Author Topic: Learning Piano as an Adult?  (Read 2939 times)

frugalfoothills

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
  • Age: 31
    • Bulls, Bears and Beers
Learning Piano as an Adult?
« on: December 17, 2019, 11:43:07 AM »
I have always wanted to learn to play the piano. I have never taken music lessons of any kind. I don't know how to read music. I don't own a piano. Minor details!!

Has anyone here learned to play from total beginner level as an adult (I'm 30)? Where should I even start? I'm assuming I need to buy a keyboard. Any recommendations for a Not Too Crappy model to learn on, while also keeping it budget-friendly (in case I end up sucking and give up)? Any tips for self-teaching, or am I nuts to even want to try? Feels like there must be apps and books and YouTube videos out there for those wanting to attempt to self-teach? The Mustachian in me cringes at lesson costs, but maybe they're worth it? Any tips on finding an instructor? Googling "piano lessons in my city" returns about a million results and I'm overwhelmed. Better to go with a well-known company with teachers on the payroll or to try to find a private instructor... I'm picturing an old granny working out of her living room?

I am not looking to become Chopin here. Just hoping to finally explore learning a new skill that I've always dreamed of developing. Any input welcome & appreciated.

MilesTeg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1286
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2019, 12:03:04 PM »
I have always wanted to learn to play the piano. I have never taken music lessons of any kind. I don't know how to read music. I don't own a piano. Minor details!!

Has anyone here learned to play from total beginner level as an adult (I'm 30)? Where should I even start? I'm assuming I need to buy a keyboard. Any recommendations for a Not Too Crappy model to learn on, while also keeping it budget-friendly (in case I end up sucking and give up)? Any tips for self-teaching, or am I nuts to even want to try? Feels like there must be apps and books and YouTube videos out there for those wanting to attempt to self-teach? The Mustachian in me cringes at lesson costs, but maybe they're worth it? Any tips on finding an instructor? Googling "piano lessons in my city" returns about a million results and I'm overwhelmed. Better to go with a well-known company with teachers on the payroll or to try to find a private instructor... I'm picturing an old granny working out of her living room?

I am not looking to become Chopin here. Just hoping to finally explore learning a new skill that I've always dreamed of developing. Any input welcome & appreciated.

I'm not exactly in your situation, but I did learn a new instrument as an adult (after previously doing band all through high school).

It's worth it to find a teacher, either in person or various instructors that post instruction videos online. I would never try to learn an instrument just with a book. I would recommend an in person teacher, despite the cost, only because the personal feedback is immensely valuable. I make more progress on my new instrument in the 30 minutes I spend with my teacher than in hours and hours of solo practice even with ~20 years of of music playing experience under my belt. I can't speak to the piano specifically but there's a lot more to music than making the right movements in the right rhythms.

Reading music isn't too hard, but it does take a lot of practice to get to the point of "sight reading" music, which means to read and play an unfamiliar piece at the same time. Piano adds difficultly over other instruments due to much of the music being heavily chorded and using multiple staves, generally one in bass clef and one in treble clef, so you have to learn to read two clefs and read them simultaneously. Ouch! Though that's not how you will begin.

Find a locally owned music store if you can, they generally have employees, independent teachers, or other connections for a teacher recommendation. You can find someone who takes adult students and understands the needs of an adult learner.

Piano is a great instrument to learn music on. The layout helps you understand the relationship between notes visually which is a huge help (I learned on a brass as a kid where there was no clear/direct relationship between the notes you played and the keys you pressed).

It's a lot of fun to play, but it does take patience.

wellactually

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 140
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2019, 12:11:30 PM »
Another option for finding teachers... if you live in a town with a university/college which has a music program, they may have a community learning program. At our local university, you can pay a rate for a graduate student or a lower rate for an undergrad. It might at least give you a basis for then doing some learning on your own or knowing how much additional effort you want to put in.

BECABECA

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 481
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Huntington Beach, CA
  • Retired since July 2017, not bored yet!
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2019, 12:23:40 PM »
Question for you: have you ever played guitar hero or rock band? As a classically trained pianist that also plays guitar, those games hurt my head, since I could play the songs if I had the sheet music. But as someone starting from square one, it could be a very intuitive way to learn to play quickly.

