It is claimed that quitting piano lessons as a teenager is one of life’s great regrets. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. But, not starting up again when the voice in our head is calling is.
Here are ten tips of adult restarters.
1. Go slow, it has been awhile. No need to run willy-nilly in all directions trying to get back on track after a forty year hiatus.
2. Attend a piano concert. Being a witness of a great performer, is an effective motivator. This is Toronto, the world’s best come to play. Wholenote magazine is free and updated source of monthly listings.
3. Have some realistic goals. You are starting a new habit. I suggest making it a small one to start. Big goals can be demotivating in the beginning.
4. Have the piano tuned and regulated. A bad instrument is really discouraging.
5. Consider taking out a subscription of “The Pianist”. An adult oriented magazine for adult piano students. Lots of monthly tips, encouraging articles, and interviews.
6. Watch the documentary, “Tim’s Vermeer”. It is on YouTube. A wonderfully warm look at middle aged obsession.
7. Here is an interesting review and link to Alan Rusbridger’s book on learning Chopin after 40 years. I highly recommend it.
8. Find some other adults attempting the same thing as you. I go to jazz camp each summer and study drums.
9. Firewall practice time. As a drum student I’ve successfully put aside 4.5 hours a week where I have to account to others. The other hours I practice are scheduled each week. I’ve averaged 7 hours a week in the past, I’m up to about 14 hours a week now. See my drum blog for more.
10. Find a sympathetic teacher, hint, hint. J
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.