Music instructors offer advice

It's never too late to learn how to play an instrument. (Photo courtesy of Stacey Marmolejo)

It's never too late to learn how to play an instrument. (Photo courtesy of Stacey Marmolejo)

Maybe you once harbored the fantasy of doing windmills like Pete Townshend or banging the skins like Charlie Watts, or maybe you're just jealous after watching your teenager have all the fun with "Guitar Hero." But according to the highly rated music instructors we talked to, you can always give up air guitar and unleash your inner rock star — for real.

You're never too old to start. "We have people coming in who've wanted to play drums all their lives, but they're finally getting more comfortable and able to do all those things they wanted to do," says Jim Rupp, owner of Columbus Percussion in Columbus, Ohio.

You get back what you put in. "I give a half-hour lesson and send a lot of material home with them," says Don Townsley, a guitar instructor who teaches at Charley's Guitar Shop in Dallas. "Everything really comes down to how much they practice on their own."

Consider one-on-one instruction. "Everyone learns at their own pace," Townsley says. "Everyone learns at a different level, and everyone wants different things. That's why personalized instruction is important."

Don't forget why you love music in the first place. "Playing an instrument is fun, rewarding and relaxing," Rupp says. "That's the bottom line."

Music can exercise your mind, no matter what your age. "Playing an instrument links the logical and creative sides of your brain," Rupp says. "It helps kids in school and it helps senior citizens keep their minds sharp."


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