I have a friend who can play all the pieces that I can play but who canít read music. He learns things on YouTube where people have displayed the music as highlighted keys at the respective times on the video, like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n2yyalOx2c

If youíre wanting to quickly play some songs that youíve always wished you could play, this would be my recommendation. But if youíre wanting to become accompanist or a concert pianist, youíll have to go the standard piano teacher route and spend the first couple years learning theory.

merince

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2019, 01:23:06 PM »
I am on the same path. Used pianos are usually a dime a dozen or free for hauling. The expensive part is having them tuned. Craigslist or Facebook market place both have them fairly often as well as keyboards. It might be a bit more difficult to find them right now with the holidays so close. Definitely check out a local music store or a teacher.

I recommend "simply piano" - a great app to get you going.

frugalfoothills

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
  • Age: 31
    • Bulls, Bears and Beers
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2019, 01:51:04 PM »
Thanks so much for all the recommendations!


I have a friend who can play all the pieces that I can play but who can’t read music. He learns things on YouTube where people have displayed the music as highlighted keys at the respective times on the video, like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n2yyalOx2c

If you’re wanting to quickly play some songs that you’ve always wished you could play, this would be my recommendation. But if you’re wanting to become accompanist or a concert pianist, you’ll have to go the standard piano teacher route and spend the first couple years learning theory.

I've been poking around YouTube and have seen videos like these and considered just starting out by messing around in this way... I have a great memory (and great muscle memory) so it feels like I would probably be able to "learn" to play certain songs by watching videos like these, and then if that feels good and I'm enjoying it, move on to more formal learning. Kind of a gateway into more serious lessons. Great idea!

It's worth it to find a teacher, either in person or various instructors that post instruction videos online. I would never try to learn an instrument just with a book. I would recommend an in person teacher, despite the cost, only because the personal feedback is immensely valuable. I make more progress on my new instrument in the 30 minutes I spend with my teacher than in hours and hours of solo practice even with ~20 years of of music playing experience under my belt. I can't speak to the piano specifically but there's a lot more to music than making the right movements in the right rhythms.

Great point about how 30 minutes with an instructor is as valuable as hours by yourself. The cost of lessons is most likely netted by the cost of time investment if I'm stumbling through alone.

Another option for finding teachers... if you live in a town with a university/college which has a music program, they may have a community learning program. At our local university, you can pay a rate for a graduate student or a lower rate for an undergrad. It might at least give you a basis for then doing some learning on your own or knowing how much additional effort you want to put in.

This is a great idea... I have a technical college in my city and it looks like they offer some instructional courses! I will look into that!

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 17650
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2019, 01:56:11 PM »
Come up with a plan.  Find ten of fifteen songs to learn, and try to learn them until you can bang it out.  (Pick the easiest one.)  Try to find some friends who know how to play an instrument well who can give you pointers (the instrument doesn't need to be piano).  Don't overload yourself with boring stuff first . . . music theory has it's place, but focusing too much on it will lead to frustration/boredom and giving up.  Learning to read music is great, but it can be very slow/frustrating if too much time is spent on it.  Start out with some basic chord and scale fingerings so you can bang out simple songs.  Once you can do that, you can build from there.

It's hard, but every hour you practice on your instrument you are improving.  You won't see the improvements right away, but each year you keep at it you'll be getting better.

MilesTeg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1286
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2019, 04:01:06 PM »
Great point about how 30 minutes with an instructor is as valuable as hours by yourself. The cost of lessons is most likely netted by the cost of time investment if I'm stumbling through alone.

I would also add that by yourself it's extremely easy to develop bad habits. Bad habits are a lot harder to fix than avoid and can be extremely limiting and frustrating. Real life instruction can help you head off the formation of bad habits.

Smokystache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 437
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2019, 06:35:48 PM »
The domain might look like a scam, but I've followed Jacques for 5+ years (he also helps other people put together and market online courses). If I remember correctly, you can begin the first several days for free to see if his system is working for you.

But a lot of people like his system and you can proceed at your own pace and you don't have to learn to read music. Maybe worth a try:

https://pianoin21days.com/

(I do NOT have an affiliate relationship with Jacques and I don't get any financial or other rewards for suggesting his program. I have not used it personally - i have 3 young children.)

