Everyone understands that an early start in a child’s musical development is vital and stories of child prodigies abound, but childhood’s end doesn’t mean that hope is extinguished as well. It’s possible for adults to learn an instrument, maybe even mastered it, with a facility similar to their younger counterparts. Trained properly, even the most inexperienced adult can, childlike, flourish musically. The key is understanding the most effective educational process (self-teaching, tutored lessons, group instruction) for the individual in question.
Adult students struggle with specific issues, many of which stem from musical instruction early in life. An aspiring student of piano, for instance, might have to contend with early memories of intimidating teachers, seemingly-endless lessons, or toxic student-teacher dynamics. Those who don’t measure up often experience their instructor’s disdain, well those exhibiting exceptional promise are sometimes pushed to the point of burnout.
For adults seeking musical instruction, this can be a substantial obstacle to overcome. Respecting an instructor’s authority can be another potential roadblock for adult students. With adulthood comes independence; accustomed to autonomy, students often try to control the curriculum or make the mistake of trying to self-judge their progress. For some, paying close attention to their teacher and obeying instructions might be a challenge.
Self-study or an on-line course may be the best route for many. The Internet offers numerous top-notch places for piano instruction; simply searching “play piano” will provide many examples. While adult music instruction differs from that geared towards children, it’s not necessarily harder. Children find the world of music fantastical but adults will more likely be overwhelmed by their knowledge of the work that lies ahead. This negative mindset simply has to be reversed.
Plus, musical instruction while young coincides with normal development but, for adults, it’s often just one component of a greater overall dream (such as learning an instrument to join their local church worship team). Certain personality factors can also impact an adult’s attempt to learn music. No matter how sure of himself someone might be, facing one’s flaws is difficult. Such is the way when one is taught music.
Managing embarrassment when a mistake is corrected can be highly difficult for some; maintaining concentration and proper breath control can be tough, too. All of these aspects and more can contribute to create a precarious atmosphere for instruction.