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LearningMusician Chat >> General Site Chat >> Music lessons for motivated seniors      
 
Viewing 1-10 of 16 total messages       View Newer Messages

Barbara J Edelman

September 29, 2007 - 7:50 PMReply to this message
Hello,

I just found your site, and I'm looking for someone who can teach me how to play the mandolin. I inherited it from my aunt and it's currently being repaired/restrung.

When I was a young teen, I took about a year's worth of piano lessons, but was completely intimated by my older brother who has lots of talent; can pick up any instrument and play it; and has a lovely singing voice. Now that I'm a senior with some time on my hands, although I have some caretaking responsibilities for my 90 year old Dad, I am motivated to learn.

If you are a senior taking music lessons for the first time, please share your experience. Was it difficult? Did you read music when you started? How are you doing now?

Thanks!



 

Unknown User

November 6, 2007 - 11:47 AMReply to this message
Hello Barbara,
Glad to have a senior aboard. Although I am a teacher, I have this to say: Not to fret - the oldest student I have had was 79 years old when he started violin lessons. He just wanted to be able to play in church. He also played in a student recital, and he was so proud! Congratulations to you. Don't give up. I'm sure you will find a teacher soon.

------------------
On September 29, 2007 - 7:50 PM, Barbara J Edelman wrote :
> Hello,
>
> I just found your site, and I'm looking for someone who can teach me how to play the mandolin. I inherited it from my aunt and it's currently being repaired/restrung.
>
> When I was a young teen, I took about a year's worth of piano lessons, but was completely intimated by my older brother who has lots of talent; can pick up any instrument and play it; and has a lovely singing voice. Now that I'm a senior with some time on my hands, although I have some caretaking responsibilities for my 90 year old Dad, I am motivated to learn.
>
> If you are a senior taking music lessons for the first time, please share your experience. Was it difficult? Did you read music when you started? How are you doing now?
>
> Thanks!
>
>
>
>
 

Diane Quick

January 11, 2008 - 8:21 PMReply to this message


------------------
On September 29, 2007 - 7:50 PM, Barbara J Edelman wrote :
> Hello,
>
> I just found your site, and I'm looking for someone who can teach me how to play the mandolin. I inherited it from my aunt and it's currently being repaired/restrung.
>
> When I was a young teen, I took about a year's worth of piano lessons, but was completely intimated by my older brother who has lots of talent; can pick up any instrument and play it; and has a lovely singing voice. Now that I'm a senior with some time on my hands, although I have some caretaking responsibilities for my 90 year old Dad, I am motivated to learn.
>
> If you are a senior taking music lessons for the first time, please share your experience. Was it difficult? Did you read music when you started? How are you doing now?
>
> Thanks!
>
>
>
>
 

Diane Quick

January 11, 2008 - 8:23 PMReply to this message
Hi, I don't know if you are still looking for a Mandolin teacher, and what area? There is one in the Seattle area, look under Kaleidoscope School of Music, Alan Jacobson, the exact city is Issaquah.

------------------
On September 29, 2007 - 7:50 PM, Barbara J Edelman wrote :
> Hello,
>
> I just found your site, and I'm looking for someone who can teach me how to play the mandolin. I inherited it from my aunt and it's currently being repaired/restrung.
>
> When I was a young teen, I took about a year's worth of piano lessons, but was completely intimated by my older brother who has lots of talent; can pick up any instrument and play it; and has a lovely singing voice. Now that I'm a senior with some time on my hands, although I have some caretaking responsibilities for my 90 year old Dad, I am motivated to learn.
>
> If you are a senior taking music lessons for the first time, please share your experience. Was it difficult? Did you read music when you started? How are you doing now?
>
> Thanks!
>
>
>
>
 

Rebecca Price

January 13, 2008 - 9:07 PMReply to this message
Dear Barbara,

You are only as "old" as you believe yourself to be. If you think about it, you may have skills and abilities at this point in your life you didn't seem to have as a child. I have a great studnt who is 70ish, and obviously has memory issues in his "brain", but he is one of the best students I have and he feels rewarded by his studies and growth. I also worked briefly with a 94 year old woman who wanted lessons, but ended up being quite unreliable. I think she was feeling her age, but she was worrying about being sick 5 days before her lesson, and would cancel too early. I encouraged her to join a group at a senior center, and I think she is very happy. So I would work with any senior, just so long that they have a positive attitude, communicate honestly with a teacher and of course pay on time. I hope you find exactly the learning situation that you need!



Miss Becky Price
 

Steven Sweeney

April 6, 2008 - 6:38 PMReply to this message
[After I wrote this, I realized that the original post is several months old, so perhaps Barbara won’t see this, but perhaps it will still be useful to some readers.]

