By Susan Koeppen

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Whether you’ve always wanted to learn to tickle the ivories or dance the tango, mastering a new skill can benefit the mind, body and soul.

Angie’s List has some tips for how to get the most out of your music or dance lessons at any age.

Kristi Manion’s son, Noah, has been taking piano lessons once a week for about six months.

“He’s not really into sports and we wanted an activity for him to do so he decided on the piano,” Manion said.

No matter your age, instructors say lessons are a great way to challenge yourself, have fun and meet new people.

“We have a lot of adult students that come in and they are nervous at first because they’ve never taken a dance class before. They’ve never stepped inside a dance studio, but it’s something they wish they would have done when they were younger. I just always say, ‘Come in and try it, just one time,’” dance instructor Stefanie Squint said.

The cost for lessons can add up quickly, so research your options before investing too much.

“The reason we bought the keyboard over the piano is to make sure he was actually going to be interested in piano lessons before we made that big investment,” Manion said.

“Whether it’s yourself or your kids looking to take up a new hobby, the best bet is to make sure you actually like the hobby before you invest too much into it. Try some trial classes, rent your equipment instead of buying it so you can find out it’s the right investment so you don’t end up spending a ton of money,” Angie Hicks from Angie’s List said.

When picking an instructor, ask to look over their credentials and be clear about what you what to accomplish.

“I recently took up piano lessons. We’ve had a piano in my house for years and it’s been really fun. It’s always fun to learn something new. My husband plays and my kids play and it’s created a little family competition with my kids and I,” Hicks said.

In general, a good time to introduce a child to an instrument, such as a piano, is age 5 or 6.

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