When it comes to piano, age has no influence as to whether or not someone can enjoy learning to play. Many who are interested in learning the piano in later life or perhaps when approaching retirement may ask the question whether or not it is possible to learn the piano if they did not play when they were younger and in our opinion (and almost any piano teacher’s opinion), the answer is almost always a resounding YES, you can always learn the piano, regardless of your age!
If you are looking to get started with the piano as either an adult or later in life, this guide will help you get started as well as offer some advice on finding the right avenue for you.
Why Anyone Can Learn Piano
Unlike sports or other pursuits in life that perhaps require physical strength where most people peak in their 20s, piano has no ‘peak age’ and with the exception of those who are perhaps physically unable to play for various reasons (although there are those out there who can play blind or even with their feet!), almost anyone has the potential to be able to learn piano and music theory, regardless of previous experience or ability.
Not only is playing the piano a great way to relax, but it has also been proven to dramatically improve various aspects of later life, for example memory and hand mobility. Many people have the impression that because they perhaps didn’t learn piano when they were a child that it is impossible to pick up as an adult, however there are a plethora of books, materials and guides all suited to the adult or later learner. We have even included a few in our guide to the best beginner piano books here.
In fact, for those who are learning the piano as perhaps part of retirement, or approaching retirement, this is a fantastic time to learn because you’ll soon have more time to invest in your learning. This being said, those who are still juggling work, family and other commitments can still find the time to learn the piano, it may just take a little more priority balancing, which we have also written a guide for here.
Benefits Of Learning The Piano
As mentioned, there are a plethora of reasons why piano is a fantastic pursuit for later life. We have covered the best methods to learn in our guide to learning piano as an adult to help find the right learning style for you, however there are a number of background benefits that many people are not necessarily aware of that piano can bring.
1) A Deeper Connection To Music
If you used to play when you were younger or you have always enjoyed music but never understood it, learning the piano can be a fantastic way to help analyse and enjoy your favourite compositions on a new level. When you begin your learning journey, you will quickly begin to understand the nuance and detailed finesse of piano music, even simplified versions of iconic songs (learn more about this in our beginners guide to learning classical music).
2) Fine Motor Skills
This is particularly prevalent for those concerned or looking to keep the likes of arthritis at bay. Because piano activates fine motor skills and muscles in your fingers, hands, forearms and even shoulders, learning the piano helps keep the muscles in the hands flexible. Having this flexibility in your hands can combat arthritis and improve circulation in your fingers.
For those who are still looking to learn and do already suffer with arthritis, don’t worry or let that stop you, as even with just a few adaptations, we believe that even those with little to no mobility in their fingers can still learn piano.
3) Pursuit Of Passion!
The advantage of wanting to learn piano as an adult over a child is for the most part, many children feel forced into learning piano and without proper care or passionate teaching, it is easier for them to stop learning.
For adults however, because we have more value in how we spend our time, learning the piano is a leisure activity with a clear purpose, meaning that you will likely find yourself more committed to learning and with that comes a deeper level of satisfaction. For those learning with a teacher, this is especially beneficial as if you know roughly what you want to learn, this gives the teacher a clear focus on how to spend your time behind the piano.
4) Memory Improvement
There are many studies that demonstrate how piano improves learning capacity within children, however the same is true for adults. Playing the piano activates both sides of the brain and helps the two work in harmony with each other and this too extends into those learning the piano for the first time in later life.
How To Get Started Learning Piano
There are a plethora of ways to learn the piano, from books to apps to learning with a teacher and it is up to you how you would like to learn. If you are unsure, we have included many options for learning the piano in this guide, however the most important step is to realise that learning the piano is a pursuit that takes time and it is the small steps that soon add up to massive achievements.