1. Q: Is it still possible for me to learn piano as an adult?
A: YES. It's never too late to start learning piano.
I have two main reasons for answering this question with such confidence. The first reason is simply that I hear this question from people in their 30s, 50s, 70s, etc. which shows to me that except for kids, everyone else has a false belief that it might be too late for them. The 70-year-old believes they should have started when they were 50 and the 50-year-old believes they should've started when they were 30 and so on.
The reason for this misconception is that most people start learning the piano as a kid because it was either an imposition or simply by chance (kids to whom the piano was designated by teachers for music classes at school). But the main reason for starting piano lessons as a kid has never been "because that's the only age you are able to learn". So, the answer is a definitive YES to all ages.
The second reason and most relevant is that, in my case, this is not just a theory but a proven concept as I have been providing piano lessons for adults successfully for many years.
In my experience, 100% of adults start piano lessons because THEY WANT TO and not because of parents or school and for that reason alone, adult learners often have more motivation and focus, which leads to faster progress.
2. Q: Why you don't normally teach kids under 13 years of age?
A: My approach is ideally designed for learners aged 13 years and above as It takes into consideration the importance of personal motivation and genuine interest in learning the piano.
By focusing on self-expression and nurturing a deep connection with the instrument, my method fosters a fulfilling and successful learning experience.
This approach empowers individuals to explore their own feelings and ideas through music, rather than merely becoming players of someone else's emotions imprinted on a piece of paper.
While it's understandable and sometimes commendable for parents to aspire to see their children excel in music, It is crucial to recognize that this can inadvertently hinder their interest in playing an instrument by excessively encouraging an activity that may not resonate with the child on a deeper level.
Having said that, I have recognized the authentic drive and passion within students under the age of 13 in the past and have had the pleasure of witnessing their remarkable progress in piano playing.
If you believe your child genuinely possesses a personal and authentic desire to learn the piano in a pressure-free, and organic environment, I encourage you to get in touch. I would be delighted to schedule a consultation to discuss how my approach could support your child's musical journey.
3. Q: How much time will I need to dedicate to practicing in order to see progress?
A: Although a very frequently asked question, the more important question to ask is: Am I able to commit to practicing at least 5 days a week? This is the KEY to continuous progress. The amount of time you practice every day is secondary. Of course, the more you practice, the better you will get but practicing for 15 minutes every day for 5 days, for example, will take you much further than practicing for 4 hours on a Saturday afternoon. To make a long story short, consistency is much more important than the time you practice.
4. Q: How can I learn to play the piano without reading sheet music?
A: By understanding that music is a language. Think about it; we all have learned our respective native languages without the need to read or write. No innate skill was necessary. No special talent was required. No dictionary or grammar was used. We were all able to listen and understand, to speak and communicate our ideas way before we reached school age.
We learn to speak our native languages through exposure and imitation, without a conscious understanding of grammar rules. We gradually develop an intuitive sense of our language's grammar through exposure to and repetition of correct sentence structures.
This is known as the "input-based" or "data-driven" approach to language acquisition, where children learn language primarily through the input they receive from their environment, rather than explicit instruction.
I have been using the same approach successfully in my piano lessons for adults method for over 30 years.
5. Q: Can I learn to play classical music by ear?
A: No. The reason is that classical pianists are required to play every single note in the original musical piece the exact way they were written and with very little room for personal input when compared to jazz, blues, or pop pianist who uses chord charts in their majority. A chord chart offers "pointers" and a set of parameters in which the song should be played but it doesn't require the pianist to play note by note in the same way classical pieces are expected to be played.
We need to remember that when musical notation was created, live performances were the only way the composer could present their music to an audience. So, the composer needed the pianist to play exactly as they wrote the song, not by note.
The best analogy I can offer is that a classical pianist is like an actor who plays Romeo in the classic Shakespeare play. All words were written by Shakespeare and although the actor has some liberty on how to deliver those words, they should be delivered in the way the author intended, while a jazz, blues, or pop pianist is like someone having a conversation about a specific subject with friends. The conversation has some parameters such as the subject in hand and the language in which the conversation is being held but what is going to be said is not pre-established or rehearsed. It's completely improvised and the speaker has a tremendous amount of personal input.
In short, when you use the right techniques to play the piano by ear, you can play the piano with the same ease, freedom, and pleasure you have when you have a nice conversation with your family or friends.