The benefits to students who complete a minimum of FIVE YEARS of private music instruction are quite significant and will last a life time, whatever age you started music lessons.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Students under age 12 will perform significantly better in math, especially in the area of fractions and spatial relationships (geometry and logical thinking). Music students will be more involved in group projects at school and will often take leadership roles. Assuming the student has performed several times (5-8) in recitals, the student will have developed strong performance abilities, higher self-esteem and ability to work on very long term projects. The student will likely have chosen a secondary instrument (privately or in school), and will be qualified to participate in chorus, orchestra or band throughout Middle School and High School. Music will always be a meaningful part of life, both for enjoyment and participation.
MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL: The late beginner who manages to complete 5 years of study before reaching the 12th grade, will still manage to gain significant benefit in their math skills (fractions, spatial relationship, geometry and logical thinking) and will more likely take leadership roles in group projects at school. Assuming the student has performed several times (5-8) in recitals, the student will have developed stronger performance abilities (confidence), higher self-esteem and ability to work on very long term projects. Exposure to music at this age will open up the possibility of performing in chorus High School, and if the student has chosen a secondary instrument band and orchestra will also be possibilities in High School. Music will always be a meaningful part of life, both for enjoyment and participation.
ADULTS 18 to 55: Students who complete 5 years of musical study can open up numerous opportunities high-level enjoyment of music for the rest of their lives, both as listener and as participant. If study progress is decent, with regularly daily practice, the adult student can learn enough music and skill to play virtually ALL kinds of sheet music (popular songs), be a leading performer in a church choir and join a community chorus. Regular performance in recitals can strongly improve performance abilities (eliminate performance anxiety) with crossover benefit to the work place and other non-musical activities. Adult students who study an orchestral/band instrument for at least 5 years is likely to obtain proficiency sufficient to join a modest community orchestra or band. It is possible to develop advanced technical skills in this amount of time if the student works deligently and consistanly, but with modest effort reasonable technical skills will allow the student to learn the less demanding of the standard repertoire (Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, etc.). Assuming the adult continues playing music regularly, music will help keep the mind and body sharp and provide hours of personal enjoyment well into retirement years.
ADULTS OVER 55: Pursuit of music in retirement can be an opportunity for personal growth and challenge with significant rewards on several levels. Five years of musical study can be very different from individual to individual depending on inherent abilities and any handicaps that might result from age (arthritis, other illness, diminished mental acuity, etc.), but regardles, music will aid the senior in all these areas as a form of physical and mental therapy. Therefore, the student may progress well and achieve the same kinds of goals and success listed above, or may progress at a more modest rate and simply enjoy mastering the challenges as they are able. Either way, seniors greatly enhance their lives through the pursuit of music, and many even enjoy the personal growth that comes from performing in recitals and other activities.