A few days ago, I played my CD of Barry Tuckwell playing the French horn. My wife played the French horn throughout high school. I have only played the snare drum in a drum and bugle corps. No need with such a drum to be able to detect small differences between notes. No need to be able to find a given note in my head amidst other instruments playing other music around me, as tympani drummers do.
I wondered what a French horn costs. We looked them up and found prices from $2000 to $14,000. I know any instrument can be very expensive, even though students can sometimes borrow or rent a given instrument from the school's collection or from a music store.
When I think of the discipline, the practice, the blending of a musician and the instrument, I am in awe. Our local university is a center of Suzuki method, the Japanese violinist who created the slow, steady, loving relation between a very young student, maybe 4 or 5 years old, the child's mother or father and a violin. Our campus lawns are doted with little kids and some older, more expert students, playing their assignments for the parents during the last weeks of the summer session.
Lessons are also offered in piano, harp and maybe other instruments. The violin curriculum always starts with "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and so that music gets played all over the place.
For anyone today, the music once played and maybe heard again, the relations with teachers and those who play beside you, are part of us and can always elicit old feelings and new energies.