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Last Updated: Friday April 11 2008 07:00 GMT

Some instruments 'just for girls'

Playing an instrument

Boys are avoiding some musical instruments - because they think they're for girls, a study says.

Researchers found that many kids think instruments like the flute and the harp are for female musicians, while the tuba and bass guitar are for lads.

To make all instruments more appealing, experts have suggested that schools have all-boy and all-girl orchestras.

Nearly nine out of 10 flute players in English schools are girls, and four out of five tuba players are boys.

Research has also suggested that some kids take up a certain instrument because they've been influenced to do so by parents or teachers.

Smaller, higher-pitched instruments - like the violin and clarinet - have historically been more popular with females.

Bullied

Teachers are now being urged to encourage kids to take up ANY instrument and to make sure young musicians don't get bullied for their choices.