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To think I can learn to play the piano at 30?

(51 Posts)
LilyMyOneAndOnly Sun 07-Jun-15 20:54:31

Because everyone I say this to gives me a bit of a raised eyebrow! We're almost finished with our house extension and I am thinking of buying a piano and getting lessons. I don't play any other instruments, I can't even read music, but I've always wanted to learn. I was very jealous of my friends that had music lessons at school, my parents couldn't afford it.

Does anyone have any success stories of learning a instrument as an adult?

CaptainHolt Sun 07-Jun-15 20:56:33

I did. So did Ed Balls and he worked really long hours at the time (probably)

BlueStarsAtNight Sun 07-Jun-15 20:58:38

I hope YANBU as I'd love to do this too, though I can already read music. Room for a piano is on my wish list for our next house.

KurriKurri Sun 07-Jun-15 21:00:42

I learnt the piano as a young child - got to grade one - I hated the teacher and the lessons, and soon gave up.

Started again at 38 when my DD started having lessons, I reached roughly grade 7 standard fairly quickly (I say roughly because I did all the grade pieces, scales etc etc but never actually took the exams because there was no point I just wanted to play not pass exams) - because I loved it and practised a lot, - I'll never be a great pianist but I can play well enough to get a lot of pleasure from it which is what I wanted to do. I was older than you and have arthritis in my hands so not an ideal candidate to learn by any means.

So I would say go for it - there's absolutely no reason at all why you can't learn to play. I hope you really enjoy it, it's a lovely hobby smile

ValancyJane Sun 07-Jun-15 21:01:05

YADNBU - I think it comes less naturally as an adult but is definitely possible. I learnt piano as a child (up to Grade 3 levelish) and have gone back in the last year, I am really enjoying playing again and finally making some progress beyond where I was at fifteen years ago! Go for it smile

PeppermintCrayon Sun 07-Jun-15 21:01:09

I don't think you are ever too old to take up an instrument. smile

FanSpamTastic Sun 07-Jun-15 21:06:22

Yes you can! I did and passed my grade 1 at 31 pregnant with dd1. She has now overtaken me 13 years on and is on her grade 4!

DustBunnyFarmer Sun 07-Jun-15 21:06:47

Well, you won't know until you try. I am currently learning an instrument in my 40s from a standing start and it is going much better than I expected. I enjoy doing something which is just for me, not my family or work. Playing music also fully anchors you in the present moment and takes your full concentration, so I find it a good distraction when I am chewing over something problematic.

If you aren't sure about committing to buying a piano, you may find that you can hire one from a local music shop and - if you decide to keep going - the 'rental' payments to date are usually be offset against the purchase price. Alternatively, you could risk an old "joanna" from Gumtree and then trade up when you know you are in it for the long haul. If you live in a terraced or semi-detached property, you should also consider a digital piano (with properly weighted keys) so that you can practice at your own convenience (with headphones) rather than being dictated by your neighbours' tolerance or kids' bedtimes etc.

ChuffinAda Sun 07-Jun-15 21:07:16

Yanbu piano is really easy. I learned as a child and I'm a dippy cow.

I've taught myself the flute as an adult and am about grade 4 standard on that.

Do it!

Nolim Sun 07-Jun-15 21:08:37

I hope yanbu since i would like to learn to play guitar.

Eastpoint Sun 07-Jun-15 21:09:34

DH is 51 and has started learning the piano. We think he's got to around grade 2 in 3 months. He practises a lot more than dcs ever did and his lessons are 1hr long.

cheerfullady Sun 07-Jun-15 21:09:48

I started about a year ago and am loving it! It meant both my children decided to take it up to which they never would have otherwise. Teacher is now taking about doing grade 1 but I'm just enjoying being able to make a reasonably musical noise! Downside of piano is needing to get one or at least a keyboard but upside is that it's relatively easy to get to a point where you can play something recognisable. Go for it!

ShellingPeasAgain Sun 07-Jun-15 21:15:16

My oldest beginner student was 65 when she started and is now grade 5 level. I have an adult returner to piano who is 72. Both very much enjoy their playing. Go for it!

