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Seniors Have Their Own Guitar Class

Updated on May 4, 2016
ladyguitarpicker profile image

I am retired from my job which has been retail sales for the most part of my work. I have collected guitars since I was 15 years old.

The Class

Seniors Can Play The Guitar

My article is about seniors playing the guitar. I went to a guitar group class at our library. I though I might be able to pick up a few new tips. It turned out to be a bunch of young boys playing electric guitars. The older people could not hear themselves and I kind of laugh to myself this was definitely a generation gap in musical style. When I was 15, I had already taught myself to play guitar. I had to go for lessons so I could get a certificate to teach. I really did not think anyone was really listening when I played a song that night at the library. A couple of weeks later I got a call to see if I wanted to teach the adult and senior class.

I was a little apprehensive as I had never taught anyone who was elderly. I got there and though can I do this?

When I got to the church hall I was surprised at how many people showed up and we even had 2 young boys that preferred Country, and Bluegrass. We all introduced our self and then made a list of what to bring to class next week. Everyone seemed at ease and all asked several questions.

I went with the book to please all, or almost all. I picked the Basic Guitar book 1 by Happy Traum. I like this book because it introduces the new students to all different types of music and different kinds of style. We are working using a pick. A lot of the older folks have arthritis so I felt this would be the easy way to start.

We spent our first lesson just learning how to hold the guitar and reading lines and space notes. Everyone finally got it right so we started with the first 3 notes on the first string. We also practice our first 2 notes on the 2nd B string. The night flew by and the seniors had a lot of fun and so did I.. The guitar class is a good way to keep the seniors connected to other people. The comradeship is wonderful.They are having a hard time holding their guitar so we decided to add guitar straps to the list. We are starting 3 string songs next week if time permits. We had about 20 minutes to go when I heard a crash and one of the ladies dropped her guitar. There was dead silence and she became so upset. I dismissed the class and told them I would see then next week. I looked at the guitar and saw that the top towards the bottom is partly loose and the neck is off. It is a cheap guitar I told her I would try to fix it if she wanted me to try.

Overall, it was a good night even with the guitar breaking, I will remember it with a smile and a lot of fond memories.

Guitar Strap

Guitar Strap Kit
Guitar Strap Kit

Great guitar strap. Leather, and very sturdy for holding the guitar. You will not have to worry about your guitar falling.

 

Featured Lens

My Lens

This is my featured lens it is about teaching the guitar and one that I am proud to have done. I have worked hard all my life. I am very happy to be able to write about my Senior's.

You Are Never Too old To Learn

Never Stop Learning

I want people to know that I believe you are never too old to learn something new. Seniors seem to like the challenge and do try harder than others that are much younger. They can seem to learn their notes but the biggest obstacle is counting. Everyone is out of time after 5 or 6 measures. All I can do is have everyone play each song as slow as we can.. They have a lot of guts to play three strings and get up and play a song. The greatest thing they do on a regular basis is practice and most just about every day. I tell them to practice at least 15 minutes a day, but they are so disciplined that I know they are doing more.

In a few weeks we will be changing strings on the guitars that should be interesting.

What I Learned Teaching This Class

After doing this class for 3 years I want people to know that this was a great Idea. I think other small towns should encourage this type of activity for their elderly citizens, This gives them a sense of accomplishment.I have heard a lot of good things, I don't know who had the idea for this group but it has worked very good.

I have learned so much from the senior citizens, patience, never give up and laugh at yourself. Most of the seniors are not self conscious and do not care what others think. By not being self conscious they can put more emotion and feeling into the music, also I believe because of their life experiences they do have greater feeling for the music.

Ah, but what they can't do is catch up musical technique that the younger players have. This can never be caught up, an example. One 70 year old woman and a 8 year old in 3rd grade start the same time with the same book. 7 months latter and the girl is done with her book and has started on the second book. The 70 year old is not even halfway through the book.

Overall, the quality of this program depends on you the student. Disciplined people make the best students. If you want to progress each week you have to work your guitar. It is no different than any sport you have to put the time on the instrument. The teacher can't do it you have to do it yourself If you can't practice put the guitar away and find a new hobby. I can remember when I took lessons nobody had to tell me to practice, if you want it bad enough you will practice. In conclusion I am so happy to have had this experience and enjoyment of this class.

