Having a busy life as an adult often means that some of our personal interests get put off until “someday”. Learning or playing a musical instrument is one of the desires of the heart that get pushed aside for more pressing responsibilities. Taking your singing voice beyond the shower may also be a long-time dream. Retirement can provide a great opportunity to unpack your long-hidden musical interests and bring them to the forefront. Here are a few suggestions on how you can get connected and let loose.
1. Group Music – Instrumental
Many of us enjoyed musical training or interests as children or teens. Having two older brothers who played piano and a father who played guitar and violin, my early years were influenced by music in the home. You may also have family members who gave you a head start in developing your skills as a youngster. Our high school years often provide another chance to go in a new direction by joining a school band. I was a member of the De La Salle Drum Corps for four years during my teen years and still have strong memories of those times. A group of those teens who are now retiring or have retired started an alumni corps a few years ago known as DOCA (De La Salle Oakland Crusaders Alumni). They are still very active and the Brass Ensemble performs locally in the Toronto area. If you were in a band during your school years, you may wish to look for a local community band that will let you pick up where you left off. You will usually need to provide an instrument of your own. Your local music store may be able to supply a rental instrument if you are unsure of your commitment level. A good example of a local make-up band is the New Horizons Band Toronto organized by the Long & McQuade music store.
Not only is band membership a great way to get reconnected to your musical skills, it also provides social interaction and a mental workout to help keep your brain sharp. You won’t be surprised to find other recent retirees in the group as well.
2. Group Music – Vocal
For those who are more inclined to sing than play an instrument, there are usually plenty of opportunities to do so, especially in an urban area like Toronto. If you are a member of a local church, you may wish to consider joining the choir or “worship team”. Not only do you have a chance to use your musical skills, you also benefit emotionally and spiritually, as do those around you.
A community chorus or choir may be more to your liking. There are usually both auditioned and non-auditioned groups in large communities. Examples of these organizations in the GTA are:
DCAT Chorus (Drum Corps Alumni Toronto)
The top 5 open choir groups to join in Toronto (blogTO)
Common Thread Community Chorus – Changing the World One Song at a Time
3. Individual/Solo Music
This option makes sense when you prefer learning and playing music at your own pace. An important consideration when choosing to pursue musical interests on your own is your goal. Are you doing so for self-satisfaction or for performance or possibly recording purposes? Opportunities for personalized training include:
- on-line training videos such as those available on YouTube.
- private lessons from a local instructor in your home or their home
- lessons in a music store
My oldest brother has been a regular piano player at retirement homes and hospitals. My performances are occasional outings to play some Gordon Lightfoot tunes on a 12-string guitar. You probably have your own circle that would enjoy your musical talent.
See what you have to look forward to when you “retire and downsize”?
* You may notice some Canadian spelling in these posts. The words may look odd but that’s how we spell them. We’re used to it.
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Unless otherwise credited, all posts are happily authored with a quill pen …
Paul Ferri, Broker, ASA (Accredited Senior Agent)
RE/MAX Unique Inc. Brokerage*, Toronto, Canada
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