Is It True That You Are Never Too Old To Learn To Play The Piano? September 15, 2010
Piano teachers know that you are never too old to learn to play the piano. Adults ask them about taking lessons all the time. It is often one of the most frequent questions asked of any piano teacher. Adults either want to complete lessons begun when they were children, or they want to start lessons because they never could. There is something magical about playing the piano that makes it a secret dream of lots of people. Here is what piano teachers will tell you about it.
You actually may start piano lessons at any age. Teachers often disagree about the best ages to start, but most will agree that an average starting age may be around 6 years old. The reason? This is when you start to read and write, and learning to read piano music is simply another language. You can learn to read and write your own language and music all together at the same time. And, the coordination it takes to navigate over piano keys starts to form around that time.
Potential private piano students are those who are learning to read and write or who already have those skills. Why? Because music is simply another language. Learning to read and write it is a very similar process to acquiring a new language. Older students can often apply their language learning skills to learning music. This widens the acceptable starting ages for pianists to as young as 2 or 3 to as old as 11 to 75. The point is that you can start at almost any age.
The frustration that adults feel when they practice piano is that their intellectual abilities are in stark contrast to their physical ones. Adult fingers can feel very clumsy when starting out on the keys. Adults simply need to be patient with themselves when developing their piano technique. Lots of slow and steady practice is important, but most adults master their fingers well enough to enjoy playing favorite tunes.
For older grade students and adults, finding time to practice is one of the biggest challenges. School and work obligations frequently take up much of the weekly schedule, making it difficult to keep up with lesson assignments. But motivation to acquire piano technique and play piano pieces can help learners to work around schedule problems.
Helping an older student learn can be as easy as modeling good time management habits. Setting up an area to store piano music, theory workbooks, manuscript paper, pencils and erasers, and a lesson assignment notebook are the first step. Make sure your piano has good light so eyes do not become strained. Try different practice times over the course of one week, and choose what works best for everyone in the family. Stick to the routine until it becomes normal.
Scheduling practice time is essential. Many older students actually block out regular times in their appointment calendars to make certain that nothing else interferes. Develop a routine that works and stick to it.
Desiring to take up lessons can surface when your children or grandchildren start their studies. This can be a springboard to creating shared learning experiences that last a lifetime. It really is true that you are never too old to learn to play the piano.
Merriam School Of Music 75-3175 Rutherford Rd, Vaughan, ON L4K 5Y6 (905) 829-4489 http://www.merriammusic.com/ Music school and piano store in the Greater Toronto Area. Offers piano lessons for children and adults. Also sells instruments, music and related products. Visit our Vaughan location!