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Far beyond its subtitle, “Why We Play” is a collection of inspiration, advice, and a keen roadmap that could apply to any major purchase of a musical instrument. A brief fifty-one pages, this book proves that amazing things come in small packages, and, at a mere $13.95, a real bargain. (ISBN 978-1475256574). And you can buy it from Amazon by first logging onto the WMEA website and then clicking on the Amazon icon.

Author Ben Klinger states his purpose for writing the book as a way “to reconnect people to the buying process in meaningful ways … returning to a simpler and more rewarding shopping experience.” Mr. Klinger has worked for years in the retail piano world and is also a player. This book is a result of thousands of customers, and their feedback, both successful and disappointing.

The book contains many wonderful testimonials from pianists about why they play; “When my emotions need calming, when my heart needs comfort, or simply when all is right with the world, I sit at my piano and I play.” This quote is from an English teacher and college counselor! There are so many inspiring words in this small volume, words that apply no matter what form your music-making takes. This particular quote could easily have been me talking about my trumpet.

I highly recommend this book, both as an inspiration to you, the music teacher, and as a guide for all families looking to purchase any kind of musical instrument. I will never forget a student of mine excitedly sharing he had bought a tuba online, only to find out it was a Wagner tuba! (If you don’t know, look it up).

~ Kevin Paustian
Past President, WMEA (Washington Music Educators Association)

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