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Many people hesitate to learn to read sheet music and learn music in general because of their age. They think that only children can learn music and that it’s already too late to pick up an instrument.
When I first started learning piano as a young adult, I was insecure about my age too. I see other people my age started playing piano when they were 5 or 6. But now that I’ve been learning for four years, let me tell you why age doesn’t matter when learning music.
In fact, your age may be an advantage for learning to read sheet music and understanding its notations compared to younger people.
1. Learning to read sheet music isn’t as hard as you think
Reading sheet music is a skill that you develop through practicing and playing increasingly more difficult pieces. To be able to read complicated sheet music like Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata (considered one of the most challenging pieces to play), we all have to start by learning to read easy pieces like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
Luckily, the basic notations of sheet music are easy to learn and understand. You can learn the basics of reading sheet music in as little as a few weeks to a few months, depending on how often you practice. Once you grasp these concepts, you have a good foundation to continue learning and improving.
To understand where this number came from and how much time it takes to be proficient at reading sheet music, check out this article.
In fact, you can teach yourself the basics of reading sheet music! Check out this article to learn how to
Furthermore, sheet music is designed intuitively, using concepts you just learned as building blocks for learning new ideas. Once you understand the basics, you can learn additional notations when you see them in different sheet music.
2. Huge benefits to your lifestyle
If you’re still on the fence about learning to read sheet music, do it for the benefits it brings and the possibilities it opens for you.
Knowing how to read music allows you to play an instrument, sing in a choir, or compose your own music. Learning to read music can help you achieve your goals. Check out this article on how reading sheet music can improve your skills as a musician.
Music can provide a sense of enjoyment and self-expression that is hard to find in other areas of life. You can compose your own music to express your creativity or play an instrument to relax and kick back after a hard day of work or school.
3. More motivation for learning
Adults are more motivated because they actively want to learn music, whereas many parents force their children to take music lessons. You have a clear goal – learning to read sheet music – that you’re working towards.
This goal motivates you to practice every day, while it’s much harder for a child to sit down and practice for more than 30 minutes.
4. More disciplined at learning
Adults pay attention better than children. While a child may spend many sessions learning a concept because they are easily distracted, you can focus and learn the concept easily and quickly in minutes.
5. More knowledgable
One of the more challenging music topics for children to grasp is rhythm or timing, which needs simple math. Adults have an easier time understanding these because it’s easier for us to do math.
For example, concepts like time signatures tell us how many beats and what type of notes are in a measure, how one half note equals two quarter notes, and one quarter note equals two eighth notes.
Also, we’re more used to studying in general, so it’s easier for us to sit down, learn and understand the different notations of sheet music and how they work.
6. Learn at your own pace
One of the pluses of learning music as an adult is that you get to learn at your own pace. There are no music exams or deadlines, and no one is forcing you to get good quickly.
You’re learning to play leisurely. Thus you can be flexible in your schedule. You can open the music book and learn for 10 minutes after work every day or on the weekends. This way, you progress gradually at a rate that you can manage and are comfortable with without sacrificing other responsibilities in your life