LilyMyOneAndOnly Sun 07-Jun-15 21:17:25

Ooh thanks for all the support - I don't know why some people irl find it strange when I want to try something new. About 2 years ago I started agility training with my little rescue dog, my family are still surprised that I haven't quit yet.. it's like they think everything is a passing fancy! Luckily my DH is supportive, he's very musical anyway so I think he will like having a piano in the house smile

Also, thanks for the tips on piano choices DustBunny - I haven't looked into it much yet so your advice is helpful. I'm hoping that it will be my Christmas present this year with lessons starting in the new year.

Cooroo Sun 07-Jun-15 21:40:43

Definitely go for it! People who think it is strange are weird.

FindoGask Sun 07-Jun-15 21:43:43

lots of inspiring stories on here! Not quite the same but I'm learning to row for the first time (sculling, not having an argument) at 37, and thoroughly enjoying myself.

Lordofmyflies Sun 07-Jun-15 21:45:58

Do it! It's the people who don't have aspirations that are weird!
I started playing piano when I turned 30 after my DH bought me a piano. Five years on, and I'm about grade 5. I have a lovely teacher who I visit once a week and now can help my eldest dd as she plays and has lessons too.

ragged Sun 07-Jun-15 21:46:59

I started age 38 & self-taught (okay, with books, but no human teacher) to get to about grade 3. And I am atrociously unmusical. I used children's books, btw, really simple smile ).

Cadenza1818 Sun 07-Jun-15 21:47:27

My oldest pupil was in late 70s and was happily passing grade after grade. It's totally do able. I.think the hardest challenge for adult learners is that you do have to start at the beginning like any child. And it takes a lot of time. I think so often adults struggle with not being able to just get it. If you want a giggle go on watch black books episode where fran learns and then many 'has a go'. Cracks me up! Ps where you based? I love teaching adult pupils smile

LilyMyOneAndOnly Sun 07-Jun-15 22:42:09

I love that Black Books episode! I'm a big Bill Bailey fan, also love Tim Minchin.. I'm fascinated by people that can play so effortlessly!

I know that learning will take a lot of time and practice, but I'm sure it will be rewarding as well.. it's one of those things I've always wished I could do so I really want to try!

We're in the South West if anyone has any tutor recommendations smile

championnibbler Sun 07-Jun-15 22:50:23

of course you can.

Love51 Sun 07-Jun-15 22:57:19

My dad learned when I was a child. I would fall asleep to the sound of him playing. Nice memory.

TheNewStatesman Mon 08-Jun-15 02:53:48

Of course you can!

I think adult learners often have far more fun. As a kid, I remember so much exam prep anxiety. If I was to take up piano again, I think I'd have more fun picking out pieces of music I knew and liked, and perhaps doing some composition of my own.

kittycatz Mon 08-Jun-15 05:59:25

Piano teacher here and I have several adult learners all older than you. The oldest is 55.
Ignore the nay-sayers. Some of my students have been laughed at by their families and told it is pointless and they will never be any good. They are wasting time and money etcetc. I don't know why people are so mean but fortunately it hasn't put any of my students off and they get great pleasure out of learning.
A couple of people have posted on the thread saying piano is really easy. I don't know where they get that idea from. There will be a lot of difficulties along the way and some sticking points but with patience, hard-work and perseverance you will overcome them. I just don't want you getting the idea that it is easy because it isn't but it is very rewarding.

Mistigri Mon 08-Jun-15 06:06:55

As the pp said, piano is a hard instrument. Learning anything is harder than an adult. But adult learners are often more motivated than children, and have a clearer understanding of the relationship between practice and success. They also tend to be more methodical about practice.

If you have no prior musical experience, find a good teacher - one with experience of teaching adults, if possible.

I started playing guitar nine months ago aged 50 (I do have some previous musical experience but all of it in the very distant past, I hadn't touched an instrument for 30 years) and I've been pleasantly surprised by my progress - which would have been even better if I had a bit more time for practice!

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