March 17, 2021

About the Author: Evie Coplan

Evie Coplan is a cello teacher at The London Cello Institute. She has a passion for sharing her love for the cello with adults who play for their own pleasure. She is also an enthusiastic performer both in solo and orchestra format.

Many adults often express their anxieties about starting to learn the cello because they don’t have any musical experience, however learning to play the cello is a journey that you take with your teacher and they will guide you through all the processes so there is nothing to worry about.

The fear of the unknown of the world of music can often seem daunting if you have no musical experience but do not be put off making that first step of starting lessons because you will never regret doing it because the ability to play a musical instrument is incredibly rewarding and an enviable skill to behold.

cellist playing with an ensemble

I strongly believe that everyone has some sort of musical experience, most people just don’t realise it. We all listen to music, have musical opinions and have the ability to make music. People start learning the cello with completely varying degrees of musical experience and this is totally normal and to be expected. If you played an instrument when you were younger you may be surprised at how much music theory you can remember from so many years ago. If you feel like you have no musical experience and it worries you, speak to your teacher and they will provide you with all the theoretical knowledge you need along your journey.

Your teacher will also never make you take music theory exams unless you wish to so there is nothing to be worried about, all you need to do is enjoy the process of learning the cello. Many students are concerned that they are ‘not musical’ because they have never played an instrument before, but they just don’t realise their musical potential because they haven’t explored it yet!

Discovering your musical potential is one of the most fantastic parts of learning a new instrument, you will discover a skill you never knew you had, a new hobby and something that you do for yourself to unwind. You can also show off your playing to your friends and family and share your new passion for music together, you might even discover some of their hidden talents.

man playing the cello

Adults often pick up an instrument later in life that they learned when they were a child at school, this can be a wonderful way to start learning an instrument again and the skills you learned then are definitely not lost and it can be cathartic to return to a childhood passion and develop your skills further. If you do have experience playing the cello or another instrument, it can give you a head start knowing some theory and how to read music, but it is by no means essential.

Music theory can be learnt very quickly, it’s really not as hard as you think, so if this is holding you back then be assured it won’t be a struggle. Often the best preparation for learning to play an instrument is to listen to lots of music, get inspired by musicians and different genres and arrive to your lessons enthused and with clear motivation of why you want to learn the cello, this way you will stay motivated to achieve your goals and your teacher will be able to guide you in the right direction.

man in suit playing the cello

If your lack of musical experience is deterring you from learning to play the cello, focus on your reasons for wanting to learn. There are so many reasons for learning the cello as an adult; it can reduce your stress and anxiety, allow you time to yourself outside of work and every day life, make you more coordinated and it allows you to express yourself through music and connect with others through learning. By learning the cello you are investing in yourself in the best way possible way by allowing yourself to have goals other than your career and you can focus on yourself for a small part of each day.

If you feel anxious about learning the cello and worry that you ‘won’t be good enough’ because of your lack of experience, let your teacher know and they will put all your worries at ease! No one should ever feel excluded from learning music, it is a universal language of which we are all entitled to take part in so don’t let that lack of experience take that away from you.

woman practicing the piano

Adults often question whether to start learning an instrument but not many people realise that 74% of the population of adults have played a musical instrument, so you are not alone in starting now! As children, sadly many of us do not get the chance to learn an instrument, and if this is you and you have always wanted to learn the cello, start now, you don’t need any experience! All you need to start learning the cello is a great teacher and motivation, so why not start now?

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