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4 strategies to overcome the challenges of learning an instrument as an adult


With all the benefits of playing music, it’s easy to see why people want to learn later in life. When you’re young, the advantages are cosmetic, such as impressing potential love interests and showing off. However, as you get older, you want to decompress and find new ways to blow off steam, and playing an instrument is an ideal solution.

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Unfortunately, the older you are, the harder it is to pick up. Therefore, you must learn to overcome obstacles if you want to refrain from smashing your guitar against the wall! Here are four strategies to keep in mind.

Don’t compare

In the immortal words of Sinead O’Connor, nothing compares to you. This doesn’t mean you’re the best musician since Jimi Hendrix graced an electric Fender back in the 60s. Far from it. What it does mean is that it’s pointless to compare yourself against others. You’ll have high expectations, and you’ll need to manage them if you want to get from A to B and continue your musical journey. The healthiest way to do it is to understand that everyone moves at different speeds, yet you’ll reach your destination if you work hard and practice.

Think about the music you like

The music you like to play and the stuff you listen to aren’t always the same. You may not even enjoy playing and listening to the same songs. Lots of adults realise that they love the thought of being a rockstar, yet it’s unsuitable. Why is this an essential distinction? Firstly, it’ll stop you from becoming frustrated. Secondly, it’ll help you to pick a comfortable instrument. Many people don’t recognise how much it hurts to play the drums because they’ve never done it. For older ladies and gentlemen, the aches and pains of kicking a snare and smashing the hi-hats may be too much to bear!

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Find flexible lessons

Probably the biggest challenge for adults is to find the time to play and practice. Unlike kids, you have responsibilities that you can’t shirk, so it’s hard to fit learning an instrument into your busy schedule. Thankfully, teachers understand this and tailor their services to your requirements. LVL Music Academy offers flexible piano lessons for adults, whereas others have sessions for wannabe drummers, violinists, and cellists. The lessons you need are available, yet you must factor in your schedule before committing. Otherwise, you’ll pay for a service you can’t use properly, and it’ll be a waste.

Embrace your disposable income

As a rule, adults have extra money to spend on their hobbies as their earning power is bigger. Don’t be ashamed of this freedom – you earned it. If anything, you want to embrace the fact that you can invest in technologies that will speed up the tutoring process. Everything from a high-quality instrument to a tablet that highlights the chords is a smart purchase. Of course, if you prefer to keep the costs down, Wired has tonnes of free apps you can utilise!

Learning an instrument is never easy, but it’s doable with these savvy strategies.

Photograph by ignatsevichserg

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