You’re never too old


By Alysa Vasapolli, Director of Talent Acquisition

As soon as I walked into the store, a cool-looking sales guy asked if he could help me. I wasn’t ready, so I said the typical, “No, I’m just looking.” But, as I thumbed through the enormous racks of sheet music and songbooks, I immediately got this wave of excitement and the guts to turn back to the employee and say, “Yeah, I could actually use some help. I’m in the market for a new guitar.”

The truth was that I was looking for a beginner guitar at the ripe age of 40.

The last time I sat and strummed a tune was back in high school. I can remember my best friend and I taking lessons from our decrepit guitar teacher; she playing melody, and I playing chords on “Love Potion #9.” Then, in my 20s, I received a guitar (instead of an engagement ring—long story) from a boyfriend. As the relationship fizzled, so did the guitar playing.

I put the guitar down for a rest that lasted 15 years.

Fast forward. Here I was in Guitar Center in New York City, and had been thinking about buying a guitar for a long time, but my first thought was that I was too old to pick it up again. I would have to learn from scratch.

“So, what are you looking for?” the salesman asked over my shoulder, as I stared at sparkling Taylors and Gibsons. “Well, here’s the thing. I haven’t played since high school, and I’m not sure what I need.” And then, everything changed when he said the following: “Oh, so you haven’t played in a few years. That’s cool. I can help you.” Yeah, I hadn’t played in a few years. A few years! This guy had no idea how old I was, and I was in heaven.

That day reignited my passion for music. That day I bought a Takamine acoustic guitar and began my music obsession. I wanted to learn everything about this instrument and start to play songs that others could enjoy along with me. I had that guitar with me all the time. It was funny because friends would ask me to bring the guitar to parties, even though I could barely play at the time.

And here I am now, enjoying this pastime. Always learning, but much improved. Wishing that I had more time to devote to it, but doesn’t that go for everything fun? It’s the one activity that I can do on my own with no help from others. It’s the one hobby that I can spend hours and hours on, and never get bored.

The message here is simple: You’re never too old to learn anything.