Another thought about child versus adult musical learning: A high school kid (for example) may spend a zillion hours practicing guitar because they’re young enough to believe they could be a rock star. Would they put in all that practice if they knew their biggest audience ever was going to be 10 of their friends? No. So maybe realism works against us adults a little. Also (as someone else pointed out) kids are more likely to have free time. True, but I still think the kid wouldn’t work so hard if the idealistic motivation wasn’t there.
Muscle memory: When I first got a spinning wheel I was fucking clueless. These days my muscle memory for it is so good that I’m more likely to mess up if I look down at my hands, so I have to read books or watch videos while spinning. My hands just know. And I learned that just a few years ago, so the feeling of learning muscle memory is still fresh. It also makes me feel better to know that in my mid-thirties I was able to learn something so well that way. (Have you seen my yarn? I’m amazing. Not bragging either.)
I have set myself a goal, by the way. The local community orchestra holds tryouts every October. I wanna be good enough by next year to try out. I have a friend who plays in it already, so it would be even more awesome because Social Time. If I don’t make the cut, fine, but it’s good to have a goal in mind.