“That’s the hardest thing for adults who want to learn an instrument: carving out intentional time to work on it,” says Linda Weise, CEO of Colorado Springs Conservatory (CSC), which provides world-class performing arts programs, classes and camps for students of all ages. CSC offers midday piano classes as well as private lessons for adults.
“It’s definitely hard to stay on track with practice and staying committed,” Weise says. “But I see a lot of exciting things come out of it—primarily, the personal satisfaction at the idea of enriching yourself.”
Here are four ways learning a musical instrument as an adult will enhance and improve your life.
- It improves cognitive function and keeps your brain in shape
Learning a musical instrument is a fantastic way to flex your cognitive muscles and stay sharp. It has been proven to improve long-term memory and help you process multiple senses at once. A 2013 study found that adults with even a moderate amount of musical training had the fastest and sharpest responses to speech sounds.
- It can help you bond with your kids
If you have a child who’s learning an instrument, it can be a great way for you to bond over a shared experience.
CSC recently partnered with Citizen Soldier Connection to offer a variety of music classes to military members and their families—and Weise repeatedly sees how this brings parents closer to their kids.
“Just last week we had a mom call and thank us because her husband—who’s been deployed three or four times—and their son have been at odds with each other,” Weise says. “The mom said, ‘Now they come home after class and they’re playing guitar and working on harmonies. It’s something they’re doing together that’s creative and has had an incredibly positive impact on each of them and our family.’”
- It adds something fun and new to your routine
So many adults get stuck in a rut and, understandably, it’s hard to make time for new things.
“For many people, learning an instrument is about finding a new way to relax—not just going home and turning on TV,” Weise says. “It’s so nice to come home and practice piano and not just get on the couch and watch the news and only to be overwhelmed with all that is going on in the world. You can lose yourself for a period.”
- It provides a sense of pride and accomplishment
It’s difficult to make the commitment and find the time for practicing, but if you set goals for yourself, you’ll feel proud of what you’ve accomplished. Weise wishes more adults would be open to performing for each other so they can share what they’ve been working on, just like the younger students do each semester.
“If you know you have that goal—even if it makes you nervous—you become deliberate about setting aside time to practice and you learn to stay more focused along the way,” Weise says.
Founded in 1994, Colorado Springs Conservatory’s mission is to inspire, motivate and challenge all students to aspire to their highest potential as artists and as human beings through arts immersion studies and community arts advocacy participation. For more information, call (719) 577-4556 or visit ColoradoSpringsConservatory.org.
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