You are never too old to learn to play piano

Many people find themselves at the stage of life where they ask “Am I too old to learn to play piano?” They regret that they never went to piano lessons as a child. Some went to lessons, but as they grew older and got distracted with studies and extra responsibilities, music fell by the way. They are much older now and this question keeps popping into their head . The question keeps popping up because they are now in their senior years, they love music, and wish that they could play even a few of their favorite songs.

Grandma can play

Music lessons have always been associated with young children and maybe even students in their teens. Parents and grandparents are always proud of their little performers and can be seen at every concert at school or church. So the children grow up and leave home. Now, the piano or keyboard is still standing in the corner and parents wish they could play. Is that you? You don’t even know how to play the first chord. Should you even try ? Yes, you should. Here are some thoughts on why:

1. You are likely to have more time on your hands, now that you are retired and the kids are grown, raising their own families and are no longer in your home.

2.  There are many ways of learning piano these days.

  • You can learn one-on-one with a coach who will show you the patterns and the rules. You go home and practice and return for coaching in a week.
  • You can learn online by watching the instructions on video. With this method your teacher is always available, and you can rewind if there is something you missed.
  • You are a member of a group with similar interests, and who are guided by an assistant on a regular basis

3.  Unlike children, you won’t have to spend so many years learning

4. You already know many songs, and have a basic understanding of harmony and rhythm.

5.  It is  good exercise for your brain and good training for your memory.

6. Learning something new will keep you vibrant and active.

7. Even if your eyesight deteriorates in the future you can still play.

Imagine how your world could change if you were to play your favorite songs when your friends drop in, or “Happy birthday” at the next family gathering. Your grandchildren would love it. Many people , when they are alone, also like to play their favorite hymns and church songs, or some quiet melodies after meditation. Then there are seniors who like the more upbeat songs and will play around while others dance. Many of them like to use the modern keyboards, playing around with the drumbeats and using the accompaniment styles to bring even more excitement to their playing.

An older beginner might not aspire to be a concert pianist, play with a band on tour, or play out at a local bar every night, but they can spend their hours doing something valuable and fun, while they express their musicality.

You are never too old to play and do what you love.

Are you over 60? Would you be willing to start learning to play piano?

If you have read this far, quite likely you are.

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12 Comments

  1. Kenny

    I love the sound of piano and used to play piano music on my media player whenever I am looking to relax and unwind after a long and tough day. I’d love to learn how to play the piano, but have always wondered if I am too old for it, as my fingers might not be as flexible as they are when I’m still young. Thanks a lot for your advices and I definitely think that I should learn some simple songs on the piano as like you mentioned, is a good form of exercise for my brain and to keep myself alert.

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      Hi Kenny, from the photo that I am seeing, you are definitely not too old. Many adults take up piano lessons and are surprised with how fulfilling it can be as a hobby. As for flexibility of your fingers, that comes with practice. Thank you for you comments. Go for it !!!!

      Reply
  2. Tony Spagnolia

    I agree, you are never too old to learn how to play an instrument. I play multiple instruments myself and I find I learn quicker now then when I started as a kid. For instance, I picked up the ukulele recently and was playing songs in no time! I’m sure the same can happen for anyone learning piano of they are committed.

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      Thanks for your comments, Tony. You are so right. I find that adults who dream of playing do so well when they learn an instrument. They are so happy to achieve something they have always wanted. Keeps that brain alive, too.  Best wishes !

      Reply
  3. rmjia

    I have a friend who is nearly in her 40s and she has just started to learn piano through a music school. She took her Grade 2 exam recently. At the same time, she was learning to play for a church band. She seems to be doing very well and enjoying it as she shares with me new chords and songs that she has learned every time as she knows I play piano. I believe in your article that we are never to old to learn piano. I hope your site can encourage those who were not sure if they were too old that they can learn piano too regardless any age.

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      I am so glad to hear about your friend. I teach many adults over 40 and it is so heartwarming to see them achieve their dream of learning to play. I will continue encouraging others to do the same. Thank you for your comments. Best wishes !!!

      Reply
  4. Elan

    Playing the piano at a later age in my mind makes for better music! At an older age, the songs are more geared toward relaxation and less focused on playing perfectly a particular piece. There is much less pressure. Playing the piano itself, I would imagine that the older you are the more likely you would want to play on a baby grand instead of an electronic.

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      Yes Elan. You are right. An older person knows what music they love and is most likely living a lifelong dream. There are no exams and no competition. It is one skill that you can take with you for several years even when others are bored with retirement. It is also true that older people prefer to play on a full length 88 key grand piano. I do too. The warm sound and the acoustics make playing a more satisfying experience. Thank you for your comments. Best wishes !!!! 

      Reply
  5. Aabidah Ahmed

    This is a great article. I’ve always wondered why my parents never took me to piano classes at a young age, because there is something about a piano that I love.

    I always imagin playing the piano when I see one. Wishing I could make music with my fingers. Its an amazing feeling just imagining playing on a piano. 

    You are really never too old to play piano. There are videos and everything out there to teach you. That’s how I keep myself entertained, by watching videos on how to actually play a piano. It was a great read and thank you for bringing back memories.

    Aabidah.

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      You are welcome Aabidah. Since you still have the desire, maybe you should enrol in a piano program and, who knows, you might just surprise yourself at how good you are. I have students in their fifties who enjoy what they learn. Thanks for your comments.

      Reply
  6. Kirsti

    I agree, you´re never too old to do what you love. And that´s a good reminder: music is good for the brain. Also, even blind people can play instruments, so a bad eyesight in older age is not a problem.

    I took piano lessons as a child, but I quit because I didn’t like playing by sheet music. I have keyboards, and I still play sometimes, but as a grown-up, I still hate sheet music. I just play by ear, because that is the only way to play I enjoy. What do you think about people like me, who play piano by ear?

    I don´t know if I´m good at playing piano, but I know I´m a musical person. Even the ability to play by ear means musicality, right?

    By the way, do you think pianists should have long fingers, or does it matter? My fingers are short, because I´m not very tall. I haven’t let that bother me, though, but I´m just curious, if long fingers would help in playing piano?

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      Kristi, the length of fingers doesn’t hinder you from being a top class pianist. Also there are many people who are more comfortable playing by ear and similarly there are others who prefer to read the music they are playing from a music sheet. Do what you feel more comfortable with. Continue playing the music you love by ear and enjoy the experience. Thank you for your comments

      Reply

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