It’s Never Too Late To Learn An Instrument

It is undeniable that young brains are predisposed to learn, which hastens the young musician’s path in learning to play a musical instrument. Yet neuroscientists and music teachers alike say it’s never too late — one can learn to play music at any age, albeit it may take a bit longer.

Neuroscientist Norman Weinberger, a pioneering researcher on the auditory system and the brain, explained that while an older brain will lose some plasticity, it maintains its ability to change. So while is it not as easy to learn something when you’re 65 as it is at 5, it can certainly be done.

While children are developing new synapses dedicated to playing music, adults must work with the brain cells they already have and create new connections, or synapses, between them. The brain scans of adult musicians show that there are several areas of the brain being activated.

The important take-away is that when learning to play music as an adult attitude — especially patience — is everything. Developing good practice habits is crucial since no one forces adults to practice. But adults have advantages, too. They can see and hear things in the music that completely escape children.

For many adults the fear of failure is a big issue since they don’t want to be seen as incompetent or struggling with a task, so to start with something we don’t do well is a real challenge. Still, for those who are willing to practice and settle for something less than virtuosity, there are significant benefits. Playing music is great mental exercise and can keep brain cells alive that would otherwise wither and die. And it’s fun.

It may be hard — and humbling — but playing music with someone you love or pursuing a lifelong goal can be infinitely rewarding.  The music teachers at Lafitte Music Center have extensive experience helping students of all ages learn to play well.

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While learning to play a musical instrument is not as easy for older adults, for those who are willing to practice there are significant benefits.  We offer a free trial lesson, with group music classes and private music lessons at our music center or online.  We provide music lessons to students of all ages and skill levels in Citrus Heights and surrounding areas, including Fair OaksOrangevaleRosevilleNorth Highlands, and Sacramento.