There’s a common misconception that once you’re an adult with adult responsibilities it’ll be impossible for you to ever learn how to plan an instrument. This is, in fact, far from the truth. Anyone can learn to play an instrument regardless of their age, all it takes is patience and determination. While there are challenges that come with trying to pick up an instrument later in life such as having other commitments or having much higher expectations for ourselves, it can also help give us a deeper understanding of music and help us appreciate the work that goes into it more than we may have before. The hardest part of learning an instrument as an adult is taking the first step, but what exactly is that first step?
Finding The Right Teacher
While being self taught isn’t unusual and can definitely produce incredible results, finding the perfect teacher is something that can help you grasp musical concepts much quicker. It’s important that you find a teacher who is used to teaching adult students as well. This is important because not only do adults need someone who is able to understand that sometimes the learning of their instrument may have to fall further down the priority list, but they need to also be able to work with adults as they master playing. Unfortunately, adults tend to have a more difficult time mastering physical skills than children do. Children are often considered blank slates so it’s much easier to impart muscle memory training on them as they learn a piano or guitar. Adults on the other hand have years of being used to certain postures or hand forms that they have to work to try and forget as they learn their instrument. On top of that, older adults may have injuries or other ailments that have afflicted them which the teacher must be able to work with.
Use Skills You’ve Gained Throughout Life
Being an adult and learning an instrument for the first time is great because you’ve gone through a lifetime of experiences that can benefit you while you learn. The mind of an adult tends to be much more analytical than that of a child, meaning they think more about how they’re doing something and why they’re doing it. Adults are typically much more persistent as well due to having gone through the various challenges that life presents. This can transfer over to helping you learn to read sheet music, and while certain concepts might take you more time, you’re also likely to succeed and find great satisfaction out of that.
Be Sure To Set Reasonable Goals
When learning an instrument, make sure you set goals that will bring you joy and keep you motivated. It’s important that the goals you set for yourself are reasonable though. As an adult learning an instrument later in life, it’s likely you’ll never reach the skill level of some of the greatest players out there. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy learning and playing though. Perhaps you just want to make music with other people, or you’d like to be able to entertain your family at parties. Work towards those goals so you’re comfortable with your playing and can find satisfaction in the music you make.