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  • Writer's pictureAmy Taylor

Piano Lessons For Adults

Adults learn differently than children so it’s important to have specifically tailored piano lessons for adults. You are going to want a teacher who can facilitate learning that will benefit an adult's unique journey.

How Piano Lessons For Adults Are Different

Unlike children, an adult is self-motivated to learn piano. Their reasons for studying piano make the experience more meaningful. For example, adults take piano lessons later in life because they didn’t have the opportunity to do so as a young person.

As an adult, your time is precious and you want to make the most of their time - thus the average adult will practice more than the average child and will progress faster because of it.

Adults are more self aware, so when they see something wrong with how they are practicing on the piano, they will focus on trying to change that. They are also able to self-direct, which means their lesson time and practice times are productive.

What To Look For In A Piano Teacher

Collaborative Environment

The best teacher-student relationships are not hierarchical. Piano lessons for adults should be a collaborative experience where the learning objectives are co-created and evaluated over time. This forms a strong partnership and contributes to the enjoyment of the lessons for both parties.

Flexibility On Goals

An adult student’s motivation will change over time, and it's important to reevaluate the ongoing goals and expectations the student-teacher team has come up with. It’s important to realize that goals can evolve over time, and what a student brings to an initial consultation may shift to a different desire. They may have been interested in playing classical music in the beginning and then later that desire shifts towards jazz. This is something the teacher should be able to accommodate for when giving piano lessons for adults.

Adaptable Methods

The normal aging process can bring up some challenges that the teacher should be ready to manage. Keeping an eye out for physical conditions such as tendonitis or carpal tunnel and being able to catch them early will help the student progress more smoothly. Being aware of how eyesight changes can affect a student's ability to see the music in front of them, and being sensitive to them as they navigate those changes.

The Teacher’s Expertise

The teacher’s expertise is a factor in the teacher-student relationship. The teacher should have lots of experience playing, performing, and teaching. They should be able to break down complex musical subjects into manageable size chunks for the student to process and implement.

What Adults Need In Piano Lessons

No matter what the level of experience you are coming in with, it’s important to recognize and celebrate the musical growth that any individual carries.

It’s beneficial that the teacher identifies specific musical objectives and articulates when those objectives have been met. Be sure to celebrate these moments. A teacher’s feedback has an impact on students and the praise is felt. It’s important not to gloss over moments of success a student has.

Many adult students have sophisticated taste in music and high expectations for themselves. A skilled teacher will seek out music that matches the student’s tastes and styles while matching it to their ability level. And while performance may not be a goal for many adults, teachers should supply ample performance opportunities. In case the performance bug bites.

An adult piano student can sense a teacher’s passion for music, and piano. Students value honest and supportive feedback regarding their progress over time.

Your First Month Learning Piano As An Adult

Students often create unnecessary stress by having unrealistic ideas about how quickly they will progress. A skilled teacher can manage those expectations. This can be done by giving the student small sections of a song to focus on instead of working on the whole piece. Teachers can adjust pacing, sequence, and the in-lesson experience to provide students an avenue for success.

Everyone learns differently. Therefore, a good teacher may have 10 different students and will thus have 10 unique approaches to piano lessons for adults. The whole time, a skilled teacher will encourage, create structure, instruct, and celebrate the journey of each student.

At the heart of learning piano is the experience of joy, and the skilled teacher will facilitate the lessons so that this becomes the experience of the student.

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