We recently took out-of-town guests to a performance by a dulcimer ensemble. It’s a group of adult musicians – a club — who get together twice a month to rehearse, and perform publicly in various casual venues around town. The 23 adults were men and women, ranging in age from a young man in his late teens, to some more seasoned players, and there were a few guitarists too. The group had an easy rapport and there was such genuine pleasure evident in their collaboration. Their primary repertory was folk music, complete with singalong, although one breakout group – calling themselves “The Vivaldis” – played what they described as “hoity toity classical music.” (And, no, I didn’t at all mind the joking reference to the Baroque composer.) There were people of all ages in the audience, too, including lots of kids. I love that these wonderful folk songs are being passed along, generation to generation, as a living art form.
Afterwards I chatted with a few members of the club, and the president of the group told me that although he is a church organist, he only started playing dulcimer as an adult. There are many wonderful groups just like this in communities all over. Dulcimer clubs, community bands and orchestras, garage bands, and more. They convene for the sheer pleasure of making music.
I’ve heard many, many people express regret for not learning an instrument when they were young, or for quitting the instrument they once played. I have yet to hear anyone say they are glad they quit making music.
So, my friend, you can do it too. No more excuses! Pull that guitar out of the closet, dust off your piano, or even pick up a new instrument for the first time. Maybe dulcimer? Just do it. It’s never too late. You won’t regret it. And you’ll have fun, meet nice people, and maybe even give an impromptu audience a very pleasing and memorable listening experience.