Music can be a great way to help seniors. These benefits can take many forms depending on the individual.

Music Therapy is a well-known method for helping people suffering from cognitive and physical disabilities such as dementia. “MT”, as it is commonly called, involves passive activities such as listening to music in controlled environments. It can also include singing, tapping or drumming, as well as playing simple instruments such the harmonica.

Research has shown that music can have a soothing effect on social interaction. It also helps to improve communication skills in situations where they are impaired due to stroke or other injuries or illnesses.

Music is used by “ordinary” seniors in retirement communities and senior centres in the form sing songs, dancing lessons, and special musical entertainment.

Participants are encouraged and encouraged to sing, clap, and dance to familiar songs. This musical experience offers pleasant and enjoyable social interaction as well as a bit of exercise and positive emotional stimulation.

Seniors can benefit from using musical instruments.

Although music listening can be empathetically stimulating, it is still a passive activity. Seniors can benefit from becoming more involved in music making – such as singing or playing a musical instrument.

It all depends on the senior and the instrument. Some seniors may have difficulty picking a violin or guitar due to physical limitations. However, these same people may benefit from joining a drum circle.

It all depends on the senior as well as the instrument.

Many people over 60 have been able to play a musical instrument since they were young and then stopped when their family or work forced them to. Many older men (mostly men) have commented on music instruction forums that they have taken up the guitar after it had been in storage for 40 years.

Yes, 40 years! This isn’t an exaggeration. An example is me. In my teens and twenties I played the trumpet and guitar, but I didn’t pick them up again until my 60s.

My motivation was to be able to share some of what I know with my grandchildren. That led to many opportunities for me to perform with them at their family gatherings. It has also led to the joy of watching them become musicians.

It is possible to rekindle old talents, provided the right circumstances exist. One option is to revive old talents or play in a small informal band with friends.

A retirement community is a great place to get together and make music in a structured way, such as a singing group or small band.

A social director might form a larger group in a senior community. They could use regular instruments or simpler ones like whistles, harmonicas and a variety percussion items (drums tambourines, shakers wooden blocks, etc.).

Playing traditional instruments

It is possible to imagine that someone 70-80 years old could still play traditional instruments like the trumpet, guitar, or keyboard. Could he/she learn a new instrument, such as a keyboard, banjo, harmonica, or even a guitar or saxophone?

It all depends on the situation a person is in, and in particular her physical limitations. Many people with declining mobility as they age have difficulty using their hands. Some people may have sore hips or a sore back that makes it difficult to sit in certain positions. A lot of older people have difficulty hearing or seeing.

If none of these things hold a person back, then why not take the plunge?

However, motivation is always a concern.

Even if you are just beginning to learn how to play a musical instrument, there are real benefits. You will enjoy the process, as well as mental stimulation and a feeling of accomplishment. That may be enough to motivate you to learn a new instrument or to continue with a project.

Playing for your enjoyment is not enough to motivate you. The opportunity to play a musical instrument or sing in a small group almost always comes with the chance to perform for other people – often friends, family, or residents of your community.

It is the possibility of performing for others that often keeps musicians motivated. As a child, music lessons almost always included a recital to show what you had learned. It is almost pointless to practice without a recital.

It doesn’t make sense that it should be different for seniors. My father played the violin in church for over 50 years. It was these “performances” that kept his interest in playing the violin. His interest in playing ceased when his faculties began to decline and he was no longer invited to play.

Performances like these are what motivate people to improve and learn new material. Older adults can also keep the skills they have learned earlier in their lives.

To answer the question, “Can a senior learn a new instrument?” You will have fun and also be stimulated mentally and spiritually. It will also give you something to do with your spare time.