Cue Card Sample

Describe a musical instrument you know how to play - Cue Card # 622

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a musical instrument you know how to play.

You should say:

  • what it is
  • how someone can play it
  • how long you have been playing it

and explain why you like this particular musical instrument.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Sample Answer 1: 

When I learned to play the violin, a stringed musical instrument of Italian origin, at the very tender age of 8, little did I know back then that it had such a widespread use which ranges from symphony orchestras to jazz ensembles as well as film scores to Indian “ragas”. Now, that I look back, I sure am glad that I learned to play this “perfect” musical instrument.

Playing the violin can be “self-learned”, or it can be learned by taking lessons from a teacher. After playing this great musical instrument for more than 20 years, I have learned that posture is very important in order to enhance the sound quality of a violin.  

To play the violin, all you need is a bow stick, a firm shoulder for your violin to rest on, Rosin (a sticky “resin” that helps the bow make the sound when it comes in contact with a violin string), a good musical piece with which you feel attuned with and of course a violin. First, put the violin on your shoulder while also touching it with your “chin”. Then, draw the bow stick up and down on violin strings while regulating the sounding length of the strings with the fingers of the left hand by stopping them against the fingerboard in order to produce different notes.

One may be tempted to believe that violin can be learned easily, but in fact, it can take some real-time and effort to learn to play this musical instrument. 

I like playing the violin because it carries the perfect sound of melody which helps express a musician's “emotion” just so perfectly! I also like the violin because it can create several kinds of tones and music of my liking. Besides, the violin is versatile as it offers options to play anything from classical music to a mournful gipsy strain. Finally, I like it because of its “portability” as I can carry and play it anywhere.


Model Answer 2:

Thank you Sir/Madam for this great topic. I am a big fan of music, but when it comes to singing or playing a musical instrument, I am just a novice. The guitar is perhaps the only musical instrument I know how to play (but I'm not an expert), and I would like to talk about it.

The guitar is a stringed instrument and it has six strings of unequal thickness strung tightly side-by-side across a fretboard. Musical notes of different pitches are produced by plucking the strings while pressing the attached strings against the fretboard or fingerboard. The guitar is capable of producing more than 130 different types of musical notes and someone needs years of dedicated practice to master the skill of playing this amazing instrument.

An expert guitarist can produce a variety of music from it. The guitar is perhaps one of the most widely used musical instruments in the world. If you ask me how long have I been playing it, I will be in trouble to answer that! Maybe I should explain why! Though I owned a guitar in my teenage, I never really learned to play it (I mean playing it without embarrassing myself) until I got admitted to college. Afterwards, I have sometimes practised it and often left it untouched for several consecutive weeks. But I always believed someday I would learn to play this instrument. Since I am a hobbyist guitarist, I cannot claim that I have been playing it for a particular number of years - you know what I mean.

But if you ask me whether I like the guitar - the answer is ‘yes, absolutely’. This is an incredible musical instrument that has the ability to produce surreal music and enchant audiences. It is a genuinely versatile and convenient musical instrument loved by millions around the world. A great song without the use of a guitar is almost impossible, at least in my country.


Model Answer 3:

I love music. But unfortunately, I do not have a great voice to sing in front of audiences. But when it comes to musical instruments, I know how to play a guitar and flute to some extent. For this great topic, I would like to thank you and talk about my little skill in playing the flute.

As you know, the flute is a wind instrument that produces sound by blowing air across the mouthpiece while simultaneously pressing keys to change the pitch. It may sound easy, but it takes a great deal of skill to play it to captivate others. 

Playing the flute requires proper breath control, finger coordination, and embouchure technique, and I have learned about them while trying to enhance my skill in playing it. To produce different notes, one must control the speed and force of the air stream while manipulating the keys with precise finger movements.

I've been playing the flute for over a decade now, starting from my early teens. Initially, it was a hobby, but over time, it became a passion that I dedicated significant time and effort to hone my skills.

There are several reasons why I'm drawn to the flute. Firstly, its melodious and soothing sound captivates me. The flute has a unique ability to convey emotions and moods, making it a versatile instrument for various musical genres, from classical to contemporary. Additionally, playing the flute allows me to express myself creatively. I find joy in exploring different musical pieces, experimenting with phrasing and dynamics, and adding my personal touch to performances.

Furthermore, the flute's portability is another aspect that I appreciate. Unlike larger instruments, such as pianos or cellos, the flute is compact and lightweight, making it convenient to carry and play in different settings, whether it's practising at home, performing on stage, or playing outdoors.

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