With the end of the year upon us, it is time for new year’s resolutions. What do you want to do to better yourself in 2015? Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) asks, why not take up a musical instrument, and let us help?

Most everyone has wanted to play an instrument at some point in his or her life. Some used to play. Others never even started but have always thought it would be fun to be able to step up to the piano or pick up an instrument and play a little tune. Those opportunities are not lost. Music lessons are not just for future rock stars or concert hall pianists, and they are not just for children either. Many adults have wanted to take up or get back into playing a musical instrument for a long time, but have never gotten around to it.

You are never too old to begin music lessons according to MTNA Executive Director & CEO Gary L. Ingle, “Many people believe that music lessons are only for children. In reality, an increasing number of adults are finding them to be a rewarding, enjoyable and fulfilling musical activity that also has numerous health and social benefits. Today, there are many new resources designed specifically for the adult student that make learning an instrument fun, easy and worthwhile: new software, method books, and digital and acoustic instruments. And yes, there are even apps for every part of the experience. With an ever increasing number of music teachers who are skilled in and devoted to adult students, there has never been a better time for adults to engage in music study.”

Playing music isn’t just a “good times” hobby. Studies continue to show that practicing has a positive effect on both mental and physical health. Taking music lessons is the perfect combatant for the stressful life of an adult. It can reduce professional burnout by calming and lowering your heart rate, as well as improve communication skills and boost confidence and creativity. For retirees, music lessons can fight loneliness, depression and memory loss.

Michelle Conda, professor of piano and coordinator of secondary piano and piano pedagogy at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, suggests two ways to go about music lessons,

“A good teacher for adults will ask you what you want to learn and guide you in that direction. Luckily, more and more people are specializing in the unique needs of adult learners. You have choices on the type of lesson you want. You can take a Recreational Music Making (RMM) class. This is usually a group class. It is low stress and lots of fun! The other choice is one-on-one lessons. This is more expensive, but a great way to learn if you prefer a more intimate approach to learning. Find someone who is an expert on adult learning.”

Finding classes or a teacher is easy. Local universities sometimes provide RMM courses and host lessons for adults. Do not be afraid to call and ask. Your local MTNA affiliate will also be able to provide information about classes and teachers in your area.

MTNA provides a list of professionally certified teachers, which you can search by instrument and region at www.mtnacertification.org. A Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) has demonstrated competence in professional preparation, teaching practices, ethical business management and lifelong learning. An NCTM is your best source to facilitate musical learning in an environment that encourages student confidence, independence, teamwork and high achievement.

So, start your year off right—choose an instrument, find a teacher and give yourself the gift of music in 2015.

For assistance finding a music teacher in your area, contact MTNA at (888) 512-5278, mtnanet@mtna.org or visit the MTNA website at www.mtna.org.

MTNA is a nonprofit organization of independent and collegiate music teachers committed to furthering the art of music through teaching, performance, composition and scholarly research. Founded in 1876, MTNA is the oldest music teachers association in the United States.

For More Information Contact:
Chad Schwalbach
Marketing and Public Relations Associate
(888) 512-5278, ext. 232

Photo by Tulane Public Relations