Starchild: Malaysian children love playing musical instruments

Wong Cheng Yang, 8

Musical instruments are grouped into families based on how sounds are produced. The families are brass, percussion, woodwinds and strings.

Brass instruments, like the trumpet, trombone and tuba, produce sound from the vibration of a player’s lips against the mouthpiece of the instrument. Percussion instruments such as drums and cymbals create sounds when they are hit, or shaken, in the case of the maracas.

String instruments produce sound from their strings which are plucked, bowed or struck. Examples include the guitar, harp, cello and dulcimer. Woodwind instruments also also wind instruments but sound is produced when the air that’s blown into them is split by something called a reed of a fipple. The flute, piccolo and clarinet are among woodwind instruments.

World Music Day was celebrated on June 21. Let’s hear what our readers had to say on the topic, My Favourite Instrument.

Guitar student Lim Sheng Hao, nine, thinks learning to play the guitar isn’t as easy as one might think. “It is painful to press my fingers onto the strings. So to get rid of the pain, I use a pick to play the guitar. A pick is a small, triangular and flat tool.

Lim Sheng Hao, 9Lim Sheng Hao, 9

“My favourite songs are Let It Go and Into The Unknown from Disney’s movies Frozen and Frozen 2. My favourite music instrument is a drum. I like playing drums because it makes a nice sound. A drum is so fun to play,” writes Wong Jie Ern, six.

Wong Jie Ern, 6Wong Jie Ern, 6

Older sibling Wong Cheng Yang, eight, likes to play the xylophone, his favourite musical instrument. “It can make different rattling and high-pitched sounds. I enjoy playing the xylophone because it keeps me happy and relaxed. However, I wish to have a bigger and nicer xylophone.

Amos Kellan Sum, seven, started learning to play the keyboards when he was two. “I enjoy singing aloud and moving to the rhythm when I am playing music. My favourite music time is playing ensemble with my friends to make a beautiful performance.”

Amos Kellan Sum, 7Amos Kellan Sum, 7

Ong Keat Hsin, seven, is excited that he’s going to learn to play the piano. “I am going to learn how to play music in a music school near my home. My classes will be on Saturdays.”

Ong Keat Hsin, 7Ong Keat Hsin, 7

Seven-year-old Bethany Wang Qi Syuen enjoys music lessons in school. “My music teacher Madam Teoh teaches us to sing and count the beats by tapping our pencil on our desk according to the rhythm of the song. I hope I can learn to play the violin in the future.”

Bethany Wang Qi Syuen, 7Bethany Wang Qi Syuen, 7

Younger sibling Asher Wang Qi Chuen, four, says: “I like to make my own songs and sing them using tunes that I am familiar with. My current favourites are biblical songs, the ice cream man’s tune and the rotiman’s (bread seller) beep – they are music to my ears!”

Asher Wang Qi Chuen, 4Asher Wang Qi Chuen, 4

“I like music because there are many distinctive chords and pitches. For example, I like to play the piano because there are different types of tunes like “do, re, and mi”. I also like other instruments like drums, guitars, and tambourines,” says Claire Yap Jyn Wei, seven.

Claire Yap Jyn Wei, 7Claire Yap Jyn Wei, 7

ITEM: Our topic for this week is “My Most Treasured Possession”. Tell us all about the things that you value most in life. Could it be your toys, books, or arts and craft items? Don’t forget to send us a drawing too.

All letters must carry your full name, age (open to children aged 12 and below), gender, e-mail, phone number and address.

Email your contributions to by July 13.

Please put “STARCHILD: My Treasured Possession” in the subject line of your email. Scanned drawings should be in jpeg format, with a resolution of 200 dpi.

Your contributions must carry your full name, age (open to children aged 12 and below only), gender, phone number and address.

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