Learning to play an instrument can be a rewarding experience. Many people learn to play an instrument when they’re in elementary school, but it’s never too late to start. Studies show that playing an instrument can reduce stress, build confidence, and increase mental acuity. Whether you want to start a band, write your own music, or just play for fun, now’s a great time to start music lessons for adults. You don’t even have to leave your home to get started. Online music lessons are just as effective as music lessons in person. Here are some tips to get the most out of your adult music lessons.
Make Time to Practice
You won’t get the best results if you only play your instrument during your lessons. Regardless of the instrument you’re learning, you’ll have to dedicate time to practice in between sessions with a music teacher. Often times life can get in the way, but you don’t have to sit down and practice for hours on end to start seeing results. Even if you only play your instrument for 30 minutes a day, you’ll get the benefits of practicing.
Practice sessions don’t have to be completed all at once either. If you have some free time between your daily activities, consider sitting down and practicing for 15 or 20 minutes. You’ll find yourself having a lot more meaningful practice time by spacing it throughout your day. Even if you’re just sitting around watching TV, pick up your instrument and play some scales or do some exercises. As long as you’re playing your instrument, you’re making progress.
By practicing on your own time, you’ll get the more out of your music lessons for adults than if you didn’t. The only way to master a concept is to take the time to practice. Your teacher will be able to move on to new concepts and help you grow as a musician much faster.
Play Music You Enjoy
It can get boring playing music written for absolute beginners. There’s only so many ways to play Mary Had A Little Lamb before you want to give up music entirely. That’s why it’s important to play and practice music you actually want to hear. It’ll make practicing a lot more fun and engaging, and you’ll find yourself wanting to play your instrument more often.
Keep in mind that you can always ask your teacher for help when learning a piece of music that’s outside their regular curriculum. Your teacher can help arrange any piece of music into a form that’s appropriate for your skill level. This is true whether you’re having online music lessons or lessons in person.
You should try to branch out into different genres of music as well. This will keep your practice sessions interesting and fresh. It will also help you develop more skill with your instrument. Different genres focus on different aspects of musicality, so you’ll have to develop new techniques. This is a great way to challenge yourself while playing music you enjoy.
Focus On Basic Technique
When you first start playing your instrument, just holding it correctly might seem like a struggle. Don’t get discouraged, this is all part of the learning process. During your music lessons for adults, your teacher will start with foundational techniques for your instrument. It’s very important to apply these techniques to your playing, so you have a good basis to build your musical skills on.
Beyond developing a good playing style, proper technique will keep you from straining yourself while practicing. It’s common for beginners to adopt unnatural and tense postures when playing a new instrument. If these habits aren’t corrected, you’ll feel sore after you finish practicing. This could be even worse if you already have underlying health issues. Along with basic posture, pay close attention to hand positing. This applies to every kind of instrument. If your fingers and hands aren’t positioned correctly, it can keep you from developing the skills to play your instrument with ease.
Learning how to hold and play your instrument the correct way is essential to your growth as a musician. You’ll be setting yourself up to develop your skills faster and play for longer without getting tired. So pay attention to your teacher during your initial lessons. It’s much harder to unlearn a bad habit than it is to learn good techniques the first time around.
Instrument Selection and Maintenance
Although it might be tempting, getting an expensive instrument won’t make you play better. Understanding what instrument is correct for your budget and skill level is an important part of learning how to play music. Maintaining your instrument once you get it is just as important as buying one that fits your needs. A well maintained instrument is easier to play overall, has a better tone, and has a much longer useful life. Taking care of your instrument will also help you gain a greater appreciation for music overall.
Don’t be afraid to ask your music teacher for help when selecting an instrument. They’re there to help with more than just your technique. Your teacher has years of experience performing and teaching, so they’ll know the ins and outs of your instrument. They’ll also be able to recommend certain models or brands that might suit your playing style. Your teacher will also know the best ways to take care of your instrument. If you’re not comfortable performing general maintenance on your instrument , bring it to your teacher or a local music store and they’ll help.
If you don’t want to take the plunge on a new instrument, you can always rent an instrument. By renting, you get the benefits of using a high-quality instrument that’s been properly maintained. After you practice with a rental for a while, you’ll have a solid frame of reference for when you buy your own instrument.
Have Realistic Expectations
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and even musical geniuses have to practice. Don’t get discouraged if you aren’t improving by leaps and bounds every day. Learning to play music is a lifelong pursuit. It can take weeks, months, or even years to learn and master different techniques. A good rule of thumb is that it takes 10,000 hours to master something. That’s a lot of practice time. Once you have a realistic idea of how long it will take to see improvement, you’ll have a much better chance of improving.
It’s important to structure your practice sessions in a way you’ll enjoy, because the only way to get better is to practice. Your adult music teacher will guide you and offer as much help as possible, but it’s up to you to apply their lessons. Slowly and methodically building your musical techniques is the best way to get to the level of musicianship that you want. Most of the time, you don’t even notice when you improve. However, after a week or a month of practice, your progress will be obvious.
On the other hand, mastering your instrument might not be your end goal. Some people just want to learn an instrument for fun, so they can play a few songs with their friends at parties. Knowing your goals and limits is just as important as any other aspect of learning to play music. Music lessons for adults are meant to cater to your needs.
Schedule your free online introductory music lesson
Adam’s Music offers a free, half-hour introductory music lesson over video chat. If you’ve always wanted to pick up a new instrument, or brush up on your technique, now’s the perfect time! Contact us today to arrange a free online music lesson with one of our teachers.