Think it’s too late for you to learn how to sing? Here, Hayward, CA teacher Molly R. explains why it’s actually a fantastic time to start up lessons–as well as some helpful singing tips for making the most of them…
“I’m 70. Is it too late for me to learn how to sing?”
As a voice teacher, I get inquiries from singers of all walks of life. It’s actually pretty surprising to me that more people think it’s normal for a 3-year-old (!) to take private voice lessons, yet it’s completely out of the question for someone 60 or older.
Many older people may find themselves retired and looking for a new hobby, so singing lessons are a wonderful choice. One 72-year-old gentleman I work with is excited to finally have this time for himself, and has even joined a community chorus! Another senior lady tells me she loves her lessons because she gets a chance to revisit the songs she loved while growing up–including many by the “great crooners.”
Are you an older adult thinking of taking voice lessons? Good for you! Know that you are definitely NOT “too old” to sing. Here are some helpful singing tips for older vocalists:
– Keep a positive attitude, no matter what anyone else may say. There are plenty of super seniors out there who are still singing! Look at musicians like Sir Paul McCartney, Shirley Bassey, and Dolly Parton, to name but a few. They clearly love what they do! If you enjoy the process of creating music, that is really all that matters.
– Consider taking regular weekly lessons, even if you don’t have performance aspirations. Why? It’s good for your whole body! Singing has been proven to fight depression, and even assists with certain ailments, like high blood pressure and asthma.
– Work with your teacher in finding the repertoire that is right for you NOW. Your voice may not be as strong as it was in your youth–but what is? All muscles lose some elasticity as we age, but please don’t let that hold you back. Men may find that their voices are higher, and women may find that their voices are now considerably lower, due to drastic changes in hormones. Embrace the changes. There is plenty of compelling music for you to sing!
– Take it easy on yourself, as far as practicing goes. Since you are doing this for your own personal enrichment, you don’t need to worry about daily practice sessions. And if you can’t commit to weekly lessons, you can easily make progress even if you attend two lessons a month, and vocalize three to four times a week.
– Consider using your voice as a way to make friends, and even perform! Many older people may find themselves bored and a little lonely. A few of my older students have made community choruses a part of their lives, now that they finally have the time to pursue more of their passions. Some are even trying karaoke nights for the very first time! As a older adult, you have had more life experience, and that alone will make your performances that much more compelling. Isn’t that what great singing is about, anyway?
Molly R. teaches online and in-person singing lessons in Hayward, CA. Her specialties include teaching beginner vocalists, shy singers, children, teens, lapsed singers, and older beginners. She joined TakeLessons in November 2013. Learn more about Molly here!