Many adults want to learn the piano, but aren’t quite sure how to get started. Unlike something like football, or most sports, learning the piano (or almost any instrument for that matter) is something that you can start at almost any age with little to no impairment, sure much like learning a language, children may have an inherent head start in absorbing and retaining information, but that does not mean that adults can not find a great time in learning to play the piano!
Today we’ll begin breaking down the stereotype that you need to be young to learn the piano and also offer some quick tips and tricks to getting started with learning the piano as an adult.
1) Overcoming Nerves
One of the most common reasons many adults are perhaps nervous about starting the piano is fear that they might face critique from family, friends or others as you just begin learning.
As adults, we’re far more self conscious than we are as children. If we’re not great at something straight away, it’s far easier to just give up or park it on a shelf than pursue the learning experience. Unfortunately, piano is one of those activities that you (unless you’re an unsung musical prodigy) are likely to not pick up and be amazing straight away, practice takes time and you WILL make mistakes.
Many may be nervous about playing in front of a teacher or other people, we’ve actually written a recent guide to overcoming this fear and why mistakes are okay!
Once you’ve accepted that you will make mistakes and that everyone learns piano at different speeds, it alleviates an enormous amount of pressure from the activity...Learning should be fun after all. When mistakes happen, simply accept them and try again instead of getting embarrassed or frustrated, you’ll get there eventually!
2) Finding Time
The second reason we hear many adults say that they can’t learn the piano even if they’d like to is time. We all lead busy lives and we agree, it can be tricky to find time between work, family life, health, relationships, friends and any other hobbies or activities you may have. However we do believe that if you put your mind to it, almost anyone can find the time to learn piano!
Many believe that you have to spend hours every evening to get good at the piano...You really don’t! In fact, over practicing is one of the leading reasons why many piano players reach a piano plateau and ultimately fall out of love with playing!
A far more sustainable and practical approach to learning is to dedicate 10, 15 or even 20 minutes of your day to exclusively playing the piano. A few times that we think are great for this could be:
During your morning routine - spending just 10 or so minutes a day before work can be all it takes!
During your lunch break - particularly for those working from home! Why not break up your day by injecting a little music, not only does it take some time away from your computer screen, but mastering a particular passage during your lunch break can really perk you up for the rest of the day!
In the evenings - Be it just before you go to bed, or after you’ve put the kids to bed, as adults we all need a little time to unwind, and the piano can be just that tool for you! If you’re worried about disturbing others, don’t forget that almost all digital pianos can be played with headphones and so can even acoustic pianos with silent systems!
3) Getting The Family Involved
Learning the piano doesn’t have to be an isolating task and many adults actually learning the piano more if they’re doing it alongside a loved one or child! We’ve written before about how to keep children engaged in playing the piano, but the same can be said for adults.
Likewise, for those who are perhaps looking to learn, but would also like to join a community of like minded players who can help inspire your playing, we’d highly recommend groups such as the Let’s Play Piano! Group across the uk!
4) Tools For Learning
There are thousands of ways to learn the piano and as adults, it can feel a little embarrassing to opt for books or tools that are clearly aimed at younger audiences. Thankfully however, there are also countless books and applications that are available out there that are also incredibly adult friendly. For example, Simplypiano’s interface, whilst incredibly colourful to help support younger learning, is also incredibly user and adult friendly.
Ultimately there is no ‘right’ way to learn the piano and the best way to learn is the one you enjoy the most! We’ve actually written a guide to help find the right way of learning here.
5) Learning With A Teacher
As we mentioned at the top of the article, many adults may find learning with a piano teacher particularly embarrassing or nerve wracking due to the fear of failure or find making mistakes embarrassing. Particularly in the case of piano teachers however, it’s important to remember that all of these teachers have been through a very similar experience, so understand how learning can be tricky to grasp.
Ultimately, if your teacher isn’t supporting your learning, or is making you feel stupid or insecure, they’re not the right teacher for you! Websites such as musicteachers.co.uk are fantastic sources for finding local teachers near you. Don’t be afraid to bounce around, try different teachers with different teaching styles and methods, pretty soon you’ll find the right one for you!
So there you have it, a few quick tips to making your learning experience as an adult as easy as possible! The most important rule with learning the piano however is that it should be fun! If you put too much pressure on yourself, the only person you’ll end up frustrating is yourself, don’t be afraid to take a moment away from the instrument and come back to it later if needed...These things all take time!
Want to learn more about pianos or finding the right piano for you? Contact our experts or visit our showroom today!