With 2018 well underway, those yearning for something new to sink their teeth into may just find taking up an instrument to be the perfect next step.
The beginning of a new year often brings with it new beginnings and New Year’s resolutions. January may be behind us but it is never too late to try and make a change for the better or to try something new. I bet there are many of you who either regret giving up the music lessons that you took as a child, or wish that you could play a musical instrument such as piano or guitar.
Never too Late to Learn
Well I can tell you it is never too late to learn a musical instrument. Adults of any age are capable of learning an instrument, even if you think you aren’t “musically inclined.”
My mother never took music lessons growing up, and never had any previous musical experience, yet she decided at age 60 to purchase an accordion and take some lessons. In just a few short months, she was playing a large number of songs in no time at all. There are actually many benefits to taking music lessons as an adult. It can give you a dexterity in your fingers as it is keeping your muscles in your fingers and arms moving.
I have heard some people with arthritis say that their doctors actually recommended piano lessons to them as they felt that motion would be good for their hands.
Recent studies have shown that have said that taking music lessons (or learning any new mental skill previously not known) is great for your mental health and can help to prevent dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It also can help to improve memory skills.
Music can also be a big stress reliever. The act of practicing or playing your instrument can be very soothing and relaxing. It also gives you some “me” time as you are doing something just for yourself. I feel every working parent deserves something in their life that is just for them and takes them out of the hectic and all-consuming worlds of work and parenting, even if just for a little while.
Sharpen the Mind
As for the retired folks, it’s an enjoyable new activity that may be something you always wanted to try and you felt just never had the time. There is also the added bonus that it keeps the mind and the body sharp. The brain is a muscle, and like all muscles it will decay without regular use.
Music lessons can also be a great social activity if taken in group settings such as group guitar lessons or a choir. It can be an opportunity to meet other adults with similar interests as yourself. The ladies choir that I direct all have so much fun together and we often schedule social get-togethers outside of our rehearsals. There are many other adult groups and ensembles in and around the metro area who are often ready and willing to accept new members. I know from experience that playing in bands or singing in choirs together can form long-lasting friendships.
Another big advantage to taking lessons as an adult is that you are there because you want to be, and not because mom or dad is forcing you to go. That makes a big difference in your own enjoyment, as it is something you have decided for yourself that you truly want to do. It’s a completely different experience from when you were a child.
When you are taking private lessons, you are learning completely at your own pace and on your own terms.
No pressure. If you have a particularly busy week and don’t get a lot of time to practice, you can always make up for it the following week. I think in most cases the days of strict music teachers who scold you if you play a wrong note or don’t practice are a thing of the past.
Another reason it may be beneficial to take lessons is that if your own children are in lessons, you can learn what they learn and you may be able to help them with their practicing at home. It could be an activity that you can share with them.
At Musically Inclined in CBS for example, there are a large number of adults taking music lessons in a wide variety of instruments: piano, voice, guitar, drums, violin, and accordion just to name a few. Some people may initially feel that they are “too old” or that only children take lessons, but once they take that brave leap of starting, they realize they are not alone and it is not an uncommon thing at all.
I think most music studios will welcome adult students, and you can find the right studio and the right instrument to suit your needs.
Having an experienced and qualified teacher will get you off to the right start. Remember – anyone at any age can in fact be “Musically Inclined.”