Other Players - Upcomming Players

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Our guest visitor for the evening. She is 8 years old and has played guitar for 3 months. She is playing a 1975 Stella Harmony.Lucas playing a Fender. Photos all taken by me. Short49These ladies love to play the auto harp. Everyone takes a turn at it.Me with My Fender Resonator guitar. I really like to bring this guitar to class as it is really loud enough for everyone to hear. This is fun.
Our guest visitor for the evening. She is 8 years old and has played guitar for 3 months. She is playing a 1975 Stella Harmony.
Our guest visitor for the evening. She is 8 years old and has played guitar for 3 months. She is playing a 1975 Stella Harmony. | Source
Lucas playing a Fender. Photos all taken by me. Short49
Lucas playing a Fender. Photos all taken by me. Short49 | Source
These ladies love to play the auto harp. Everyone takes a turn at it.
These ladies love to play the auto harp. Everyone takes a turn at it.
Me with My Fender Resonator guitar. I really like to bring this guitar to class as it is really loud enough for everyone to hear. This is fun.
Me with My Fender Resonator guitar. I really like to bring this guitar to class as it is really loud enough for everyone to hear. This is fun.

Are They Too Old To Learn?

Do You Think Seniors Are Too Old To Learn Guitar?

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It does not matter to me how old a person is to learn a new instrument. Age will not hold you back from playing the guitar. I am so amazed at how well the seniors have done.

Leave a Comments or Ask a Question - About Seniors Playing The Guitar

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  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 8 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Fiddleman, Thanks for the comment and stopping by to read my hub. They also like to hear the younger students play the guitar. Thanks, stella

  • Fiddleman profile image

    Robert Elias Ballard 8 months ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

    Great hub and a wonderful way to share your passion. Guitar lends itself to a fairly simple set of chords that most who want to learn will enable them to join right in where there are informal jams or alone in their homes.

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 8 months ago from Nashville Tn.

    Look at you! You wonderful teacher!!! How great of you to share your experience with us. We are never too old to learn. I've been teaching an 89 year old woman how to play her piano. She does just fine and the lessons keep her brain cells active.

    Thanks Stella. Keep it up!

    Sharing.

    Audrey

  • word55 profile image

    Word 9 months ago from Chicago

    Hi Stella, what a wonderful idea of sharing your gift with seniors and teaching them guitar playing. That is so cool. May God continue to bless you with all of your endeavors.

  • ReviewsfromSandy profile image

    Sandy Mertens 11 months ago from Wisconsin

    This is a wonderful idea for seniors.

  • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

    Chitrangada Sharan 13 months ago from New Delhi, India

    It is such a great idea to teach Guitar to elderly people. You are doing a wonderful job and you seem to be very much experienced in this skill. Learning can be at any age if one is interested and has a passion for it.

    I would be reading your other interesting hubs as well as they seem very interesting to me.

    Thank you for sharing!

  • ReviewsfromSandy profile image

    Sandy Mertens 14 months ago from Wisconsin

    This is a wonderful idea for seniors.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 16 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Rabadi, thanks for stopping and reading.

  • Rabadi profile image

    16 months ago from New York

    Enjoyed this hub :)

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 19 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Sujaya, Thanks for reading.

  • sujaya venkatesh profile image

    sujaya venkatesh 19 months ago

    music for all ages

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 20 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    sujaya venkatesh , thanks for the comment.

  • sujaya venkatesh profile image

    sujaya venkatesh 20 months ago

    a musical feat indeed

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    RTalloni, thanks for the comments. I get far more teaching them than they will ever understand. I will do this as long as my illness will let me, right now I still have use of my left hand,praise God.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

    How brave to dive into those lessons! Thanks very much for sharing some of the experience with us. I hope your work inspires others to follow your example, gaining as you did while giving as you did.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Charito1962, You are still a baby. You have plenty of time to learn the guitar. Play 15 minutes after work it is so relaxing. Nice to hear from you was wondering how you were doing. Stella

  • Charito1962 profile image

    Charito Maranan-Montecillo 2 years ago from Manila, Philippines

    Thanks for giving me some hope! I'm now in my early 50's, but I'm in the thick of my work in the corporate world. Hmm...I think I'll play the guitar again when I retire at 65 (if I'm still alive by then..ha, ha!)

