Tips for Adult Beginners

Many adults find a creative and spiritual inward-turn with middle age. This can be a time of embracing the joy of creative and performing arts, as well as a time of coming to terms with the experiences of our youth. Here are some ideas for a healthful mindset for the adult who is beginning music lessons.

  • Break the habit of judging yourself and others.
  • Focus on how you compare to yourself yesterday, not how you compare to others.
  • If you had failed lessons as a youth, it might have been the approach of the teacher, not you.
  • “Talent” is a descriptive word people use mistakenly.  They didn’t see the years of grit that went into the playing and are oblivious to that element. Replace the word talented with experienced or practiced.
  • Break the habit of negative self talk. Henry Ford said it well, “Whether you believe you can or you cannot, you will be right!”
  • Use positive affirmations every morning.
  • Studying music in adulthood is self-exploration, spirituality, and Play with a capital P!
  • Find someone to make music with. Someone special.
  • Read the experiences of other adults who are beginners. You can start here.
  • Replace the word “difficult” with the word “unfamiliar”.
  • Replace the word “can’t” with the word “won’t”.
  • Meditate daily.
  • There are no wrong notes in music-making, only possibilities.
  • Good” & “bad” are moral judgements, not artistic qualities. There is no room for these words in music.
  • Cultivate an honest, sincere, and authentic artistic self… not a phony imitation of someone else.
  • Set a time each day for playing and don’t let anything get in the way. That is your time!
  • Listen to all kinds of music from around the world.
  • Read biographies and watch documentaries about your favorite artists.
  • Cultivate & practice lovingkindness towards yourself & others.
  • Find a teacher who inspires you.