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3457
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2019, 06:50:47 PM »
My favorite book is alfred adult piano. There are also ways to book people online like takelessons.com. I decided to start learning the piano two years ago from scratch. I can sight read a little bit now. You could try to find a used Yamaha on craigslist. Beware of upright wooden pianos. You can get them for free but they can cost thousands to repair. Your tutor might give you a hard time about using a cheap keyboard because the cheap ones don't have weighted keys, but make sure you take lessons for at least 6 months before considering something more expensive.

chrisgermany

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 198
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2019, 08:25:17 AM »
I just want to encourage you. I had some accordion lessons 50 years ago (never played again) but somehow kept the instrument.
2 years ago I restarted and take lessons since.
I enjoy it deeply, even though I am far from playing "good".
Instruments can be rented to start.
Just jump, but beware of the idea that you must be perfect to enjoy.

FIRE 20/20

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 519
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2019, 10:55:15 AM »
I posted a similar thread a while ago, so you might find some other tips there:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/learning-piano-help!/msg2415044/#msg2415044

I was making good progress until I got really sick and stopped practicing.  I was enjoying it, but once I broke the habit of practicing every day I totally dropped it.  This thread will probably prompt me to get back to it, actually.  I don't have any suggestions on books or lessons, but I do have a recommendation on a keyboard.  I spent a tremendous amount of time trying to figure out the most cost effective keyboard to get.  I decided not to get a "free" or inexpensive acoustic piano because the maintenance costs (tuning) were too high in the long term, moving a real piano is a huge pain, and I didn't want people to hear me when I was practicing.  With an acoustic piano out, I started researching digital pianos.  It's important to get a piano with realistically weighted keys, and I really wanted something that didn't sound "digital", but I also wanted to keep the cost as low as possible.  I eventually settled on a Casio PXS1000 with the 3 pedal unit.  I also purchased a keyboard stand and bench.  All-in it cost under $700, and I couldn't be happier.  I will say the sound is vastly better through headphones than using the speakers in the unit but I wanted to practice without anyone hearing me anyway, so that's not an issue. 

I have no affiliation with this website, but I think they seem to have relatively unbiased reviews.  To be honest, I find the writing abysmal and the design of the site to be even worse, but the information seems to be good and they were great to work with on the purchase as well. 

https://azpianonews.blogspot.com/2018/03/digital-pianos-under-1000-review-report-2018.html
https://azpianonews.blogspot.com/2019/05/casio-pxs1000-review-digital-piano-portable-low-price.html

Philociraptor

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1008
  • Age: 31
  • Location: DFW, TX
  • Eat. Sleep. Invest. Repeat.
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2019, 11:06:06 AM »
Posting to follow.

BECABECA

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 481
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Huntington Beach, CA
  • Retired since July 2017, not bored yet!
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2019, 11:31:35 AM »
For an inexpensive keyboard that is actually quite good, Iíd recommend M-Audio Prokeys 88 stage piano (Edit: Looks to be discontinued, would have to find used). I got a used one 10 years ago since I needed something portable for playing shows with my band and I was between permanent residences that could accommodate a grand piano. It has all 88 keys a grand piano has, so you arenít limited to only playing songs that donít make use of the entire keyboard, and theyíre semi weighted which I found to be sufficient for the piano feel (getting a fully weighted keyboard adds a lot of cost and still doesnít feel like an acoustic piano, imho). You can play through headphones or get a cheap practice amplifier (<$50)to route the sound through. Later when you want to upgrade your rig, you can just upgrade the amplifier. And I got a nice plug in metal sustain pedal ($30 or so), but you could start with a $5 plastic one.

I played it on a cheap X-type keyboard stand ($20) and raised it to standing level so no bench needed. I sat all day at my desk for work, so I was happy to have the option to play piano while standing.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2019, 01:26:33 PM by BECABECA »

frugalfoothills

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
  • Age: 31
    • Bulls, Bears and Beers
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2019, 11:47:27 AM »
I love this forum. Not only are you all smarties with money, but you're smarties with tons of other stuff, too. So much great advice here! And encouragement.

I admit I have put this off for years because it's so intimidating to even try to figure out where to begin when you have ZERO baseline knowledge... trying to research which keyboards to buy and not even understanding the lingo, trying to figure out which books to get and not even understanding what they're meant to teach you, etc. Everything is like "clef this" and "octaves that." What the hell is a clef!? To someone who has never taken a music class in their life, it's like trying to understand a foreign language. And then I realize these are super basic concepts and if I can't even understand those, why bother trying.

This has really encouraged me. Thank you to everyone who replied!!

