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Adult Piano Lessons

Last Updated: January 04, 2012 / by Mark Buchanan


Too old to start playing the piano?

Nonsense! Remember how you felt not long ago when you first heard to word "Internet"? Most of us had absolutely no idea how much we were going to learn over the next 10 or 20 years about computers, about cyberspace, about the very foundations of how we communicate. The fact that you're now on-line reading this article proves you learned all that! And you can learn to play the piano too, no matter how many years you've logged on the calendar.

Not rocket science

As adults, there's good news and bad about whether we "old dogs" can learn a new trick. The bad news for us is that starting out young is a wonderful advantage, considering a child's innate ability to learn complex activities with seeming ease. But don't despair. The good news is that we are not children, we're adults. We've learned what we want, what's available and how to get it; we've developed our hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills; our physical stature—hand size in particular—has grown up to fit the instrument; and we are largely self-directed with a reasonable amount of self-discipline.

While some effort is required to learn to play the piano as an adult, it is significantly less than you might think: participating in a weekly lesson—with a teachable attitude—then consistently putting in the 30 minutes or so of recommended daily practice. In other words, while you can't learn to play the piano while you sleep, the effort required is not a great deal more than that.

Teacher qualification

An obvious difference between adult piano lessons and those designed for children is the teaching method applied. Piano teachers who cater exclusively to children will, for example, focus on pieces expected to interest children, taught using books and other material designed to accommodate children's needs. Thus, the first thing to learn about your prospective instructor is that he or she is either oriented exclusively to adult students, or able to apply significantly distinct teaching methods depending on the age of the pupil. If your prospective teacher seeks to interest you in Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star as opposed to, say, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, it's time to ask a few more questions.

In fact, adult piano lessons are frequently predicated on a student's desire to learn a specific piece of music, or a particular genre such as jazz, classical, popular or even such specifics as seasonal, holiday and special-occasion music. Logistical considerations such as your prospective teacher's location and whether he or she is willing to hold lessons at your location become important, as do those of whether you possess an instrument in-house on which to practice, or will need to practice elsewhere.

In any case, we urge you to spend just a little more time on your quest, and you'll soon discover that the world of adult piano lessons is rich with possibility. You'll also learn that it is never too late to learn to play the piano!


About the Author: Mark Buchanan

I am an avid musician with 20+ years experience. I have performed live in the Midwest area with various bands performing mainly as a sideman. I enjoy all types of music and approach the study of music with an open mind. Though my performing schedule is heavy, I have a small group of students I teach when time allows. Music is a lifelong journey and I'm proud to be a part of it!


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