Barbara,

I’m 54 and never held a trumpet until about 2 months ago. Though fairly well disciplined, I’m sure I won’t be “happy” with my playing until I have about 5 years’ worth of effort behind me. Then I hope to play for a very long time afterward. I’ll be one of those many white/gray-haired folks playing in your favorite community bands. I hope I can still be contributing well into my golden years.

I work on a Forum for portrait artists, and we just went through an exchange with a guy who insisted – he just couldn’t be told any different – that he was too old, he’d missed the boat and was way past ever being able to become a successful artist. He’d even convinced himself that no agent would want to represent an “old guy.” There was nothing we could say to break down the guy’s defenses. The reason that he “can’t” (and “won’t”) is that he’s so sure of it.

You can be equally sure of the opposite result, and make it happen. Actually, it can be even easier. With the right attitude, there’s a lot that you can just let happen, because once you drop the resistance, a lot does simply fall into place. (Like high notes on the trumpet!)

I too inherited a mandolin, one of the old “gourd” body types, which I find quite difficult to hang onto. It’s a lap instrument, for sure. I have very large hands and fingers, so the mandolin’s very narrow fretboard was always a challenge to me. (I’ve always had a yen to play cello, which would better accommodate larger hands – but of course I’m way too old to start that!) I think I’ve kept that mandolin for so long because I someday want to incorporate it into a painting – the body is beautiful.

If you are unable to find an instructor – don’t give up too soon, because there’s nothing like one-on-one training – I’d like to recommend a business that I’ve used for decades’ worth of guitar instruction. The business is called “Homespun” and can be accessed via www.homespun.com They have dozens and dozens of instructional DVDs for guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, piano and other instruments. I have their new catalog in front of me right now, and there are more than a dozen mandolin DVDs. Not all are suitable for beginners, but one that catches my eye is a 2-DVD set called “You Can Play Bluegrass Mandolin,” by Butch Baldassari. It’s billed as a “can’t-miss beginner’s course,” in part because the tunes are fairly simple and the video is slowed down so you can see exactly what he’s doing. The “part number” for this set is DVD-BAL-23. You can also purchase the discs separately – maybe you’ll just want to get the first one, to see what it’s like. (Number for that is DVD-BAL-MN21). If you can’t find an instructor, the very next best thing is *watching* an instructor on your TV or computer.

If you’re not familiar with the tuning of the mandolin and the layout of the notes on the fretboard, pick up a beginner’s mandolin book at any music supply store. With the DVDs I mentioned above, you’ll receive a form of music notation called “tablature,” which doesn’t require that you be able to read music – tablature is more of a graphic of what you’ll play. For example, tablature for a 6-stringed guitar simply shows six lines, representing strings, and a number, say, “3” on a given line (string) means that you play that note on the third fret of that string. All the better if you can read music (it isn’t hard to learn), but tablature can be a great help if you can’t.

And start out with the mission of having fun. Just note around and pick out a simple tune you know. Spend enough time with it to develop some dexterity and coordination. It will seem very awkward at first. That will change in time. Your fingertips may be sore the first week or two. You will build up calluses very quickly, and that will pass. A bit practical advice there – trim the fingernails on your fretting hand way down. You want the tips of your fingers, not your fingernails, in contact with the strings.

One final thought about finding an instructor. It may be that there are no “certified” teachers in your area, but there may well be someone who plays mandolin. That person can teach you a lot, as you start out. Don’t be shy about proposing a limited instruction plan, say a half dozen lessons to get you going.

Hope this is useful.

Cheers,
Steven Sweeney
Stillwater, Minnesota
 

Steven Sweeney

April 6, 2008 - 6:43 PMReply to this message
I may be able to do a better job of making the Homespun URL linkable. Let me try here: www.homespun.com
 

Steven Sweeney

April 6, 2008 - 6:45 PMReply to this message
For some reason, that just returns you to this page. Paste www.homespun.com into your browser.
 

Ronald Binder

April 15, 2012 - 9:36 AMReply to this message
I'm 80 years old and would like to play the saxophone have no prior exp. reading or playing---bought a vito sax made in japan and lesson book is is there teacher that can assist me on the internet suggesting how best to proceed. thank you in advance for your help rjbin@aol.com
 

Unknown User

April 11, 2013 - 9:38 AMReply to this message
Hi everyone, I just want to share it with anyone interested in learning the basic and fundamentals of music notation.
Here are 10 links to lesson videos, material for over a month so that you can start studying understanding the foundation of it all!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUx62mns3cg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjFxMgiDXu4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9QCPWizGo4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzrj8mSGxqo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXaIK8Dd0lg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXaIK8Dd0lg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvAR0uRAV5c
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYok9iKBpag
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZdRMMyXBCg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x74Zhx8b6Y
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VQcAInp__0
Enjoy!!
 
LearningMusician Chat >> General Site Chat >> Music lessons for motivated seniors      
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