Learning the Piano as an adult
Adults: The joys and frustrations of learning to play the piano
To my adult students
For adults, learning to play the piano is an exciting new hobby! However, if not managed well it can become a case of battling the frustrations of trying to master the complexity of the piano with the realities of time constraints and other work and family commitments.
This is something I fully understand!!! I am now lucky to be doing a job I love in teaching the piano and often wish I had been able to do so earlier in life. However, although I started learning at a young age, I faced my own barriers, such as lack of opportunities, financial barriers, having no instrument at times, other interests and then balancing family life, children, work, my mum and all the things we do in our lives. However, I always had that passion and although, I could never have the instrument, I wanted, the time to develop as I wanted and mainly the confidence, I kept plodding along, taking exams here and there and teaching on a part time basis.
Being made redundant, was really the push I needed to try something new and I haven’t looked back since!! So enough about me and on to addressing some of those concerns you have.
You decided to learn the Piano. That’s the first step done! The piano is a difficult instrument to learn. The initial steps can be easy as when you strike a note, it actually sounds like that note should. Simple melodies can be achieved in no time. However, to master the piano means reading two lines of score at a time, coordinating different fingers, notes, dynamics, rhythm all at the same time. The complexity of the instrument, along with the realisation is generally what can cause frustration and we want to avoid students giving up!
What are the concerns? Feeling frustrated when after so much practise, it still feels like progress is slow. Being unable to put in the practise needed. Family life and work limits time available. Financial or instrument barriers. Realisation that the commitment will be ongoing. Losing the passion. Allowing failure to take over.
Balancing Tips Remember what gave you the passion to learn. Give yourself a timetable of targets and be realistic about them. EG have a target of one or two songs to complete by a set time and then if you complete more, you will feel more positive. Be good to yourself and realise that you may not be able to be as consistent with your practise as you would like. If practise time is difficult, find shorter times and try to make them ‘interruption free’ by removing distractions of phones etc. Make practise count by following the ‘targeted’ practise tips given in lesson. You will get more results this way, rather than endless running through pieces. Focus on your achievements rather than what you haven’t achieved….YET?
Remember the Teacher is STILL learning too!!