Friday, July 8, 2011

Adult Piano Lessons

When some people think of piano lessons, their mind immediately imagines a child sitting quietly at a piano, mindlessly practicing dull finger exercises.  Thankfully that is not an accurate image on several fronts!  The aspect of piano lessons that is sometimes most surprising is that adults can enjoy lessons and experience success.

Why would an adult learner want to take piano lessons?  The reasons are as diverse as the individuals.  Some are returning to an instrument of their childhood; many express that they took lessons for a season and now regret leaving the study of music for other pursuits.  On the flip side, some adults find themselves with more time and self-discipline to devote to a new hobby that has always intrigued them.

The benefits of adult piano lessons are both emotional and physical.  My adult students report that they find the routine of a practice regime to be relaxing; they are further transported to a happy place as the sounds of the instrument wash over their ears, cleansing the cares of the day.  Others treat playing the piano as physical therapy, especially those suffering with arthritis in their hands.  The movement of the hands somehow seems to release some of the tension and restore mobility.

Adult learners experience success at the piano due to their increased mental capacity and hand-eye coordination.  In certain cases, however, their increased ability to think logically can become a stumbling block.  While a child simply accepts some musical facts, the adult learner wants to understand the "why" behind the principle.  This deeper voyage into music theory can create temporary frustration for the adult learner, but ultimately leads to a fuller understanding and mastery of musical concepts.

Adult students are self-motivating and highly disciplined.  They are aware that the practicing process brings gradual results and that consistency and perseverance are key.  Because the adult is pursuing musical instruction without pressure from an authority figure such as a parent, the student relaxes more and enjoys the trip rather than focusing all their energies on reaching the final destination.

Is it ever too late to begin studying music?  Not at all...especially when we realize that the joy is in the process as well as the final product.