In today's blog, Joel Hurd, Amro Print Music Manager, shares a bit about his personal experience taking piano lessons for the first time as an adult.
OK, technically this isn’t my first time taking piano lessons. I mean, I remember practicing piano at our church in the early 70s (using the same Schaum book that we still sell here at Amro.) Then there was that semester of piano in college in the late 80s. But if I told you I’ve retained any of that, I’d be lying. So, let’s go ahead and say I’m starting from scratch.
I’ve played guitar since 1979, and violin since 2014. I can read a bit of music, but I’ve always been a treble clef guy. To the person who invented the bass clef, show yourself! I need to have a word with you.
Seriously, though, the last seven months of piano lessons have had some bumps, and my 50-something-year-old brain certainly doesn’t process info the same as it used to. But if I’m being honest, the overwhelming feeling I get from learning the piano is joy. No wait, let me say that the way I really feel it…JOY!!! Why joy? A few reasons:
The highlight of my week is my Thursday afternoon lesson with Jim Cornfoot. He’s one of the busiest teachers in Memphis, and there’s a reason his schedule is full. He curates his approach and curriculum for each student with great care, recognizing that we all learn differently. His students range in age from 5 years old to, well, me.
This is important, no matter your age. I got a Roland FP-30 digital piano to start, and it was the perfect choice for me. If you feel like you’re battling your instrument, not only will you not learn properly, but discouragement will set in quickly. Kids are great at seeing past a stuck piano key, or a few out-of-tune notes, but as adults, we just expect things to work. That old upright that’s been in the family for decades and hasn’t been tuned since Nixon was President, might not be your best choice. Like many adult piano students we know, I've already made space in the living room for a fine acoustic piano too, which I love. That sure escalated quickly!
Sure, I can play guitar pretty well, and I can scratch out a tune on the violin that has a certain microtonal charm. But ever since I first put my hands on a Yamaha DX7 synth in 1986, I’ve wanted to have piano skills. Learning piano just never made it to the top of the list until now. I don't regret it. I was busy doing, you know, life things. Now I just feel so grateful that I can still do something about it, and that I enjoy it as much as I thought I would.
Here at Amro Music, celebrating the joy of music is what we do. Sitting at my desk right now, I can see 18 pianos, and that’s just because I’m too lazy to stand up to see the rest of them. I'm also surrounded by several thousand pieces of piano music... all of these notes on all of these pages just waiting to be played. However, the biggest inspiration comes from the ridiculously talented pianists who stop by the store every week. Ten minutes of watching a great player in person can provide days of motivation to keep practicing. Once it's safe to do so, you should go out and hear some live music to get motivated too. Until then, get on YouTube and find some new players you've never heard before.
We hear it all the time: “You’re never too old to________”, but for learning the piano, it’s really true. We’ve helped hundreds of friends make the switch from “I’ve always wanted to play” to “I’m a piano player.” If you’re in that first group, we hope you’ll stop in to see us sometime so we can help you check it off your list.
Let’s review, shall we?
Tip #1 – Find a teacher with a great work ethic and positive energy who you would be happy to be around, even if you weren’t having a piano lesson.
Tip #2 – Start out on an instrument that you are proud to own and that inspires you to play.
Tip #3 – If you’ve always dreamed of playing the piano, you can make it a reality, no matter your age. We can help. There’s not much that makes us happier than seeing a beginning pianist succeed.
Tip #4 - Seek out great pianists, in person or online, and let their talent push you to become a better player.
Contact Amro Music for more information on piano lessons, and learn how to play the piano, no matter your age!