Discover the Joys of Learning an Instrument Later in Life!

If you’ve caught the itch to make music, but never had lessons as a kid, or, if you quit lessons a long time ago, fear not!  Whether you’re 25 or 85 (or anywhere in between and beyond), our music studio guarantees that you ARE young enough to learn a musical instrument!  Sure, it’s daunting to think that most professional musicians started young and have had significantly more time to hone their skills, but it’s important to put your goals into perspective.  After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

In this article we’ll examine the benefits of taking music lessons as an adult and help you figure out the best path for you!


Music Improves Your Faculties

Learning a musical instrument is often viewed as a young person’s activity.  Akin to learning a foreign language, some people believe that if you don’t learn an instrument during the formative years, it’s useless to even try.  However, studies among 60-85 year old subjects show those who studied music showed gains in memory, verbal fluency, information processing speed, and planning and foresight.  Music helps to stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s, and improves your emotional well-being, overall brain health, and cognition.


Time Is On Your Side

While it may seem that too much time has passed (the phrase “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” comes to mind), change your perspective and use what you have to advance yourself.  While the adult brain isn’t as plastic as a younger mind, you have the self-awareness and experience as a student to know what works best for you.  Children may have an easier time learning and retaining new skills, but adults have the advantage in seeing the bigger picture and in impulse control.  Adults can process concepts more quickly —– especially more abstract ideas —– and can more easily synthesize information on a holistic level.  Given today’s longer lifespans, even if you start playing an instrument in your 40s or 50s, you can expect to have several decades to enjoy playing and improving your skills. The best years of your life are NOW! And with the International School of Music in Bethesda, it has never been easier to get started with music lessons, no matter where you’re at.


What Are You Afraid Of?

Sure, it’s scary to try something new —– there’s fear of failure, fear of success, fear of performing, and every other kind of self-criticism to deal with —– but that’s true of any new endeavor.  All you need is an encouraging teacher and an idea of what and how you want to learn.  There are no pressures or expectations, only those that you have set for yourself!  Whether you’re trying to master “Hot Crossed Buns” or make a buck or two for your side hustle or retirement, there’s no harm in trying!


Attitude vs. Ability

If you’re truly looking to improve, our music studio knows firsthand that your attitude could make or break  your progress.  Positivity is the key ingredient to success.  If you enjoy what you’re doing, remain hopeful and optimistic about your growth (even on the rough days), push your limits and try new things, you’re well on your way to making headway on your instrument!  You could have a lot of natural talent and ability, but since new things can be difficult and scary and out of your element, it’s important to keep your chin up to support your morale.


You Won’t Get In Trouble if You Don’t Practice

Although you should intend to spend at least 20 minutes each day with your instrument, you’re an adult.  Mommy and Daddy won’t yell at you if you miss a day, no one is holding lessons over your head, and no one is forcing you to go.  As the great Bobby Brown once said, “It’s my prerogative!”  Honestly, your music teacher will probably thank you for your candor and openness about your practice habits, as it will help to inform them how best to meet your needs.

That said, don’t abuse your powers and skip practice all together —– it’s necessary for improvement no matter how old you are!


Some Words of Advice…

  • Set aside at least 20 minutes a day to practice, or else you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment and to waste money.
  • Find some friends to play with and jam out!
  • Work with a teacher that best suits your musical goals and schedule.  Don’t settle for just okay —– find someone who you will look forward to seeing regularly, with whom you can connect, and who “gets” you.
  • Keep your instrument visible and ready to play (out of sight, out of mind)! Don’t hide it in the basement or under the bed —– get it out and get playing!
  • Like anything in life, learning a musical instrument is a fluid cycle of hard work, fun, frustration, and joy.  Put your best foot forward and dive in!

Interested in starting (or continuing) your musical journey?  Give us a call and set up your introductory lesson today! From piano lessons to voice, from drums to the harp, our music studio has it all! Call 301.365.5888 to begin.