Play the piano - a brilliant decision at any age!

Play the piano - a brilliant decision at any age!

Whether you start to play in your younger years or as an adult - it’s worth it! The piano is the perfect instrument to take up at any age!
Start free 7-day trial with OKTAV

Why it is a good idea to start playing the piano - at any age!

  • As a child
    Children can start having piano lessons very early. The logical order of the keys from low to high and the simple way of producing the tone motivate and encourage learning. There is a ton of beginner material focusing on children. Studies have shown that children who play the piano surpass their peers when it comes to the ability to concentrate and motor skills. But don’t worry: You are very capable of learning to play the piano even if you haven’t started at age 3 to 4.
  • As a teenager/ young adult
    Many people take up playing the piano at that age, and often study a mix of classical and contemporary literature. They experience the positive effects first-hand - especially on self confidence, which is often a big issue at that age. Being able to express yourself through music also helps master the ups and downs of growing up. At this age, young pianists are often very self-motivated. Playing the piano also helps shape and broaden their taste in music.
  • Ages 30 to 50
    Music is a fabulous de-stresser! This is why you should make time to play the piano even if you're struggling to juggle job and family. The piano is the perfect instrument for you - only a quarter of an hour of practice per day is enough for beginners, and a digital piano allows you to practice with headphones (e.g. when the kids are sleeping). Starting at this point in your life has its advantages: You know what you want. You want to follow your taste in music, and you want time-saving digital piano learning options.
  • 50+
    Less pressure from job and family leaves time for a new hobby - the perfect moment to start learning the piano! You might wonder whether it makes any sense to start “at your age”. Be assured it does! The brain never loses the ability to learn. You’ll learn more slowly, but steadily. And you are not alone - the last years have seen a steady increase in the number of people starting to learn the piano in their later years. In response to that there are more classes available for adult learners, especially private and online classes.

How the internet can help you play the piano

  • Musical note
    Digital sheet music
    Teenagers and twens+ use digital sheet music as a matter of course. You discover new music on your mobile and are used to having all your arrangements at your fingertip - on your tablet. Students between 30 and 50 love that they can save time when selecting new songs to play. Pianists of a more advanced age know exactly which music they want to play. They choose their preferred sheet music from their favorite genres
  • Musical note
    Instruction
    Youtube, platforms, and blogs are an abundant source of learning materials and inspiration. From free tutorials to digital method books - former generations can only dream of the variety and sheer quantity of instructional content available nowadays. If you discover “your” favorite piano prodigies to follow, they’ll keep you going whatever your age.
  • Musical note
    Lessons and courses
    Lessons from a piano teacher in a communal music school might be restricted to children and young adults. Students aged 30+ turn to online lessons instead, which helps them save time and enables them to customize their learning experience. Lessons in your preferred genre might not be available in your town, but certainly online. Perhaps you are following a piano player who lives far away on Youtube and treat yourself to one of their live-classes. Or you prefer coachings whenever you need them to weekly lessons.

Age-specific fallacies of thinking about playing the piano - and how to tackle them.

  1. 1

    Teenagers/ young adults: all or nothing

    • When we are younger, we tend to have extreme feelings: We hover between exclaiming “I will be a piano star!” and “there’s no point continuing, I’m such a loser!” Sometimes you don’t feel like being told what to play by a teacher. But whoever stops playing at this age tends to regret it later.
    • Understand that there are strenuous times when you will just have to grind your way through, and there are fantastic times when playing the piano is fun and easy.
    • It might be time to look for another teacher or discover a new genre of music.
  2. 2

    30-50 years: not enough time

    • No time juggling family and job - and the first thing thrown out the window is piano practice. You feel too exhausted to practice, or like having to accomplish stuff in your free time puts even more pressure on you.
    • Reserve non-negotiable time for you, come what may. Your family needs to accept this! Even if it is only a quarter of an hour per day.
    • Take the foot off the gas pedal - understand that for you, at this point in your life, enjoying and relaxing while playing comes first. If you need to, change to a teacher who understands this.
    • And treat yourself to playing exactly the music you need to be happy and relax.
  3. 3

    50+: not enough self confidence

    • No other age group wonders as intensely whether there’s any point at all to starting to study the piano. After all, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, or can you?
    • Brain research shows this is wrong. You can play the piano quite wonderfully at any age, and it even keeps the brain young and fit.
    • Whoever starts playing at age 60 might have 20, 30 or even 40 years of piano playing ahead of them. Well, that’s what we call plenty of time to become a pianist!

How to work on your dynamics and expressivity

  • Even your instrument’s name suggests it is ideal for dynamic play: “Pianoforte” literally translates to “quietlyloudly”. And yet, during our daily practice, we often just concentrate on being able to play our pieces as speedily as possible. Once we can play them at the tempo they are supposed to be played, or even way faster, we think we “can play that piece”. But that is wrong. Only if we use dynamics and expressivity we can truly make a piece of music come alive.
  • The first step is, listen closely to recordings of the piece. How do the performers convey feelings? Which phrasing do they use? Where do they quieten down, where do they turn up the volume? How do they accentuate the rhythm?
  • After a thorough analysis, get to work: If you can play your piece technically, then start playing it more QIETLY than before. You read that right. More quietly, not louder. You might find that playing quietly can have its challenges in the beginning, because you have to keep your fingers evenly tensed.
  • Then start playing more intensely, stress passages, phrase. You’ll hear your piece of music come alive!

Frequently asked questions

  • How do I save costs when playing the piano?
    You can save costs from day 1 if you buy a good used piano. Lessons cost, too. Think about how often you want to take lessons. If you start out, investing in weekly lessons to make sure you train with a good posture from the beginning may pay off. After that, older and more independent learners can do quite well with self-study and occasional coaching. You can also save money shopping for digital sheet music - costs for single purchases can run up quite quickly. A subscription service with a flat rate could come cheaper.
  • How do I find a good teacher?
    A good piano teacher puts your taste in music and your aims above his own. They know what you need and will not dish out constant praise, but correct you when and where necessary. And you’ll have to get along with each other, person-to-person as well as musically. A more motherly kind of teacher might be ideal for little pianists. Teenagers/young adults might want to look up to a “cool teacher” (whatever that means). Older, adult learners need a considerate and flexible teacher that encourages them and caters to their specific requirements.
  • What learning style is ideal for me?
    Think about how much time you are ready to invest. Do you want the usual once-a-week piano lessons in a music school? Or would you prefer some kind of online lessons? If the latter, would you prefer a prerecorded video course or individual distance learning? As an adult piano student, choose an offer that takes your taste in music into account. We also recommend reading piano blogs that analyze available online classes.
  • Do I have to read sheet music?
    Of course you can play the piano without reading music, taking your orientation from your ears and chord symbols. This can be a very relaxing way of easing into playing the piano, especially for adults who already know loads of songs. Maybe you just like to sing and accompany yourself whith a few gentle chords. But the moment for reading music will come one day. One day, you’ll want to play something a bit more complex! In the beginning, it will take some effort on your part, but - it’s a bit like reading books - you will soon discover how convenient it is to read music and be able to play whatever strikes your fancy.