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Peggy thanks for telling me about the comment section, I never noticed when I wrote it. There is some improvement today, she came out on her own from behind the couch to eat her supper. I am getting her operation on Monday I hope she will remember me when I pick her up. Amanda is good with my husband and fearful of all other men, kind of strange isn't it. Things are looking better for her except for walking through doorways that is a nightmare. We love her but I hope it will not take 13 years . Thanks. Stella

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

    It is nice that you are teaching elderly people how to play the guitar. I am sure that they are enjoying it.

    BTW, you do not have a comment section on the one you wrote about the beagle you adopted which had been abused. I was going to suggest to just let her hide in corners, etc. and let her make the decision to come out when she becomes less fearful. We once had an abused black lab mix and it took her a long time but she finally (years later) joined in when we would have company, etc. She was most fearful of men in the beginning. We also had 2 other dogs which probably helped her adjust.

    We have my mother's dog now (because she died) and he had also been abused as a puppy. He is still fearful of strangers and he is now about 13. We just do not force it. Each dog is different just like people are different.

    So nice of you to be doing that and giving her a good and loving home.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    ecogranny, you would be surprised the seniors are more interested than some of the younger kids. They will follow instructions better.

  • ecogranny profile image

    Kathryn Grace 2 years ago from San Francisco

    Oh, I wish my local library had such a class. I would love to take guitar with other seniors who have a little arthritis. That and poor eyesight for reading notes quickly are probably the two main reasons seniors learn guitar more slowly. We have to think about every little movement we once took for granted.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Thank you Theresa, (spelled the same as my granddaughter Theresa). I enjoy reading your Hubs and will teach as long as my Parkinson allows me. I'm glad your son plays the guitar.

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

    Oh, wow, what a wonderful idea for seniors or anyone at any age really. It is especially beneficial for seniors to feel productive in this life and be around each other and have camaraderie. What a lovely time in teaching others to play the guitar. My son is gifted in playing the guitar and music, and I wish I had such a natural gift.

    I am so glad so many showed up for the class! Very inspirational.

    Blessings,

    Theresa aka Faith Reaper

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Thank you. You have that right and it gives them something to look forward to each week.

  • PinoyMom profile image

    Shiela Gerona 2 years ago from Philippines

    I admire your vision @ladyguitarpicker. There is no age limit when it comes to learning - most especially if music is involved. This will give people of old age another inspiration, something that will encourage them to live happily because music uplifts one weary soul.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    I think you are right. Thanks for the comment.

  • smine27 profile image

    Shinichi Mine 2 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

    I believe that we are never too old for anything period.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Thank you, we earned the right, besides it is the last chance.

  • Adventuretravels profile image

    Giovanna Sanguinetti 2 years ago from London UK

    I totally agree with you. Senior people should do all the things they've always wanted to do but couldn't because of work and family responsibilities. Why would we have it any other way? Great hubs.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image

    Gail Sobotkin 2 years ago from South Carolina

    I think seniors who learn new activities, including how to play a musical instrument like the guitar benefit greatly from the fun social interaction and from the concentration and manual dexterity that is required.

    Kudos to you for teaching this passionate group and for also including young players sometimes.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Thank you, I think so to.

  • Brite-Ideas profile image

    Barbara Tremblay Cipak 2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    I think it's a great idea for seniors to do this! keeping the mind occupied is essential in later years and what a better way than to learn an instrument and music

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    @cgartner2008: Thank you.

  • profile image

    cgartner2008 2 years ago

    Great idea teaching seniors the guitar, it keep them busy and their mind young.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    @daynamabob: Hello, I am glad you liked it. Thank you.

  • profile image

    daynamabob 2 years ago

    I love that idea!!! Good stuff!!

  • profile image

    daynamabob 2 years ago

    That's great

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    @dillonfire:  Hi,Thank you.

  • profile image

    dillonfire 2 years ago

    That is a great idea!

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    @SusanDeppner: Hi, Thank you, I have enjoyed our last 3 years.

  • SusanDeppner profile image

    Susan Deppner 2 years ago from Arkansas USA

    What a wonderful idea, teaching guitar to senior citizens! I'm sure there are many older people who regret never learning to play an instrument. I'm sure you've made many people very happy, helping them learn!

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