Violin Lessons

Is Learning an Instrument as an Adult a Good Idea?

Have you been told that your fingers lack the dexterity required to learn an instrument? Or that the human brain captures information more slowly as it ages, making it difficult for adult learners to remember concepts?

These are just some of the many misconceptions about learning a musical instrument, particularly regarding adult students. Many people believe that learning music is for kids and young adults, so they ultimately give up on their dreams. But this couldn't be further from the truth. 

Everyone, regardless of age, can learn a musical instrument with expert instruction. So join us as we debunk the myths surrounding older adults and music and discuss why learning music as an adult is advantageous. 

Common myths about learning an instrument as an adult

We've heard it all — from “it's too hard to be an adult beginner because of stiff hands” to “adults can't learn new skills because their cognitive functions are already set.” Here, we look at some of the most common myths that discourage older adults from learning to play an instrument.

"It's too late to start."

When precisely is the right age to start violin lessons, piano classes, or music theory courses? 

Many people assume that the best time to learn a new instrument or take up music education is when you're a grade-schooler, adolescent, or young adult. And while learning when you’re young has its advantages, there’s no reason you can’t start later in life.

Is it easier to learn an instrument when you're ten than when you're 70? Sure. Does this mean learning a new instrument at 70 is impossible? Definitely not. 

There's no age limit to learning an instrument because the human brain is a highly adaptive organ that can form neuroconnections throughout one's life. With interest and motivation, you can take up music education at any age. 

Skeptical? A quick look at our Student Stories will show you there's no right age for music learning. We have beginners in their 50s and 60s who are debunking the age myth every day. 

"Adults learn too slowly."

There's a misconception that the human brain becomes fixed and can't take in more information in adulthood. However, that's all it is — a misconception. Brain plasticity is ongoing throughout one's life. This means your brain never stops changing. And with that change comes the ability to continuously learn new things, including music. 

While it's true that children's brains are more adaptable, adults have certain benefits over kids. They often focus better, are more disciplined, and are more motivated by their life experiences. 

This promotes more efficient learning and can help you progress faster in some aspects of music education. For example, you can interpret the emotional depth of musical performances better than kids by borrowing from your life experiences. 

"You need a musical background."

Contrary to common belief, you don't need to have any experience with music to learn a new instrument in adulthood. You can pick up a violin for the first time in your 30s and still learn to play — you just need commitment, passion, and interest. These are far more important qualities than any prior experience. 

However, just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean that you get to skip the basics. Make sure you start your music education by learning the foundational skills and build them over time to progress in your learning journey. 

If you're learning violin, for example, you should start with learning proper posture and violin and bow holds before trying to master finger speed. 

Why you should consider learning an instrument at any age

There are numerous reasons to learn an instrument as an adult — or as a child! Here's why you should chase your dream to master a new instrument, regardless of your age.

Cognitive function and mental health

Research has linked music to various cognitive and mental health benefits. A study into the effects of musical training on older adults found that as little as 10 weeks of musical training can improve verbal memory. This allows adults to retain and remember information quickly. 

Another study into the impact of music found that learning piano can boost the verbal fluency, working memory, and processing speed of adults in the 60 to 80 age range. 

Kids, too, can benefit from learning a new instrument. Music lessons boost activity in the areas of the brain in charge of executive functioning. This results in better memory, focus, problem-solving, and time management. 

Taking up an instrument also offers mental health benefits, such as reduced stress and increased happiness, for learners of all ages. It's never too early or too late to learn a new instrument. 

Social connections

When you enroll in music lessons, you may have access to group classes, performances, or online communities dedicated to supporting your growth. 

Performing or learning with others presents opportunities to make social connections. It's easier to form these bonds, as you already have a shared interest in music, which creates a sense of belonging and purpose. 

Whether you're looking for ways to make new friends, meet new people, or improve your social skills, music lessons are the perfect option. You get to achieve all that while acquiring a new skill. 

Personal growth

Beyond social benefits, there are tremendous personal benefits to instrument learning. An undeniable sense of satisfaction comes with learning a new skill, overcoming challenges, and witnessing one's own progress. Learning an instrument can be a journey of personal development, self-discovery, and resilience.

How Trala can help adults learn new instruments

If you’re considering online music lessons for adults, then you’re already on the right path. But how do you choose the right learning platform with so many choices available today? The key lies in finding a platform that caters to all ages — like Trala. 

Tailored learning paths for adults

Unfortunately, traditional music education methods are built to cater to the needs of child learners. The Trala Method is different. 

Trala offers customizable music instruction to meet the needs of adult students. You don't have to worry about learning music from books made for children, dealing with a rigid schedule, or rushing through your music lessons to keep up with other students. 

Trala’s expert instructors personalize instruction based on learners' goals and skill levels. Plus, you have full control over your schedule, so you can fit lessons into your busy lifestyle. This can boost learning motivation and make integrating music into your daily life easier. 

Supportive online community

Support from a like-minded community can help you progress in your musical journey. Trala offers support through world-class instructors who provide regular feedback, supplementary resources like the Trala app, and tools to connect with other students. 

You can join the Trala Discord family to meet other music enthusiasts, ask questions, and seek motivation from the platform's diverse community of learners. 

Progress tracking and achievable milestones

Keeping track of all your milestones can be a confidence booster and motivate you to continuously improve your music skills. 

Trala recognizes how important goal-setting and progress tracking is for the learning process. Your instructor will work with you to set realistic, achievable goals based on your skill level and recognize each milestone reached to keep you motivated. 

No matter your age, begin your musical journey with Trala

Wondering whether it’s too late to pick up a new instrument? No matter what your age, the answer is always no. It's never too late to gain a new skill. With a reliable music education platform, passion, and a commitment to learning, you can master whichever instrument you put your mind to.

Trala is a top choice for adult beginners because the platform prioritizes adults' needs. When you enroll in Trala classes, you'll work with world-class music teachers who can help you gain foundational and technical skills. They’ll guide you on integrating music into your daily life for personal, cognitive, and social well-being. 

Ready to take the leap and begin your musical journey? Start with Trala today!

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