Too Old to Learn Music?

Emma Lewis 

“Too old to learn music” . . . . think again!

Heswall Concert Band are amazing!

However, the reason for the praise may come as a surprise. It’s not for their performances and talent (although that certainly is great), it’s for their supportive, friendly and encouraging ethos. As a novice musician they are the best thing that could have happened to me!

Only 15 months ago, I couldn’t play or read a note of music, let alone ever held a flute, but I fell in love with the idea of giving it a go. At 35 I decided to challenge my long held belief that “I couldn’t play music and that I just didn’t have the ability”, and booked my first lesson.

Around 3 months later my tutor suggested I find a local ensemble to play with. He suggested it would give me something fun to motivate me and bring on my playing faster than a lesson a week.

Diligently, I set about trying to find a beginner group who’d accept a pre-grade 1 flute player in her 30’s who only knew about 4 notes. I soon found that trying to find an adult beginner wind ensemble was a little like trying to find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow . . . pretty much impossible, until I came across Heswall Concert Band.

I contacted Becky, the conductor, about what I was looking for. I was completely honest about just how much of a beginner I was and she was fantastic! Rather than telling me to come back when I had more experience, she explained to me that they were actually short an Oboe player and since oboe music is often similar to the flute music, but lower notes, I would probably find it easier to play jas it contained more notes that I knew. She invited me to come and meet the band and have a go.

I admit that I’d assumed she meant to come and see what it was all about and just to be a passive observer, but she told me to bring my flute with me.

Fast forward 12 months and whilst I still can’t play everything, I can play so much more than I ever thought possible! The band have supported me to pass my Grade 1, offering me tips and lending me books. I have performed along side them at 3 different concerts too. Such an amazing feeling.

When I arrived there was a chair, music & stand waiting for me and Becky introduced me to the band. I must admit that initially I felt out my depth, there I was sat in the middle of a band that sounded amazing and there was me knowing four notes! But you know what? That soon passed. Becky, along with the other flautists, Vicky, Margaret and Gerry helped me find my feet. They helped me to decipher the music markings that I didn’t know yet, helped me find my place in the music when Igot lost and offered so much encouragement.

So if you even have the slightest idea that you’d like to start playing an instrument, or are thinking of dusting off an old instrument, whatever your age, I encourage you to go for it! Go for it and then have a chat to Heswall Concert Band about becoming a part of this amazingly supportive family!

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