Am I Too Old to Learn How to Play the Piano?

As I get older I find that there are not that many things you are too old to do. You have to make time for anything and you have to work at it. There are activities I like to imagine I want to do… someday. For instance, I would like to walk the Appalachian Trail. It sounds great except for the dark, and the bugs, and of course the walking… for months. If playing the piano is one of those things for you, better off just admitting it to yourself. But if you really think you might want to play then understanding your expectations is important. Why do you want to learn to play, and what do you want to learn to play?

There are plenty of answers to “Why”: I used to … I always wanted to… I love music… I thought it would be fun to learn… I like to play and I need structure to practice… These are all great answers so don’t shy away.

So now think about the “What” you what to play: Fur Elise, Beatles, Chopsticks? Maybe you just want to know how to read music so anything will do. Give yourself a goal and then dig in.

Once you have thought about these answers, contact some teachers and share your thoughts. Find someone who matches your goals and personality and logistically works for you. Time and place obviously must be a match.

When you go to your lesson you might be a little nervous. You probably feel very eager to succeed. Now you have to follow through.

Here are some must do’s for success:

  • Make a schedule and check off the days – old school.
  • Tune the piano. It DOES matter.
  • Have FUN while you play. Sudoku, Solitaire, Crossword Puzzles: you don’t always get it right, but it is still fun. Why? The process is fun.

After a month or two, think about if and why you are enjoying this experience. What do you like about playing? Do you like the sound of the music, the way your fingers move, concentrating on the process, or all of the above? Are you moving toward your goals? If yes, great! Keep practicing. If not, just admit it and try something else.

The only thing you are too old to do is participate in an optional activity you do not enjoy. You might love music, but that does not mean you have to love playing music. There is always an option to turn on the radio while you take drawing lessons, or garden, or even walk the Appalachian Trail.

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