Not necessarily, no. There is a big misconception that children will learn quicker than adults, but the reality is that it is really down to the individual.
An adult for example will have a lot of distractions and things going on in their life that may hinder progress – family issues, work, school etc. A child doesn’t have those sorts of pressures in life and is going through the stages of trying to learn as much as possible. A child may be a lot more focused when learning and practicing than an adult, but an adult may have more desire to progress.
An adult, who is determined to learn and doesn’t allow any distractions from their life, may typically learn a lot faster than a child. So it really does depend on the person and how busy they are in life. An adult however may get frustrated a lot easier than a child, as they are aware of how something should sound and have been listening to music for a long time. A child on the other hand doesn’t, and is just happy to learn and constantly take in more information.
A child also has the ability to enjoy music more when learning, unlike a typical adult who may get frustrated and start to make comparisons of themselves against professional musicians. The more fun you have when learning, the easier it is to learn and take in information and store it – and children may find this much easier.
You may also be forgiven for thinking that if you didn’t learn music as a child that you will struggle as an adult, which again isn’t completely true. Yes, it’s a fact that children gain a huge advantage if they receive an early dose of musical neural stimulation, as they will keep this for the rest of their life, but it’s never too late to learn. Especially if as a child you were exposed to similar forms of neural stimulation, like maths. If you weren’t which means it may take you longer, so what! Don’t try and judge yourself before you give it a go. Anyone can learn music, and it doesn’t matter how good you are, or how good you will get. As long as you enjoy it then there is no need to worry whether or not it’s too late or if you can still learn.
Practice, practice, and more practice is always the key to learning anything. And if you have the patience and can allow yourself the time, then it’s never too late to learn anything no matter what your age. I’ve been playing for over 25 years, and I still want to get better and learn more, and I still find myself getting frustrated at not being able to play something. It’s human nature to think negatively when trying to learn something new, but once you can do it you always wonder why it was such a big deal in the first place. So try and put yourself in a positive frame of mind right from the start, and you’ll find that learning to read and play music is not as difficult as you first thought.