Piano playing transcends age limitations. Some people start with piano lessons shortly after learning to walk and talk, while others begin learning later in life. If you’ve decided that learning to play the piano is something you’re interested in as an adult, there are few things to keep in mind when considering adult piano lessons – one of them being finding the right teacher for you.
Finding the Right Instructor
For children learning to play piano, taking private lessons from an instructor is relatively straightforward. These students need an instructor that works well with the younger generation, can provide adequate praise to support effective learning, and can keep the pace of instruction at a speed that fosters adequate learning as well as enjoyment.
For adults, however, the situation is a little different. You might have trouble keeping a consistent schedule for lessons every week, or even at all, depending on your work and home life. If your work requires a significant amount of travel during the week, you might not be able to schedule a weekly lesson at all. And if your family requires you to be home immediately after finishing work for the entire evening, this is another reason that weekly scheduled lessons may be tough.
Do You Need a Flexible Schedule?
Adult piano lessons can be challenging to coordinate, so finding the right instructor to work with is imperative. For instance, if you can find a private instructor that is willing to come to your home for your weekly piano lessons, you won’t have to worry about leaving your children alone while you’re at the lesson. Another option would be using Skype or Google Hangouts for online lessons. While you won’t have the benefit of the instructor sitting next to you watching every aspect of your playing, they are a great alternative for busy students. Unless your daily schedule is allows for “traditional” scheduled lessons at the same time every week, having a private instructor with some flexibility to move things around is a necessity.
Does Their Experience Match Up With Your Goals?
Another important consideration in selecting the instructor for your adult piano lessons is his or her musical choices for your learning. If you’re most interested in learning popular or contemporary music, an instructor that only selects classical music might frustrate you and make you less motivated to attend lessons. Before your first lesson, discuss your goals with your instructor. The right instructor should tailor your lessons around what you want to do and what your goals are.
Evaluate Your Lessons
Along with finding an instructor who can be flexible or use alternative teaching methods for your adult piano lessons, it’s also important after the first few lessons to take stock and evaluate things. After around a month of lessons, reflect on how things are going. Are there any issues with scheduling that you haven’t been able to work around? If so, make sure to bring these up before they become a bigger problem. Are you satisfied with the way the lessons are progressing and the type of music you’re learning? If you’re not, make sure to have a few different ideas for your next lesson. It’s possible that your private instructor is teaching you the basics of piano playing, starting out with simple chords, scales, and melodies that you’ll recognize, and then will progress into music that you’ll enjoy learning and playing.
Either way, this is something you should check in with your instructor about if you’re feeling frustrated. It’s possible that your instructor isn’t familiar with the songs you’d enjoy playing, and is sticking to the classic music that he or she knows best. Again, your teacher should be tailoring the lessons to what you want to learn – if this isn’t the case, it may be time to think about switching to a new private teacher.
Adult piano lessons can be successful for even the busiest of students, as long as you have the right teacher guiding you and motivating you. Just don’t forget to practice!
Photo by Christopher Michel