Learning Piano as an Adult

Learning Piano as an Adult

A Dream Will Remain a Dream If You Don’t Take Action


Before I started A Dream Will Remain a Dream if You Don't Take Actionmy journey in piano learning as an adult beginner, I’ve always doubted my ability to success. Is it possible for an adult with zero knowledge about music to start learning an instrument from scratch? Will it be embarrassing to learn together with other young children? With this hesitation, I’ve delayed my piano learning for several years. Until one day, I decided to take the first step in realizing my dream. I’ve made up my mind to give it a try so that I will leave no regret in my life.


Adult Learner and Children Learner. What is the Difference?


In the blink of an eye, 7 years have passed by. Today, I’ve reached ABRSM grade 8 and I’ve never stop learning. But sometimes I’d wonder: If I started learning as a child, will I be able to achieve my current level? Can I do much better than now and go much further? Will it be any difference in my learning and achievement?


Yes. There are indeed some differences between adult and children learner. Both of them are using different mechanisms to learn. Here are some comparison between adult and children learner in music learning:


Adult Learner and Children Learner

1. Adults are more mature than children. They can understand music theory better in a shorter period of time.

2. Adults can have better muscle control compare to the children. Therefore, technical skills can be introduced earlier to them.

3. Most adults start learning an instrument because of their interest and passion. They understand their own goals and will try their best to achieve them. On the other hand, most children learn because of their parents. They may need some rewards and motivation to keep their interest on the instrument.

4. Adults have longer attention span compared to children. This enable them to spend longer time to practice and achieve their goals.

5. Adults are more self-disciplined and less dependent to teachers compared to children.

6. Children have better musical memory which enable them to develop better hearing and aural skills if they’re trained from young age.

7. Children are less self-conscious while playing the musical instrument. They have the advantage of using relaxed muscle in their playing. However, adults are always self-conscious which leads to tensed muscle which will affect their performance.

8. Children have more flexible fingers compared to adult.


Although adult and children learn with their own unique ways, it is obvious that age is not a barrier in piano learning.


The Secret of Success as an Adult Beginner


The Secret to Success as an Adult BeginnerThe biggest secret in succeeding as an adult beginner is PERSEVERANCE. Learning a musical instrument is a long journey which requires a lot of EFFORTS, PATIENCE, and COMMITMENT. Once you start learning the instrument, it is important that you schedule a time slot of at least 30 to 60 minutes for daily practice. There is no short cut to success. Skills can be accumulated little by little, but it is impossible to improve in just a single day.


During the learning process, it is normal to face some obstacles. If you can overcome these obstacles, you’ll learn a great lesson and achieve a higher level successfully. So, do not give up easily. Remember that, it is never too old to learn and there is no age limit for knowledge. If you are still hesitating in pursuing your dreams and passions, it’s time to take action now! You’re never too late!


Do you have any experience of learning a musical instrument as an adult? If yes I’d be delighted to hear your story. Feel free to leave a comment below to share with us!

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  1. It’s very encouraging to read your story about adult piano learning, especially as you have progressed so far.

    I have recently retired, and decided to take up piano. I intended to do it just for fun, but I do love taking exams and collecting certifications (yes, I know, I’m twisted).

    Because I have a “process” way of thinking I had to translate everything I learned into a sort of “flow chart” methodology, so I would very much appreciate your take on my embryonic website (aimed more at me than at anyone else). Do you think anyone else would benefit from it?

    1. Hi Chris, glad that you enjoy my post.
      I’ve heard many successful stories about people learning piano after retired. I’m sure you can be a very good piano player if you stick to it.

      I have visited your website too. It is a very good approach for those who wish to self-learn piano without taking traditional piano lessons. This will be beneficial for people who wants to play for fun and leisure as they can play the songs they love in a short period of time. On the other hand, traditional piano lessons emphasize more on developing a solid foundation in technical skills which require more commitment and practice hours.


  2. As an adult who is learning piano myself I agree with your article, I also find that I function best with short practice sessions 30mins usually but consistently each day. I find frustration kicks in and errors go way up if I sit there playing longer than that.

    1. Hi Cam,
      Nice to meet you. I agree with you that practicing 30 minutes consistently everyday will give better result compare to practicing long hour for only once a week.
      If you feel that you keep making mistake while playing, I suggest that you can take a break for 5 to 10 minutes and continue again. If you keep practicing with mistake, the brain will ‘learn’ the mistake and bad habits will be developed. Good luck for your piano learning!

  3. Hi Saber, I just have to totally agree with you! We’re just on the same boat as I’m only with the classical guitar! Well described there! I’ll learn from you!

    1. Hi Bernard,
      Thanks for visiting! Glad that you like my post and good luck for your classical guitar learning too! Looking forward to hear from you again.


  4. I guess I never knew that adults and children take piano lessons differently. I honestly regret never taking piano lessons as a kid. It’s good to know that it isn’t to late to start.

    1. Hi Sean Prado, thanks for your comment. It’s never too late to learn. The sky’s the limit! Wish you all the best!

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