Can I learn piano as an adult? How long will it take me to pick up? Are there any “secrets” to learning quickly?
If you're an adult who has craved to learn the piano, these are some of the questions you may have wondered.
Some people will say that adults learning the piano are wasting their time. The truth is, they couldn't be more mistaken.
Learning to play the piano as an adult is completely possible, and it could be one of the most rewarding skills you ever pick up.
Benefits of Learning Piano as an Adult
It's Soothing and Relaxing
If you undergo lots of stress, you likely know the struggles of settling down after a tough day. Any pianist will testify to the immediate relaxation of just sitting down and playing. It's a healthy distraction.
Not only can you release your emotions by playing, but you can also be creative and express yourself. Once you have a basic knowledge of chords, you can even start making your own songs.
Being creative is one of the greatest ways to combat feelings of anxiety, stress, and even depression. Some people write in diaries or journals as a release form to express themselves. Playing the piano, you can express yourself just as much by coming up with your own songs.
It Improves Listening Skills
There are lots of people that go through life without ever understanding the power of music. After you start playing the piano, you'll notice and recognize music more. You might hear a particular song in a movie that makes you go, "I want to learn that!" When people learn some music theory, they're often shocked by how much more they appreciate the music they hear daily.
It's a Great Mental Workout
Playing the piano is a gratifying experience that takes lots of focus. You have to think about each hand playing simultaneously, which can be hard at first. It's comparable to riding a bike. As a kid, you may have used training wheels to help you balance your bike. Eventually, one day, the training wheels came off, and the rest is history. The only difference with learning to use both hands is it takes a lot less time. You might struggle the first few days or weeks, but the rest is history once it clicks.
You also improve your memory by playing the piano. The more songs you learn, the faster you'll be able to memorize them. This improved memory isn't limited to just piano playing, but it also expands to your everyday life.
It's Great For Your Joints
Lots of people develop painful arthritis in their hands over time. Healthy blood flow helps heal lots of pains and injuries. If you don't use your hands and fingers much, you might not have very good blood flow, making you prone to arthritis. Playing the piano is one of the most enjoyable ways to strengthen your hands and keep them healthy.
If you have poor posture, you'll find that playing the piano can dramatically improve it. Sitting with a straight back even for 10-30 minutes a day is healthy for your spine. On the other hand, if you slouch while playing, these benefits are reversed.
It Increases Your Self Worth
When you can play beautiful music on the piano, it makes you feel special. So many people have given up on the piano because they didn't improve as quickly as they wanted. Like many of the great things in life, learning to play the piano takes time. Once you get past the basics, you already possess an admirable skill that most people wish they had. You can be proud that you've taken the time to learn a valuable craft that you can use for the rest of your life.
You can entertain and bring joy to anyone you want to share your music with. In the past, you've likely watched a pianist or musician play and admired their abilities. Knowing that you have this skill in your back pocket, you can feel proud and more confident.
Is It Possible For Adults To Learn To Play The Piano?
Lots of high-level pianists started at an early age. They took piano lessons with a piano teacher and became fluent before the age of 20. This fact alone can be unmotivating for adults wanting to learn the craft. If you're an adult, you may have had thoughts like, "It's probably too late for me." and "I don't know if I have the time."
You might be surprised to learn that a large portion of current pianists were actually late bloomers. They didn't pick up the interest until their 30's, 40's, and older. Lots of studies show that late bloomers have more potential than early bloomers.
One of the man reasons for this is pressure from parents. Many kids take piano lessons, not from their own will, but out of their parents' wishes. Over the years, they may excel and become excellent pianists, but there's one problem. They don't stick with something they were forced to do. By the time these kids are in their 20's and 30's, most of them have already stopped playing.
When people do things by their own choice, they're far more likely to have a long-term commitment. So, instead of thinking that you're at a disadvantage for being an adult, you should realize it's actually the opposite.
How To Learn Piano As An Adult
Understanding how to start is the most important thing. There are several excellent ways to begin your journey. Here are some of those ways:
Taking piano lessons is the most conventional way to improve. With lessons, you have a dedicated teacher to guide your progress and help you reach your goals. Many people benefit from teachers, but not everyone can afford them. These lessons happen once a week and generally cost between $40-100 an hour. If you don't have this kind of money to spend, the other options may be more ideal.
Youtube is one of the most beneficial resources for beginner adult pianists. There are endless piano tutorials that cover just about anything you can think of. If you have a particular song in mind, you can likely find tutorials showing every single note. Lots of dedication and helpful videos can take your playing to a very high level. Just make sure you watch videos about technique, too, because a poor technique can lead to hand and wrist injuries.
There are many convenient piano apps that you can download right on your phone. These apps can help you read sheet music, understand music theory, and develop your musical ear. Here are some of the top piano apps:
These beneficial apps can help kickstart your progress.
Learning By Ear
This method is one of the more challenging ways to learn the piano. However, if you can learn to do it, there are countless benefits to reap. To learn a song by ear, you must listen to small sections at a time. Find groups of notes, known as chords, that match those in the song. This process can be long and tedious, but there may be a glamorous reward in the long run if you stick with it. People who can learn by ear can often listen to a song and immediately play it, which is a highly desirable skill. If you decide to try this method, just be sure that you also use a proper technique. If you can read sheet music on top of this ability, you'll be in amazing shape.
Learning Sheet Music
Since you can get sheet music for nearly every popular song ever written, it's understandable that being able to read it is invaluable. Excellent sheet music readers can often sight-read anything put in front of them, which is an incredible ability. Though reading sheet music can be a game-changer, you'll still be limited if you can't also play by ear. Ideally, you want to be able to do both for the perfect balance.
Tips and Tricks For Learning Piano
- 1If you can't play the right and left-hand parts simultaneously, slow down and play them separately.
- 2Practice a little bit each day. Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to practice for hours a day. You just need to practice mindfully.
- 3Use a metronome. By doing this, you'll improve your internal rhythm.
- 4Take plenty of breaks. If you've played for over an hour, make sure you take a break to renew your mind.
- 5Learn your favorite songs. Playing what you truly enjoy is what will keep you motivated to improve.
- 6Practice major and minor chords first. If you know all 12 major and minor chords, you can play almost every pop song.
- 7Practice the 12 major scales. You'll be able to improvise over any song if you know your scales.
- 8Buy a high-quality piano book.
- 9Don't always hold the sustain pedal. Many beginner pianists overly use the sustain pedal, creating a muddy and unappealing sound.
- 10Instead of playing with straight fingers, play with them bent for proper form and more versatility.
Above all, the most important tip is to have fun. Playing the piano is a relaxing, enjoyable, and rewarding experience. If you're an adult, it's not too late to pick up this beautiful craft.