Starting Piano as an Adult
Any age is a good one to start learning!
Most of our students are younger, but we always have some adults who are coming to us to take music lessons for the first time. While adults take many different kinds of classes with us – in both dance and music – we find that many adults just starting music lessons for the first time, or perhaps picking them up for the first time since childhood, are interested in taking piano. Which is great! Piano is one of the best musical foundations anyone can have.
Taking up piano as an adult presents some unique challenges, especially if this is your first ever introduction to musical training. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you have the best experience.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Start Slowly
Beginning to learn music for the first time is like learning to read all over again. In fact, you will be learning to read again – read music! Think about how you learned to read. You had to learn each letter and the sound it makes, then learn how to put them together into simple words, and bit by bit you could build up into reading full books. Music works the same way! You’ll learn faster than a small child would, but you still have to go through all the steps. Don’t be afraid! You can move at your own pace.
- Set A Regular Time for Lessons and Practice
With us, the lessons shouldn’t be too much of an issue since we schedule lessons every week, but practice can be trickier. Learning music is a new habit, just like working out, running errands, or anything else you do every week. Put practice time in your schedule and start forming the habit! You’re learning piano because it’s fun. Set aside time to have more fun!
- Practice Playing by Sight and by Ear
Playing music should engage multiple senses. Many musicians with good ears fall into the trap of playing by ear all the time. They can spend months, even years, learning and still barely be able to read sheet music. At the same time, it’s important to develop your ear as you play. As you read music, listen to yourself attentively. Is your pitch good? Are you following all the dynamics and other markings? Listen and read! Form a connection between the two, and you’ll improve as a musician.
- Take Ownership of Your Lessons
Don’t be scared of the myth that you have to learn classical piano before you can learn anything else! Like so many wrong ideas, it’s rooted in the truth: classical music has a lot of the techniques that every pianist needs to know, so it’s often used to teach piano. But that doesn’t mean classical is the only way to learn those techniques. Tell your teacher what kind of music you want to play. Keep a dialogue open and listen to the steps your teacher gives you to reach your goals.