Am I Too Old To Learn Piano? By Donna Harris © 2022


Am I Too Old To Learn Piano? This possible belief is one of the most dangerous.


One of the beliefs that older people sometimes have is “I am too old”. Have you ever heard grown ups say that they have always wanted to do something, but “it’s too late now” because they are old?!


Reason No. 1


As a child, it was something I heard a lot and I saw the lie. They weren’t too old. As I got older it became more clear: sometimes it’s easier to not take a risk. 


However, it is also boring and restrictive. Why deny yourself the chance to grow, to discover something in yourself that could lead to a better quality of life?


Some say they have always wanted to learn piano, then put it off until retirement. The thing is, tomorrow isn’t promised. There is no guarantee that you will see retirement age! This may be considered a morbid thought or a reality check. 


When we truly want to do something, we find time, even if it’s baby steps daily. Something is better than nothing. Fifteen to thirty minutes, five or six days a week leads to feeling fulfilled. Compare that to a few hours each weekend and you can see that that level of engagement does not lead to desirable progress for piano.


What are some other reasons why people toy with the idea that they are too old to learn piano?Older Piano Students


Reason No. 2


I remember in the remake of Dirty Dancing from 2017 the dad expressed negativity towards pursuing piano lessons as an adult. That scene was set in the 1960s. For some reason, some believe music is child’s play. However, music isn’t just fun. It takes dedication. As an adult, I have noticed that the marketing for music education is often child centred, even nowadays!





Reason No. 3


During the pandemic, adults’ interest in piano lessons grew, but they were interested before too. Adults like having hobbies. We want to enjoy our lives and that includes having interests besides career and familial responsibilities. 


When marketing predominately targets or features children, it suggests that anyone who does not look like that should not pursue piano lessons. This includes race as well.


Reason No. 4


Generally speaking, adults do not want materials heavily featuring nursery rhymes. They want to learn music that interests them. 


There are actually many adult learning books. It’s just a shame that often, music education is portrayed as being mainly for children. It is not. Music is for everyone who wants to join in.


Adult Piano Student Enjoying Piano


Reason No. 5


A mistake adults often make is feeling that they should progress faster. “My hands do not seem to want to cooperate with my brain.” In reality, they are using their body in new ways so it takes a while to adjust. Remember, that when you are a beginner, especially, you are forming new habits which takes time. Oftentimes, adult students do better than they realise.


Reason No. 6


The general advice that it is a bad idea to compare ourselves to others holds true here. Do follow it!


Children take a long time to learn things sometimes. For example, adults pick up the musical alphabet faster than children around the ages of five to eight. It may seem like children learn music quicker but they may have more experience playing their instrument than beginner adults.


When you see someone playing at a higher level than you, my advice is to see it as inspiration. Let it give you an idea of what you could achieve if you stay dedicated, and get excited about what you can do now.


My name is Donna Harris, an Online Piano Teacher who specialises in older beginners: adults and children from 9 up. Get in touch via the red link to be considered for a complimentary demo lesson now. See you online soon!






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