Learning piano as an adult: Why it’s never too late

Four adults learning piano with the Playground Sessions app

I strongly believe that learning the piano as an adult is one of the best times to start, if not the absolute best! Are you an adult who wants to learn piano but hesitates because you feel it might be too late? If this is you, you’ve come to the right place. Many adults believe that acquiring a new skill, whether it’s learning a musical instrument or a new language, is exclusively for the young. Today, we’re going to put those fears to rest.

In this blog post, we’ll debunk common myths about adult learning, explore how learning the piano as an adult can enhance your life, and offer practical tips for choosing the right method that suits your schedule, learning style, and lifestyle. Whether you’re seeking a new hobby, emotional satisfaction, or cognitive enhancement, understanding how to approach learning the piano as an adult can be your first step to unlocking this joyful and enriching new chapter.

Myth 1: “It’s too late to start learning something new

Let’s start with the most common and really nonsensical myth: “it’s too late to start learning something new.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you’re looking for a scientific point of view, adult brains still have significant plasticity, which means they are capable of forming new connections and learning new skills, including playing the piano.

Myth 2: “Adults have a fixed mindset”

Probably a lot of us adults suffer from having a “fixed mindset.” The concept of a “fixed mindset,” popularized by psychologist Carol Dweck, refers to the belief that abilities are static and cannot be changed through effort. Many adults may adopt this mindset over time, believing that their skills and abilities at a certain age are fixed, which discourages them from attempting to learn new things.

When you’re younger, you’re more willing to jump in, play, experience, and try new things. But as part of that process, failure certainly happens. Fortunately, the young get up, wipe themselves off, and try again. As adults, we have many, many failures in our lives that accumulate and often make us believe we should be more risk-averse. After you’ve failed 1,000 times, it might be nice to keep that number at 1,000 and not keep adding to it. This is what creates a lot of self-doubt and fear of failure. But please, fear not. There is no failing at the piano. Even a few simple notes can be an achievement and bring great joy. Of course, you’re capable of so much more and will get there as long as you make the decision to just show up and sit down at your piano!

Myth 3: “Adults can’t learn as quickly as children

Another widespread belief is that “adults can’t learn as quickly as children.” Sure, children can usually absorb information more quickly, but that’s only a small part of the journey of learning the piano. One of the most important aspects of playing the piano is being able to express yourself through the notes and keys. Adults have so much more life experience than children, which is why some of the most talented pianists in the world—the ones you really want to listen to—are adults and not children. You need to live life first; then it’s time to sit down at the piano and relive it all!

It’s so important to note that learning the piano isn’t about speed anyway; it’s a lifelong journey that never ends. If anything, it only gets better with time. Sure, it takes some discipline and good practice habits, but those are two things where adults are often better than kids.

The Benefits of Learning Piano as an Adult

There are so many incredible benefits to learning the piano as an adult beyond just having the maturity to express yourself musically. Music creates a vibrant outlet that boosts both self-expression and confidence, often leading to a significant uplift in life satisfaction and happiness. Don’t just take my word for it—try it out for yourself, and you’ll feel the difference from day one!

Learning piano as an adult can enhance not just your overall well-being but your cognitive abilities too. For starters, playing the piano has been shown to improve memory, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills. These benefits are especially valuable as they contribute to brain health and help stave off cognitive decline.

Moreover, the discipline and time management skills required to learn the piano can enhance other aspects of your life, boosting overall productivity and personal organization. Setting and achieving musical goals is a powerful demonstration of how structured effort can lead to tangible outcomes, reinforcing the importance of perseverance and patience.

Emotionally, playing an instrument like the piano provides a profound source of personal satisfaction and stress relief. Focusing on music can even serve as a form of meditation, helping to alleviate daily stresses and enhance your mood.

Socially, playing the piano opens up new avenues for connecting with others. Whether it’s through online communities, playing for friends and family, attending local classes, or participating in larger performances, engaging with fellow music learners and enthusiasts creates a sense of community and belonging. For many adults, these social interactions help contribute to a more fun and active social life.

Finally, for adults who have always had an interest in music but never pursued it, learning piano can fulfill a long-held dream, enhancing life’s overall richness and providing a deep sense of accomplishment.

Comparing learning methods: Private lessons, books, and app-based learning

Private piano lessons have traditionally been a popular method for learning and have proven successful for many. They offer personalized attention and direct feedback from experienced teachers, which can greatly accelerate learning. These lessons can also be tailored to meet the student’s individual needs. However, private lessons can be costly and often require a fixed schedule, which might not be ideal for every adult learner. Additionally, teachers often prefer to use a specific teaching book, which might limit your ability to influence the learning material. There’s nothing more important than being genuinely excited by the teaching content when learning something new.

