Never picked up an instrument before? Or tried to when you were ten years old and didn’t get very far? Or got decently far and have now forgotten everything? It turns out learning how to play an instrument as an adult is much easier than learning how to play one as a child. At Eagle Rock Music Studio, we work with adults all the time — they learn their instruments just fine, and you will, too. Here are the reasons why learning an instrument as an adult is easier than you would think.
You Have Listened to Music Your Whole Life
This is not to be underestimated. You have listened to countless hours of music, sponging it in from all directions even when you haven’t intentionally been meaning to do so. As a result, the forms and patterns present in music are much easier to wrap your head around — they seem more concrete.
Trying to explain the concept of a scale to a child can only be done by expressing it in abstract terms, since he or she is encountering it for the first time; understanding what a scale is comes much more naturally to adults, even if they are encountering the concept of a scale in a classroom setting for the first time, as well.
You Have Developed a Sense of Focus and Maturity
Kids have a ton of energy and must learn how to focus their attention on the task at hand. This is a large part of the process of teaching kids any subject, regardless as to whether it is English, math, or music. Kids also haven’t had as much experience mastering a craft (i.e., they don’t realize yet why exactly practice makes perfect), whereas adults, even if they don’t realize it, have spent years mastering basic aspects of life such as driving.
Often when kids learn an instrument, it’s because their parents want them to, or for some external reason. When an adult wants to learn an instrument, it’s entirely internally motivated, which always results in better retention and a quicker pace to learning.
Stress? What Stress?
Not only is there no stress involved when learning an instrument as an adult, but playing an instrument for fun actually relieves stress, too. As a child, learning an instrument is viewed as one of your responsibilities, while adults view their responsibilities as more, well, adult. Taking a quick break out of your day from the rigors of work and raising children of your own can result in some real enrichment and healing from external stressors.
Exercise Is Great Medicine
Not only is physical exercise good for you, but giving your brain a workout when you play your instrument can do wonders for you, too. Health experts frequently cite brain-training exercises such as playing an instrument to be key in helping keep dementia away and your mind active. And besides, it’s fun!