nearly as long.

I've recently started to look for a band again. I've had no luck with Craigslist or the Reader, where many others seem to be Musicians on a Mission. I'm just looking to play covers and jam with others who already have day jobs, kids, etc.

Forgive my shameless call-out, but I'm starting to miss the community of playing music with others.

Nuke LaLoosh / July 25, 2007 10:50 AM

For about 10 years -- from 5th Grade through college -- I played saxaphone, both in classical/wind ensemble settings and some more rock/blues styles -- I'm out of practice, though.

For about 4 years, now I have been able to play some guitar and sing thanks to the good folks at the Old Town School of Folk Music.

As referenced by others above, I can also play kazoo and egg shaker.

It would be great to play the violin, trumpet, and accordion, but I do what I can with what I got.

ken / July 25, 2007 10:52 AM

I play guitar, bass (stand-up included), banjo, mandolin, dobro, piano (some), violin (a little) various hand percussion and want to play steel drums.

Anyone want to start a band...... SW Florida?

Chris / July 25, 2007 10:59 AM

I had a few aborted attempts at instruments- viola for a year, clarinet for three, a piano class in college- but nothing took. I did always sing, in school choruses, karaoke bars, the car, etc.

I finally got around to taking guitar classes at the Old Town School about four years ago, and I can't be happier that I did. The way they teach guitar is entirely different than the way I was instructed on the earlier instruments- rather than learning scales and notes and reading music,they start with two simple chords and you start banging away on actual songs. When you get those down, they give you another chord and new songs, and on and on. I would recommend it to anyone.

Bill V / July 25, 2007 11:05 AM

I own two guitars, one is acoustic and I can play some really simple stuff. What's funny is I'm the best at Neil Young, the Dead, and some other bands that I never cared for. Also have an electric with an amp, can't really play songs but sure can make some great weird loud sounds! Would like to take the Punk Rock class at Old Town.

skafiend / July 25, 2007 11:14 AM

Of course I sing. EVERYONE sings. The question is how WELL do you sing? Me? Not so well. But I still do it. I've giving a concert in my apartment later. Tickets only $5!

As for musical instruments, I've played the clarinet (hello Velo!) and hated it. I did research to find out if anyone "cool" played the clarinet and the kept running across Benny Goodman so I concluded, no. Gave it up.

Played the piano for a while. Was so bad the elderly nun that was giving me lessons politely suggested I give it up.

Would love to play guitar. No so much soulful-introspective-this-will-get-me-the-ladies acoustic guitar, but either surf or (surprise) ska guitar! Listen to Roddy Radiation on the break on The Specials' track "Concrete Jungle". That should be me!!!

yeah, strange, I know...

Oh, and kate, my number is 773...


skafiend / July 25, 2007 11:20 AM

My sister took piano lessons before me and one of the songs the nuns gave her to practice over and over and over every day was "The Hoecake Shuffle". Seriously. You figure out what the cover of that sheet music looked like...

fluffy / July 25, 2007 12:01 PM

Carrie, I love your cat story. You got the paw of silence. I've writte many songs about/with Mr. M. The audience favorite is usually "...And he purrs"

Instruments: trumpet. I want to buy another used bass and take more lessons. Some percussion (the ex was a drummer)

editorkid / July 25, 2007 12:24 PM

I minored in music, but it turns out I use algebra more frequently than anything I learned in music class. (It's true. I solve for X far more frequently than I solve for minor triads.)

Emerson Dameron / July 25, 2007 12:51 PM

As a kid, I took piano lessons and learned a few guitar chords.

I also created dozens of fake bands and recorded hours of their music, which was mostly my brother and me banging on household objects and making up lyrics as we went. In college, I fronted the improv-noise band Splash Conception, which was the same sort of thing with more people and electricity.

I think anyone should at least learn the "G" chord before mastering Guitar Hero. Keith Richards, I ain't, but a lot of smack-addled fuckups have crafted amazing guitar riffs, and it's stll cooler than being a video game wiz.

Cliff on Rosedale / July 25, 2007 2:01 PM

I've been playing clawhammer banjo for about a year now.

I started taking classes at Old Town and now I futz about practicing what I know and listing to Dock Boggs and Clarence Ashley wishing I played like them.

peanut / July 25, 2007 2:18 PM

piano lessons as a child, but way out of practice--where can i go to use a piano here in chicago (preferably where no one can hear me practice)?

also flute, fiddle, and a few guitar chords. and singing, of course, but never in the company of others--unless i'm trying to be funny.

