Why it’s never too late to learn an instrument?

Learn an instrument

Why it’s never too late to learn an instrument?

Listening to music is an important part of life for most of us. It’s a great way to unwind and lose yourself in something you love. But some people take it a step further and play an instrument themselves. Ollie is here to tell us why it’s never too late to learn a new skill in life...

The desire to want to play or create music can be powerful. Sadly, many of us don’t act on these urges as we believe that the time for learning a musical instrument has passed. To be truly musically competent, we need to have been playing since we were young. Thankfully, this belief has been challenged by music teachers and scientists alike and is simply not true. It turns out it’s never too late to learn an instrument.

The fear of failure

The biggest hurdles for learning an instrument as an adult are often thought to be stiff hands, set ways, and an ageing brain. More often than not, the greatest barrier is actually a fear of failure that stops adults committing in the first place.

As adults, we’re used to feeling competent in many areas of our lives. The tendency for perfection leaves us afraid of struggling with a task or being incompetent. Musical instruments are a challenge and will likely put us out of our comfort zone. However, it’s this exact reason that promises a profound reward on the other side of hard work.

Take hope from the fearless

People in their 60s and 70s are committing to picking up an instrument with success. Despite the coordination, memory, and eyesight challenges that come with age, the desire to play or create music inspires them to keep going.

There are upsides that adults enjoy over their younger learning counterparts. Greater motivation and focus can do wonders for commitment to practising, along with the ability to draw on vast life experiences to pick up concepts and be creative.

Tips for adult beginners

The first thing to do is make the leap and commit. Ignore other people's doubts and accept the embarrassment that may come with the lack of skill at the start. Draw on your love of music that inspired you in the first place if self-doubt ever starts to creep in.

Seek a teacher with experience teaching adults. As adults, we have a lifetime of muscle memory in posture, hand form, and movements to unlearn. A fantastic teacher will provide you with the skills and structure to progress, along with the patience to guide you.

For those strapped for cash, the internet is rich in beginners resources for learning an instrument at a low cost. In fact, many of them are completely free.

Once we move past the fear of being incompetent, we can truly start to enjoy the joys of playing a musical instrument. It may be hard and it will certainly humble you, but pursuing a lifelong ambition to learn an instrument can be infinitely rewarding.

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Alia Coster