BECABECA

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 481
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Huntington Beach, CA
  • Retired since July 2017, not bored yet!
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2019, 11:56:32 AM »
One last suggestion... if I had to take lessons all over again, Iíd take lessons from a jazz pianist. Youíd learn all the theory for reading music but youíd also have a foundation for improvising that I donít have, coming from classical. Being able to sit down and play along without written music would be a great skill to have. From what Iíve seen, jazz pianists being able to do this effortlessly is more common than classical pianists being able to perfectly sight read.

robartsd

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3263
  • Location: Sacramento, CA
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2019, 12:17:24 PM »
Used pianos are usually a dime a dozen or free for hauling. The expensive part is having them tuned. Craigslist or Facebook market place both have them fairly often as well as keyboards.
Yes, used upright acoustic pianos are not that hard to find cheap. The expense comes in moving and maintaining it. I'd seriously recommend looking at digital instruments. Here's a pretty good guide to what types are available. https://thehub.musiciansfriend.com/keyboard-buying-guides/digital-piano-buying-guide

For an inexpensive keyboard that is actually quite good, Iíd recommend M-Audio 88 MKII stage piano (<$200). I got a used one 10 years ago since I needed something portable for playing shows with my band and I was between permanent residences that could accommodate a grand piano. It has all 88 keys a grand piano has, so you arenít limited to only playing songs that donít make use of the entire keyboard, and theyíre semi weighted which I found to be sufficient for the piano feel (getting a fully weighted keyboard adds a lot of cost and still doesnít feel like an acoustic piano, imho).
It looks like it includes quality synth software to use with it, but cannot create sound without an external processor. If it does have an internal synth, the specs make no mention of the polyphony support.

The keyboards that feel most like acoustic pianos feature a hammer action. My wife is quite satisfied with the keyboard in the Casio Privia that we picked up off craigslist.

BECABECA

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 481
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Huntington Beach, CA
  • Retired since July 2017, not bored yet!
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2019, 01:10:26 PM »
For an inexpensive keyboard that is actually quite good, Iíd recommend M-Audio 88 MKII stage piano (<$200). I got a used one 10 years ago since I needed something portable for playing shows with my band and I was between permanent residences that could accommodate a grand piano. It has all 88 keys a grand piano has, so you arenít limited to only playing songs that donít make use of the entire keyboard, and theyíre semi weighted which I found to be sufficient for the piano feel (getting a fully weighted keyboard adds a lot of cost and still doesnít feel like an acoustic piano, imho).
It looks like it includes quality synth software to use with it, but cannot create sound without an external processor. If it does have an internal synth, the specs make no mention of the polyphony support.

The keyboards that feel most like acoustic pianos feature a hammer action. My wife is quite satisfied with the keyboard in the Casio Privia that we picked up off craigslist.

Shoot, youíre right, I have the M-audio Prokeys 88, which does have 10 good internal synth sounds built in. But it looks like it is discontinued and I got redirected to a model that doesnít have internal synths. Iíll edit my post, thanks for the heads up!

dcozad999

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 754
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2019, 01:41:54 PM »
I was able to pick up the Yamaha P45 for $330 a few years back from Adorama. It's regularly around $500-$600. But it does seem to go on sale below $400 a few times a year (according to camelcamelcamel site).

dblaace

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
  • Location: Texas
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2019, 02:30:35 PM »
I always wanted to learn as well. I played trumpet in Junior High a long time ago so I am a little familiar with reading music.

As part of my WTF am I going to do when I retire I am going to try. Not retired yet but I bought an Alesis Recital Pro kit (keyboaud, stand, stool, and foot pedal) on Black Friday for cheaper than I saw on craigslist.

I saw this book recommended as well and got it, Adult All-In-One Course: Lesson-Theory-Technic: Level 1. I don't plan on being great or anything but I want to do it right. One of the things I was important to me were weighted keys so if I ever wanted to play on real piano I could.

I still haven't had a chance to get started but I hope to soon.

I can play a C scale!

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 17650
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2019, 05:58:41 PM »
I admit I have put this off for years because it's so intimidating to even try to figure out where to begin when you have ZERO baseline knowledge... trying to research which keyboards to buy and not even understanding the lingo, trying to figure out which books to get and not even understanding what they're meant to teach you, etc.

You really only need to learn four chords to be a mutli-platinum songwriter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pidokakU4I


:P

acepedro45

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 254
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2019, 09:14:08 AM »
Getting a cheap/free acoustic piano, as a beginner, is almost certainly a mistake.

