Five beginner musical instruments perfect for older adults
Whether you dabbled in music your whole life, haven’t picked up an instrument since your high school band days or never played an instrument, learning to play a new musical instrument as an older adult is a fun and rewarding journey. However, there are some tips to keep in mind when selecting an instrument to set yourself up for success.
First, choose your instrument carefully. If you’re not interested in it from the start, odds are you will lose enthusiasm quickly and it will start to gather dust in the closet. Second, set realistic expectations for yourself. Everyone starts as a beginner and progresses at different speeds. Try not to compare yourself to others and feel discouraged. Lastly, enjoy the journey! Every musician has to play consistently to hone his or her skill. Learn to enjoy every milestone and you will always be successful.
Looking to pick up a new musical instrument, but don’t know where to start? We’ve rounded up five instruments that are simple and easy for seniors to learn.
Inexpensive, portable and played with nylon strings, the ukulele is a simple instrument to learn. Traditionally used in Hawaiian music, it’s gaining popularity in a variety of genres. Because the ukulele has two fewer strings than the guitar, musicians can pick up simple chords and begin playing songs in a few weeks. Once you have mastered the ukulele, try graduating to the guitar—you will already have the fundamental skills down!
There is something so soothing about the sound of a harmonica drifting from a front porch. Turns out, there’s not too much to it! You don’t need to know much to get started, and it’s so light and small that it’s easy to carry around and practice throughout the day. Lastly, there is no need to fear being off-key with the harmonica, which makes it a popular choice for musician beginners.
Because the notes are laid out in front of you, the piano can be an easier instrument to learn than others. Pianos are also incredibly popular and often displayed in a variety of public places, offering ample opportunities to practice and play for your friends and family. Bonus—the piano is great for keeping your mind sharp and strengthening your hands and fingers.
Light, affordable and a great introduction to wind instruments, the recorder is a convenient option for music novices. It can be enjoyed on its own or as part of an ensemble. Although it’s popular today for children, the recorder is one of the oldest instruments, dating back to the 14th century. Essentially a whistle, the recorder is a direct instrument, optimal for new learners.
The bongos are a great introduction to percussion instruments. Originating in Cuba, the bongos are two conjoined drums, usually played by hand while being held between the knees. Learn to play the bongos and you will introduce more soul and rhythm into your life.
At Holiday Retirement, we’re fans of music—both playing it and listening to it. Find a musically focused activity or event at a community near you or a loved one today!