Learn to play the piano...one of the most common New Year's resolutions of all time...right up there with learning French or being more strict with your diet.
And the excuses are equally typical aren't they? No time to practice, not enough money for lessons, or even worse, think you're too old?
Some of these reasons are valid of course, but age is definitely not one of them!
You can learn to play the piano at any point in your life, whether it's in your teens busy with school, in your forties when you're focusing on getting that promotion, or even in your retirement when you perhaps feel you don't always have the energy.
Some students may prefer to start with the theory of music as they feel will learn quicker if they can start with a foundation of music theory, such as how to read sheet music, or even just studying the keys of the piano.
Others will gravitate toward a more practical approach. They will feel like they are understanding the process better if they can actually play the notes or even learn a short melody.
Whichever way you want to approach it, there are several advantages to taking piano lessons as an adult.
Any Age Is a Good Age
Of course, arguments can be made that younger students learn faster, and it's not totally untrue.
However, that doesn't automatically mean that the older you get, the harder it is to take piano lessons. Some people have a natural inclination to music no matter their age, while other simply need to approach the learning process in a different way. You simply have to make the time!
Older May Even Be Better
Many teachers would also argue that you may be better at learning things as an adult because you've had time to develop your own personality and style.
Younger students can often be dismissive of things they don't enjoy or they may feel like they've been forced into it too. If you've made the active choice to book and pay for piano lessons because you're genuinely interested, you're much more likely to make the effort to retain the knowledge you've gained, as well as put in the necessary practice.
You Can Always Find the Time
Learning to play the piano, or any instrument for that matter, is no different than any other task in your life. If it's important enough, you'll find the time for it.
Whether it's actual piano lessons or just some casual practice, you need to work these things into your routine. Ten minutes of practice every morning is better than one hour squeezed in on a Sunday night when you should be in bed.
If you can schedule the time to sit down at the piano every day, no matter how little or how much, it will vastly improve your playing and help to cement the knowledge in your mind. But as with any new student, it won't come automatically, especially your muscle memory, which is so important when it comes to learning to play piano and other practical components of playing music.
Commitment is Key
Often, children will resent their piano lessons because they feel as though they have no choice in the matter. One of the many advantages of learning as an adult is the fact that you make the decision to learn yourself, which can make the end result a lot more rewarding, especially when you reach the stage when you can play with confidence.
Adults also have more control over their schedule and if you start lessons, you need to be able to commit time to them, especially your practise time. This is made much easier if you're not answerable to anyone with regards to your free time.
Your Teacher Can Also Be Your Peer
When learning something new as an adult, there is a good chance that your teacher may be the same age as you. I've always seen this as a plus because you can have an open discussion with your teacher about what you want and how you'd like to approach the learning process.
If you'd like to play a song as quickly as possible, as a way to boost your confidence, you can discuss this approach with your teacher. You can also consider finding a different teacher if you feel the style of teaching or the personalities involved aren't working. You are, after all, the one paying for the piano lessons too, so if you're not happy, you can speak your mind.
There Won't Have To Be Any Deadlines
Taking any lessons as an adult, whether it's for cooking, a language or an instrument, doesn't have to mean strict deadlines as they might if you were a child. The syllabus for a child often adheres to a school year, for example.
For an adult, you can learn at your own pace, fitting your piano lessons into your own schedule and you can decide when you want to slow things down or speed them up, all depending on your progress or what's happening in your life.
Ultimately, taking piano lessons as an adult has the potential to be a lot more fun than taking them as a child. Naturally, the more time you have to practice the better, but that doesn't mean that you will reach an age when it's too late for you to start. The most important thing is to find a teacher that you learn well with and that you have a good time. If you can find some friends to practise with, even better.
Pick a Style
If you still have any doubts about whether or not you can learn to play the piano, do some research into the style of piano music that you like and find a piece that you'd like to learn. Speak to your prospective teacher about making that piece your goal and they can help you to plan your piano lessons and practise around that goal.
This will not only motivate you but it will help you make a habit of fitting the piano into your schedule. Once you've made it a good habit, you'll have a lifelong hobby which will bring you endless joy.
About the Author: Joseph Evans
My name is Joseph Evans and I am a guitar playing, freelance writing, online teaching music lover based in Seattle, WA. Growing up in a musical family naturally lead to obtaining my Bachelor of Music (BM) in Composition & Music Theory degree, after which I taught and traveled my way across Europe for 7 years before returning back home to settle in beautiful Seattle. On a typical day, you would find me playing my guitar, pottering around in the vegetable garden, going on long hikes, reading and/or writing.