Can You Learn to Play Music? The Answer According to Science

Learning to play a musical instrument comes with many benefits. Playing an instrument can boost your brain power. It can make you retain memories longer and improve your mood. Children who learn to play an instrument early on often have higher IQs than children who never learned to play. But if you are reading this article, you are probably an adult. Taking lessons to learn how to play an instrument as an adult can be scary. You might find yourself wondering about many things. “Will I ever be able to learn to play an instrument? Do I have it in me?” There are many ways to learn music. For example, in Boulder, everyone has an option to try, from violin lessons to singing coaches. The question is, should you do it? Here, we talk about what science has to say about learning music as an adult.

Anyone can learn to play if they try hard enough.

When it comes to music, people think that only those with a “natural” talent can learn how to play an instrument. The reality is different. While having an affinity or skill makes learning to play an instrument easier, almost anyone can learn with enough practice. The factor that sets experts apart from amateurs can boil down to effort. Studies say that anyone with 10,000 hours or more of practice can be called an expert in their field. While 10,000 hours is no easy feat, you can get quite far by practicing long and hard. Also, an interesting thought is that anyone with a working pair of vocal cords can be taught to sing. With all this scientific information available, consider yourself lucky to be musically able!

However, there is a rare condition that can make it impossible.

A rare affliction affects 1 percent of the population. Amusia is a disorder that is often genetic. Certain people find it hard or almost impossible to detect different tones and pitches. When people claim they are "tone deaf," they may be referring to this affliction. People can have varying degrees of amusia. Having this makes it hard for people to memorize or remember musical tones and knowledge. They also cannot detect when changes occur in a tune. So unless you have this disease, you are very likely to be able to learn to play an instrument.

Age is not a factor, though there are certain considerations.

Music lessons

Though age does not determine whether a person can pick up a musical skill, it does pose certain limitations. Take your age into consideration when choosing an instrument to play. You might find that your fingers hurt from playing the piano or that you cannot hold up the violin long enough. Find an instrument that your body is comfortable with, and you will succeed in learning to play it.


As an adult, the hardest part about learning to play music is that people are often too busy to make time for it. But if you are reading this article, you have taken the first step. 

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