Piano Lessons For Adults?
Certainly the best time to learn fine motor-skills is when you are young. If you have ever tried to learn piano you know it is a very tough game. So, are piano lessons for adults a waste of time and money?
Before you answer, you’ve got to hear this story
In 1952 (The Year Of The Dragon) a baby was born in North America. His grandfather played violin, and his grandmother taught piano.
He played percussion in his high school band and began playing piano by ear in his teens.
In his late twenties he decided piano was so much fun, he would devote as many hours per day as necessary to become a concert pianist. He practiced as much as possible, one day practicing for 13 hours straight!
He tried traditional piano lessons on and off with different piano teachers over the years. Never more than a year with the same teacher. One of them was the best piano teacher in his area.
Not one of his teachers ever talked much about how to practice.
No matter how hard he tried, or how many hours spent at the piano, he remained at a mediocre level.
Fast forward 35 years
Years later, he happened upon some jaw-dropping information about how to practice piano on the pianostreet.com website from a highly intelligent, private piano teacher who’s username was Bernhard.
He studied the information Bernhard passed on in over 5000 text posts. He organized it and added some of his own ideas.
As soon as he began implementing these practice methods, he started improving rapidly after the age of 60! That person is me, Bill Deputy (Piano Dragon).
What happened next is the best part of this story
My 80 year old uncle (who will be 81 in a couple of weeks) had tried to learn piano over the years without success.
- His mother tried to teach him piano when he was growing up, but he loved baseball which he is still playing to this day. So he never learned to play piano.
- As a 50 year old, he purchased an adult beginner piano lesson course that used a booklet and cassettes for teaching only simple chords and melodies. It didn’t work for him, so he stopped playing after a few months.
- Twenty-five years later, in his mid-70s, he took beginner piano lessons from a private teacher at the best local, accredited music school. In addition to that, he practiced at least one hour per day for three months. Unfortunately, he again could not make significant progress and stopped trying.
After developing my “Learn Piano In 45 Days With No Music” course, I was positive that I could definitely teach him how to play piano even though he was now 80 years old.
I gently begged him to give me just 30 minutes to prove that it would work. He reluctantly agreed but when I showed up for the first piano lesson from me, he became unusually stern and stated that he was now too old and had no rhythm.
Luckily, he decided to humor me and said, “OK, 30 minutes”. Thirty minutes later we concluded that he did have rhythm and may not be too old. After a couple of months he was able to play an advanced beginner version of Moon River. Very soon he will have Bach’s Prelude No 1 in his repertoire.
Older Adults Can Find Their Voice With Piano Lessons
He has found his “voice” and is now making significant progress for the first time ever. I am so excited for him and proud of his determination and success. I forgot to mention that his pinky finger on his left hand does not bend! Plus his thumbs are both drawn inward toward his palm from arthritis. His piano has a rather light touchweight and sometimes a key will not sound.
He is currently on the next to the last section of the “Learn Piano In 45 Days With No Music” course, and as soon as he finishes the course, I will add a video of him playing to this post.
Older people can definitely learn how to play piano
The Piano Dragon Way to practice is working like magic on both myself and my 80 year old uncle. We have proven that you do not have to start when you are young. It’s never too late to make your dream of playing piano come true.
Unfortunately, I am also living proof that traditional once a week lessons don’t seem to be working for most people.
The Piano Dragon Way to practice will continue to be improved upon as I figure out what works best for my students.
Here’s a YouTube video of me playing a Chopin nocturne (Opus 9 No 3):
The YouTube video above is me playing the nocturne in May 2017. Below is an mp3 of me playing the same piece October 2018. If you listen closely you will hear the improvement of emotional content and technical clarity. It’s an exhilarating experience to finally make progress at 66 years old. I pinch myself daily, to make sure I’m not dreaming.
Piano progress equals happiness!
If you have tried to learn piano before and stopped playing, I hope you will find inspiration in my story. Trust me, you can learn piano if you learn how to practice effectively.
Don’t die with your music still in you.
-Bill Deputy (pianodragon)