I would shoot for a digital piano with 88 full-sized, weighted keys and a sustain pedal. Just about any Yamaha digital piano is a wonderful instrument, but you could pick out another brand that you like. You can find these for very attractive prices on Craigslist/Facebook Marketplace. You will get 95% of the concert grand experience for 1% of the price.

Save the acoustic for 5-10 years in when you can appreciate the nuances and understand what you're buying. That point may not come for everyone, or even the majority, but that's ok. If everyone followed my advice, there would be far fewer unplayed acoustic pianos cluttering up people's homes.

ColoAndy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 81
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2019, 01:37:47 PM »
I bought a Yamaha electric piano a few years ago (I think it was about $600) and began teaching myself.  There are actually some very good lessons on YouTube. Just be sure to start with the fundamentals and get those down pat before moving forward.

meghan88

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 819
  • Location: Montreal
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2019, 07:47:24 PM »
There are all kinds of good reasons to do this.  Any kind of learning helps to stave off dementia:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4269311/

What's not to like, unless you're the neighbours and the instrument is drums or maybe tuba?

jafr1284

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 92
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2019, 10:23:31 PM »
Hey, professional musician here. It's totally worth it to pay for lessons especially if you can find a college student to teach you. Pay them directly to get the best rate, not through one of those lesson studio businesses. If you need help finding someone let me know!

frugalfoothills

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
  • Age: 31
    • Bulls, Bears and Beers
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2020, 12:05:46 PM »
Just wanted to thank everyone for the encouragement and great advice! There's an 88-key digital piano arriving at my house tomorrow and I'm eager to get started. Thanks to some Amazon gift cards from Christmas I was able to snag it at a very Mustachian $164. Been looking at various avenues for lessons and still narrowing those down... in the meantime I'll be poking around YouTube on some of the channels recommended to dip my toe in.

chrisgermany

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 198
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2020, 11:45:05 PM »
Congrats! Have lots of fun and enjoy!

bluecollarmusician

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 406
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2020, 04:47:37 AM »
Congrats on taking the plunge- actually creating music, rather than just "playing the radio" can be really life changing.

As a lifelong musician- I wanted to share a couple of quick thoughts to you as a beginner:

While all the suggestions to get a teacher, seek out this or that, etc.... I would encourage you first to really consider what you would like to be able to play.. as in what kind of music do you want to play?  Maybe think of it in terms of a simple baseline of what you would feel really happy to be able to play... Is it to play Piano Man while you sing along with your friends?  Perhaps you love the classics, and dream of being able to perform Chopin?  Or you always listened to Bill Evans and now want to play like Oscar Peterson?  What do you love to listen to?  What moves you? 

By starting from this place there are simple ways to get you jump started (and also find the right teacher!!!) In all genre's and styles of music there are pieces that are very easy to play that can get you making music very quickly- and I think for a late life adult learner this is really important.  Figure this out and you will quickly be able to find joy in playing- which it is my guess that you want.  Otherwise, why bother?

"Practice" is to often relegated to scales, arpeggios, learning to read- all important things, but as an adult you have the great advantage of knowing what you want to play, and understanding how the exercises will help you do it.  I find this is often lost on younger students... they have a more difficult time grasping the "why" of it... essentially, if they gain enough keyboarding skills to play nice music, they might enjoy it. 

In your case, I think if you can quickly play some entry level music that you would like to play, you will be well positioned to seek the skills that will help you be successful. 

AnnaGrowsAMustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1941
  • Location: Noo Zilind
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2020, 05:47:33 AM »
I remember piano lessons. The walk up a huge hill to get there. Having to sit and listen to the student there before me, who did everything right and was always given a chocolate. My turn, where I got nothing right, was painfully and completely MORTIFIED to be having to play in front of the next student, and was never once given a chocolate. The constant bitching and moaning about practicing at home, and continually getting everything wrong there as well AND being punished for it. I can't think of one single enjoyable thing about piano lessons. Can't say for sure, but I'm totally willing to extrapolate the data I have and assume that every other instrument is just as horrendous an experience to learn. I will never inflict music lessons on a child, I can tell you that much!

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 17650
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2020, 07:59:16 AM »
A good teacher can help you in your musical journey.  A bad teacher can hinder though . . . to the point of quitting.  There's no way to tell if a teacher will work for you until you've forked over money for quite a few lessons.  I'd strongly suggest figuring out as many basics as possible on your own, and then finding a teacher once you find some specific areas that you need help with.

