Is It Ever Too Late To Learn Piano?

Do you wish you started piano training when you were younger, or are you simply exploring new hobbies or feeling the need for an artistic means of expression? Perhaps you enjoy listening to music and going to the symphony, or you want to grow your own musical understanding before enrolling your children in keyboard lessons. There are few wrong reasons to engage in musical instruction, but this pursuit does cause many adults to wonder if they have waited too long to get started.

Is It Ever Too Late To Learn Piano?

Simply put, no, it’s almost never too late to start learning the piano, even from scratch. You should temper your expectations according to your age, the amount of time you can spend practicing, and your prior music training, but there’s no reason to think you won’t reach a good level of proficiency at the keyboard. Many adults find that they exceed even their own goals, and you could be sharing music with your friends and family, or simply playing for your own enjoyment, within a year if you stay dedicated and practise correctly.

Let’s put it this way — is it ever too late to learn a language? It certainly doesn’t get any easier to learn the longer you wait (life has a way of only getting busier and more complicated), but you could pick up language study at any point and become conversant if you have the time to dedicate to it.

Can You Learn Piano At Any Age?

You could certainly be too young to learn the piano — at the London Piano Centre, we don’t accept students younger than six years of age — but once a person has reached a certain degree of cognitive readiness, yes, any age is acceptable.

It’s also worth mentioning that if elderly students have difficulty sitting at the piano for periods of time, or if they are suffering from pain in the hands and arms, proficiency at the piano may not be a reasonable expectation. That set of circumstances is an outlier, however.

The most important thing to note is that even adult beginners can be playing real music within a year, and they can be fairly proficient at the piano within 2-3 years if they work hard. But it’s up to the motivation of the student.

Is 30 Too Old To Learn Piano?

This is certainly a similar question to the one answered above, but it’s a specific age that many adults ask about, believe it or not! The answer is unequivocally no. Age 30 is a fantastic time to begin a new pursuit, and although life may involve a career, social obligations, perhaps home ownership, and maybe children, learning piano can be a wonderful way to get your mind off the stresses of everyday life.

Is It Too Late To Learn Piano? It’s Really Up To You!

It always comes down to your motivation to learn, and if you invest the proper time into the instrument, you can become a pianist in your adulthood.

How Much Do You Have to Practise?

Different people have different amounts of aptitude and talent, but talent is worthless without practice. You must be able to set some time aside almost every day of the week if you wish to make progress. Just like learning a language or building muscle, you won’t see any improvements if you don’t commit to regular practice. When you are first starting, you will probably find that 20-30 minutes per day is plenty of time for you to make progress. As you get better and tackle more advanced concepts, you’ll need to alot more time when possible.

You Must Follow Correct Practicing Methods

Let’s continue the muscle-building analogy — you can spend two hours in the gym every day, but if your technique is wrong, your fitness will not improve. The same holds true in music.

Firstly, once you increase your practice time to 45+ minutes, you may benefit from practicing in smaller sessions. For instance, practise for 20 minutes in the morning before work, and then set 25 minutes aside in the evening. Your brain will absorb the information you are feeding it much more easily.

Also, you must practise slowly — slowly enough to not play wrong notes. Remember, every time you play a wrong note, you imprint a bad habit that you must work on even harder to unlearn.

Another tip is to never cheat or learn tricks just to look better in your lesson. As an adult, are you continually relying on finger numbers to play music instead of truly comprehending the notes? That’s a crutch that must be unlearned. Are you playing music by ear instead of reading the score? Playing music by ear is great, but you also need to be able to read.

In short, consult with your teacher about how you should practise, and then follow their prescription carefully — after all, that’s exactly what you’re paying for!

Do You Have to Take Lessons To Learn the Piano?

You could watch YouTube videos and learn tunes by rote, but if you truly want to learn the piano, you do need to meet with a teacher for regular instruction.

A formula for thinking of the value of lessons could go as follows:

  1. Your most valuable possession is time
  2. With or without a teacher, you are investing lots of time into the piano
  3. Without personally tailored guidance from a good teacher, that time is being used inefficiently used at best, (or completely wasted at worst.
  4. Therefore, the money you invest in quality teaching will be recouped ten-fold (or more) because of the time you are no longer wasting.

Of course, the above is only true if you are committed to regular, efficient practice.

Learn About Lessons At The London Piano Centre

Our teachers are internationally known performing pianists, and as such, they know exactly how to coach you through the early stages of learning piano. They are deeply invested in your success, and they will work as hard on your progress as you will.