Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Learning Piano as an Adult Beginner

  1. #1
    Newbies
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    9
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Learning Piano as an Adult Beginner

    Hi everyone! I'm an adult with very little music experience. I've dabbled a bit with recorders, but haven't really done too much with them, and that was years and years ago.

    About ten years ago I bought a digital keyboard and took lessons. My instructor mainly taught young children and didn't really know how to deal with an adult (45 at the time, now 55) beginner. After two or three lessons I was so turned off by the experience that I quit and sold the keyboard.

    Fast forward ten years and my wife has inherited a beautiful Steinway concert grand (the big one--Model D). She doesn't play, and it would be a shame to let this instrument go to waste as just decorative furniture, so I'm motivated to give it another go.

    I have several questions: how do I find a teacher good with adult beginners? I don't want another bad experience like the one I had ten years ago. Is it appropriate to interview them or ask for a CV? What do I look for? What questions should I ask? I'm mainly interested in classical music (I've been an avid listener for nearly fifty years now), and I also like movie music.

    What method books should I get? It'll probably take me a while to find a teacher and get lesson times set up, so I'd like some recommendations to get started. I'm sure the teacher I settle on will recommend books to get, but I don't mind buying more books than I need. I'm in the SF Bay Area and we have a number of well-stocked stores that specialize in sheet music and method books.

    I need to re-learn the treble and bass clefs--are flash cards good for that, or are there computer programs available that make it easier? One thought comes to mind: when I was in a music store last weekend, I saw some abbreviated digital keyboards that were quite inexpensive and easily interfaced to a computer. Is there any software that interfaces with one of these keyboards and quizzes one on the notes?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I'm eager to get back into this and want to be successful this time around.

  2. Likes Ingélou liked this post
  3. #2
    Sr. Moderator Taggart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Norfolk (ex-Glasgow)
    Posts
    4,055
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    I started with the mnemonics (way before computers) - Every Good Boy Deserves Favour for the treble clef lines and FACE got the spaces. Bass clef starts one along. After that, scales will help you get the patterns.

    There are a variety of sites to link teachers to students. Teachers don't want to waste time so they want to be quizzed so you can get the best out of it - see http://pianoteachersfederation.org/C..._Right_Teacher for examples of the things to think about and the questions to ask.

    As to method books, each teacher will have their own favourites so maybe hold off.

    Don't forget to get a good piano tuner.

    You're going on a marvellous journey - enjoy yourself.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

  4. Likes Pugg, Ingélou liked this post
  5. #3
    Senior Member MarkMcD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Valencia
    Posts
    230
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Hi 76 Trombones,

    There's really only one question you need to ask and that's simply "Do you have experience with mature students"? I know that maybe sounds a bit condescending, I don't mean it to be, but don't try and complicate your life too much by concocting an interview style inquisition for your prospective teachers. You will be starting at the very beginning and so it's not too important at this level to know anything more than whether he or she has the experience you require, other than that, the only thing I would recommend, is that you pick someone you feel you can connect well with and off you go.

    Each teacher, as Taggart said, will have their own methods and recommendations for text books and so even though it's commendable to want to do as much as possible before you engage a teacher, it's possibly not wise to read these things without the guidance of your teacher as it can be very confusing and you will need explanations and the opportunity to ask questions and doing things wrongly will form bad habits that you will have to later try to break.

    Anyone can learn to play an instrument with enough time and dedication and a rea desire to do so, so have fun and good luck with your studies

  6. Likes Pugg, Ingélou liked this post
  7. #4
    Newbies
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    9
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkMcD View Post
    There's really only one question you need to ask and that's simply "Do you have experience with mature students"? I know that maybe sounds a bit condescending, I don't mean it to be, but don't try and complicate your life too much by concocting an interview style inquisition for your prospective teachers.
    Hi Mark. Thanks for the reply. My intention is not to subject a potential teacher to an inquisition, but to determine if their teaching style matches my learning style. I'm an engineer and a very analytical thinker and I don't think I would get along well with a teacher who would respond to a question during a lesson with "forget about why, just do it". I'm the type that always needs to know the "why" in addition to the "how". I learn better that way.

