IELTS Speaking Part 1, 2, and 3 - Talking about Music

IELTS Speaking Section Part 1 - Talking about Familiar Topics

Musical Instrument

Which instrument do you like listening to the most?

I really like listening to saxophone and violin. I don't know why, but I have been listening to some song covers on saxophone and violin, and they sound much better on these two instruments. Saxophone is suitable for romantic songs, the ones that you listen to while enjoying the sunset with your significant other. Many of the songs that are played on violin are dark and sad songs, often make me so emotional. I'm not sure if there's any correlation between the sound produced by violin and the darkest emotion that we feel, but I can always notice that minor scale played on violin has a somewhat darker tone compared to the same scale played on other instruments.

Have you ever learned to play a musical instrument?

Yes, I have. I have learned piano since I was eleven. Well, my parents actually made me learn piano. They sent me to a music school for kids. I didn't really like it there because the teachers were very strict. All I did there was learning the theoretical parts of music and play classical piece the whole evening. It's not that I didn't like classical music or anything. Classical music is basically like the heavy metal before the era of electricity, and Mozart was probably the Kirk Hammet of his era. However, I was really into rock at that time. My uncle was a huge fan of bands like guns n roses, scorpion and metallica, and I grew up listening to their songs. When my parents bought me a piano to practice at home, I often played some not-so-classical songs when they were not around. I mean, hey, why would I bother learning all these music theories if I could just play my favorite songs by heart.

Do you think children should learn musical instrument at school?

Yes they should. Even if they don't learn it to be a professional instrument player, children can play music for entertainment. Music can help us express various emotions, be it joy or sorrow. In fact, some of my friends can really express their sadness not by crying or sharing with others, but by playing violin or cello in their upstairs bedroom. If that can make them feel better, then why not? It is much better than doing harm to yourself.

How difficult would it be to learn a musical instrument without a teacher?

It depends. Personally, I don't think it's easy to learn music as an autodidact. If we want to learn the theoretical aspect of music, we definitely need a proper guidance from a teacher. But some people just learn music by ears, by heart. These people usually have great improvisational skills and natural ability to hit notes perfectly without having to learn scales, modes, tempo or anything like that. I started learning how to play guitar since I was twelve, and I learned it by myself because my parents were not very supportive of me playing any instrument other than piano. But, guitar and piano are pretty much the same. I learned guitar much faster bacause I used what I had learned from my piano lesson. The only challenge was the right-left hand coordination, and some other techniques that you don't normally use on piano, like alternate picking, tapping, sweeping, and artificial harmonic. So, I had to learn this all by myself. I watched some tutorials on internet actually, but still, guitar was quite difficult to learn if you are an autodidact.

IELTS Speaking Section Part 2 - Self-Presentation

Talking about Musical Event

Describe a musical event that you recently attended

You should say

What type of musical event is it?

Where does it take place?

What kind of music is performed in that event?

Explain why you and people in your country enjoy it

What type of musical event is it?

I attended a concert of a local band few months ago. The musical event itself was a part of my university's dies natalis.

Where does it take place?

The event was held in my university's convention hall. It was held  in campus C, which is one of the four campuses. The event was open for public, though.

What kind of music is performed in that event?

There were different genres of music being performed, actually, from traditional music to modern music. But the main guest star is a pop band. I'm not really into pop, actually, but my friends would like to go to the event so, there I went.

Explain why you and people in your country enjoy it

I guess people like attending concert for various reasons. Personally, my favorite part of the concert is when we can sing along with the performer. Some people may like seeing their idols performing on stage. Some other people may like dancing in the crowd. So, there are many reasons why people like going to a musical event.

IELTS Speaking Part 3 - Discussiom

Popular Music

What types of music are famous in your country?

Currently, a significant number of Indonesian teenagers like KPop. But the trend is always changing, I suppose. Some years ago there were more people listening to pop songs. In the 90s, people really liked rock songs.

What are the influence of western music in teenagers in your country?

Western music has a strong influence on teenagers. I see that many teenagers now sing a lot more songs in English, or Korean. Some of them even told me that the lyric has somewhat helped them polish their foreign language skill, which is quite surprising. There are more and more musical events being held to attract young audience, and I can say that young people these days are way more enthusiastic when it comes to attending musical events like this. Even their fashion style is way more similar to western idols these days, so it's not just the music that influences them.

Why is music important?

Personally, I think music is important because it has become an important part of our daliy life. Music is capable of changing our moods. In the morning, music helps us to be more energetic and ready to start the day. At night, listening instrumental song is very soothing, helping us to relax. When I'm stressed out, I tend to listen to certain music like progressive rock or heavy metal, just to let out that negative energy in me, and it works.

Some people even believe that certain type of music, like classical music, is closely related to intelligence. I don't know if this is true or not, but one of the reason why my parents insisted me to take piano lesson was because they believed that music helps increase concentration, and may be, intelligence. One thing that I realized after taking piano lesson was that I became more capable of finding a pattern. When someone is playing a song, I will start figuring out what scales are in that song by ears. I always feel the urge to figure it out, like it's always tempting to find patterns.

Which is more important? Western music or traditional music?

It depends on what you mean by important, is it commercially important or culturally important, because these two genres are both important in their own way.  Commercially, western music is so dominant. When we talk about western music though, we know that many local artists have adopted this kind of music as well. Because western music is liked by many people, it is more  successful commercially. Their success is vital to the national music industry. The same goes for foreign artists. Some promotors have successfully held concerts that attract young audience because many foreign songs become a hit here in Indonesia.

Traditional music is important in a way that it is capable of forming our identity as Indonesians. Indonesia is a multicultural country, and the variety of traditional music found in each region has shown just how culturally diverse this country is. Although traditional music is not as commercially successful as modern music, it helps us preserve the cultural heritage. For example, listening to Javanese traditional songs can help us learn Javanese language, so there are two traditions being preserved here,  not just the music. And since the music is performed by people wearing Javanese traditional clothing, the audience can also appreciate the beauty of two other cultural heritage, which are batik and kebaya. The music performance is an important part of stage performance such as remo traditional dance, or traditional drama like wayang shadow puppet. So, if someone is aware of the importance of traditional music, then they will also be able to appreciate other traditional arts. This is how the culture is well-preserved by the society.

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