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Piano Lessons – It’s Never Too Late

 by Steph Castor

pianon-lessons-its never-too-late

If you took piano lessons as a child, you were probably like most of us.  Dreading doing scales, scales and more scales.  You likely fought practicing every step of the way and wanting to stop playing so you didn’t have to do any more of those scales.  However, now as you’ve gotten older, you may be regretting the decision to quit. 

You may look longingly at a piano and wish that you could sit down and play some beautiful piece.  You may find yourself watching someone else sit down and immersing themselves in a song and you wish that you could do that too.

The most frustrating part may be that you know that the knowledge is in there somewhere, but you worry about how difficult it will be to find it again.  It can be made even more intimidating because you know your brain can no longer learn the way it did when you were a child, and your fingers don’t always move with the same ease. 

Or, maybe you were never able to learn an instrument when you were younger.  Perhaps you find yourself in a place in your life where you are now able to learn to play, but you find yourself unsure about starting something new.  You may worry about how hard it’s going to be.  You may worry about someone judging you for your lack of ability. 

 

What are the benefits of playing the piano?

Thankfully there is hope.  While our adult brains may not learn new things as readily as our childhood brains, our maturity in other areas make learning something new more fulfilling in different ways. 

You will find it easier to express yourself, and to play because you know how your mood and outlook improve when you do.  You will find yourself wanting to practice because you want to play and you want to improve.  Not to mention all the proven medical benefits that learning to play, and that playing an instrument like the piano brings. Some of the medical benefits include:

  • Stimulation of brain activity and an increase in the connections in the brain.
  • Heart health benefits like lowering blood pressure and regulating your heartbeat.
  • Emotional health benefits with mood stabilization and mood elevation.
  • Help with pain relief for those recovering from surgery or injury, or for those dealing with chronic pain.
  • Help recovering from brain trauma. Many stroke patients were shown to have improved language function and recovery time when listening to music.
  • Help with retaining memory.

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 These are just some of the very important medical benefits that come from music and being able to play an instrument.  The older you get, the more likely you are to want these benefits.  So don’t be afraid that it’s too late for you to start!

 

In addition to those medical benefits, there are also some very real-life benefits that you can gain from learning to play the piano.  Here are some simple examples of those benefits.

  • You will gain a better ability to concentrate. When you’re playing the piano, you have to focus on rhythm, pitch, tempo, note duration, and on and on and on.  This is a great activity that teaches your brain multi-level concentration.
  • Playing the piano teaches you perseverance. Learning the piano takes time and effort.  Until you are playing songs fluently and by heart, you’ll probably spend weeks, months and even years practicing them.  As you look forward to being able to play a certain song, you have to stay motivated, learn patience, and increase your perseverance. 
  • Playing teaches you discipline. Practicing is the only way to get better.  So you will need to discipline yourself to practice regularly.  In the beginning, it may be hard for you to want to practice.  Encourage yourself with little rewards or treats.  Slowly your regular practice schedule will become like second nature and being disciplined about your practice time will be easy.

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Where do I start?

The next question you’ll be asking yourself is where can I even begin?  There are several things you can do to get started.

  • Contact a local music school near you, like the Music House School in Overland Park, and ask about their adult music classes.
  • Look in online classified ads for used pianos, electric pianos or keyboards. Often there will be instruments on there from parents whose children have stopped playing so you may be able to find a quality instrument at a lower price.  Your local studio in Overland Park may also sell used instruments that you can be sure will be good quality, or they may even know someone who is wanting to sell their instrument.
  • Pick a piece of music that is fairly simple (so you don’t get too frustrated) but that you love and would love to play and begin learning it a little at a time. You may be more motivated to play and learn, and gain more enjoyment from the process, if you are playing a piece that you love.  Once you have learned to play that piece, pick a new, more challenging piece and learn that one.  You will find that the more you learn and play, the easier learning new songs will get.
  • Don't practice for too long. Your hands and muscles need the chance to get used to playing.  So plan to practice for no more than a 30-minute session.
  • Set attainable goals for yourself. Start with small things and work your way up.  Attempting an unattainable goal will just result in discouragement and a likelihood that you will end up wanting to give up.
  • Establish a routine. Having a routine time that you are able to play every day will help to ensure that you get in the amount of practice that you need so that you can improve and find joy in your playing.

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As mentioned, the benefits of playing the piano are varied and endless.  It is never too late to begin playing.  Contact your local studio in Overland Park about the adult classes they have available.  The joy it can bring to your life is worth it.

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Written by
Steph Castor

Steph Castor

Writer, musician, artist, & adventurer