musical instrument personality

Can we guess which musical instrument you played in high school based on your Myers-Briggs personality type?

Chances are, at some point you’ve come up against the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a questionnaire that evaluates how you perceive the world and make decisions, and then sorts you into one of 16 personality types based on four categories.

The four categories include introversion vs. extraversion, sensing vs. intuition, feeling vs. thinking, and judging vs. perceiving.

For no reason in particular, we thought it might be interesting to make some not at all scientifically based predictions on which musical instrument you played in high school based on your Myers-Briggs personality type. If you don’t know your type, hit up Google and find yourself a test!

ISTJ (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging): This personality type is organized, quiet, reserved, practical and likes predictability and to plan things out. It makes sense then that the ISTJ person played the cello, which can be played alone or as part of a string quartet or string section of an orchestra or other ensemble. This instrument has a reliable versatile sound that adds dimension, exactly the type of instrument to which composers and the ISTJ personality would be drawn.

ISTP (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving): The ISTP person is independent and loves trying new things and activities with a thrill-seeking edge. They are quiet but easy going and not so great with emotions. After much consideration we’ve decided the ISTP would play the saxophone, a woodwind instrument used in a remarkably wide range of music from classical to jazz to marching bands. The sax can be played alone or in an orchestra or a rock n’roll band; versatile and exciting, just like the ISTP.

ISFJ (Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging): Observant, responsible, practical, creatures of habit, the ISFJ personality probably gravitated to the bass drum. The concert bass drum makes a predictable, low boom sound that is used to keep time and protect the tempo – and if that isn’t the ISFJ we don’t know what is.

ISFP (Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving): The ISFP personality tends to be a quiet, easy going, peaceful person with a tendency to procrastinate. The chimes would be the perfect instrument for the hands-on, loyal ISFP who loves to get into the details of things just like the flair, color and twinkling tone the chimes bring to musical pieces.

INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging): What a conundrum the INFJ seems to be. Both logical but emotional, creative and analytical, this personality is just right for the violin. The artistic, idealist who loves to contemplate the meaning of life would do great on the violin, which is used in numerous musical genres, relied on for melody lines, but also able to improvise with a tone that stands out. If you’ve ever heard “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” you know a good violin player can evoke feelings of a story with just this instrument’s sound, which is right in the INFJ wheelhouse.

INFP (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving): Quiet and reserved, the INFP personality sees the big picture and likes to make decisions based on values and not logic. That’s why this person would be a great guitar player as they’re able to work well alone and play on feeling.

INTJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging): The INTJ has high expectations, is a good listener, takes criticism well, and is a confident and hard-working perfectionist. This personality type would excel on the timpani, which can be tuned quickly and accurately to specific pitches – serving that perfectionist style – and is used widely to support the percussion section of an orchestra or other ensemble.

INTP (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving): Usually maintaining just a small social circle, the independent, abstract-thinker that is the INTP would be great on the tuba as it can be played as a solo instrument or typically is the only one of its kind when filling the role of the lowest pitched brass instrument in an orchestra.

ESTP (Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving): Outgoing, practical and impulsive with a wide social circle, it wouldn’t be a stretch to call the ESTP a bit reckless … and the perfect drummer. The drum set is a collection of drums and cymbals that keeps the rhythm of an orchestra or band, but can also be used for improvisational fills and solos.

ESTJ (Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging): The ESTJ personality is traditional with an appreciation for rules and order. While they could be thought of as rigid or stubborn, the ESTJ is also a stable and dependable leader. What better instrument pairing for this personality than the trumpet? Trumpets have been used alone for years as a signal in battle or to otherwise serve as an alert, while today they sound proudly in all types of musical arrangements.

ESFP (Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving): The class clown personality dislikes routine, and loves new experiences. Optimistic and social, we can see the ESFP having a lot of fun with the trombone and it’s slide feature.

ESFJ (Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging): Outgoing and trusting, The ESFJ loves to help others, has a need for approval and is easily hurt by indifference. The loyal ESFJ probably played the piccolo, a half-sized flute member of the woodwind family. This instrument produces a high-pitched sound that is often used to overlay violins and flutes to add brilliance to the sound – a helpful instrument indeed.

ENFP (Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving): Enthusiastic and empathetic, the ENFP likes to keep their options open. With good people and communication skills, the ENFP most likely played the clarinet, an instrument that matches this personality types spontaneous and creative nature.

ENFJ (Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging): The ENFJ is warm, outgoing, loyal, sensitive and organized. Serving as an affectionate and encouraging member of their high school orchestra, the ENFJ played the flute, for sure.

ENTP (Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving): Innovator. Visionary. Debate master. These are all good descriptions for the creative conversationalist that is the ENTP, a personality type that would be great on the harp which when played fills a room with dramatic musical beauty.

ENTJ (Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging): Finishing our lineup is the assertive, confident and outspoken ENTJ. An objective, logical leader who is self-assured and an excellent communicator, what instrument would the ENTJ be more likely to play than the piano? Played alone or to lead the melody of an ensemble or add dynamic improv to jazz, this personality type would be in their element tickling the ivories.

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