If you have been following my weekly blog you know last week I wrote about how to properly choose an instrument for children. A well-fitted instrument is just as important to adults as well. This week I’m focusing on the senior citizen who has always wanted to play an instrument but felt like it was too late to get started. This year I am celebrating 41 years as a music educator and have taught several thousand students from the age of 4 to 94. Yes, I've had to change a little in my teaching style for seniors but learning in your golden years isn't impossible and can be a lot of fun for most who try.
Perhaps if you’re reading this article you might be an adult who’s always been interested in learning an instrument but were told not to try because music is something best learned as a child; adults have a much harder time mastering an instrument. Now you have developed fears that you’re just too old and it’s too late in life to start, right? Wrong! Learning music has such a wide range of benefits that will change your life in a positive direction.
Apart from being one of the best stress-relievers known to modern medicine and mankind, music also improves your health. It enhances your cognitive function, problem solving, and muscle memory. Some of the benefits for adults/ seniors that learn a new instrument I have discovered over the years of playing and from researching are:
It may be true that children have an easier time learning new things such as music but, you're never too old to learn an instrument with the help of a good teacher. As you mature as an adult, you have a better and deeper understanding of music both mentally and emotionally. I have noticed over the last 10 years or so that adults have a better understanding of chord progressions and common song melodies that may be unfamiliar or hard to understand for children. This is a distinct advantage for learning that a youngster lacks. Really the only question to ask yourself is “Can I hold the instrument properly to play it?” Now I’m assuming you can still use your hands to hold a fork and knife or catch a ball if so you're ready to start.
Learning an instrument of your choice takes time, dedication, and practice. This is where being older can be beneficial as more mature students tend to be able to focus better and have greater patience than their younger counterparts.
While the above may not apply to everyone, however the point is that everybody is teachable and everyone can learn, no matter what age. With that in mind though, it does help to have a teacher to get you started off on the right path. A good teacher can demonstrate skills and techniques that videos and books can’t. Just remember your teacher probably has been doing this for many years and has already traveled the same roads you are about to venture down. So, a good teacher knows what problems and errors to look for and how to correct them to make your learning experience fun and exciting for you. So, let’s start learning today and enjoy all the benefits a good music program and teacher can bring.
Good luck on your new instrument, have fun and help me with,
Taking Local Music to The World.