Don’t put your instruments away in a closet or the basement! Make your instruments conversation pieces and encourage people to play them by using these practical instrument display ideas.
Music is a very important part of my life, and I want to encourage my children to play instruments.
The only problem with encouraging everyone in the family to learn an instrument (except the noise) is the clutter of instruments that ensues. I like having the instruments accessible. I strongly feel that if instruments are put away in closets, under the bed, or in the basement, my kids will not practice as much. The problem with keeping instruments accessible is that they are constantly in the way.
(I know, I know, you cello and bass players would say that violinists have nothing to complain about in the “I am constantly tripping over my instrument because I have no room for it” department.)
Dilemma: How do you store all kinds of instruments like this? Solution: Store them the same way that the music stores do!
My local music store sells “String Swing” hangers for violins and guitars, but they can also be purchased through Amazon (see link at the end of this post). My music store special ordered the smaller sizes for me. The hangers were rather too “industrial” looking for my taste, so I sanded the varnish off and painted them to match my trim color.
Our music corner was starting to look good, but it needed some artwork to fill it in. I wanted the artwork to tie into the “music” theme, and thought some framed sheet music would be perfect. The music sheets I chose come from violinsheetmusic.org, a wonderful site for printing off free sheet music. The classical music offered on this site has a delightful “antique” look, but I didn’t like the look of normal bright white printer paper. I wanted the music to look like it had been pulled from an antique music book. I tried “antiquing” the paper by painting it with tea and coffee, but that was a fail. My local craft stores didn’t have any “antique-looking” paper in their scrapbooking section, but they did have some papers with very muted patterns and textures. At first I thought the results from printing music on textured paper would be too “busy” looking, but I love how the music turned out. After choosing the paper, I used a printer to copy the music onto the scrapbook paper. Scrapbook papers can be purchased in the standard 8 1/2 x 11 size, or cut down from a 12 x 12 size to fit your printer. (If your are doing this, experiment with a scrap of paper first so you know which way to feed the paper into your printer.) If you want to do a larger project, you could take it to a printing store and get the job done for a small fee.
Before hanging, make sure that you know how you want the frames to work together so that you get the placement correct. I like to tape scrap paper together to make “templates” that are the same size as my frames, then tape them to the wall with masking tape to see how they will look before I start pounding holes in the walls. Don’t forget to remove any hanging instruments before you start pounding on the wall!
Finally, add a music stand to hold your music, and you are ready to play. (After tuning, of course. But that’s a topic for another post.)
Of all of the features in my home, this music corner has been the most commented on by guests. My brother enjoyed experimenting with the violin (no former exposure to the instrument) and so far two mini impromptu concerts have occurred with other visitors, all because the instruments are readily accessible and visible. Music is a wonderful way to bond with friends and family and impromptu concerts are a great way to keep my kids interested in practicing. It’s a win-win for everyone. Well, maybe not for the neighbors.
How do you store your instruments? I would love to hear from you! Please comment below.