Suzanne / July 25, 2007 2:40 PM

I can play the violin, cello,guitar, banjo and piano. (I sing as well.)

Music makes me happy!

As a dedicated volunteer at Old Town School (who also takes classes there), I highly recommend all the wanna-be instrument players to take a class there. It's a great resource of all types of music/instruction in our city!

lori / July 25, 2007 3:19 PM

I play guitar. I wish I played the guitar more often.

I also love to sing.

I took piano for 6 years as a kid.... I could play the hell out of "After the Lovin" by engleburt humperdinck.
My teacher was 80, and loved the pop songs.

I no longer play the piano, though I have one to give away, if anyone wants it. It's an old player piano without the player mechanism. needs tuning and a few keys need work, but it's been a good starter piano for our kids. Free to a good home!

jaymce / July 25, 2007 4:00 PM

i have always wanted a melodica.

JasonB / July 25, 2007 4:17 PM

I've been playing guitar since I was a child, and probably couldn't go a day without playing a little.

I'm (very quietly) learning Banjo and harmonica right now, and also grew up on violin, flute and piano.

Mindy / July 25, 2007 4:31 PM

i played piano for 6 years during elementary/middle/high school. i hated practicing, so i didn't really excel. i've always wanted to learn to play the harmonica. not quite sure what good it would do me.

loadzone / July 25, 2007 4:55 PM

Heh. I play more than enough.

The education started with piano lessons when I was eight and extends to a cheap Trombone I bought on e-bay in 2006.

In between the two are a few stringed instruments and a scholarship to study Tuba at my fall-back college choice. Turned that one down. I used to regret that decision; not so much these days.

I'd like to learn how to play the harp though. That would be a fun disaster.

Leelah / July 25, 2007 8:24 PM

No musical ability whatsoever.

I sing badly all the time. You can catch me performing in my car for free... every day.

George / July 25, 2007 9:32 PM

During the 80s when I was a kid, I thought that playing the saxophone was the coolest thing in the world to do.

But by the end of the 80s, I'd seen too many movies where the saxophone always introduced the 'sexy scene' when inevitably my parents would change the channel, and wait until it was over.

I can only think of the embarrassment and awkwardness in my house back then, when I hear the saxophone now.

Brandy / July 26, 2007 9:11 AM

I love to sing and sing pretty well. In a parallel universe I'm a well-loved torch singer.

Learned a bit of accordion, was in a square dance band for about a year. Golden Horse Ranch Square Dance Band. Check them out - Annie Coleman is a great caller and it's lots of fun.

Jill / July 26, 2007 10:05 AM

I started with piano around age 4. Added flute when it came time for Beginners' Band--I didn't really want to play the flute, but we owned one, so that's what I played. After 6th grade, I convinced my mom to let me play bassoon, which I loved (though I'm not much of a practicer). In high school I added tuba during Pep Band and Marching Band seasons.

Right now, all I play is handbells, which I love doing. I too miss goofing off on a piano, but someday I'll own one.

jj / July 26, 2007 10:19 AM

Peanut - you can "check out" time with a piano at the Harold Washington Library - all you need is a library card. They are on the 8th floor, info at this link -

sarah / July 26, 2007 11:27 AM

I play the accordion. I also draw comics; some days, I'm amazed I have any friends at all.

p / July 26, 2007 12:32 PM

i think i can still play O Canada on the trumpet and Jaws on the piano. I used to be able to to play the irish tin whistle. I have some djembes i can still carry a rhythm on that basically are nightstands now. I'd love to play the fiddle or bagpipes well.

Kristin / July 26, 2007 6:43 PM

I'm currently taking a mandolin class at Old Town School of Folk Music and looking forward to taking their new oud class in the fall. I'd like my grandfather to teach me how to play the accordion. My uncle is a jazz pianist and I'm hoping he'll find some time to give me some piano lessons as well.

C-Note / July 28, 2007 6:10 PM

Yeah. I play the upright & electric basses (although I don't play the upright all that much anymore, and piano/keyboards. I also sing, all the time. I'm working on setting up a new Rhodes console I bought recently, which is coming along nicely. c-note2 ain't got shit on me.

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