Learning a musical instrument is possible at any age, being the health benefits for the new student enormous:

  • for the cognitive development that musical learning brings (whatever the age of the person)

  • for memory development

  • for socialization

  • for the goals and challenges it poses to people who often fail to have them at certain stages in their life

  • for the development of coordination and fine motor skills

“Contrary to what people believed, the critical periods (ideal periods to acquire new learning) are not so restricted (previously these periods were confined to our youth). Thus a world of possibilities appears for the many adults who harbor secret dreams ”…“ Exercising the brain helps to maintain it, preserving plasticity (the nervous system’s ability to learn new things), preventing degeneration and, literally, keeping the blood flowing . In addition to the potential benefits for our brains, there are benefits for our emotional well-being, too. There can be no better way to achieve lasting happiness – as opposed to mere fleeting pleasure – than to pursue a goal that helps us to broaden our horizons“. Gary Marcus in ‘Guitar Zero’

Gary Marcus in ‘Guitar Zero’

This quote is taken from the book ‘Guitar Zero’ by Gary Marcus, a book that describes in the first person, the experience lived by the professor of Psychology at New York University, who during a sabbatical year decided to satisfy a dream he had had for a long time: learn to play guitar seriously.

But there are multiple testimonies from people who learn to play late in their lives…

Remembering Musical Dreams in Middle Age
An inexplicable love for the cello resided in a remote corner of Cassandra Gordon’s head. One day, when she was attending a music lesson by one of her granddaughters, in her early childhood, in Brookline, Massachusetts, Cassandra noticed an ad in the school hall offering music lessons for adults. She decided to take action.
Mrs Gordon approached the clerk and she gave him a list of four teachers. She chose a name from the list, rented a cello and started taking lessons. This was 11 years ago. Currently, Mrs. Gordon, a 73-year-old travel writer and tour guide, still applies herself to the cello, studying 45 minutes a day, and this, despite the morning stiffness of her fingers, difficulties in memorizing notes, and with weaknesses in recognizing the subtlety of the rhythm. Carrying with a bulky instrument is also not that easy.
And it reached a remarkable level!
“Believe it or not, but I played with an orchestra,” said Mrs. Gordon, who lives in the south of Boston. “I played in a training quartet at the New England Conservatory and I attend a summer school every year. To say that I am intoxicated by this experience is the least I feel ”
Mrs. Gordon is a member of that tough group of amateur musicians, who choose an instrument in an earlier stage of life, defying the saying “Old donkey doesn’t learn languages”. While many return to the instrument after studying it as a child, wanting to play, but already free from an obligation imposed by their parents, another face the challenge in the cold. Without young brains, with their abundant neurons firing, and with a physique worn out by years of life, techniques are learned more slowly. The physical repetition of the exercise no longer gives the same performance.
But for those who endure, the rewards can be huge. Musicians in adulthood can find completely new and different social networks, a purpose and content in middle age and a channel for their previously nonexistent creativity. The feeling of personal fulfillment can be extremely powerful.
“It has been a wonderful trip,” says Cassandra. “I hope to continue playing later in life, as often as I can.” She adds, “I only wish I had started 30 years earlier.”
She also said that her children and granddaughter, now 12, are her biggest fans.
DANIEL J. WAKIN in ‘The New York Times’, 2012/02/29

Over the past 10 years, research in the field of developmental psychology has brought us important information. Here are some examples:

After more than 20 years of instrumental teaching of friction strings, PAUTA is synonymous with quality teaching. The knowledge we have accumulated in instrumental teaching using the Suzuki method, will be an extraordinary tool for the success of these courses. We have thus developed a curriculum containing an individual class and a group class, for adults only.

Learning an instrument is the beginning of a process that will accompany you throughout your life, as music, being a universal language, allows moments of sharing with children, grandchildren, new friends, in small groups, etc … let yourself be carried away by the music!