Too old to learn to play an instrument?

Once upon a time I took a few guitar lessons. To be honest, I probably would have kept up with it had my guitar teacher not ran out prior to a lesson never to be seen again. Anyway, as wonderful as it would be to become a guitar yielding adult, I’m surely to old to learn? Well, apparently not! Read on to discover why it’s never too late to learn how to play an instrument.

Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?

Surely if you wanted to hone your musical talents, you’d have to have started learning an instrument when you were a kid, right? Well actually, wrong. Even though it’s tempting to think that these skills are ones you have to master from a young age, in fact it’s never too late to learn to play. So, if you’re looking for a new hobby, it could be time to get in tune with your musical side.

The science

It’s true that because they are growing new brain cells all the time, children are perfectly placed to pick up a host of new skills, including learning musical instruments. However, no matter your age, it’s possible to train your brain to cope with the demands of mastering an instrument. You just have to put in a little extra effort as an adult. If you still need to be convinced, check out the words of expert in the field Norman Weinberger, who is a neuroscientist at the University of California. On this issue, he said: “A lot of people believe the brain isn’t very plastic after puberty. In fact, the brain maintains its ability to change. Is it as easy to learn something when you’re 65 as it is at 5? No. But can it be done? Yes.”

Find the right instrument

If you’re to impress with your musical abilities though, you’ll need to find the right instrument. Those hours of practice won’t pay off unless you find something that you feel comfortable using and that you enjoy the style and sound of. Don’t panic if you’re not sure which instrument would suit you best. Specialist suppliers like Caswell’s Strings offer rental services that allow you to try different options before you actually buy them. This can help ensure you end up with the ideal instrument.

Make the time to practice

Lots of adults make the mistake of thinking that they’ll turn into virtuosos on the viola or prodigies on the piano within a few short months. In fact, it can take a lot longer to develop musical skills. The key is to be patient and to do plenty of practice. Unlike kids, who have parents to pressure them into putting in the time, you have to be able to motivate yourself. Ideally, you should set aside at least a little time most days to work on your skills. This is the only way to really progress.

The payoff

Although it might be a challenge at times, the payoffs of learning a musical instrument make the process well worthwhile. Music has been proven to release dopamine in reward areas of the brain and so it can be a great stress-buster. Also, music tests your brain and can help it to stay sharper and more active. Then there’s the fact that you’ll be able to impress your friends and family with your newfound musical skills.

So, don’t let your age put you off picking up an instrument. It really is never too late to master your musical abilities.

This is a guest post written for Little Babble by Caswell’s Strings.