Many people who visit Expressions are both surprised and delighted to learn that we offer lessons to adults. While it is true that Expressions has a large number of adolescent students, we also have a steadily growing number of adult students with a wide range of goals, ability levels, and experience. We are committed to making every single person who walks through the door feel welcome in our community, and we recognize that having greater diversity provides a richer and more fulfilling experience for our student body as a whole. Whether you played when you were younger and want to pick up your instrument again or you’re a complete beginner, Expressions is the perfect place to foster your musical interest!
Some common reasons are because they:
∇ Played when they were younger and want to pick their instrument back up
∇ Never took lessons but always wanted to learn!
∇ Want to learn about music theory and how to write music
∇ Want to learn or improve skills so they can play in a band, orchestra, or other ensembles
∇ Want to learn how to play their favorite songs
∇ Want a new, fun hobby
“THE HALF HOUR I SPEND IN MY CELLO LESSON EACH WEEK IS MY LITTLE ESCAPE FROM THE WORLD. FOR 30 MINUTES I CAN FORGET ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE AND JUST CONCENTRATE ON MAKING BEAUTIFUL MUSIC. IT’S MY FAVORITE STRESS RELIEVER.” –STEFANIE
If you’re wondering if you are too old to start taking lessons, you are not alone!
In fact, that is one of the most common questions we get from interested adults. And it is also one of the greatest myths! Even if you are a complete beginner and have never touched an instrument in your life, it is not too late to learn! While there are differences in the ways that children and adults learn new skills and retain information, this can actually work to your advantage. Here are some of the many reasons why it can actually be easier to learn an instrument as an adult:
On the most basic level, one key thing adult beginners have going for them is that they have made the distinct and conscious choice to learn their instrument. Having a genuine interest in learning how to play an instrument makes the process of learning not only more enjoyable for adult students, but also easier and more effective!
Because adults have more life experiences and greater emotional maturity, they are able to connect to the music they’re learning on a much deeper level. This connectedness leads to more expressive, dynamic harrispianoperformances of the music.
While children may get bored or distracted when trying to focus on one task for too long, adults are typically able to concentrate better for extended periods of time. Because adults have experienced the benefits of hard work and focus, they are more willing to repeat a task until they have mastered it and learned a new skill. This comes in handy both in the lesson room and while practicing at home!
Typically, it is much easier for adult students to understand more complex technical concepts, such as music theory. While children may listen to a piece of music and be able to determine whether or not they like it and even whether they connect to it emotionally, adults are more apt to pick up on the patterns and form of the music, which makes for a more interesting performance.
“My only inhibition [when considering taking lessons] was to find a school or instructor that wouldn’t discourage me because of my age. I found the people at Expressions are embracing of all ages.” –Faye
Do Our Teachers Mind Teaching Adults?
Some adults worry that their teacher doesn’t enjoy teaching adult students or finds it to be a hassle. This is not true at all! In fact, our teachers love teaching adult students! Not only do the lessons tend to be more relaxed, but our teachers also appreciate sharing a more sophisticated relationship with their adult students. All of our teachers are incredibly focused on helping their students reach their goals, whatever those may be, and do not believe that any one goal is more important than another.
∇ Relieves stress and reverses physical damage caused by stress
∇ Improves mood and makes you happy
∇ Keeps your mind sharp and active
∇ Helps improve professional and personal discipline
∇ Staves off memory loss
∇ Increases motor skills
∇ Offsets the deterioration of speech and hearing skills
∇ Boosts confidence and self-esteem
∇ Creates opportunities to find and build community through playing in ensembles, bands, or orchestras
Another common concern prospective adult students express is whether they will be able to fit lessons into their busy schedule. Even if they can fit in 30 minutes each week for a lesson, they worry that they won’t have enough time outside of the lesson to practice and will disappoint their teacher. While this is an understandable concern, there is no need to worry! Because our teachers expect adult students to be busy, they tend to be much more flexible with them and are happy to brainstorm creative ways to fit in practice time each week. Even if you only have 5 minutes to dedicate to practicing each day, your teacher can still make a plan that works for both of you! And if it turns out that you are unable to meet your practice plan, your teacher will understand and still be able to conduct a fun, productive, and interesting lesson.
“I love coming from a lesson where my teacher helps me master some portion of a song that I had difficulty with during practice. It feels great! And, I know I am so much further ahead by taking lessons than I ever would have been trying to teach myself.” – Marcy
In addition to having a supportive teaching staff, there are many other ways Expressions is set up to make it easy for busy adults to take lessons:
Front Desk Staff
Each of our locations is run by a team of competent individuals who are there to make your lives (and the lives of our teachers) much easier! We take care of all the logistical details involved in your lesson-taking experience, which include scheduling lessons, planning and running recitals, answering your questions through email, phone, or in person, and maintaining many systems behind the scenes.
To account for conflicts that arise, we offer unlimited private make-up lessons as long as you provide 24-hour notice of your lesson cancellation. You may schedule your make-up lesson with your instructor or even with a different instructor or instrument if you feel like experimenting! Signing up for make-up lessons is super easy and can be done through the Expressions app.
Often, students go on extended vacations during the summer or have another conflict during the year (such as traveling for work) that causes them to miss multiple lessons consecutively. Fortunately, Expressions has an incredibly flexible lesson hold policy that allows you to hold your lesson slot for as few as 3 or as many as 12 weeks. The cost is only $5 per week, and holding your lesson slot guarantees that you will have the exact same time (and, more importantly, the same teacher!) when you return to lessons.