Always wanted to learn how to play the piano? Good news: it’s never too late. While you might think that you’re past your prime, or are too busy or simply don’t believe that it is possible to learn how to play an instrument later on in the game, fear not. You can do it – while most teacher’s bank on younger students and teenagers, there is a growing number of adults signing up for piano lessons in their 50s, 60s, 70s and more! Of course, the learning process is entirely different and the teaching approach will most likely differ too, but it is possible for you, as an adult, to sign up for piano lessons and learn the songs you’ve always wanted to play.
The first thing you need to do is to find a piano teacher that has experience with older learners. You can’t expect an adult student to have all the time in the world to practice between lessons so the expectations are different; teachers also need to be ready to teach simplified versions of pop songs, Broadway classics, 80’s rock and more. The repertoire will differ greatly, that’s for sure! So, when you are looking for a teacher, look for someone who is either experienced with adult learners or isn’t afraid to create personalized lessons for you.
Once you have a suitable piano teacher, just enjoy! Your teacher shouldn’t expect you to be thoroughly “prepared” for each lesson; be upfront with her or him if you haven’t had a chance to practice or if you have any questions about the material you were supposed to work on. You have work, you might have kids – obviously, some aspects of your life will take over piano practice. However, if you really want to learn, you should still try and find some time to practice. Otherwise, you’ll get discouraged quickly, which is not something you want! Adult students are often encouraged to create a practice routine. Incorporating your practice time in your daily schedule is a great way to remember it and make sure that you have time for it. Do you have 15 or 20 minutes once the kids go to sleep to practice every evening? Or perhaps you work at home and have the leisure to take some time in the morning. Whatever the case may be, pencil in your practice time in your schedule and try to practice at the same time most days to create a habit.
Finally, be realistic with yourself. A common issue with most adult learners is that you set high goals for yourself, thinking that you can learn a new song every week, or learn the entire catalog of your favorite band. This will lead to frustration and the more frustrated you are, the less likely you are to actually work on your material throughout the week. As an adult, you will learn at a slower pace than you used to as a child – however, this does not mean that you don’t have the ability to learn and be a great pianist. Keep up the good work, persevere and talk about any issues with your teacher, he or she will be able to give you tips to improve or even reassure you if you feel that you aren’t progressing!