Key #2 Very Specific Detailed Practice Sessions
One of your big advantages as an adult is that you have the capacity to understand the structure of practicing and how to set goals.
Its not good enough to walk into your piano session and think, I guess Ill practice my scales a little bit and work on my pieces. Thats good enough to make slow, incremental progress, but if you want to ramp up that learning curve and make progress much quicker, you have to have very detailed practice sessions. Detailed practice is how you hit Leverage Points to increase your results per minute of practice.
For these detailed practice sessions you want each minute accounted for. Maybe you start with the first 10 minutes working on scales, the next 3 minutes playing with just your left hand, and then the last 4 minutes youre playing hands together. Have a detailed plan in place for each practice session so you can make fast progress.
An in-depth explanation of this is in my free course, Become a Piano Superhuman, and you can go to the section on Goal Setting and Song Mapping to get protocols for how to practice more efficiently.
Musicianship And The Motivation Behind It
When learning an instrument, it is important to consider your goals. Its easier to stay motivated when you have realistic goals. Learning piano is fun. Its a way to let loose and escape from the daily grind.
Very few late learners dream of a career as a soloist. It is usually about having fun, being creative, and enjoying the music.
Adult students have the advantage of being able to decide for themselves whether or not they want to learn an instrument. You dont have to follow the advice of teachers or parents, and you are not under the same pressure as the outside world.
Can You Learn Piano As An Adult
Can adults really learn the piano, even without prior experience? Can you learn how to sight read, how to play by ear, how to play quickly with proper technique, how to improvise jazz, and the myriad of considerations that come along with a musical undertaking of this magnitude?
Yes, adults can absolutely learn how to play the piano – dont let anyone insinuate otherwise. That doesnt mean its easy , but you can do it. Here are some tips for getting started.
If youd like to learn more about our piano lessons in Philadelphia, live online piano lessons, or voice lessons in Philadelphia, please contact us at your earliest convenience. Wed be happy to hear from you.
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Learning Piano As An Adult: A Guide
Its a common misconception that your ability to learn new things and pick up new skills is truncated, diminished, or otherwise compromised once you reach adulthood.
You hear about classical and pop musicians getting their start on the piano at age three or five or seven and then transitioning to other instruments or to composition, growing their skills and ultimately becoming masters of the craft. But this is far from the only timeline by which it is acceptable, or possible, to become proficient at the piano and at music in general.
- Fall in love with the music Learn your favorite songs whether theyre classical, pop, jazz or film music, all at a level that suits you.
- Enjoy interactive piano lessons Learn with courses that help you master everything from music theory, chords, technique and more.
- Get real-time feedback Improve your practice with rich feedback as Skoove listens to your playing and highlights what went well and areas for improvement.
That isnt to say learning styles do not change with age adults who are taking up a practice for the first time can differ drastically from children at the same skill level.
For one thing, adults have years of life experienceincluding successes and failureson which to draw, or by which to be held back. It can sometimes get in the way of their approaching a new skill from a no-holds-barred perspective of pure curiosity.
Reason : Learning Piano Boosts Short
The ability to recall new information naturally declines with age, but learning to play the piano as an adult can actually reverse that process. Studies show that older adults who learn piano are able to improve their working memory on tasks unrelated to music, including reading comprehension. One explanation for this improvement is that the cognitive demands of learning piano tend to improve executive functioning, which includes abilities like planning, organizing, and strategizing. These abilities enhance the efficiency of memory storage and the speed of retrieval.
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New Technologies New Ways
At eight years old in the 90s, I wanted to learn piano. My mother searched for teachers in the Yellow Pages and asked for recommendations from friends.
Once we chose a teacher, we scheduled 30-minute lessons and drove to her private studio weekly. We also bought an old spinet piano with quite a few quirks.
Three decades later, you no longer use the Yellow Pages and your options for learning have multiplied.
Thanks to the internet, you can avoid the time, expense and hassle of traveling to a studio.
Online courses, interactive apps, and live lessons through web chat and video tools bring lessons to your home, making learning the piano more accessible and convenient than ever before.
These developments carry terrific advantages, providing you with interactive, graphical interfaces that can accelerate your understanding and may be especially captivating for children.
Play the keys as they light up on the screen!
If you struggle to understand a lesson, you dont have to wait an entire week for your next lesson, because you can replay the lesson on your computer or phone whenever you like, putting you in control of your learning experience.
Despite these advantages, technological innovations carry potential disadvantages as well.
