learn to play an instrument

Yes, Adults Can Learn to Play an Instrument

Are you reflecting on your younger years and wishing you had learned how to play an instrument?

Playing an instrument is beneficial for every musician.

Engaging with music can positively influence your neurology. What’s more, it can quickly become a hobby you can take anywhere.

But you may be feeling as if the time to learn an instrument has passed. Isn’t it better to learn when you’re young?

Actually, anyone can learn to play an instrument, no matter their age. As an adult, you can become a musician today.

In this post we’ll talk about how and why!

1. Learning is Lifelong

This goes back to the old adage that you “can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

There’s a reason why this adage has been passed down from generation to generation, but it’s not because it’s true.

In fact, many people cite this adage in order to prove it wrong!

Certainly, infants, toddlers, kids, and young adults take in information at a rapid rate. This is because their brains are still developing.

In many ways, being young means being a learner. Biologically, it’s just the way a human life works. But this doesn’t mean that learning has to stop at a certain age.

Your brain may stop developing at a certain point in time–around age 25 or 26–but this doesn’t mean your learning capacities are suddenly shorted.

Yes, some people will argue that it may be easier as a child to learn something new because the brain is so adapted to acquiring fresh information.

And, true, as an adult you’ve got a job, a life, and maybe even a family to focus on. You may be a little rusty when it comes to the whole “learning” thing.

But there’s no evidence to support the fact that your capacity to learn to play an instrument diminishes as you grow older.

2. Your Brain Loves Music

People have been researching for decades how simply listening to music can impact your brain.

In general, studies show that music has a powerful influence over how we feel and how our neurons fire. What’s more, playing music can light up all parts of your brain.

It can access the areas where you store memory in your brain and even engage centers related to abstract notions of perception and cognition.

Listening to music regularly can actually feed your brain. It won’t make you smarter, but it can access emotional and logical control centers and influence how you operate.

When you learn to play an instrument, you give yourself a valuable form of brain food. You can exercise key parts of your brain that may get rusty over time.

In this sense, adults who learn to play an instrument benefit all the more from it. Instead of developing new senses, they are actually honing existing ones.

3. Playing an Instrument Can Be Intuitive

A lot of adults worry that without the natural hungry mind of a child, they won’t be able to play music naturally.

They may feel that it won’t come easily and that they’ll seem like an amateur.

For one thing, learning how to do anything always involves being an amateur of some kind.

For another, playing an instrument can be intuitive.

Just think about it. You’ve likely spent at least two decades of your life listening to music in some way.

Music surrounds us. We all have a relationship with it, even if it is a small one.

Having listened to a variety of music over such a long time means that you have already trained your “listening ear.”

You may have an entire intuition for learning and playing music inside of you–and you may not even be aware of it!

As an adult, you’re arriving at your first music lesson with more intuition and knowledge of music than the average child.

4. You’ve Acquired Lots of Life Skills

Children are constantly developing their social and life skills. They spend years figuring out how to navigate relationships, acquire knowledge, and focus on their passions.

You have the luxury of already having gone through that.

You’re coming to the table with a host of practical life skills that can prime you for success when you learn to play an instrument.

For example, as an adult, you’ve likely developed some foundation of discipline or work ethic. You may also be highly meticulous, a good leader, and excellent at organizing things.

All of these skills are essential when it comes to learning how to play an instrument.

You’ll likely have more dedication when it comes to developing your musical skills than the typical teenager.

What’s more, your desire to learn to play an instrument is genuine. No one’s standing over your shoulder counting your scales as you strum your Adirondack guitar.

As adults, when we desire to do something ourselves, we’re far more likely to succeed.

5. You Can Grasp the Nebulous

Last but not least, as an adult, you are able to comprehend the abstract.

Music is all about the abstract. Even when you’re discussing chords and music theory, you’re essentially discussing the intangible.

Music theory can be tough for younger minds. Truly grasping nebulous concepts is also a higher-level skill that requires life experience and often a college degree.

With your ability to understand nebulous concepts, you’ll be able to approach music more easily.

You may be able to develop subtleties in your style and grasp complex maneuvers.

You may even be surprised at where this ability takes you!

Why You Can Learn to Play an Instrument As an Adult

As an adult, you may feel that you’re limited in the hobbies that you can pursue. You may feel that you’re simply too far into life to learn how to play an instrument.

Nothing could be further from the truth. At your stage in life, you can approach music with more honed skills than an average young musician.

For example, you can apply dedication and motivation to your practice. You will be able to grasp difficult concepts and practice what you’ve learned.

At the end of the day, you’ve been a musician for longer than you realize. Why not put it into practice today?

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