MilesTeg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1286
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2020, 10:57:31 AM »
I remember piano lessons. The walk up a huge hill to get there. Having to sit and listen to the student there before me, who did everything right and was always given a chocolate. My turn, where I got nothing right, was painfully and completely MORTIFIED to be having to play in front of the next student, and was never once given a chocolate. The constant bitching and moaning about practicing at home, and continually getting everything wrong there as well AND being punished for it. I can't think of one single enjoyable thing about piano lessons. Can't say for sure, but I'm totally willing to extrapolate the data I have and assume that every other instrument is just as horrendous an experience to learn. I will never inflict music lessons on a child, I can tell you that much!

An adult learner has an agency that a child typically won't have. If you're with a teacher that treats you like crap, you don't pay, tell them to get bent and find a new one.

TheFrenchCat

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 232
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #31 on: January 03, 2020, 01:30:23 PM »
Congrats on starting this journey!  The piano is such a beautiful instrument, and I've found that being able to create your own music creates a deeper appreciation of all music.  Also, it provides a good base of knowledge if you ever decide to try another instrument.  After playing piano for 8 years, I got drafted into the orchestra in high school.  In only a month, I was good enough at the cello to play with the group. 

I'll put in another vote for a digital keyboard with weighted keys as well as actual lessons.  If you want more practice on a real piano, see if your local college has any pianos they'll let the public play.  Penn State does.  And a teacher will keep you from developing bad techniques which are hard to unlearn.

And you're definitely not too old to start.  My grandpa started the violin at 75, and in less than 2 years he was playing Christmas carols with me:)

StarBright

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1997
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #32 on: January 03, 2020, 01:55:22 PM »
Congrats!

If you just want to be able to play through basic songs (that lean towards classical) I really recommend the book "You Suck at Piano" - it has a sense of humor but also teaches decent technique and reading of music.

There is also a section on improvising and basic chord structure which is a very guitar way of looking at piano and I think it is great!

https://www.amazon.com/You-Suck-Piano-Joel-Pierson/dp/099939360X/ref=sr_1_1?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0ZPMpajo5gIVRtbACh1FqQQmEAAYAiAAEgKjffD_BwE&hvadid=243097521579&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9015099&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t2&hvqmt=e&hvrand=13718996890167810591&hvtargid=kwd-410283205610&hydadcr=24658_9648989&keywords=you+suck+at+piano&qid=1578084885&sr=8-1

Zamboni

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2861
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #33 on: January 03, 2020, 06:06:06 PM »
My Dad is a pianist and piano teacher and he exclusively teaches adults. Yes, you can start as an adult (even a traditional retirement age adult) and get really, really good if you play regularly. He has many students who started as beginner adults and became piano teachers themselves later.

He is a popular teacher because he lets adults play whatever they want to play (jazz, pop, classical, show tunes, ragtime, blues, whatever) and he never scolds if a student doesn't practice. He has a lot of physicians who are students . . . what's he gonna do, scold the lady who didn't practice because she got called in three times last week to perform emergency heart bypass surgery?

It's supposed to be fun, so keep it fun. I played for the first time in several years the other day (my new house came with a Steinway grand that the previous owner didn't want to move, which I find hilarious) . . . anyway, it made the dog really happy, and that makes me happy.

frugaldrummer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 840
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2020, 07:08:50 PM »
Iíd also recommend a great book called How to Play the Piano Despite Years of Lessons. If your goal is to play popular music, not classical, this book is great!

frugalfoothills

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
  • Age: 31
    • Bulls, Bears and Beers
Re: Learning Piano as an Adult?
« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2020, 02:23:31 PM »
1 week in and I'm rocking and rolling!

  • I now know the names of each key and how to find where I'm at on the keyboard
  • I know how I'm supposed to be sitting, holding my wrists, and holding my fingers (though I'm finding it really hard to keep my fingers in the right position, I keep mashing they keys!)
  • I'm surprised how hard it is to actually push the keys, I guess that's why everyone told me to go weighted since real piano keys are heavy(duh)
  • I can play scales and have learned how to bridge with my thumb which was VERY helpful
  • Surprised how little strength & control I have over my pinky & ring fingers (and basically every finger on my left hand)
  • I have learned to play the intro to one of my goal songs! And it doesn't sound terrible!

I have been watching YouTube videos and following along with some YouTube lessons by Andrew Furmanczyk. I think I will get that "You Suck at Piano" book, that seems right up my alley.