Learning to Play Piano As An Adult: Is it Still Possible?
Is there a time limit to learning a skill? The short answer is no. You are never too old to start learning a new skill. Want to know why and how you can get started? Find a nice chair, get something to drink, and prepare to absorb the information within this article.
Is it Too Late to Learn the Piano?
It is easy to get discouraged when you see younger people who are already better than you. You are not even sure if you still have enough space in your brain to retain information on how to play. To be able to answer this question, we need to understand how our brains function.
When we think of studying, we picture a bunch of kids in a classroom listening to a teacher. However, as more and more adults break free from the stigma of adult learning, scientists notice a positive change to the demeanor and health of an adult.
One of the changes researchers notice is the lowered rate of depression. As we grow older, we face harder battles from the pressures and stresses of life. Through learning a new skill, we feel energized by the sense of purpose and accomplishment. This causes us to look at life in a more optimistic light.
There are also health benefits that come hand in hand with learning a new skill. According to research, 15% of adults who begin to learn new skills have quit smoking. Additionally, there is a change in eating habits resulting in a 50% drop in obesity.
Learning a new skill also helps improve the cognitive reserves of our brains, which can help us combat Dementia and even slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s.
As you can see, learning a new skill only has positive effects on our brain and general well-being. With that in mind, it is never too late to learn to play the piano or any other skill for that matter!
Best Way to Learn Piano as An Adult
Now that you know that it is good for you to begin your piano journey as an adult, you are probably wondering about the methods you can use to learn. Everybody has their own preferences, but as an adult, you also have schedules and responsibilities that you need to address. This can make learning a little difficult. However, it does not have to be!
With the progression of technology, we develop more and more ways to make education easier to access. Today, it is much easier to fit learning the piano in your busy schedule than it would have been before the internet.
Here are some of your options:
Group Studies or Schools
If you are the type who enjoys the company of fellow students and love the feeling of being in a learning environment, then group studies and schools are your best options.
The most challenging part of this method is finding a group of people who are around the same age as you. You will need to do a lot of calls or send a lot of emails to inquire if they have classes for adults. You really do not want to be stuck in a class full of grade-schoolers.
Luckily, finding a school is easier today. Just look for piano schools near you on Google and something will surely pop up!
Another great option is going for private tutors. The prices for private tutors can vary greatly depending on your location so it is important to do a bit of research beforehand.
With private tutors, you often have two options. You can choose to drive over to your teacher’s studio and take your lessons there. Or, you can ask your teacher to drive to your house for an added travel fee.
While you can rely on word of mouth when looking for a private tutor, there are other faster ways to find piano instructors near you. You can either Google private tutors near you or use sites like TakeLessons (1). These websites prescreen teachers for you to ensure that you are getting qualified instructors. Additionally, the rating feature on their websites gives you an insight into other students’ experiences with the instructor.
Online Private Tutors
If you want to save some gas money and avoid paying extra fees then you should take a look at online private tutors. They are the same as traditional private tutors except all your lessons are conducted online via video chat.
What’s great about this method is that you get to stay at home and set your own schedule (just do not forget to mention it to your instructor beforehand). It is also fairly easy to find an online instructor! PrePly (2) is a great site for this purpose.
Self-Studying and Books
Think you can keep yourself in check and make your own schedule? Perhaps you should give self-studying a shot. There are several things you will need for this type of learning method. You should order workbooks that follow the standard piano training curriculum. That sounds a bit heavy, but don’t run away just yet!
These books are often used by piano teachers for reference in their lessons. Despite being published by different authors, each series are books that follow the standard curriculum for learning the piano:
- Alfred Piano Methods (3)
- Bastien Piano Basics by Kjos (4)
- Faber and Faber Piano Adventures Series (5)
- Suzuki Method (6)
If you can get yourself a copy of these books as well as a few songbooks (7) for practice, then you should be set for a long self-study session.
Online Piano Lessons
Finally, there is an option of taking online piano lessons. If you are wondering how long does it take to learn the piano or would like being in control of your own time and progress then online piano lessons could be great. Even without an actual mentor, you will still be guided through the lessons by the program you select. Often, you will be given practice songs, exercises and even fun little quizzes to refresh your memory.
One more thing that is great about online piano lessons is that it often comes with its own song library. This means you do not have to spend more money on buying songbooks.
Most of the time, you will have to pay a monthly subscription in order to get full access to premium online piano courses. However, they are often priced very affordably.
Check out this list of our top piano lessons and learning apps if you would like to learn more!
Tips for Learning Piano as An Adult
Learning the piano as an adult may pose a challenge, but it offers a range of benefits that you can enjoy.
So what if you are already an adult when you decide to start learning the piano? This can be a good thing! Being an adult means you have control of your schedule. Unlike children, you can decide what things to do and when to do it. You can select when to start practicing and when to stop, how much you want to practice, how you want to practice, and even what you want to practice. Use your age to your advantage!
2. Listen to Lots of Music
You are learning a musical instrument so it should be obvious by now that you love music. This is perfect! Go ahead and listen to as much music as you possibly can. However, this time, try to be more objective with the way you listen. If you listen to music attentively, you will start noticing patterns in rhythm and melody which you can apply to your lessons.
3. Learn Your Favorite Songs
Sometimes it is hard to motivate yourself to practice. If I’m being honest I need to be in a certain mood to even want to look at the music sheet of Debussy’s Claire de Lune. However, it is possible to make practice and learning fun. It is as simple as using your favorite songs. It is like hitting two birds with one stone. Not only do you get to add your favorite songs to your repertoire (effectively expanding it in the process) you also get to hear your favorite songs as you play.
Plus, it is definitely motivating to imagine yourself playing your favorite songs with ease and impressing friends and family.
4. We Know You Don’t Like Sheet Music
Trust me, I know. When I first started learning I dreaded sheet music.
Still, learning how to read sheet music is crucial to your improvement as a pianist. Being able to read sheet music allows you to play songs you have never even heard before. It also ensures that you are playing the songs you DO know correctly. Another rewarding thing about learning how to read sheet music is being able to understand the way a piece is composed more intimately. Not only will you know how to play it but you will know why it was arranged the way it was.
This one needs no explanation. Practice makes perfect!
If you find yourself struggling through a specific part of your lesson, the only way you can get past through it is to keep practicing. Repetition can be frustrating but the only way to improve is through continuous training.
As you can see, you are never too old to bust out that old keyboard you have laying around in the attic. There is no age limit to developing new skills. Check my online piano lessons for adult beginners to learn more.
Think about the positive effects of learning the piano. Not only will you learn a new skill, but you will also be getting plenty of health benefits with it. Just remember to keep going and keep practicing! Good luck!
Learning to Play Piano As An Adult: Is it Still Possible?