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Is it Harder to Learn to Play the Piano When You Are Older?

By Emma, published on 14/07/2017 Blog > Music > Piano > Learning How to Play the Piano for Adults

No matter what you’re learning, it’s always recommended that you begin when you’re a child. A child is like a sponge, absorbing knowledge, and that’s what you do as you learn.

Sports, reading, art… music doesn’t deviate from this rule.

The first hours spent learning to play the piano are often the most theoretical and the most packed with ideas, and they require a great deal of concentration and focused listening. Two characteristics children possess.

For my part, I learning to play the piano when I was five years old was very beneficial. I picked up the basics more quickly, and then advanced to the next stages regularly and rapidly.

One must diligent in two ways as an adult. And there are certain constraints. That’s what we’re going to discuss.

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Does an Adult Have the Same Approach to Music as a Child?

Obviously not! For an adult, the approach is based on a relationship to music, and so the relationship to the piano is different. An adult already has tastes in music, an established musical background. And not habitually viewing music as an accessible practice already makes it more complicated mentally.

learning piano as adult Never too old to start learning to play the piano!

Fortunately, this psychological barrier is relatively easy to overcome. It’s the same as an inferiority complex, when you tell yourself “I’ll never make it.”

In your first lesson, the teacher’s job is to tear down these barriers that adults invent for themselves. Once the approach has been changed, there’s room to learn.

An easy reward for the amateur pianist lies in the fact that, unlike the the violin or cello, the keyboard is percussive.

Learning the piano brings many difficulties with it, but the greatest advantage is that you can hear each note.

With the piano, you can play little things beautifully. This makes it a little feasible, and intellectually speaking, adults are therefore more pleased with it.

Discover how to tune a piano…

Adults Learn to Play the Piano Differently

Of course they do! Learning how to play the piano as a adult is often like walking on a tightrope, but it’s also a different experience for a teacher.

Especially if the teacher in question is, like me, younger than the student.

Before focusing on pure and difficult training, it’s important to establish an air of trust, and a relationship that’s a different from traditional student-and-teacher.

After that, it’s important to work in stages, with clear and precise goals, unlike with a child who receives a more general and varied training. Teaching a forty or forty-five year-old adult needs to be very targeted.

Adults are often hoping to learn how to master improvisation on the piano.

An adult, who knows what he or she wants and where he or she wants to go, has the privilege of efficiency. The teacher, then, will need to adapt his method, his role, or risk simply losing or turning off his student.

Piano for beginner adults The adult brain learning music.

Many times, I’ve encountered young adults in their twenties who think they’re already too old to start learning how to play an instrument.

I don’t understand where this comes from very well. Our brains are capable of learning new things throughout our lives.

Is it Possible to Practice the Piano Every Day as an Adult?

It’s obvious that we have different everyday lives. As I’ve already said above, it’s important to have focused content in the lessons, and to meet set goals little by little.

The teacher will need to take musical background into consideration, as well as taste, and obviously the amount of free time the student has. A forty year-old person won’t have the same amount of free time as a retiree.

What’s important, now more than ever, when learning how to play the piano as an adult, is to keep to a routine.

how to play piano as adult Learning to play the piano as an adult.

The lessons themselves are important. Of course. Take advantage of the teacher’s advice, and work on the basics. But the most important work is done yourself, every day.

Many educational piano books allow you to progress in your own way.

The secret for a motivated adult is in the schedule and organization of his or her time and finding time to play.

Don’t panic yet. It’s not necessary to block out an entire hour every day for this. Every day stress and various obligations will be fine with some rhythm. A little advice: twenty minutes, thirty at most, will be plenty.

By working on it over and over, by playing piano for just twenty minutes, you’ll calm your nerves, and allow yourself to change your mood. It’s very effective.

Consistency is more important than duration. It’s by being attentive when you play that you’ll progress.

Learning, Having it Stick, and Getting there Quickly—Is it Impossible?

Not at all.

