Since I started giving piano lessons just under 11 years ago (along with flute lessons and singing lessons), very few adults learnt. It was, to all intents and purposes a ‘closed book’; something which children did, and something which adults wish they’d done. How times have changed!
I feel very lucky to be a piano teacher in a world where 82% of my pupils are adult learners, with ages ranging from 18 to 68 and beyond. I teach piano to adults who travel from Lichfield, Rugeley, Sutton Coldfield and Four Oaks. Understandably, adults often have concerns about starting piano lessons later on in life. As well as the time commitment and financial outlay, I hear the same question on a regular basis: ‘Am I too old?’
There’s no denying that learning an instrument later on in life presents a very different set of challenges both to pupil and teacher. For many adults who may have had a successful career for example, starting to learn something new from scratch can be frustrating; there’s inevitably a large emotional investment to be made too. Despite this, it can be hugely rewarding, and some say even beneficial in terms of health and certainly wellbeing (you can read a bit more about this in Melanie Spanswick’s post ‘Can music really slow down the ageing process?’).
Quite a number of adult pupils have had lessons in the past. Often, these were as children when piano tuition was perhaps more rigid than it is these days; the emphasis being on the acquisition of a set of ‘techniques’ rather than on creative expression. Equally, there are a large number of adults who’ve never learnt an instrument.
Starting anything new is nearly always going to be nerve-wracking; it will also be enormously exciting. One of the things which adult learners often say is that despite all the frustrations and nerves, they feel a real sense of achievement.
Learning the piano these days isn’t just about classical music; we cover a really wide range of repertoire (depending on your interests) including pop, rock, jazz, blues, musicals, film, television and folk. We even do (shock horror!) improvisation and composition! If you’re a beginner, I promise that you will leave the first lesson being able to play a ‘decent’ sounding tune; no one has yet to leave the first lesson without a smile on their face!
If you’re curious or interested, why not get in touch? I provide piano lessons in Lichfield on weekdays in the daytimes and evenings. As a piano teacher, I thoroughly enjoy teaching adult learners and warmly welcome them! Are you too old? No!