If you are an adult, breaking the myth and engaging in a musical school can both be rewarding and thrilling. However, you must realize that mastering the piano does not come easily. It demands commitment and perseverance.
All that you need to achieve this goal is a passion for music and unfailing motivation. With these two, there is nothing you can’t conquer; soon, success will be yours. That said, below are strategies you can adopt to get all the information you need to learn, even master, the piano as an adult.
What Are The Mindsets You Should Have, As An Adult Piano Student?
1) Learn Patience and Discover Your Passion
Piano lessons need daily practices. Many adults don’t have enough time, causing most of them not to make it past the first year of training. Learning piano is not different from formal learning. You can’t progress in school by attending classes once per week; the same goes for learning piano – you must practice it daily.
Unlike school, it is recommended by most piano tutors that you dedicate 30 to 60 minutes every day practicing piano. Furthermore, even 15 minutes is enough for the days you are busy. You need time to understand the piano; don’t just practice it like an exam where you can cram for.
2) Allocate Times for Your Practices
Regular practicing is a daunting task for adults since they have to make an intricate balance between work, family, and social obligations. To succeed, you must create time for your practices. It doesn’t matter how busy you are; a little sacrifice can create the time you need for piano training.
Learning piano can be both rewarding and frustrating. Be warned that there are times you will feel like you are not making any progress. You will be practicing for hours and still not make simple progress. Everyone who undertakes piano lessons experiences this frustration.
The improvement is so small to be noticed in one day of practice. It is comparable to the speed at which hair grows, or the paint dries. Be persistent, since, after a few months, you will see the fruits of your labor.
To progress, you have to accept that taking piano lessons won’t give you a song after a day of practice.
3) Understand that a Piano is a Complex Machine
A piano is a complex machine, and this might be the reason why you are attracted to it. To tame it, you must persevere in practicing until you learn it by heart. You might be wondering how long these lessons will take. However, don’t be anxious about this.
Take your time; after all, what you learn today will build and complement what you will learn tomorrow.
4) Choose the Best Tutor
You need a tutor to take you through the lessons. The purpose of a teacher is to accompany you through this journey guiding, correcting, encouraging, and giving you feedback. Make your aspirations known to your tutor before you start so that you can both be reading from the same book.
Can you learn alongside your child? This is a question that should be answered by your tutor. While I’m not a teacher, I find the idea uncomfortable since there will be distractions and you can’t possibly learn at the same pace. A separate lesson looks like a good idea.
A child between five and seven years can comfortably start piano lessons. However, those children who are younger than five tend to have a reduced concentration span. Hence they will only take the piano lessons as a game.
There are many pianos out there. As you may have realized, there is a significant price margin between a genuine piano and a fake one. Remember that cheap is always expensive. Consequently, it is advisable to keep away from counterfeit pianos.
You can start with any standard piano and upgrade later. Additionally, these low-cost pianos will not produce the right tone, and if you practice with them, you will get a hard time when playing a ‘real‘ piano.
What Are the Skills and Techniques to Learn First?
Now that you’re on your way to learning pianos, you might want to start learning these techniques:
Start with Musical Theory
Learning musical theory can be boring to many. However, if you’re going to appreciate music in general, you should start with the musical theory. This basic knowledge will help you advance faster as you will be interested in knowing what you can do to improve the music.
You can start by learning the chords, rests, note values, key signature, tones, and others. While at it, make sure you take tests now and then. You can start this by differentiating an eight-note with a quarter note or a D with a G. You can also learn to distinguish a minor chord from a major one. There are many music books you can use to learn music theory.
Some are self-guided, while others need a teacher to take you through. If you prefer to use a book, be ready to spend a longer time than when using a teacher.
Practice Chords, Scales, and Arpeggios
Practicing chords is tedious work; no wonder it is shunned by many students. However, if you want to develop dexterity and excellent skills, be diligent with practicing chords, scales, and arpeggios.
You will also develop your hearing more if you master arpeggios well. It is vital to start practicing this as soon as you start your piano lessons so that you can create a good habit. Soon, you will see how this will catapult your piano lessons.
Practice with Rhythm
Don’t be like many piano learners who develop habits which they later find hard to leave. Let what you are playing sink in. Feel the tones, chords, and hums as you play. If you develop bad habits as you learn, it will be tough to leave those habits.
Since you will be spending a lot of time alone with your piano, you need to cultivate discipline, and your tempos and rhythms should be as they should. It is easy to pick a bad habit during learning, and such habits tend to be very hard to break while playing.
Master the Scales
For you to learn the 12 key signature, you need to learn the scales first. If you want to know which notes are flat or sharp in a key, determine the key signatures first. You should not hurry into learning the scales as it takes time to master everything.
You must start gradually and increase the pace as you continue. Learning how to play the piano is not a marathon. Therefore, you want to learn with a speed you feel comfortable with.
Chords & Improvisation
In life, there are shortcuts. The shortcut in piano lessons is chords and improvisation. If you don’t have time or are uninterested in lessons, you can still play the piano by learning chords and improvisation. This is a must if you want to appear professional while playing when you are still learning. However, there are only a few you can do with this.
Some people naturally love music. Their ears can pick notes even amid traffic noise. They are gifted with the ability to recognize notes, melodies, and chords just by listening. For them, it is possible to play the piano as they hear the tones.
Unfortunately, not everyone can do that. You can develop this musical ‘ear’ by being taught by an experienced teacher.
Additional Tips To Help You Learn Faster
Sing as You Learn
Playing is different from singing. If you use your ears and mouth thoroughly, you will realize singing and playing are related. For a beginner, it is crucial to sing as you play. This way, you will advance in your lessons faster than if you played without singing.
The advantage of singing as you practice is that it will boost your memory. When you start seeing your piano as a set song but not notes in a paper, your lessons will be over sooner than you expect.
Slow Down with Metronome
Every song must be played in time for it to be intelligible. Learn how to slow or increase the pace as you play so that a song can be enjoyable. However, if a particular song is best played at 500bpm, you can start to play it at 50bpm and increase the speed until you hit 500bpm.
The Bottom Line
If you have decided to learn to play the piano, make sure you enjoy doing it. Let your piano be your companion such that when you have nothing to do, you can sit with it and play around.
Just like how you spend time with your friends, don’t be too serious with what you do with the piano. Be free and do what you find exciting. That way, you will enjoy every moment you spend learning it.
To learn faster, try to make a distinction of every sound your piano produces. You can do this while listening to your favorite song. Interacting well with your piano will make it fun to learn.