An adult isn’t any slower than a child. There are advantages. An adult can make up for lack of lesson or practice time with organizational skills and a basis of understanding. A child starts entirely from scratch.

adult learning piano Learning how to play the piano from square one.

An adult has the ability to focus effort on what’s essential. You can also more quickly take stock of shortcomings and measures of progress. This is an advantage for everyone involved, the teacher as well as the student.

Learning how to play the guitar as an adult is similar to learning French or any other foreign language.

It takes time, and the results won’t be easily noticeable right away. And like with a sport, mentality is important. Because you can’t give up, you have to continue. Once you’ve gotten a hold on the basics, bear in mind, progress will come more easily than it will for a child.

As I’ve said above, it’s consistency that makes all the difference. An adult will obviously need to work on hand dexterity more than a child. But that takes just five minutes a day, for a total of about thirty minutes a week. This, you have to admit, is entirely possible. And moreover, it’s relaxing.

The Teacher’s Role is Crucial for Adults

When you’re learning how to play the piano as an adult, the role of the teacher is different, but just as important. Especially in terms of approach. Nine times out of ten, an adult will have taken the first steps towards beginning on the piano by himself and for himself.

learn how to play piano adult Get help from a piano teacher.

On the other hand, children often begins learning how to play music due to the impulses of their parents, which means that their motivation can wane more quickly, that the urge to quit could come more quickly than planned or anticipated. The role of the teacher to them interested simply isn’t there when teaching an adult. The interest is already there and is significant.

Instead, the teacher must stand apart from the image of the teacher. I’ll explain. An adult who feels like a student won’t progress very much, if it all. It’s thus important to step away from the idea of the piano lessons as “scholarly.”

And the relationship, more of a collaboration, will be more fruitful.

Lastly, the teacher will be responsible for getting the most from an adult student. The teacher will need to guide the student and set goals for the piano lessons.

Sometimes something important is forgotten. The capacity to self-teach and self-correct, as well as to reflect, are more developed in adults. It should be taken advantage of.

A little advice: a little humor, with an adult student, goes a long way. There’s enough stress in the training without the need to add too much seriousness at the piano.

There is no Right Age to Learn to Play the Piano

As we’ve seen, there truly is no right age at which to learn to play the piano. From seven to seventy-seven, it’s always possible. But it requires a few key elements.

learn to play piano as an adult Bob James, jazz pianist.

Patience. Because there’s a risk that you’ll be going slower than you planned, especially at the beginning. Mental skills and confidence in yourself are necessary, as well as will-power.

Consistency. Both in terms of piano lessons and practice. Not for a long time, but often. Like this, you’ll advance more quickly (hence the comparison to learning a language). Learning the piano is a marathon, not a sprint. You have to have the desire and capacity to stick it out.

Finally, as an adult student, the people around you will enable to you advance quickly or slowly. Supportive friends and family, and of course an experienced teacher, along with an adapted program and methods most effective for learning the piano.

The relationship between two adults is always sensitive when one is teaching the other. So it’s necessary to find a good balance, an approach that works. In this regard, there’s an advantage to having an adult with whom you can have a real dialogue.

You might ask yourself if an adult would be better off completing training online, or learning on your own.

Will this be as effective as with a real teacher who visits once a week?

Isn’t it risky? So in that case, where should you go?

What are the best sites for effectively learning on your own? And what can you expect from an online tutor?

This is obviously a different subject.

For me, I’ve always learned a great deal from my piano teachers. I hope that my students are learning a lot from me. It’s this relationship that makes learning the piano a fond memory. And I’ve kept in touch with those I’ve taught.

Without any doubt, if you aspire towards a career as a star pianist, you need to get started soon. If you want to play the piano because you like music and want to play the greatest songs you’ve always wanted to play, you can get started right now.

If you really want to learn to play the piano, your age doesn’t need to be an obstacle.

Nonetheless, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Free yourself! You’re never “too old!”
  2. Start with a famous song.
  3. Don’t rush yourself! It’s a matter of fun, not speed. Quickly learning how to play the piano is not a talent most people have.
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