Can your age stand between you and all the benefits of playing the piano?
The answer is a resounding No!
Learning piano has no age limit. From Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who started learning at the age of 3 (source), to Albert Frantz, a concert pianist who started at the age of 17 (source), piano is an instrument that can be learned at any age.
Sadly, many people limit themselves as they think they are too old or too young to learn to play the piano. In reality, there is not one age that is perfect for this hobby.
Anyone of any age can learn piano and reach a high level of skill with practice.
However, if you aspire to a career as a star pianist, it is better to start early. Since studying music early develops hand-eye coordination and intelligence that is needed to win competitions and start meeting expectations.
You can develop these key skills in old age too, but they require more time and patience at that age. You need to set a pace that you can maintain and that fits with your goals.
The Brain Plasticity
If you are still concerned about your age and its connection with learning piano, allow me to reveal the scientific concept of ‘Brain Plasticity’.
Brain Plasticity, also known as Neuroplasticity, is a common term used by neuroscientists. It refers to the brain’s ability to CHANGE at any stage of life. This change can be better or worse but it shapes our distinct personalities throughout life. It is indeed this ability that makes us human and develops us from infancy to adulthood and recovers from brain injury.
The interesting thing is, up until the 1960s, scientists believe that brain plasticity is active during infancy and childhood only, and by early adulthood, the physical structure of the brain is mostly permanent.
Fortunately, as they began to explore more cases of adults, they started comprehending that the brain is much more malleable than previously believed.
Thanks to modern advances in technology, we can look more at the brain’s inner working today.
It shows us the brain’s plasticity always works.
Our brains possess the remarkable ability to create new neurons and new connections. If you have some damaged area in the brain, it can move its functions to other undamaged areas and change its physical structure as well.
For that reason, we often see kids with mental illness are excellent at playing instruments.
Small errors in their development or temporary loss of function don’t stop them from becoming a great musician or artist. Under the right circumstances, their brain grows and maximizes the remaining functions.
Is It Ever Too Early?
We know there are many videos on YouTube of five-year-old prodigies playing piano.
But this age isn’t perfect. Children under the age of 10 should only focus on exploring and learning music on their time table.
There shouldn’t be any pressure for the child to learn piano. If they are having fun learning, then that is what is going to keep them wanting to learn more. As a child, I didn’t always want to take lessons at no fault of my teacher or parents. All children will feel that way at some point.
One of the biggest motivators for my as a child was hearing more advanced pianists play. When I was a child, I recall going to my church one evening for a youth activity, and I passed by a room and someone was playing Für Elise on the piano.
I knew then that nothing was going to stop me from learning that song. My mind became fixated on it, would practice and practice until I finally mastered it.
To this day, I still believe that the only reason I continued playing throughout my childhood and into adulthood was from that one moment.
So, for children, motivation and enjoyment is key to success.
Is It Ever Too Late?
As we have mentioned earlier, learning piano has no age limit.
If you are 70+, the only issues you can face are physical problems such as arthritis or joint stiffness. These minor obstacles can be overcome too.
According to Marie France, Piano Teacher in Waldwick,
“Seniors are more capable to learn piano. Since they bring certain advantages to the table. For example, they are self-motivated and they have a clear focus. They also have the required time and patience to achieve steady growth.”https://takelessons.com/blog/am-i-too-old-to-learn-piano-z06
Apart from this, learning piano prevents health-related issues. It doesn’t only keep the muscles in their hands flexible, but also improve their mental health and increase their focus.
What Is The Perfect Age?
Personally, I think learning to play the piano in your 20s is a brilliant idea.
When I was a teenager, I started teaching piano to many young children. The mother of one of my students pleaded that I teach her as well. Being in her late 20s, I was intimidated because I was only 16 at the time. I decided to take her up on the offer and began teaching her. It wasn’t long until she became one of my most advanced students.
When you are at an age where you have a desire to learn the piano (something most young children don’t usually have to begin with), and enough cognitive abilities to comprehend the complexities of music, you will advance quite rapidly in terms of skill and know-how.
It is that stage of your life where you are exploring your creative side and choosing your career. Furthermore, when you explore the piano with a curious mind, you perceive its lessons quickly, and you gain many other benefits that facilitate you in other areas of your life.
For instance, a study conducted by Martin F. Gardiner revealed that learning and playing the piano or having any specialized musical training improves counting and math skills.
Apart from that, it encourages creativity too.
Dr. Ana Pinho conducted a study on pianists also regarding creativity and found that when you play piano, the default patterns of your brain are off. Instead, it is creating new patterns and connections that facilitate making a unique and original sound.
How To Learn Piano – The Best Way
It doesn’t matter whether you are in your 20s or 80s, if you are new here, your number one question is probably, ‘What’s The Best Way To Learn Piano?’
If you are also pondering this question, you have four different ways.
- Self-Teaching… Studying music theories and applying them on the keyboard.
- Traditional Methods… Taking private lessons through the piano education center.
- Technological Method… Enrolling in online courses and following video tutorials.
- Hybrid Method… Taking private lessons online/offline.
All these methods are effective; it is up to you to decide which method suits you the most.
If you have money and want to learn quickly, opt for Hybrid Method. Taking private lessons give you the ability to ask questions and get prompt answers.
On the other hand, if you are a student and looking for an economical option, follow the self-teaching method. The DIY strategies remove the middleman and save you money.
You are never too old or too young to play the piano.
Studying music at any age is great for mind, body, and spirit; your brain is capable of learning and perceiving new things at any point in your entire life.
So, free your mind!
All it takes is you, a piano, and music you love.