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Show ALL Forums  > Art/Music  > Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?      Home login  
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 DenaliDadd
Joined: 11/20/2007
Msg: 1
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?Page 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
I'm 58 and have loved music of all kinds for my whole life. My mother was a classically trained pianist and opera singer and I used to be a pretty fair drummer as a kid (good enough to have gotten a scholarship to a very well-known music school in Boston; I preferred small combo jazz) but I never really learned to read music well enough and my Mom never "made" me take music lessons, so I have no formal training in any instrument, including drums.

So is it too late to start at my age?
 Malley
Joined: 5/12/2007
Msg: 2
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/16/2008 9:47:31 PM
The important question here OP is do you think you're too old ???
I see no reason why anyone, of any age, would let the number of years they've been on this earth become a barrier between them and what they wish to accomplish.
Better late than never
Don't put a limit on yourself !!!
Go for it
 The inferno of ambition
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 3
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/16/2008 10:25:52 PM
it's never too late . . . why not learn?

my suggestion though is to make sure (provided you go this route) is to find an EXCELLENT teacher . . .not a "good" one, not an "alright" one . . . an EXCELLENT one. they have to have the right attitude and mesh with you on top of knowing what they should be teaching inside and out
 nipoleon
Joined: 12/27/2005
Msg: 4
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Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/17/2008 2:33:46 AM
It's never too late to learn to play an instrument.
However, it may be too late to become very good at it.
Almost all concert artists started playing as young children.
 Boomstrike
Joined: 12/1/2007
Msg: 5
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/17/2008 2:53:36 AM
Your ability to learn anything at 58 is severely impaired compared to when you were 10. It's just going to take you a LOT longer. That may make it more rewarding when you do achieve some success.
 RSwindol
Joined: 8/25/2005
Msg: 6
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Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/17/2008 4:46:59 AM
I am a firm believer that one is never too old to learn. Some simply lose the desire to learn. But as long as you have the desire and determination, I think it's very possible.

Just out of curiosity, did you attend Berkley School of Music? I have always wanted to go there, but have never had the money to attend.
 DenaliDadd
Joined: 11/20/2007
Msg: 7
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/17/2008 5:31:58 AM

did you attend Berkley School of Music?

No, I only had a scholarship to the BERKLEE School of Music. That other "Berkley" is in California. And I wasn't allowed to attend because my father, a Harvard PhD, didn't want "any musicians in our family." Ouch. It took me decades to get over that--and there was no support from my mother, probably because they were of the generation where Father Knows Best...even if he didn't.

The reason I am considering all this--and I think all of you for reading and responding--is not to become a world-famous concert anything. I want to do it because I've wanted to for pretty much my whole life. However, I do know that as I age, my ability to grasp and remember diminishes, to say nothing of my coordination!

As for which instrument, well, I'm not sure. I have a cello prodigy son, a clarinet-playing daughter, and always thought having a piano over in the corner would be cool. So...who knows.

 Malley
Joined: 5/12/2007
Msg: 8
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/17/2008 9:26:44 AM
OP, you are 58 years old, hardly ready for the rocking chair just yet !!!

Grandma Moses aka Anna Mary Robertson was in her mid 70's and riddled with arthrits when she began to paint. She was close to 80 when she had her first exhibition, which btw brought her national recognition.

My point being, some of us are late bloomers. Even within the garden, they can be the most spectacular of all.

It has more to do with the want than anything else, and you have obviously been harbouring this desire since childhood.

Stop analyzing the should I's and can I's and just do it !!!

What is the worse possible thing that could happen ???

Whatever that may be, it will not be a bad as regret.
 guitarperson76
Joined: 2/24/2007
Msg: 9
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/17/2008 10:56:21 AM
Nope it is never too late to start playing music. Learning to play an instrument is very good for you...

If your family was musicians you shouldn't let it go, to have an ability to feel for music is a very nice gift. Use it before it's too late.

Not a lot of well known musicians have a vast knowledge of music. Some are self-taught and don't really know much about versus, chorus, nor any song structures yet they put out great music.
 RSwindol
Joined: 8/25/2005
Msg: 10
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Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/17/2008 11:55:00 AM

No, I only had a scholarship to the BERKLEE School of Music. That other "Berkley" is in California.

So true. My spell check keeps picking up "Berklee" as being misspelled. I guess I absentmindedly clicked the change button.

Well I auditioned there and was accepted, but didn't get any scholarship, so I was going to have to pay some $26,000 per year to attend. I guess it just wasn't in the cards.
 GentleMuse
Joined: 5/6/2006
Msg: 11
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/17/2008 7:01:12 PM
Of course it is not too late. I teach beginning piano to older adults. I find that they actually progress quite well because they WANT to take the lessons and learn. Many children are forced into learning by their parents and don't progress very well at all. Also, you are much better equipped with the capacity to understand musical concepts and the mathematics of timing than youngsters are. I say, go for it! In ten years, you will be 10 years older. In those 10 years, you can choose to hanker after music and NOT do anything about, OR you can take lessons for those 10 years and end up playing for your own pleasure. I know which I'd choose if I were you!
 Malley
Joined: 5/12/2007
Msg: 12
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/18/2008 4:18:37 AM
^^^^ VERY good points, SO true and well stated. Listen to this woman OP, she knows what she is talking about !!!
 DenaliDadd
Joined: 11/20/2007
Msg: 13
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/18/2008 9:31:08 AM
I teach beginning piano to older adults. I find that they actually progress quite well because they WANT to take the lessons and learn.