Video courses and phone apps cannot critique your posture, and they are unable to offer you personalized feedback as a traditional, in-person teacher may do. Youre sitting too close to the keyboard, Thomas, and your shoulders are too tense!
Regular Practice Beats Long Hours
It takes around 700 hours to master something, for some less, for others more. However, the most important aspect in learning the piano at an older age is to practice regularly, rather than hours on end.
Around 15 minutes each day, five times a week is recommended for a beginner, if you can put more time in it the better, but dont practice once a week for several hours. The thing is, if you practice like this, you might end up feeling burned out, especially if you have high expectations.
Patience is a virtue that comes with age, and it can be used as a great advantage for adults when used in learning a musical instrument. Talent has nothing to do with it, but consistency does, and as such, regular practice is the key to mastering anything.
Analyze your daily routine, and find the best time to practice the piano for you. You dont need to do it every day at the same hour, just when it is the most convenient. Practice scales, chords, or even begin learning parts of your favorite songs!
There are plenty of videos out there that can help you learn piano. Adults, the best way to keep your interest high, try to sing a song for a loved one!
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Taking Private Lessons Online
The advent of online web chat and video conferencing technology has opened up a new wave of possibilities for keyboard instruction.
Using Skype and comparable platforms, students are now able to enjoy live, responsive lessons with high-level instructors in real time, offering most of the benefits of an in-studio instructor.
All you need is a webcam, microphone, internet connect, and piano or keyboard on both sides. You can even use an acoustic piano!
To find an online teacher, you should search across several websites. Some helpful options include TakeLessons.com, Piano Teachers Connect, and Preply, among others.
With additional research and through word-of-mouth sources, you may even find some private, independent options such as Distinctive Music Studios.
Finding an online instructor is somewhat exciting because your search will not be limited to your geographic location. Within your search parameters, you might even find a teacher on the other side of the country or the other side of the world!
If you take this approach, you should plan to pay more than other online options will require. Why? Because you are essentially hiring an in-studio instructor.
Expect to pay an average of $34 for a 30-minute lesson, $47 for 45 minutes, and $62 for an hour. So, before you choose your instructor, evaluate your options carefully, utilizing built-in ratings systems and online reviews.
Reason : Learning Piano Is Good For The Brain
Learning piano stimulates the brain and improves cognition. The mental and physical demands of playing the instrument affect the structure and functioning of the brain in positive ways. For example, pianists have to read the notes, translate the information on the page into movements of their hands, and evaluate the sound of the music. All of this multi-tasking affects the brain in several ways. For one thing, piano players tend to have more gray matter in the areas of the brain associated with sight, hearing, and touch. Research also shows that learning piano stimulates neuroplasticity, or growth, in the brain throughout life.
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Why It Is Never Too Late To Start Learning The Piano
Whether you learn how to play the piano at the age of five or 50 makes no difference, as you will have to go through the same learning process.
The truth is that it is never, simply never too late to start learning the piano.
To give you an example: Wes Montgomery, considered to be one of the finest jazz guitar player ever, only picked up the guitar at the age of 20.
To achieve his goals, Wes Montgomery practised six hours day while working eight to nine hour shifts.
Of course, you do not need to do exactly the same, but it goes to show that you do not need to be a child to learn how to play to a very high proficient standard.
So it is never too late for you to start playing the piano. The most important part of learning is great education and by learning how to play the piano with a top-notch instructor, you will benefit from outstanding piano lessons right from the very beginning.
Will I Ever Get To Carnegie Hall
It would be unfair to promise you that with hard work over time you will become such caliber of a pianist that Carnegie Hall will come calling. To become a concert pianist, one has to begin early, be very disciplined, have extraordinary natural talent and technique, and have great teachers to develop it properly along the way. Ahand then there is luck! There are tens of thousands of professional pianists graduating from conservatories each year who never end up at Carnegie Hall. That is just the fact. Dont let that discourage you! If you want to play the piano well you can learn to play it well enough and along that journey, you will discover that even Carnegie Hall is, in fact, a possibility. There are many amateur piano clubs and competitions that result in group concerts at prestigious venues like Carnegie Hall and if that is a motivator there you have it. You can always rent a smaller recital hall so, when there is a will, there is a way.
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Playing Piano Relieves Stress
There have been studies singing the praises, so to speak, of music’s ability to reduce stress. Now that you’re not a carefree kid anymore, this can be particularly beneficial and serve as yet another powerful motivator. And this probably accounts, at least in part, for why 70% of Musiah students are adults.
