Are you picking up a musical instrument as an adult but feeling a bit nervous about taking on such an endeavor? Whether you are considering learning how to play a new musical instrument or getting out that dusty guitar that you haven’t played in years, here are 5 tips to make the journey a little easier for you.
Remember Why You Are Doing It
If you played an instrument in the past, you may have felt pressured to do so at the time. Did you take piano lessons as a child? Did you spend years in marching band? You may have played due to parental pressure, peer pressure, or for a variety of other reasons. But why are you taking up that instrument now?
This time around, you are doing so because it is what you want to do: it is for your own purposes, no one else’s. Once you begin playing, you will remember how relaxing and how much fun it is to play that piano or strum along on that guitar. This time, it is your choice, so make the most of it. And along the way, you will rediscover the joy of playing.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Deciding to tackle a musical instrument as an adult takes dedication and time. You don’t need to take on marathon practice sessions. It is better to practice for shorter periods of time; it is even better to practice twice a day when possible. Making time to practice on a daily basis will create muscle memory that will make playing easier as you go along.
If you notice that your playing is beginning to get sloppy or disjointed, it may be time to put the instrument away and return to it tomorrow.
Keep It Fresh
Even though you may have a guitar case full of old songs you used to play, resist the temptation to pull them out. You may get frustrated if you try to tackle a piece that you used to be able to play with your eyes closed only to find that you can barely make it through the first few lines.
Instead, find something brand new to play. This will help you avoid frustration and will also create some excitement as you learn new songs.
Set some achievable goals. Maybe there is someplace local with an open mic night where you can perform in front of a friendly crowd. If you are relearning an instrument you used to play in band, try to join a community orchestra.
You will create a huge sense of accomplishment if you set reasonable goals and go about achieving them!
Conquer the Fear Factor
One thing that may be holding you back from taking up a musical instrument as an adult is fear. You may experience fear of failure, concerned that you just can’t be successful after so many years away from music. Remember, the satisfaction you will experience as you regain those playing skills is more than worth the mild anxiety you have in the beginning.
You are going to experience intense joy once you start picking out some songs. Take a chance: it will be worth it!