Freelance Contribution by Karen Weeks

In older age, people often find themselves with an abundance of free time. What better to do with it then learn a fun new skill? With today’s technology, it’s easier than ever. Here are several skills seniors can add to their portfolio by taking just a few online courses.


Whether you’re searching for the best online guitar lessons or how to play the piano, you’ll find you won’t be at a loss for videos that teach you all about playing an instrument online. Not only are there video guides, but there are games and music theory worksheets as well that will help you learn to read music and find the notes on your instrument of choice. It takes a lot of commitment to learn to play an instrument, but if you practice daily, it’s a skill that will bring joy to everyone around you.


If you’ve always wanted to cook like a pro, but never had the time to devote to the kitchen, there are an abundance of free videos and step-by-step instructions with visual aids online to help you achieve your goal. Several classes on “cover basic and advanced cooking techniques, including cooking meat, using herbs, working with seafood, creating sauces, assembling appetizers, cooking vegetables and using pastry dough.”

The best thing about learning to cook a particular recipe through a video is the fact that you can always rewind or pause it if you need more time before moving on to the next step. With the internet at your fingertips, you’ll also never be at a loss for ideas on new recipes to whip up.


Whether you’re wanting to unlock your camera’s full potential, take photos of the grandkids, or better document your next trip, there are several free online tutorials available to help you excel in photography. You’ll also find tips on how to compose your photos and utilize the right lighting, as well as the ins and outs of editing software like Photoshop. Make sure you have a camera and its manual handy before starting any courses because they might confuse you if you don’t have something to practice and follow along with.


While speaking a foreign language may seem like quite the task, online computer programs like  Rosetta Stone allow you to listen, practice speaking it yourself as well as with other people from around the world, and see visual examples of how the language is used in the correct context. According to The Guardian, users are usually “able to pinpoint their specific needs, be that tailoring a classroom lesson to the interests of a particular age group, or learning the basics for a holiday abroad.” The way each lesson is set up, it often feels more like you’re playing a game than studying a new complex linguistic pattern. Additionally, though learning a language online will cost you, it affords you the opportunity to go at your own pace and difficulty setting.

In order to make the learning process easier and more entertaining, many of these skills can be picked up and shared with a group of friends. When in doubt, search the likes of YouTube to find a helpful video. You might even find that learning a new skill as a senior will keep your brain on its toes and increase your sense of fulfillment.

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