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.

IELTS Speaking Part 1, 2 and 3 - Talking about Family and Friends

This article gives you some sample answers for IELTS Speaking Section part 1, 2 and 3. Family and friends are two of the most common topics given in the interview, and today we're going to learn how to answer several questions related to this topic, both the easy questions and the difficult ones.

IELTS Speaking Part 1 - Talking about Familiar Topics


Do you spend much time with your family?

Unfortunately, no. Since I went to college, I no longer live with my parents and I don't get to see them very often. Even now, I only visit them like, once in a month. They live in town, while I am working in the city. It is very interesting since we used to live as an extended family. So, all of the family members lived in the same house. My grandparents have a very huge house and a farm, and the entire family lived in that house. But then their children, including my mother, started their own family and just, moved out.

Who are you closest to in your family?

Both of my parents, actually. I know that some people are very close only to their mother, or father. But the way my mother raised me was quite different from my father's, and for me, they're all important. My mother is very strict, especially when it comes to education and career. It may sound a little bit strange, but she's the one helping me make a lot of important decisions in life. She told me which university I should go to, what kind of job I should apply for. Unlike my mother, my father is less strict. He is always supportive and more tolerant. For me, this is a perfect balance between  freedom and guidance.  

Do you have a best friend?

I do. I have this one best friend in college. I'm an outgoing person, so, naturally I had a lot of friends in college. But, there's this one selfless guy, who's always there when I needed him the most, the kind of friend to whom I tell a lot of secrets. His name is Kris. One thing that I really like from Kris is the fact that he always lets me know my mistakes without judging me, and that he always listens and tries to understand, before giving an advice. From him, I have learned a lot about life and become the best person that I can be today.

Do you prefer spending time with your family or friends?

I'd rather spend my time with my family, because now I don't get to see them very often. So, every time I have the chance to go home, I will have a little quality time with my family. 

Are you still friends with people from your childhood?

Some of them, yes. My family moved a lot when I was a child, and I had childhood friends from different cities. The problem was, mobile phone was not so common those days, so when I moved out with my parents I could no longer contact them. Some of them found me on social media recently, I don't know how. So, it's now possible to stay in touch with them. Apparently, some of them are also working in the city, and we have met up a couple times actually.

Is family important in your country?

Of course, it is. I think family is important no matter where you live. It's true that family life in my country is a little bit different from family life elsewhere. In many western countries for example, teenagers are leaving their home for college or work, but in my country, teenagers living with their parents while they are working or studying in college is not strange at all. In fact, some adult people are expected to stay with their parents to take care of them, just the way they took care of them when they were a child. Even if they don't live in the same house, at least they can live nearby. The elderly are also very happy to see their grandchildren, instead of spending their old days feeling lonely. This may not be the case with families in other countries, but when it comes to the importance of family, I don't see any difference.

IELTS Speaking Part 2 - Self-Presentation

A Person that You Admire

Describe a person that you admire

You should say:

Who the person is

What he or she is like

What are you first memories of this person?

Why you admire him or her

Who the person is

I've always admired my mother. She has always become my role model when it comes to hard work. I remember how she always woke up early and got prepared for work while cooking for the family. She worked all day but still managed to help me with homework, and took me to music courses in the evening.

What he or she is like

I don't remember how she looked like when I was a child. The only things that I remembered about her was her discipline. She was very strict, especially when it comes to school grades. She would check on me as I studied in my room, sometimes holding a ruler. Yes, the ruler was a disciplinary tool that she used to warn me every time I got distracted. I didn't know why I was so scared of her pointing that drawing tool and glaring at me, but I think it had something to do with the amount of respect I have for her. She worked hard to pay for school so I thought I'd just do my part by studying hard. One thing that I still can't figure out is how she managed to walk to my room so quietly. My house had a wooden floor back then and it cracked very loudly when you stepped on it. It was as if she were floating instead of walking around the house. I often got bored of too much schooling and studying, and would often doodle to entertain myself. My mother sometimes caught me doing this, and when I heard her  behind me clearing her throat, I knew I was in a lot of trouble. 

What are you first memories of this person?

One thing that I always remember is the fact that my mother had to struggle as a career woman and a mother. She often picked me up at kindergarten and took me to my grandparents' house. I was five years old. I'd stay there until she picked me up after work. Sometimes she took me to her office because she had an important meeting, and got no time to drive me to my grandparents' home, since they lived in nearby town, and it would take half an hour to drive me there. I would wait in my mother's office, drawing animals with her assistant. My mother would often check on me through the glass door, making sure that I behaved.

Why you admire him or her

The first thing that I admire about my mother is her ability to balance family life and career. Being a busy woman that she was, she still managed to keep the balance in life, and I think it was extremely remarkable. My mother was also a real exemplary figure. She never told me to do things without her giving an example, things like working hard, taking responsibilities and caring for others.

IELTS Speaking Part 3 - Discussion

Talking about Someone's Personality

What is the most important quality of a friend?

In friendship, loyalty is the most important thing of all. We may be an outgoing person and have a lot of friends. But of all those friends that we have, only few of them will stay on our side in the good and bad times. I have a lot of friends, but when I got sick and needed to go to the hospital at 4 am one day, there was only this one person who drove all the way from his home to my dorm just to get me to the hospital. I'm not saying that he was the only loyal friend that I had. My other friends would actually help me too, but it really was not the right time to call somebody. I mean, it was 4 am, nobody would force themselves to wake up and pick up a call just to be asked for help, except one person.

Do you always expect people to be honest? 

Yes, I do. It's true that some things are better left unsaid, but I really do expect my friends to tell me the truth. Some of my friends often try to hide things from me because they don't want to hurt my feeling, but I always tell them to be truthful. I'm not the kind of person who would spend my time guessing what I have done wrong, so I'd rather know the truth and get hurt just to get things right. I can always take criticism, but I don't really like it when my friends are talking behind my back.

What is the nicest thing that a stranger has ever done to you?

One of the nicest things that a stranger had ever done to me is when a guy helped me patch a tire. I was riding a motorcycle and had a flat tire, so I pulled over and saw a tire repair ahead of me. The problem was, it was almost midnight and the tire repair was about to close. However, knowing that my house was ten kilometers away and that there were a lot of street crimes in that area, the guy decided to help me patch the tire anyway. I thanked him profusely, knowing just how much trouble I'd be in had he decided to ignore me and close his tire repair service. My bike was very heavy, there's no way that I'd push it back home. Besides, I had a lot of precious items in my bag, so it was quite likely that I would be robbed.

Have you ever made friends online?

Yes, several times. It usually happens when I meet a stranger online and we happen to have the same interest. For example, I was planning to go to a dragonforce concert in my city and accidentally met a girl. I don't normally see a woman going to heavy metal concert here in my country, so she got my attention instantly. We ended up chatting on twitter about the upcoming event, and became friends. 

What is the hardest thing in friendship?

Separation. As I said before, my family moved out a lot when I was a kid, so I had to say good bye to some of my childhood best friends. I never mind attending a new school or making new friends after moving out, the only problem was that I had to say good bye.