Music is an integral part of our lives. Imagine a movie without a score, a wedding without a harpist, or a ballgame without the National Anthem.
As a professionally trained clarinetist, I’ve made my living as a teacher and performer in the area for almost 30 years. I’ve always wished my parents hadn’t let me quit the piano. So, as my professional career began to wind down, I decided to learn another instrument.
Naturally, my daughter quickly grasped the technique. She practiced for 15 minutes, while I practiced for two hours, and, you guessed it, she played better than I did. Eventually, she discontinued her studies, but I’ve soldiered on. My brain adapted to the new paradigm, and I’ve managed to reach a level of proficiency that brings me hours of enjoyment.
Studies indicate learning a new skill later in life isn’t impossible, it’s just more challenging.
According to A. Scott Wood, Music Director of the Arlington Philharmonic, “Adults make wonderful music students: they bring organization, persistence, and humor to their studies. The hardest obstacle to overcome is that adults constantly compare themselves to the best musicians they have ever heard, and find themselves lacking. Focus on the fact that you are not a performer, you are a learner; you are also—most importantly—a musician from the very start.”
So, if you regret quitting your music lessons, find yourself a teacher and start on a new journey – it’s never too late!