More and more seniors are now choosing to learn how to play guitar or another musical instrument. And they should because more and more research shows that playing guitar or a musical instrument can slow and sometimes even reverse the effects of aging, especially for hearing and memory.
At TrueFire, we offer the most comprehensive library of online guitar lessons, and many of our students are over the age of 50. We’ve crafted our curriculum in a way that makes it easy for students who have never played guitar before or those who want to start where they left off to learn, practice, and play with some of the best artists and educators in the world and experience the many positive side effects that come with playing an instrument.
It is well known that music lessons give younger students learning advantages in school. Now, more recent research shows that guitar lessons have just as positive an effect on seniors and can offset some of the negative effects of growing older.
For seniors, guitar lessons can thus act as preventive health care on many levels – cognitive, motor, emotional and social – and prepare for everyday life in advanced age. Among other things, playing guitar helps to exercise perception, thinking, and motor skills and to generate positive emotions.
Benefits of Guitar Lessons on Cognitive and Motor Skills
“Making music is one of the most difficult human accomplishments,” says Eckart Altenmüller, German neurologist and director of the Institute for Music Physiology and Musicians’ Medicine in Hannover.
When we play guitar, multiple areas of our brain become engaged and active simultaneously. For example, reading a note, interpreting it, and transferring it to our guitar, requires the coordination of two hands and ten fingers, maybe two feet – or our voice. This complicated process promotes concentration and entails learning, remembering, and connecting new things.
Research shows: the longer people actively play music, the better their cognitive performance in old age. You’re never too old to learn how to play guitar!
A study by Jennifer Bugos, an assistant professor of music education at the University of South Florida, studied the impact of music lessons on adults between the ages of 60 and 85. Her research shows that just six months of music lessons improved memory, verbal fluency, information processing, planning ability, and other cognitive functions.
Also, a study by Claudia Spahn, a German doctor for Musicians’ Medicine and director of the Freiburg Institute for Musicians’ Medicine, shows that playing an instrument protects against loneliness and depression.
Emotional and Social Benefits of Guitar Lessons
With age, people feel increasingly lonely and as though they’re no longer needed. Guitar lessons are a great way to meet new people, for example, the music teacher or a group of other guitarists. There are also many opportunities for anyone who plays music or is interested in music to participate in cultural life and meet like-minded people.
Playing guitar can also be challenging – and very rewarding, once students successfully master these challenges.
At TrueFire, our guitar lessons are designed to meet the individual needs of each student. Older students bring with them great life experience, many desires, and also many skills and resources. Our educators know how to recognize and integrate their students’ skills and resources and how to meet their aspirations.
Join TrueFire for free today and begin your journey to guitar greatness. It’s never too late!