Learning a musical instrument in later life comes with several benefits. Playing music–even just the basics–is a good stress reliever. It also keeps the brain active and maintains cognitive and sensory-motor skills. It improves memory and concentration and develops or improves fine motor skills such as finger movements.
In addition, learning a new chord or song, or being able to play for your friends and loved ones, can give you an uplifting sense of accomplishment that would certainly give your confidence a boost and motivate you to keep on learning and practicing.
If you need help deciding which musical instrument to learn, here’s a list of the most recommended senior-friendly and fun instruments you can get started on.
There’s a reason why the piano and keyboard have always been one of the most recommended first instruments: they give learners a solid foundation in music theory. When you learn to play piano, you also get to learn about the relationship between notes, chords and scales. It paves the way for learning how to play other instruments.
You can also consider playing a keyboard, which replicates the sound and feel of a real upright or grand piano but in a more compact form.
It’s small, portable, lightweight, affordable, and gives off a lovely, cheerful sound even if you really don’t know any ukulele chords yet. The uke is a good choice if you find playing a guitar overwhelming as they are great for beginners.
Plus, many of the fundamentals you learn while playing the ukulele can be applied to guitar learning as well, so if you also want to try the guitar, you won’t be starting from scratch.
Perhaps you’ve tried learning guitar when you were younger, or at least held one in your hands. It’s one of the most popular musical instruments around, and for a lot of good reasons: it’s accessible, comes in different sizes, and there’s a broad range of music you can play using it.
The guitar is easy to learn too, and you can play several songs already with just three chords.
If keeping a beat is something that comes naturally to you, then you’ll find it easy yet satisfying to learn percussion instruments like the bongos or drums. The bongos are more portable than a drum set and not as loud, so they’re a good option for those who want to learn rhythmic playing without making a lot of noise.
If you’re a fan of country, folk or blues music, you’ll feel a deeper connection with it when you learn to play the harmonica. It fits easily into a pocket and doesn’t require a lot of effort to play once you get the hang of it.
Playing the harmonica is also a good workout for those with limited lung capacity, as it requires you to inhale and exhale deeply. This deep breathing strengthens the body’s diaphragm, allowing players to breathe deeper and easier to get more oxygen into their bodies.
Learning to play an instrument is a worthwhile endeavor for seniors. Whichever instrument you choose, we’re sure you’ll take pride in your musical accomplishments, however small you may think they are. Remember that making music is something that should be fun, stress-free, and uplifting for you.
You may not be able to play music as perfectly as those who started when they were a lot younger, but patience, along with regular practice, goes a long way to helping you become the most inspiring musician you can be. Happy playing!
Do you play a musical instrument? Which one and how old were you when you learned? Please leave a comment below.