Can You Begin Studying Piano as an Adult?

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A lot of people wonder if you can begin studying the piano as an adult. I often hear from people who have just retired and finally have the time, if they can begin studying the piano at their age. There are also people who never practiced when they were younger and wonder if it’s too late to take up the piano again. The simple answer is:

It’s never too late to begin learning the piano!

It’s important to have your expectations in alignment with reality. There are certain things you must be aware of. I’ve seen an incredibly wide range of results in piano progress among various people. Some have made remarkable progress at the piano in a short amount of time as adult beginners. How can this be? Your exposure to music in general is going to have a great deal to do with your success at the piano.

For example, if you’ve played an instrument like the clarinet, you are used to reading at least one staff of music as well as playing music. You’ve also developed finger dexterity. A transition to piano is going to be a lot more seamless than for someone who has never even listened to music let alone played a musical instrument. That person is going to have a harder time assimilating musical language.

A lot of affinity for music develops just from listening to it. So even if you’ve never played anything, but you’ve been an avid listener of music; you’re going to progress faster than someone who has avoided music their whole lives.

There is a parallel to how exposure to a foreign language can make it much easier to learn a second language.

There are a lot of things that enter into your success with studying the piano at any age. For example, there are different programs like Scott Houston’s Piano in a Flash. He was recently on our show and demonstrated how he helps people to enjoy the piano with his innovative chord system. His program isn’t designed to be able to play classical compositions of Beethoven or Mozart, but it offers fun for people wanting to play popular songs they are familiar with. His method of playing chords with the left hand and the melody line in the right-hand makes delving into the piano an enjoyable, casual endeavor. His program also offers ear training and guides you with improvisational skills. This is a way that a lot of people can get enjoyment out of the piano without striving to be a concert level player. For those of you wanting to play classical compositions, I suggest getting a teacher and studying the piano more formally because it’s more difficult to learn classical music on your own. Having a good teacher can help to guide your practice.

So, anyone can learn to play the piano at any age!

Enjoying the piano is what is most important. I don’t care who you are or what level you’re at, there is always going to be someone who is at a higher level and can do things you can’t do. This is for every single pianist in the world! So don’t worry. You don’t have to achieve any particular milestone. The point is to enjoy the process just like anything else in life. It’s about the journey, isn’t it? Thanks for the great question and I hope you have enjoyed this! This is Robert Estrin at 949-244-3729