  8. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2,601
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 76Trombones View Post
    Hi Mark. Thanks for the reply. My intention is not to subject a potential teacher to an inquisition, but to determine if their teaching style matches my learning style. I'm an engineer and a very analytical thinker and I don't think I would get along well with a teacher who would respond to a question during a lesson with "forget about why, just do it". I'm the type that always needs to know the "why" in addition to the "how". I learn better that way.
    You mentioned in your first post that you live in the SF Bay Area. You might want to look into the possibility of taking lessons through the San Francisco Conservatory. They offer an extension program which includes private lessons for adult beginners. Many of the instructors have an academic, analytical style of teaching (as would be expected at a conservatory). Here's the link to the website: https://sfcm.edu/degrees-programs/adult-extension

  9. #6
    Newbies
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    9
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bettina View Post
    You mentioned in your first post that you live in the SF Bay Area. You might want to look into the possibility of taking lessons through the San Francisco Conservatory.
    Thanks. I looked at the site and it looks interesting, but it's located in SF and I'm in the East Bay and it would be very difficult for me to get to SF in the evenings on a consistent basis. A teacher in the San Ramon/Danville/Walnut Creek area would be ideal.

  10. Likes Bettina liked this post
  11. #7
    Senior Member MarkMcD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Valencia
    Posts
    230
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I'm in total agreement with you there, I need to know the why too, sometimes to the enth degree lol. Good luck with your search, you'll love the journey.

  12. Likes Ingélou liked this post
  13. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    56
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    What a wonderful opportunity. I have a dream of doing that, at age 50. I have some piano experience but, not a lot. I live in an apartment and unfortunately, no funds to purchase a quality instrument. My dream is to learn a piece or two perfectly and perform in a church or something. Bucket list I guess you could say. Of course my choice of music is probably too advanced for my proficiency level, but, if one should dream they should dream big, right? Of course, having arthritis in wrists does not help either.

    Anyways, I wish you success on your journey!

  14. Likes Ingélou liked this post
  15. #9
    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Norfolk (ex-York)
    Posts
    5,131
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    35

    Default

    I hope you find a teacher who suits you - but mind you, one of the lovely things I've found about learning an instrument as an older person (the fiddle, in retirement) is that it utilises instinct and flair and heart as well as reason.

    Learning musical instruments in our retirement has transformed our lives & I hope it will do the same for you.
    Bon voyage!
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

  16. Likes Taggart, Bettina liked this post
  17. #10
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I am 55 and I love the piano. At my age, I think it is very difficult to learn but still I started learning because of the interest I have in piano. I am following these piano lessons https://musicgny.com/piano-for-all-review/ one of my friend recommended me. Currently I am on book 2. At my age the problem is I forget things and thats why it makes more difficult for me to learn to play piano. Hopefully withtime, I will get better. I would appreciate if someone likes to share some tips regarding piano learning that will help all of us.

  18. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    26
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I am 41 and I am learning to play piano too. Sometimes it is hard work, especially with new material. But I truly believe that everything is possible if you put your heart to it… and time - time is crucial I would say. I am learning to play for less then year now, and I can see some improvements day by day. I finally developed and attitude to spend ca. 2 hours every day on my piano. That helps a lot. To keep myself motivated I am recording my achievements and I put them on youtube. My last post you can see there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJrpTCddPos It is first section from "For Elise"... It is not perfect but more where I am right now with my piano skills.

    What I am trying to say, that once you choose a source of your piano knowledge, it is more important then source itself to practice, practice, practice. Soon enough you will find what works best for you and how to plan your practice sessions. It took me a while to finally get there. I wish you all the best with your learning. Happy to share my experience with you.

  19. Likes Taggart liked this post
  20. #12
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    10
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    If you are piano Adult Beginner and looking for a piano teacher then check local universities or churches to find a tutor. Many cities have professional guides of piano, who can help you to find a good teacher. You can also find a piano teacher through internet.

  21. #13
    Senior Member apricissimus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Malden, MA, USA
    Posts
    552
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Rather than start a new thread, I thought I'd hop onto this one.

    I'm finishing a master's degree (at the age of 40) and I'll have a lot of free time opening up for me very soon. I'm considering taking piano lessons. There are a couple of music schools in my city that offer lessons, mostly to young people, but I'm sure they'll be happy to take my money if I want lessons for myself.

    Does anyone have any recommendations as to how often and how long lessons should be? Once a week? Twice a week? A half hour? A whole hour? What's typical for something like this?

  22. #14
    Sr. Moderator Taggart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Norfolk (ex-Glasgow)
    Posts
    4,055
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    If you're starting out, half an hour a week should be enough. That's what most people start with.

    Think about it, you'll have some scales, some technical work and one or two pieces to work on. None of that is going to run very long - the main point will be the teacher's comments. So a half hour lesson should be enough.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

  23. Likes apricissimus liked this post

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 8
    Last Post: Feb-05-2016, 08:06
  2. I'm learning the piano - I'd like your feedback please
    By Piano Student in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Jul-21-2014, 18:25
  3. Replies: 9
    Last Post: May-15-2014, 11:07
  4. Being a piano beginner again
    By Lamandra in forum Beginners
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Mar-09-2014, 00:40
  5. Replies: 11
    Last Post: May-23-2012, 06:43

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •