Hello! I'm new to the forums. I was googling if dyscalculia can cause problems learning an instrument and found this site.
I've been taking guitar lessons for a couple of months now and I'm starting to get really frustrated. I know I have a good teacher because he's corrected a lot of bad habits I built up on my own. There's no sight reading involved, only chord names. We've been working on rhythm, switching between chords, and and strumming patterns mostly.
I have improved a lot since I started. I'm just getting frustrated because everything is easy for me (except math haha!), and I'm literally getting headaches from practicing. I was really good at the flute when I was little, even though I couldn't read sheet music.
Can dyscalculia effect an ability to learn an instrument? I'm trying to figure out if its coming from that, or my horrible coordination from my sensory issues. If it is the dyscalculia, do you have any tips to help learn the instrument better? Is there a way I could work on it to make it absorb better?
I don't want to stop playing guitar, since I'm a musician. I already gave up on the piano because I can't read sheet music, but I really want to learn the guitar.
I'm completely new to these forums as well, but your post intrigued me. I think that dyscalculia must have a huge correlation in terms of ability to play a musical instrument. I would love to know what a more experienced forum member can share.
I started playing violin at age 8 and became a relatively good, solid player. I was concertmistress for 3 years in high school, and played with a community symphony at various times over the past few years as well. I have a good ear, always knew when I or someone else was out of tune, but NEVER, NEVER got a grasp of how to properly read music. (Especially sight reading a difficult piece.) Once I knew how it should sound - great! But figuring out how to count a measure and determine the note all at once is soooooo frustrating.
When I last played with the community symphony a few years ago at age 30, I realized I still used the old Suzuki method of reading music. (Assigning a 1,2,3 and 4 to the notes.) I understand nothing of sharps, keys, scales - but I somehow made myself understand the Suzuki rules of a number for a finger placement. It is why I gave up playing again, because the music became too difficult and made me frustrated. Going to rehearsal brought back that same feeling I would get when my dad tried to tutor me in algebra!
Anyway, I think that, YES, you can learn the guitar simply because you have the desire and seem willing put in the effort. You just may need some creative teaching methods to get there. The method I learned for violin only took me so far, but it worked. Perhaps now that I'm trying to understand my difficulties with math I'll be able to tackle it again; you can do the same.
I'd love to hear what else you find about the connection. Good luck!
Location: Munising, MI, USA Posts: 791 Joined: 2010-10-09
christi-very interesting how you still use Suzuki. I am also a violinist (majoring in Music Ed). I can sight-read well enough, and I can read music no problem. I have a good ear. My problem is counting and not getting lost in all the rests. Since being diagnosed this summer, my prof has changed how she teaches me some, and that is helping.
As far as dyscalculia affecting your ability to learn an instrument, yes, I do believe that there are some issues because of the nature of our LD, but it is very possible for a dyscalculic to become a musician and even to do well at it.
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!