Curious about drum lessons, but worried you’re too old to get started? As it turns out, there are several benefits that even older adults can glean from learning how to play. Learn more in this guest post by Edmond, OK drum teacher Tracy D...
If you are considering learning to drum as an adult, you may have a few questions, among which might be, “Will I be any good?”, “Am I too old?”, or “Is it too late?” Perhaps you’ve heard that one can only attain proficiency at an instrument if he or she learns as a child. If that’s the case, I have some good news! In fact, there are many benefits to be had in learning to drum — no matter what your age. Let’s take a closer look:
The physical aspect
The drum set is a very kinetic instrument, as it requires the use of your whole body. Regular, dedicated play helps improve your coordination, because you use your limbs in differing combinations to make music. It is also beneficial to your sense of balance, because you must be well-anchored to play with power and ease (which is especially true if you make vigorous use of both feet; I cannot recommend that highly enough). The integration of these factors creates a pretty good core workout, and you are building a skill as well. How cool is that?
The intellectual aspect
Did you know that your brain’s neuroplasticity stays intact throughout your whole life? This means that your mind, with active engagement, will continue to grow, learn, and retain new information. Numerous studies have shown that learning new skills helps keep your mind sharp as you age. Other studies have shown that musicians have increased volume in several areas of the brain. If you learn to read music, you also interpret and reproduce the notes that you see, which is a great integrative exercise for the mind and body. The potential for exploration is virtually infinite. As you work out and assimilate progressively advanced concepts, you will find that it becomes even easier to learn new material, which is gratifying indeed!
The spiritual and emotional aspects
One of the most important aspects of playing music is the sheer enjoyment! Playing is such an effective stress reliever, and the higher the level of facility you achieve, the more expression you can pour into your playing. It truly incorporates spirit, soul, and body, and there is nothing quite like it.
In addition, if you already play an instrument, learning to drum will solidify and strengthen your rhythmic sense — and you can bring your melodic knowledge to bear on the kit, as it lends itself quite beautifully. You will also gain a more informed enjoyment of your favorite music through the sharpening of your listening skills. There is also income potential, if you wish to gig or teach.
In sum, if you truly fall in love with this instrument, you will discover numerous treasures along this most rewarding journey, and you will reap tangible benefits all the while. It’s never too late to unearth your passion. I should know. I didn’t pick up a pair of sticks until I was almost 30, and I went on to get a music degree. Enjoy!
Tracy D. teaches percussion and drum lesson in Edmond, OK, as well as online. She has been playing the drums various bands for more than 13 years, and has also played intermittently with the OKC Community Orchestra for the past five years. Learn more about Tracy here!
Photo by Erich