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13th Mar 2021

10 Musical Instruments to Learn When You’re Over 50 Years of Age

Music is an art form that helps us connect with our souls. Music is known to have amazingly beneficial effects on people of all ages – it soothes and heals. Even animals respond to it. Learning a musical instrument at any age should be initiated because it improves cognition, concentration, and clarity of thought. A lot of people presume that learning an instrument can only be done in childhood or teenage years. This particular notion is not true because there are several musical instruments that can be learnt by senior citizens too! The key thing to note here is that any of these instruments be it string, percussion, wind, electronic or keyboard should be gradually mastered under the guidance of a professional instructor. You do not need to rush through the process.

A reputed place that offers musical activities for elders can be the right way to kick-start your musical journey. Now let’s get straight to the recommendations. Here are the 10 best musical instruments for seniors to learn: –

1.    Santoor

One of the oldest Indian musical instruments is the santoor. It is made of walnut or maple wood with 25 bridges set on it. There are 4 strings on each bridge that create a total of 100 strings on this instrument. Generally found in the hills of Jammu and Kashmir, it can be purchased from renowned sellers who deliver across the country. As far as string instruments go, the santoor is ideal for senior citizens because it is easy to learn. You can enrol in a class or watch online tutorials that can make the learning process a lot simpler.

2.    Harmonica

Musical instruments like the harmonica that involve the wind can be learnt by people over the age of 50 as it does not create pressure in their lungs. The most appealing quality of this particular instrument for the elderly is that it can create musical notes from a wide range of genres. So, if you happen to a fan of jazz, the blues, or folk music, playing the harmonica would be a true delight. Besides this, it is easy to carry and store according to your convenience. Do make sure that you buy one from well-known music stores to get authentic products.

3.    Ukulele

String instruments that make your heart sing cannot be ignored in this list, now can they? That’s right. The world-famous ukulele can be the ticket to fulfil your life-long dream of playing the guitar. Admit it, we have all dreamt of being the coolest guitar player in college. Now that you are determined to make your fingers active again, the ukulele is one of the best elderly instruments that you can choose to learn. As the body of a ukulele is easy to handle, you will not experience pain in the shoulders or neck while playing it. The rhythm and notes of this instrument are fairly simple, and you can learn to play well in just a few weeks.

4.    Tumbak

There are a lot of people who might be interested in learning percussion instruments because of the beats that are created with each tap. The valleys of Kashmir have yet another musical instrument that can be learnt by senior citizens! The tumbak is a hand drum that can be propped up on your thighs and struck in such a way that a unique sound is heard. It is one of the most exhilarating musical instruments for the elderly because of the sound that is created by it. You can watch videos of trained tumbak players and get the hang of it in no time!

5.    Udukai

Remember the monkey street circus that used to happen in your childhood? While reminiscing about this sweet memory, you might recollect the monkey master who used to carry a Damru with him. The udukai is the traditional name of the good old damru that is one of the most easily available musical instruments in India. Perfect for improving your wrist movement, this particular instrument can be played on a daily basis without getting exhausted or overwhelmed. High-quality udukais can be found in the state of Tamil Nadu, so you can look for a seller there on the internet.

6.    Banjo

Senior citizens who are die-hard fans of Tony Trischka, Bill Keith or other famous banjo players can join the fray and learn the art of playing this instrument. The banjo is one of the best elderly instruments because of its light body and simple strings. Unlike the traditional guitar, it will not take a toll on your body posture. However, it would be ideal to learn the banjo from a professional musician because their knowledge and expertise on string instruments can help you become a solid player within a couple of months.

7.    Recorder 

Belonging to the family of beautiful woodwind musical instruments, the recorder is perfect for people over 50 years of age. This is mainly because it does not require a lot of effort and you don’t have to compromise on the mesmerising rhythm either. To begin with, you can purchase a plastic recorder in order to get yourself in the game. When you feel competent enough, consider buying a vintage wooden recorder that can go on to be a family heirloom!

8.    Keyboard

Music’s favourite child is the piano and there’s no denying that. It happens to be one of the most exquisite musical instruments. Across the world, there are millions of people aspiring to learn the piano but only a few actually do it. While buying a full-sized piano can be very expensive, you can still make music with a good-quality electronic keyboard. Not only will it help in improving your concentration but also ease out anxious thoughts from your mind. Go on and buy a reasonably priced electronic keyboard and make your fingers dance to its tunes.

9.    Gogona

The number of musical instruments that can be found in our country is simply mind-blogging. In every State, tribe, and culture, there are a variety of instruments that can be learnt easily. The gogona is one such mouth instrument from Assam that requires minimal effort. Made out of a single bamboo stick, the correct way to play it is by clenching one side with your teeth while stringing the other end with your finger. Promoting traditional musical instruments is a duty that should be taken up by the elders of a family in order to encourage the younger generation to appreciate its beauty.

10.    Glockenspiel

A unique musical instrument that can be played by people above the age of 50 is the Glockenspiel. A type of Xylophone that is used to introduce music to children in kindergarten, this instrument is not difficult to learn. You do not need a lot of training as its metal keys/bars are already tuned. The only task that you need to perform is to strike them in a rhythmic manner. Practicing daily will do wonders as far as Glockenspiel is concerned.

With so many musical instruments at your disposal, you can be a rockstar too! Choose one and make the soundtrack of your life. Such engagement is what we strive for every elder at EMOHA where it is always #EldersFirst