The Joys and Challenges of Getting Back To Learning Piano
When is the last time that you decided to learn something new?
If you have been focussing on a career, or raising kids it might have been quite a while.
You might wish you could play an instrument, but there is a chorus of voices in your head of why not to get back to piano.
"I'm too old to learn something new", "I don't have time for it", or "I was never good at it in the first place".
Many of us are haunted by negative self talk, but is there actually any truth to this?
NOT AT ALL!
There is a wonderful power in any adult learning. And there's such an amazing amount to gain being able to express yourself playing piano.
There are a few challenges to overcome, but the good news is; they are mainly in our minds. Not in the reality.
Are you too old?
People often think only kids learn fast, and kids are of course learning machines. But remember that kids do nothing but learn. That is their job! And they do so in a very encouraging, low pressure environment with all the time in the world. They are exposed to new materials, and learn, not because they want to become good at something. They learn skills, like speaking, or how to use their phones, because they need to use them.
Adults actually learn comparatively faster and they master more facets of playing piano in a shorter time. Adults have the advantage of drawing upon a huge amount of experience, using their hands and mature brains. They have been exposed to a lifetime of learning and also a lifetime of hearing music.
Unfortunately adults who learned piano as kids were often taught in ways that made music really hard. Their previous experience only added a sense of having failed before. They may struggle with anxiety and even shame about their playing. In the past pedagogical methodology set them up not to play well, like only learning by reading music. Or by learning songs, but not understanding the chords and theory behind them and how each song can be played in lots of different ways.
Here are some tricks to help you set aside your anxieties and to let go of unrealistic expectations.
Step 1: Be humble and embrace being an adult beginner. Don't worry about getting good as fast as possible. Trust and enjoy the process of being a learner. Ask the dumb questions, expect the mistakes, rejoice in small achievements and progress and laugh at the natural imperfections. You might be worried what others might be thinking, but actually, commonly nobody is looking at you. We sometimes feel other people are paying more attention to us than they really are.
Step 2: Don't try and teach yourself. Let a trusted expert help you. And not an expert piano player who doesn't know how to teach. That can be counter productive, as for them what they do is automatic and they are not familiar anymore with how hard it is for a novice.
Step 3: There will be improvement and plateaus and sometimes you feel you're going backwards as the brain re-organises itself. Don't let that discourage you, but trust the process. Take stock every 6 months or so, and you'll know that you have got better. Hang in there and you will grow to your own perfection.
One final word of advice: the hardest thing is taking that first step. The threshold of beginning can be your greatest stumbling block. Just click that "two weeks free" link and fill in your details. Jump on the PianoEasy train and let it take you musical places beyond your wildest imagination.
Enjoy the process. No need to question yourself!