Your retirement years give you a lot more free time. Residents of LifeStream at Glendale can fill those hours with on-site activities, but some seniors also enjoy exploring new hobbies on their own. If you've never pursued your musical talents, it's not too late. Learn more about picking up a musical instrument later in life.
It's never too late to learn how to play a musical instrument. People of all ages learn new things all the time. Older adults might face a little more of a challenge if they're just starting with music. Cognitive decline can affect your memory, which means you might have to work a little harder to memorize notes.
You might also notice that physical limitations could affect playing an instrument. Limited mobility in your hands can make it difficult to move your fingers to play guitar chords or reach the keys of a piano. If you play a wind instrument, you might find it more challenging to blow enough air through it, especially if you have lung conditions that affect your breathing. But don't be discouraged — it's still possible to overcome those issues and play beautiful music.
Playing music is often thought of as just something fun to do. While you can get a lot of enjoyment out of it, you might find you gain other benefits as well. Some possible perks of playing an instrument later in life include:
Not sure where to start? These tips can help you if you're ready to learn or relearn a musical instrument.
If you're a former musician, go back to what you know. You might be rusty at first, but you'll likely recall how to play quickly. This can be an easier transition back into the musician's life. Once you get reacquainted with your former instrument, you might expand to other options.
New musicians might want to start with a simple instrument to make the new hobby more enjoyable. Everyone has a different idea of what's easy, but certain instruments are easier than others. Percussion instruments, like bongo drums and tambourines, are very forgiving and help you learn how to keep a beat. Elementary schools start kids off with recorders for a reason — they're good entry instruments anyone can play. Ukuleles, guitars and pianos can also be good starter options.
If you want to get started quickly, consider taking music lessons from a professional. They'll work with you one-on-one to help you improve your musical craft. Music stores often offer lessons for all ages. You might also check with local high school or college band teachers or college band majors, who might offer lessons on the side. You might even find a friend or fellow independent living neighbor who plays and doesn't mind teaching you.
A more relaxed and affordable way to learn is to teach yourself. Some people just pick up an instrument and start experimenting. If that's not your jam, go online to get support. You'll find a variety of YouTube videos with how-to guides on all types of instruments. You can also find smartphone apps that teach you how to play.
Don't wait until you're a pro to play for others. Putting together a little band in your independent living community can build fellowship and give you a way to socialize. You could also learn from other resident musicians who have more experience. Consider putting on a performance for other residents. If you have grandchildren in the area, buy them instruments and create a family band. It's a great way to bond with your grandkids and make great memories for everyone.
Learning something new takes time. Stick with your new musical hobby and practice a little each day to get better. Staying positive and celebrating the little victories as you learn an instrument can make the experience more rewarding. Playing musical instruments is a fun hobby no matter how skilled you are — even beginners can succeed, have fun and find pride in their playing.