Music has no age

June 21 is party time, and everyone has the right to be a musician! Many adults, inhibited, do not dare to start playing, and yet it is easier to develop your musical fiber late … Isabelle, Jean-Jacques and Pascale tell.

Of course, a child who squeals his violin remains touching, while a man or a woman imposing the same torture on his entourage plays with his life! This is unfair: “cuteness” resists false notes better than number of years. However, should we give up music as soon as we have learned to tie our laces? Fortunately, no. Because adults have many other assets to become virtuosos.

First, notes Emmanuel Bigand, musicologist, specialist in the cognitive psychology of music, and co-author of Music and Brain (Medical Sauramps, 2012), “While children learn more easily, imaging studies show that brain plasticity remains important throughout life and that, in beginner adults, it reorganizes itself almost immediately to develop brain plasticity. musical competence ”.

Not only does the memory not clog up, it also makes room to store new information. The mature brain is then more efficient at linking knowledge and giving it meaning. Not to mention that, with age, the capacity for work increases, and concentration and motivation are clearer. “As long as the player is motivated, he will learn much faster than a child who does not care,” notes Emmanuel Bigand. Who notes all the same that, “if it is not cognitive, the brake can be motor, the adult having a less malleable body to fit in the gesture of the musician”.

Fear of difficulty, of failure, of ridicule, there are many reasons not to do it. “It’s a shame, because music requires more cognitive, emotional, physical and social skills than most activities,” continues the musicologist. It is therefore an excellent way to fight against brain aging. Isabelle, Jean-Jacques and Pascale tell us how they rediscovered the pleasure of playing.

“Little by little, I discovered a feeling of fullness”

Isabelle, 43 years old, actress

“I have always lived with a piano. My grandparents had given musical instruction to their children; my parents did the same. It did not take on everyone because, of the five of us, only my older brother was playing, and very well. From the age of 5, I did two years of music theory at the conservatory and one year of piano. I loved it, but I didn’t realize that it was necessary to work between lessons. I was a dreamer, not very concentrated, therefore a poor student.

After struggling for a year on the same song without being able to play it, I was finally fired. I gave up music for twenty-five years. However, it was inconceivable for me to live without a piano. I believe in this statement of Nietzsche: “Without music, life would be a mistake.” (In Twilight of the Idols (Hatier, 2011)).

Left from my parents, so I acquired a half-tail without even knowing how to play it. I went back to school at 30, one hour a week. I developed a more attentive listening to concerts. I had the impression of acquiring a language. And, little by little, I discovered a feeling of escape and fullness. The piano has become a daily companion, which has also enabled me to overcome certain hardships such as the accidental death of my brother.

When I sit at the piano, I am caught. It only takes a moment of inattention for me to be wrong and have to start all over again. I like this requirement. I discovered that everyday effort brought results, that there was a natural way to progress, which is also the way to assert my personality. So much so that today I can play four hours a day so I like it! ”

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“For five years, I hesitated on the instrument”

Jean-Jacques, 58 years old, resuscitator

“I come from a modest family where no one ever had the idea of ​​making music. My parents had other things to think about. I tried, as a teenager, to strum a guitar, without success. I even refused to join a rock band, thinking I would be ridiculous. I am a perfectionist, I only get started if I am certain of success. Later, around 20, my wife having started playing the piano, we had one at home for four years. I tried to get started, without hanging on.

However, I have always loved music, opera, going to concerts. In 2001, I learned that a colleague had started doing it. If he could, at 60, why not me?

For five years, I hesitated on the instrument to finally choose the sax. A beautiful instrument, fascinating, warm, easy enough for music theory since it only has one key, and with which I could quickly play in tune. So I signed up for a class, and bought myself a sax, a music stand and a metronome. That same evening, I scared my cats with the sound of a foghorn, but from the first lesson, I was playing In the moonlight !

Today I have a beautiful viola. It belonged to a prestigious concert artist, which gives it a mythical dimension. I like modulating the notes, evoking a lost atmosphere or on the contrary bringing joy, rhythm. I am also very sensitive to the sensuality of the sax, the wooden reed on the lips.

Playing makes me happy. I forget everything, I relax. And, during the holidays, with my wife on the harpsichord, we play together. In our very busy schedules, it is a precious moment of sharing and complicity. ”

“My first singing lesson was terrible”

Pascale, 52, editorial director of a publishing house

“My parents listened to a lot of French songs: Barbara, Brassens, Brel… Music alone was absent from the house. The subject was even a little taboo since my grandmother, an excellent musician, had seen her piano sold during the war. She also loved singing, found me a lovely voice. For years, I sang in my bathroom. I wanted to learn, but time went by, taken up by work … Until 2005 I finally took private lessons.

The first one was terrible: you had to sing something “from the repertoire”, when I didn’t know any lyrical tunes! But after a few months of boring exercises, I studied my first Bellini scores. There remained one problem: not knowing how to read music, I had to make enormous efforts to memorize.

In 2006, I therefore enrolled in a collective music theory course for adults at the conservatory. It was magical! I also took singing lessons there and then joined the lyrical art workshop. With a director, a singing teacher and a pianist, we have been performing small operas for four years. That’s wonderful ! Everyone is welcomed, with their level, their progress, without judgment or examination.

Of course I have moments of discouragement, but supported by my singing teacher, I always have fun. Singing together, getting together to rehearse are great moments of sharing. Thanks to the theater, I have the impression of fully experiencing the emotion of music. Without counting, too, the happiness of being applauded. I am so happy to have discovered the music that I joined the board of directors of the adult courses, and I intend to invest myself in it to offer this privilege to others. ”


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