I taught my first student in 1982 and I can still remember the song I taught them to play. "Wake me up before you go go" by Wham. They were thrilled.
What have I learned in the intervening years on student success? Plenty. Here are a few understandings successful students have.
1. It takes years to acquire any sort of mastery. Learning piano is a ladder one climbs year after year after year. However, if your goal is to plunk out simple melodies and play some chords the road is not so long. Most students are somewhere in between.
2. Great students enjoy every part of the journey: technique, aural skills, etudes, repertoire development and retention, sightreading, theory, and playing with others from time to time.
3. To take up the piano in adulthood, one must give something up to make room for it.
4. Students preparing for post-secondary music studies must have full parental support and encouragement.
5. Students preparing for post-secondary music studies have Olympian levels of commitment to their project.
6. It is never too late to start.
If I can help you on your journey, call me.
PS. I took up the drums at age 50. Fourteen years later I now play, twice a week or more, in different groups that I'm proud to invite students to hear.
You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
I'm a professional pianist and music educator in West Toronto Ontario. I'm also a devoted percussionist and drum teacher.