I wonder how far Bloomington, Illinois is from Dutton.

I have to say I probably wouldn't want to get back into drums. My muscles aren't what they used to be and neither are my ears--or neighbors! However, having a good-quality piano in my living room would please me. I remember years ago, when I was flying for a living, I used to carry a public television bigwiggette (a female bigwig!) around on fundraising trips. Very frequently, I would be invited to eat at some large auditorium with all the locals while speeches were made and we all ate the required mass meal of broiled chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans.

One night, I was alone in the auditorium before anybody arrived and I just sat down at the piano that was over against the wall and started playing chords. I have no idea what they were, but somehow I managed to put enough together to make a "tune" out of it. And the experience was relaxing and pleasing....especially when I turned around to the applause of 3 people who had come in while I was "playing."

Thank you one and all for your feedback. You have been helpful.

In a Gadda Da Vida, anyone?
 Mary Poppinz
Joined: 1/31/2008
Msg: 14
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/18/2008 9:47:01 AM
No,it's never too late to try something new.

If you want to learn how to play an instrument,then I say go for it!

Good luck.
 discoafternoon
Joined: 4/15/2007
Msg: 15
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/18/2008 6:26:53 PM

So is it too late to start at my age?


Why not just try? It can't hurt.
 Balsafer
Joined: 12/17/2007
Msg: 16
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/18/2008 7:26:21 PM
Nice story man ^^


I know I have a passion for drums because whatever song comes on the radio I try to keep the beat the best i can and I'm usually successful. I would so take drum lessons but at the moment I dont have a whole lot of time between work school and a social life, plus dont have the space for the drums right now lol
 2findU
Joined: 11/19/2005
Msg: 17
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Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/19/2008 9:02:24 AM
Well, on Mythbusters they proved you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, so I can't see why you can't learn to play an instrument too. And you already have the ability in your background anyway.
 im_literit
Joined: 11/7/2006
Msg: 18
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/19/2008 8:31:37 PM
I agree its too late to get "good". I made grade 13 in flute and quit for 15 years - can't play anything complicated now and what I can play sounds pretty bad. Still, if you can afford it and your neighbors are cool, get the piano - or a synth and go nuts.
 DenaliDadd
Joined: 11/20/2007
Msg: 19
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/21/2008 3:32:53 PM
Your friend just became my hero, my example, nedly.
 crimson7
Joined: 8/10/2007
Msg: 20
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/21/2008 9:20:27 PM
its never to late,and some of the best musicians in the world dont read music or have any formal training,my advice is get some drums and have fun!
 chloebug
Joined: 1/8/2007
Msg: 21
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/22/2008 2:31:37 PM
Of course it's not too late. You're never too old to learn. I have been teaching piano for about four years now. Most of my students have been older women...usually in their 60s and 70s. I've just recently started getting young students to teach. If you're wanting to learn something new, then go for it!! You've got nothing to lose!! Good luck!
 Fifi47
Joined: 8/19/2004
Msg: 22
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/23/2008 5:00:23 PM
Go For It! I am interested in learning to play the piano, I play by ear which frustrated me a lot when I took lessons as an adult a long time ago, maybe this time I can find a teacher who knows how to teach students who play by ear and can sing musical soundtracks but cannot read music.
 cougar99
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 23
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/23/2008 11:03:27 PM
It's never too late, and it can also be very therapeutic.
 theinnerdark
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 24
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/24/2008 9:47:38 AM
Never too old! I'm trying to learn how to play piano myself. Been playing guitar for ten years, but listening to Warren Zevon has utterly changed my musical direction.

Playing an instrument is awesome, and it's always worth it.
 Limestonefolkie
Joined: 11/13/2007
Msg: 25
Is it too late to learn to play an instrument?
Posted: 2/24/2008 2:54:24 PM
Hi Op ... I personally have been playing for years. Two of my close friends (both in they're late 40's) decided to learn to play instruments. Both have taken lessons and have within a year become quite accomplished musicians. My one friend is learning both the keyboard and guitar. The other is learning guitar and dobro. I must say that within a year of taking lessons and practicing they have both impressed me with they're determination. It has paid off. We are having some great jams now and we've even done some performing. So, yes, by all means go for it!! Never too late, if you have a love for something. In closing, ny Mother (70) has just informed me that she has started taking piano lessons. Never played before in her life. Best of luck!!
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