Music has been proven to release dopamine in reward areas of the brain, the same ones that light up in response to food, sex and drugs. In fact, Dr. Grahn says, “It’s probably harder to find areas of the brain that don’t respond to music than to find areas that do.”
There are some mood benefits of music that can actually help you learn how to play piano, too, which come in handy as an adult. .
“Having a positive mood is generally very good for your cognitive function, for your general well-being and for being able to sleep, which we know enhances brain function,” says Dr. Grahn.
Reason : It Opens Social Opportunities
Many take up a hobby for the social benefits that come with it. Playing a tune for friends and family is a great opportunity to socialize and get more comfortable with the piano. For example, playing the piano gives you a chance to meet new people and also connect with those in your life. If you have kids, you may want to teach them too it is a great bonding opportunity and could open up a world of wonder that theyll want to delve further into. You can also expand your social network by connecting with teachers and fellow piano students if you sign up for a class.
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Reason : It Boosts Self
Learning to play an instrument is one thing, but watching yourself excel can be a confidence booster! If you practice regularly, you will see improvement. Not much can compare to the satisfaction you can experience when you master a new skill.
Learning to play the piano requires you to train your brain to focus on several things. But of course, after mastering this, youll have a new and exciting facet of your life that you can share with friends and family. You could even show off this skill at social gatherings by entertaining guests with some lovely musicwhats better than a sing-along around the piano?
Enrolling In Standardized Online Courses
We live in a world of proliferating online education. To learn new things, we no longer need to attend a brick-and-mortar classroom. We can log on to our computers to receive our education instead. These innovations extend to learning keyboard skills.
Piano for All is one such online venue. This innovative platform is designed to take complete beginners to an intermediate level faster than any other method.
For a one-time payment of $79, you receive 9 e-books, 500 audio files, 200 video lessons, email support, and lifetime updates.
The videos are especially helpful because they show you what it looks to play the music you are learning, using visuals of both real hands on the keyboard and colored keys for the notes you play.
Ultimately, this program teaches you to play in an improvisational way . It does not teach you to tackle pure sight-reading . But if improvising is your goal and you are a visual and audible learner, then Piano for All may prove significantly more helpful than reading a printed book on music theory.
For a more comprehensive approach which focuses on traditional piano playing, I recommend the reputable online platform Zebra Keys.
This free resource offers an extensive array of step-by-step pre-recorded video lessons with a human instructor sitting at a keyboard. Some videos also include helpful, graphical visuals for how to play chords, scales and specific songs.
Practice makes perfect, and no curriculum can do your practice for you.
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Life Experience Acts As Another Tutor
Compare yourself now to you as a child. Chances are that back then you lacked the amount of knowledge and experience you have now. Learning a new skill comes quickly when you have something to relate it to or associate with it. Youve had decades of experiences emotionally, physically, and psychologically that will contribute to your piano playing skills. Because music is an art and a language, youre not just learning how to decode the notes on the staff, but youre also learning how to physically create sounds that communicate emotions.
Looking For Fun In Practicing
Try to preserve your love of learning and trying something new.
Enthusiasm is what helps maintain your efforts and makes you better every day.
Dont put any pressure on yourself or insist that you have to do anything. You should consider playing the piano a fantastic way to relieve stress after a tiresome day instead of another cause of stress.
Try to relax and find joyfulness in playing the piano, and you will be surprised by what you can do.
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Within Your Structured Practice Time Schedule Time To Have Fun
You need time within structured practice to put the things you are learning to the test.
Give yourself 15 minutes at the end of the session to play whatever you want. If you dont want to play for 15 minutes, no problem. Often, Ill end up playing for longer than 15 minutes anyways, and feel inspired!
Try improvising, or playing through songs you have learned. If you have the ability to record yourself, try recording something you just made up!
Music is fun, so give it space to be fun.
Take Advantage Of Your Age
We are talking about your superiority. Most older people will be able to concentrate better than young people and children because they are less distracted by the temptations from TV, the Internet, smartphone and so on.
Your ability to concentrate will help you enhance your skills when you practice. As a child, you were easily tempted and distracted by other more exciting games and regarded the piano as a boring and time-consuming process.
Thus, the majority of teenagers often gave up learning at a young age. Another advantage of older people compared to younger ones is the ability to perceive music.
Adult ears can notice the difference in volume and emotion in the music better, mainly because they are older, so they have exposed to music more time than the children.
The more you perceive the chords, scales, finger arrangements, or rhythm, the easier it will become for you.
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