Similarly, learning from books is another tried-and-true method that provides structured learning. While books are great for self-study and offer detailed music theory, they lack the personal touch of a piano teacher and the interactive elements that help you verify if you’re playing correctly in real time.

As we move into the digital age, app-based learning has emerged as a popular and particularly effective method for adults. These platforms combine the flexibility of learning at your own pace with interactive and multimedia elements that make the learning process engaging, efficient, and fun. Apps typically provide a range of features tailored to adult learners, such as customizable learning paths, 24/7 access to lessons, and instant feedback—elements that are less accessible in traditional learning environments. Be sure to choose a program that features real teachers who guide you through each lesson step-by-step and are genuinely inspiring. Not all apps have teachers, and among those that do, not all may have top-quality instructors. Remember, having great teachers is crucial; they can significantly enhance your learning experience.

Using app-based learning in conjunction with occasional private lessons can be especially powerful if you have the resources and time. This hybrid approach leverages the strengths of both methods: the personal guidance and expertise of a teacher with the convenience and technological advantages of an app. Whether you’re using one method or combining several, the key is to find what works best for your learning style and goals.

Tips for success: Strategies for learning piano as an adult

Here are some tips and what to look for in a learning app to make learning piano as an adult not only easier but more enjoyable overall!

  1. Step-by-Step Video Tutorials: Visual learning is crucial, especially in music. Choose programs that provide comprehensive video tutorials where teachers break down lessons step-by-step. This will allow you to grasp concepts more easily and conveniently revisit material whenever you need to. Look for fun-loving, charismatic, patient, and understanding teachers who love teaching adults and know exactly how to support your learning journey.
  2. Choice of Songs to Learn: Learning piano should be fun and personally rewarding. Opt for programs that let you choose the songs you want to learn. Playing music that you love and are excited about will boost your motivation and enjoyment, making the learning process feel less like a chore and more like a hobby, or better yet, a passion being fulfilled.
  3. Instant Feedback: One of the greatest advantages of in-person private lessons is the immediate feedback you receive, allowing you to understand instantly what you are doing right and where you need improvement. When choosing a learning program, seek out options that offer instant feedback. This feature mimics the best part of having a teacher right next to you, making it easier to correct mistakes in real time. Real-time feedback will certainly accelerate your learning and increase the efficiency of your practice time, ultimately making your time at the piano more effective and rewarding.
  4. Customizable Learning Paths: One size does not fit all, especially when it comes to learning an instrument. Look for programs that offer customizable learning paths, which can adapt to your skill level and goals. This flexibility allows you to learn at a pace that feels comfortable and suitable for your own learning style.
  5. 24/7 Access to Lessons: As adults, we often juggle multiple responsibilities, so it’s essential to have access to lessons at any time that’s convenient for you. Platforms that offer lessons available 24/7 give you the freedom to practice and learn on your schedule, whether that’s early in the morning or late at night.
  6. Progress Tracking: Measuring your progress is key to staying motivated and on track. Look for learning tools that include progress tracking features. These can help you understand how far you’ve come, where you excel, and where you might need more focus, providing a clear roadmap of your learning journey.
  7. Community Support: Never underestimate the power of community. Engaging with fellow learners can provide encouragement, share challenges and tips, and even spark friendly competition. Whether it’s through forums, social media groups, or live classes, community support can enhance your learning experience and keep you inspired.

Celebrating achievements: recognizing milestones in your piano journey

Be sure to take the time to celebrate your progress along the way. Celebrating each achievement, no matter how small, can greatly enhance your motivation and enjoyment of learning to play.

Here are a few tips:

  • Set small, attainable goals and reward yourself when you reach them. Whether it’s mastering a new song, improving your technique, or simply playing for a certain amount of time each day, be proud of your work.
  • Keep a journal of your progress or select a learning app that tracks your progress for you. This will help keep you motivated!
  • Share your achievements with friends, family, or a community of fellow learners to provide a sense of camaraderie and encouragement.
  • Record your performances so you can hear your progress over time. Don’t be shy about it!

Embrace the music: Begin your piano journey with Playground Sessions today

Together, we’ve explored the possibilities that learning piano as an adult offers—from busting myths that might hold you back to uncovering the personal and cognitive benefits of engaging with music. We’ve discussed how different learning methods can cater to your unique needs and how app-based learning, in particular, brings a new level of flexibility and interaction to the table for adults.

Now, it’s your turn to take the leap if you’re at all compelled. With Playground Sessions, you can start learning piano today for free in a way that fits seamlessly into your adult life. Whether you’re looking for the comprehensive structure of private lessons, the self-directed pace of book learning, or the innovative approach of app-based education, Playground Sessions provides all these benefits in one user-friendly platform. Plus, you’ll have 24/7 access to video tutorials from amazing teachers, the freedom to choose the songs you want to learn, and a supportive community—all promising to make learning super fun and easy.

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