Learning an instrument at any age can be a rewarding experience. However, it does come with some challenges. Like anything, if you want to do it well, practice is vital. Some of us are more musically inclined than others.
Learning isn’t just fun; there are lots of benefits to it too, including:
- Boosts creativity
- Improves memory
- Encourages patience and understanding
- Reduces stress
- Develops social skills
So if you’re looking to take up a new instrument, where do you start? Take a look at these handy tips to take the next step:
Set a Realistic Goal
Unless you’ve got some unknown musical talents, you’re not going to be able to play something well on your first try. Not having patience, in the beginning, is why many people fall at the first hurdle. Also setting realistic goals is another issue. An essential part of learning something new is knowing what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it. We know nothing happens overnight, but looking at short and long term goals is essential to make progress. You may want to master a particular song or get to the position to take an exam. Whatever the objective, start small and adjust the goals to make it more achievable.
Start with Something Simple
There’s no point in starting with something challenging because this can lead to giving up quickly when you don’t master it. Choose a piece of music that is manageable and learn slowly to get the basics down.
Get Comfortable with Your Instrument
Everyone has a way of playing their instrument, and it should be set up for how you feel comfortable playing it. However, that doesn’t mean you need to fork out for an expensive new piece of kit to get started. Getting a feel for it often means you can buy something secondhand to give you more confidence. There is a range of instruments available from used saxophones to drum kits that are perfect for a beginner.
Join a Music Club
Learning in solitude works when you’re trying to get the basics right. However, some people learn well in a group situation. Playing with others gives you a chance for peer-to-peer feedback and offers you the experience of hearing what everything sounds like together. Getting to know others and joining an orchestra can also widen your skillset, and provides opportunities to play to others in a public setting.
The more you practice, the better you’ll get. Music teachers probably say this, hundreds of times, and it’s true. Learning an instrument rarely comes easy, and to become well versed in it, you need to keep practicing to improve your skills and memory. During this process it is a good idea to show others what you have learned and get feedback objectively. There may be elements in the piece that are shaky or still need work, so others will be able to give constructive criticism to help you perfect the piece.