Many people ask me “Is it too late to learn the piano?” The answer is absolutely NOT! In fact, there are many reasons why older age can be the perfect time to learn the piano! It is not like trying to learn how to be a prima ballerina, which works best at a super young age. I’ve taught people as old as 80! What is tragic is when people tell me that they wish they could play piano. Start NOW! You can do this!
Advantages to learning at an older age
- First of all, with age comes wisdom. You won’t have to fight the youthful impatience of wanting to have it all RIGHT NOW. You know that real learning and progress is a journey and I bet you’ve got a ton of life lessons and learning under your belt. That makes you a perfect student! I bet you have more patience in your little finger than younger adults, kids and teens have in their entire body!
- You know yourself pretty well by now. That means you probably have a pretty good idea of how you learn best, or what your learning challenges are. It takes piano teachers months of one-on-one lessons with a student in order to ‘figure them out’ and discover how best to teach their students. You can give your teacher miles of headway and boost your own progress by sharing with her what you’ve learned about yourself. Like: I have dyslexia, or I have trouble reading texts from books, or I haven’t learned anything complex in a long time, I work best with lots of repetitions, or I work best by writing things down. This is HUGE!
- You may want it more! Younger people take things for granted, like the privilege of owning a piano, or of taking lessons. Maybe you’ve yearned to learn the piano for many years. That’s a huge motivation, which often translates into success.
- You may have more time to devote to learning. That too is huge. Often young people are juggling school, sports, activities, jobs, careers, really young kids, taking care of siblings, and who knows what else. They simply do not have enough time or brain space to stop long enough to think, much less learn something new.
- You know what you like about music and you may know WHAT you want to learn. Do you hope to read music? Learn to play hymns? Or play pops and sing along with your playing? Do you want to rock out to rock and roll or play contemplative classics or new age peaceful music? If you can narrow it down just a bit, it will help your teacher to get you on the perfect track.
- Man, learning piano is SO good for your brain! I’m sure you’ve heard that keeping your brain active with learning something new creates new neurons in your brain and staves of dementia big time. Let me assure you, playing the piano will make you smarter. There have been studies where scientists put adults into MMR machines and ask them to imagine they are doing their work job. Teachers imagine teaching, police officers imagine being on patrol, engineers imagine running calculations. With each different occupation, different parts of the brain light up. When a pianist imagines playing the piano ALL areas of the brain light up.
Learning piano will make you smarter. AND you’ll have a blast learning it.
If you need a piano
If you don’t yet have a piano, I can really recommend an affordable portable keyboard! You can always find free acoustic pianos on Craig’s List, Facebook Marketplace or even in your own neighborhood. They are really hard to get rid of though, and costly to move. If you want something easy to store, lightweight yet great sounding, make sure your invest in a keyboard with 88 keys and weighted keys. Please read more about selecting your first piano in my article here.
This is the portable I own (along with a six foot grand piano, and cheap keyboard for grandkids to pound on and a family heirloom upright). I LOVE this piano.
- full 88 keys
- expertly weighted keys
- Midi export for computer music writing and recording
- Very small square footage
- Great sound
- Easy to use selections – no Sears Catalog sized manual to learn
- Sounds great with earphones for privacy
Helpful tips – it is never too late to learn piano
- My best advice is to find a good teacher. And I don’t mean a concert musician either! I have a LOT of information on my article called Is It Hard To Learn The Piano? here. Nowadays, if you have a tablet or laptop and can navigate it well, online private lessons work fantastically in your own home!! The new digital innovations of video and recorded tracks will boost your learning speed like you’ve never imagined. You can connect with a teacher clear across the planet if you wish! Send me an email via here at verycreate if you’d like to connect with me, ( I only teach online nowadays and I don’t take anyone younger than seven) or ask for recommendations from people you know who play well. You may also find your ideal teacher by surfing on youtube. If you connect with what they are teaching, you’ll enjoy one-on-one with them as well.
- Be patient with your learning style. The next couple of years are going to pass by anyway, so you may as well learn piano and be a great piano player at the end of those years too!
- Listen to lots of music. Please get out of your comfort zone and explore listening to different genres! It will expand your universe! I’m talking easy listening jazz, blues, rock, classical, country, foreign country’s music, folk, gospel, new age, hip-hop, rap, and big band era music. It’s so fun nowadays with youtube and listening apps like Spotify. It’s free and the world is at your feet!
- Buy yourself a package of flashcards and using my recommendations from this article to master two notes, then three, then four over the course of about five weeks until you know 15 notes. Don’t rely on crutches like marks on the keyboard, coloring the keys or taping up charts behind the keyboards. If you can memorize your email password, you can memorize flashcards a few at a time.
- Half an hour a day will get you lightyears of progress. Don’t try to cram learning into two-hour increments. Science is proving that we learn best when it is small bites repeated often. So, plan on practicing every day for 20 or 30 minutes if you can, but five days a week at the minimum for steady progress.
- Record yourself with your smartphone playing your first song. Then do it again one month later. I guarantee you’ll be impressed with yourself! We often can’t see how far we’ve come until we look back at the beginning. If you keep a private video journal of your journey, you’ll be so proud in a short time! Guess that’s true with life in general!
MOST of all: HAVE FUN! You’re going to do great! And you’ll be so happy you started.
P.S. if you don’t jive with your piano teacher, find a different one! Some people just aren’t good teachers, or a good fit for you.