Is it too late to pick up a musical instrument when you’re on the other side of 30? Absolutely not, say Classic FM’s Alexander Armstrong, Lucy Coward and John Suchet.
It might seem like a daunting task, starting a musical instrument from scratch or picking one up that you haven’t touched in 20 years. But think of it this way: now you’re out of school (and your parents’ clutches), you are learning a musical instrument for YOU, and you alone.
Here are some tips to make those first few months of practice a bit less overwhelming.
1. Dedicate a small amount of time every day to practice
‘Little and often’ is a cliché, but when it comes to practice, it really works.
“Just make sure you keep at it,” says Alexander Armstrong, who took up the oboe again after a 25-year break. “Quite often, it’s what your muscles remember when you’re not playing that will help you.
“So, if you’re not getting it, just persevere. Put the instrument down, come back another day, and you’ll find you’ve cracked it.”
2. Find some new music to play
Although it might seem like a great idea to launch straight into Albinoni’s Oboe Concerto, which you absolutely nailed aged 17, you want your instrument to feel like a fresh and exciting new hobby.
“If it’s a slightly fresher approach, it won’t feel like you’re putting on a pair of old, wet swimming trunks. It will feel new and exciting,” says Alexander.
“So, don’t dig out the books you learned from first time round. Go online or to a good music shop, and find yourself a new book. Perhaps a beginner’s one, something you can whizz through.”