Can You Play Any Musical Instruments? IELTS Speaking (10 Example Answers)

Music is one possible topic in part one of your IELTS Speaking test. You might be asked, “Can you play any musical instruments?”

Let’s look at how to answer this question really well, even if you don’t play an instrument. Below, you can also read 10 good example answers (go straight to the answers here).

If You Do Play a Musical Instrument

First, say ‘yes, I do.’ Then say what instrument you play. You can then talk about:

  • How long you’ve played that instrument for
  • Why you enjoy playing it
  • Why you chose that particular instrument
  • When you play it (at school, in the evenings, at the weekend, all the time…)
  • How often you play or practice 
  • Who you play it with
  • If you have a music teacher
  • If you’ve ever performed to an audience
  • If you’d like to play in a band or orchestra
  • Why that instrument has been difficult or easy to learn 
  • Anything else that comes to mind

If You Don’t Play a Musical Instrument

No problem if you don’t play anything. Just say that you don’t play an instrument. Then you can talk about:

  • Why you don’t play an instrument 
  • If you’re interested in music at all, or not
  • If you’d like to learn an instrument in future
  • If you used to play an instrument in the past
  • What musical instrument you like to listen to most, and why
  • Someone you know who plays an instrument 
  • Anything else you think of

Try to Be Fast and Fluent

In part one, you don’t need very advanced vocabulary or grammar. 

Remember that part one is only to warm you up. Part 1 questions are quite simple, so just give simple answers.

The key in part one is to speak as quickly and fluently as you can. This means speaking with no hesitation. 

Remember To Stop Talking

You should also keep your answers quite short in part one. 

Speaking for 10 or 20 seconds is perfect. Remember that the examiner has many questions to ask you in a short period of time.

So remember to stop talking in your part-one answers (sometimes nervous students don’t know when to stop). 

You can use the three-step YES Method to help you know when to stop talking. Just say:

  • Your Answer (say if you do or don’t play an instrument)
  • Explain your answer, or add a few more details
  • Stop talking (let the examiner know you’re ready for the next question)

Read the following 10 example answers and see what ideas you can borrow for your own answer to this question about musical instruments.

‘Yes, I Do’ Answers

1. Yes, I do. I play the guitar. I’ve been playing the guitar for about three years now and I really enjoy it because the guitar is such a cool and relaxing instrument to play.

2. Yes, I play the piano. I’ve always loved classical music and I’ve been playing the piano since I was a child. I practice at least four times a week on my piano at home.

3. Yes, I recently started playing the flute, which is a lovely instrument to play. I have a music teacher who gives me classes at the weekends. 

4. Yes, I do. I actually play the drums in a band. We play rock music and we hope to write our own music and perform live in front of an audience one day. 

5. Yes, I play the cello. I love the cello because it’s such an elegant, beautiful instrument that creates a deep, powerful, resonant sound that stirs my emotions.   

‘No, I Don’t’ Answers

6. No, I don’t. To be honest, I’ve never played any instrument. I’m not musical at all. 

7. No, I don’t. But I’d love to learn to play the guitar one day. I think the guitar is the easiest instrument to learn, and I love guitarists like Jimmy Hendrix.

8. No, I don’t play an instrument, but I do love to sing. You’ll often find me singing while I’m doing household chores or looking after my children.

9. No, I don’t. But my brother plays the piano. He’s been playing piano for about two years now, and I think he’s getting really good at it. 

10. No, I’m afraid I don’t play any instruments. But I do love listening to music. I’ve always been a fan of retro pop music and I appreciate people who can play musical instruments really well. 

Now, It’s Your Turn!

Set up the voice recorder on your phone and ask aloud, “Can you play any musical instruments?”

Answer as fluently as you can, without hesitation. Follow the three-step YES Method. 

Afterward, listen to your recording. If you hear any hesitation or mistakes, answer the question again.

Keep repeating this process, and you’ll soon be ready to give a great band-seven answer to all your IELTS Speaking part one questions. 

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