“I used to take lessons…”
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do…”
“I just don’t have the time to practice…”
“I was never good at it…”
You might be an adult who has said something along these lines. We’ve definitely heard enough adults through the years say things like this. Many times, in between the lines, the sentiment is often the same, “I really want to take lessons again!” but a lot of other stuff keeps bubbling up and getting in the way.
We’re here to tell you, in the immortal words of Shia LaBeouf, “JUST DO IT!”
Let’s follow some of these most common trains of thought to see where they lead to, and if we can’t change course.
“I used to take lessons when I was younger.”
This might be the most common one we hear. Lots of parents had music lessons as a kid, and often, that is why they enroll their children in lessons. Interestingly, some parents get their kids started with lessons because of the experience they had as a child, while some parents start their children in spite of the experience they had themselves. Even if a parent had a less than stellar exposure to music as an adolescent, they can still appreciate the importance of lessons, and the impact it can have on their child’s life.
But here’s the thing – there isn’t one path to music lessons and music mastery. You don’t have to start at age 7 and work diligently for a decade or two before you can do something meaningful with an instrument. You can start lessons at 27. You can take a 27 year break. The piano, the guitar, they’ll still be there whenever you come back to it.
And when you do come back to it, it’s going to be a completely different experience. When you come back to lessons as an adult, you usually have a much better idea of music you want to learn, rather than your teacher spoonfeeding you every new piece. You might also be more open to the choices your teacher makes for you (even I, Miss Anna, was that stubborn little kid sometimes). Musical concepts you didn’t grasp as a child may come more easily to you now. You might be more interested in the fundamentals of music than you were back then. Where you may have learned more classical pieces as a child, you may be more interested in learning pop music or learning about improvisation or composition now (there’s definitely more of a trend to incorporate these things into lessons than there was 20 – 30 years ago).
The point is – regardless of the experience you had as a child, if the spark of interest in music is still there inside of you, we say go for it!
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do…”
Maybe you didn’t have lessons as a child. For many of the reasons we already listed above, adulthood is an absolutely opportune time to start with music! You’ve matured, you’re more disciplined, you know how to manage your time, you know what you do and don’t like, you’re able to commit to learning something new. You understand, better than a child usually can, the lasting, positive impact that music lessons can have on your life. You understand the importance of keeping an active mind as you mature and eventually move towards your senior years. You know how important it is to have a hobby, if nothing else than as a stress reliever.
Your teacher will understand all your reasons for starting music lessons, too, and, because you’re both adults, you’ll be able to clearly communicate your “whys” when it comes to music lessons. Adults are sometimes some of the best students to have because they know why they want to take lessons. When you’re clear on the “why” then everything else becomes a lot easier.
So if you want to take music lessons, what’s holding you back?
“I just don’t have the time to practice.”
I don’t even know you, but if you’ve ever thought this to yourself, I can tell you, with confidence, you’re probably wrong.
“But, Miss Anna,” you protest, “I have a job, and two kids and all their activities, and, and, and…”
But here’s the thing about practicing. You think you need to practice 30 minutes a day, every day. But most days, you just barely have 10 minutes, so what’s even the point? Well, as I say to my students young and old, 10 minutes is better than zero minutes, isn’t it?
In a perfect world, we’d all get to practice for an uninterrupted 30 minutes every day of the year (what a glorious world that would be!), but this sure isn’t a perfect world. You live in the real world, and we teach in the real world, and we teachers can work with you on your practice goals, developing good practice habits, and effective practice techniques that will make the most of the spare 5 or 10 minutes you can put into your practicing.
And here’s something interesting that often happens, with students of any age. If you can just make it to the piano bench, or pick up that guitar, that 10 minutes you think you just barely have in your day, very often magically becomes 20 or even 30 minutes. Think of all the times you are just going to very quickly check something on Facebook, and an hour later you’re still scrolling through pictures of puppers and doggos! That very same thing can happen to you if you just let yourself “check something on your instrument” for a few minutes. An hour later, you’ll still be there playing away!
If you’re afraid you won’t have the time to have a meaningful experience with music, then let us assure you, we can help you have a meaningful experience with music with whatever time you have to give to it.
Finally, the worst thing to hear from any student of music, of any age…
“I was never good at it.”
Well, hold your horses, and stop right there. Were you never good at music because you felt that way, or because some judgemental adult in your life made you feel that way? Natural talent helps a lot – in anything – but the naturally gifted musicians are not the only ones out there making music. The music world, just like any other area of life, whether it’s the arts, sports, business or politics, is full of people who are working with their natural talents and people who have had to work hard for every little skill they possess.
And anyway, you don’t have to be the next Arthur Rubenstein, Jimi Hendrix, Chick Corea, Renee Fleming, [insert famous musician here] to enjoy making music. If you want to be the next big thing in music, you can work hard at it – Pharrell Williams was 40 when his hit “Happy” debuted. And if all you want to do is be able to play some songs around a campfire or impress your friends at karaoke, those are important – and fulfilling – goals, too.
So if the thought that “you were never good at music” is the only thing holding you back, throw that idea right in the trash, and give it another try.
Taking lessons as an adult can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your lifetime. You will be happy you took the chance, and we will be happy to work with you. Head over to our New Student Signup Page to get started. We can’t wait to see you at the studio.