Am I too old to explore my piano interest and what would my learning expectation be. : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

I am a 38 year old female with no musical background. I was interested in the piano as a child but never had the opportunity to explore my interest. Am I too old to start now? How can I tell if I would have an appitude to learn how to play the piano and what would be some recommendations for someone my age starting out? How much practice per week is needed and what should my learning expectations be? Thanks in advance.

-- sally raynard (, September 22, 2002


Hello, Sally. This is a great time for you to pursue your interest - go for it! Many piano teachers love to teach adults, and there are many good adult-oriented materials out there. Find a teacher - and find one who has interest and/or experience in teaching adults. As a beginner, a huge amount of practice time probably wouldn't be necessary - maybe plan on 30 minutes a day or so. Of course, a teacher would be able to help you plan a practice schedule that is right for you. For leads on a teacher, ask around about teachers in your area, check with local colleges or school music departments, try to find someone with a good reputation and who is willing to work with adults. Good luck!

-- Jon Ensminger (, September 22, 2002.


I started my piano lessons when I was 30 with no musical background of any sort 3 years ago. I want to share with you a few tips from my experience: 1) It is very important to find a good teacher. I liked all my 3 teachers, but I did not start serious practice nor made any good progress until I started with my 3rd teacher. The first two teachers probably didn't take me seriously since I was an adult beginner, therefore they did not have any systematic approach. They just picked a new piece every week seemingly randomly and did not pay attention to any of the basic skill trainings etc. I switched teacher each time simply because either the time doesn't fit or they no longer teacher in this area. It is fortunate for me otherwise I would have stayed with my 1st or 2nd teacher since I have no idea how a good piano lesson should be structured. With my 3rd teacher, I am more motivated to practice, and I have been making steady progress. She's been giving me Hanon, Dozen a day, Czerny, Burgmuller, Bach, Alfred's easy classic selctions as supplemental materials (We used Alfred's adult method book). And from time to time, she would say things like "..after this, you will do this, that, that...", which is very encouraging, it makes me feel she has a plan for me and I am going somewhere with all the practices! 2) Have a realistic expectation about the progress one could make, and the amount of work one has to do. When comparing with 2 years ago, I can see I have made lots of progress, but from this week to next week, this month to next month, the progress is not so visible, sometimes you even feel you are backtracking! And the amount of work is a lot, I have to practise at least one hour per day in order to finish the assignment, and that's not up to the tempo yet. The reward is not great at this moment, but the work is boring and tedious most of time. It takes lots of determination and will to keep things going. 3) If it's at all possible, find a friend who has just taken up piano, or is willing to take up lessions together with you. This will help both of you. I am lucky to have a friend who took up piano lessons roughly at the same time with me. The encouragement and/or competition will help to motivate both. Everytime after we get together to complain about the hard work or to exchange practising tips, we would feel better about practicing. I may have quitted without my friend hanging out there:-)

Hope this helps.


-- Jean (, September 23, 2002.

Hi Sally,

I don't think you are too old to learn playing piano. I am 40 year old and I just started to learn how to play piano by myself last month.

Now, I can read notes and play several easy songs such as minuet, row row your boat, ode to joy and so on...I spent three to four hours each night to practice those lessons but I think I might need a teacher in order to know how to play some classic some days.

Good luck!!!!

Sandy Chen

-- Sandy Chen (, September 23, 2002.

You are absolutely not too old to start. There are many adult piano students out there, many older than you. Check out's pianist corner- search for adult or adult beginner. Lots of posts from adult students there. Also check out

-- Beth Doyle (, September 29, 2002.

I am in my 70's, have had piano lessons off and on but still not confident playing for anyone. I would love to learn how to improvise. Am I too old and if not, how do I go about finding someone who will take me on. I live in Charles County, Maryland

-- Lloyd S. Bowling, Sr. (, March 02, 2005.

No, you are not too old, but you may face some different challenges physically than someone younger than you.

To find a teacher, check with your local music store or university music department and ask them to direct you to the local reference person or president of the music teachers association in your area.

Most professional organizations have a referral system and they can help you find a teacher that suits your interests.

-- Arlene Steffen (, March 02, 2005.

Hi Sally,

I'm sure you will get a lot of useful information from the above posts. I thought I might add, that, as a teacher, I would recommend that you clarify with your first teacher how levels of development are determined and what is expected at each level as you progress. For example, early-elementary grades (beginners) must master certain basic steps before moving to middle-elemntary, then to late-elemetary, and so forth. Although each student is unique, there are universal core studies at every level that your teacher will be able to guide you through. You must find a good teacher that you LISTEN to and follow his/her instructions. Be persistent in your practice and be patient.

You are certainly not too old!

Best of luck!

-- Lea Johnson (, March 03, 2005.

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