How Should Adults Learn to Play Piano?

how should adults learn piano

You might be wondering: Is it too late to learn piano?

Have you thought about learning, and then felt like the odds are stacked against you?

Well, let’s break that barrier right now.

With some simple online tools, and a change in mindset and determination, it is totally possible for you to learn piano.

I’ve curated these 7 awesome tips to get you started in your adult piano learning journey. The last one is a bonus tip that will super speed your progress.

Free PDF Bonus: Click here to download The 7 Easy Ways to Stay Motivated With Piano, which is a PDF resource that covers this entire topic, along with 2 bonus articles.

1. Put Your “Age” to Your Advantage

You’ve decided to start learning piano: congratulations!

The key word here is: decide.

It means you’re taking adult piano lessons after a process of thinking, researching, and convincing yourself you can do this.

And THAT, my friend, is a valuable asset.

Unlike learning piano as a kid, you have the final say in everything: the frequency of practice, the songs to learn, the genre of music. You’re a fully functioning adult!

However, with great power comes great responsibility, as Uncle Ben once said.

So when you’ve decided to take on piano lessons as an adult, respect your decision. Don’t take it lightly and pour your heart in your practice.

2. Learn Your Favourite Songs/Genres to Help You Stick to It

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The most difficult part of learning the piano as an adult is probably finding a continuous motivation to practice.

Many adults who start music lessons stop after a while because they just didn’t realize that practice takes time and an enormous load of discipline.

Many get discouraged because they feel they’re not going anywhere. So they call it quits. If you’re already experiencing this, then consider these 7 ways to stick with piano when it gets tough. 

But you can prevent this from happening!

One way is to practice your favourite genre and songs to boost your interest. Even if it’s not an easy genre/song, you’re more likely to enjoy your training sessions – and come back for more.

A great way to learn songs on the piano is with the popular piano learning software from Playground Sessions.

3. Mix Strict and Flexible Schedules for Your Practice

piano to do listBalancing work/school, social life and regular piano practices can make one’s head hurt.

Well, doesn’t your CV say you’re a master in time management?

Let’s put it into practice.

While I recommend you to have a clear schedule on the day and time you sit down in front of your piano, I understand life happens.

Sometimes a training session must be delayed or canceled for a more important matter. When this happens, try not to beat yourself up. But don’t make missing your practice a habit, either.

Your mindset should gear toward having your practice as a priority.

Create a fixed schedule for time and days you’re certain you can make it. If you know ahead of time you’re not going to be able to practice, make a flexible schedule to make up for missed sessions.

This flexible schedule could be additional sessions, too, especially if you wish to pass a piano skill exam.

Find more ways to structure piano into your day here. 

4. Listen to a lot of Music to Wake Your Awareness to Rhythm and Harmonies

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If you’re learning an instrument, chances are you like music.

Keep listening to a lot of music from diverse genres.

But don’t stop just there.

Practice your ear to pick up melodies, chords, and rhythm. Imagine yourself in front of the piano and try to associate the sound you hear to the notes and keys.

Try to understand the intervals and beats, too.

Bottom line is:

Don’t just enjoy the music, savor each and every element of it.

SONOS logoHaving an ear-awareness is an excellent way you can supercharge your adult piano practice.

Have you heard of SONOS?

It’s by far the best home theatre system for listening to all types of music. Check out my full SONOS review here. 

5. Your Sheet Music is Your Friend, Embrace It

piano sheet music

Did you hate music classes at school because of the monster called “sheet music”?

Well, you’re not alone.

Being able to read sheet music is crucial if you want to master the piano and not just play by “memorization.” Plus, this is a skill that’ll allow you to play ANY music as long as you have the partiture.

There’s a probability you hate it because you don’t understand anything on it and you feel dumb. Take a deep breath and let me tell you how to tackle the issue.

First, get to know all the elements you can find on a sheet music (staff, clef, notes, and so on). The symbols will stop looking like Hieroglyph. Second, understand the indications on the beats and melodies.

Once you know what the musical symbols refer to, you can translate them into practice on your piano.

But here's a HUGE tip:

Rather than learning sheet music and theory on its own, where it can be extremely boring and hard, consider learning it as you play.

This is one of the best features in the piano learning software from Playground Sessions.

Most of the music theory taught with Playground Sessions is introduced as you practice playing songs. This introduction and progression virtually eliminates any boredom, as you’re totally engaged when learning these concepts.

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6. Turn Your Weak Spots into Strengths by Repetition

There will be moments you get frustrated by a passage or song because you simply don’t get it. Don’t shrug your shoulders and move on to other things!

A minor difficulty in understanding something will become a major weak spot fast. Practice and practice some more until you can finally see where you got it wrong.

Adults get turned off by the thought of repeating a passage over and over again, but that’s the only way to go.

Don’t think of it as a chore, but as building a step after another for success.

These 7 tips are going to put you in the right state of mind. Remember, piano lessons, be it for adults or children, take time.

However, we’re living in an era where you can super speed everything, including learning the piano as an adult! That’s right, leverage the technology!

So here’s a cool pro-tip for you:

7. Super Speed Your Practice With Piano Learning Software (Online Piano Lessons)

Playground Sessions on a desktop

You may have the most awesome teacher in the world.

Or you may be flying solo.

Whatever the case is, an online piano lesson with interactive software is the quickest way to help you progress.

Because let’s face it, your teacher won’t be there whenever you’re practicing. Especially as an adult with responsibilities, there will be days where you can only practice in the middle of the night.

This is where online lessons through learning software come into the picture.

Piano learning software has so many benefits, including:

  • It only requires a small investment (much cheaper than one-on-one sessions)
  • You can be independent
  • It offers a structured curriculum
  • You can fix your own pace
  • You can always go back to previous lessons to master the skill completely

So the question is not whether these are useful for adults. The real question is which one is the best?

What are the Best Online Piano Lessons Out There?

playground sessions logoFor me, the answer is clear:

Playground Sessions.

I referenced them a few times above. 

I’ve tried many online piano lessons before, and I found these lessons to be the most comprehensive.

They offer so many great features, including Piano Bootcamps, an interactive dashboard, and easy-to-follow videos.

I’ve written a complete review on Playground Sessions here.

For more information, you can visit their official website: PlaygroundSessions.com

Granted, there are other great online piano lessons for adults out there. Choosing one that will suit you best could potentially give you a headache.

So I’ve created a list of all the best online piano lesson websites. Go ahead and check out my comparison chart here.

Bottom Line

People who say that learning to play piano as an adult is an impossible thing:

You’re wrong.

Adults CAN still learn a musical instrument. And they should.

But be prepared to put in some effort.

Hard work will always pay off – and this is not just a cliché.


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About The Author

Tyler S

I’m Tyler, the webmaster here at VoicesInc.org. My passion is music, and my job is to supply reviews and articles about all the different ways you can learn and produce music online. I hope you find this website helpful.

  • DonV

    I just started learning piano at age 69. I resisted group classes as too much clutter, but, first semester at community college, I found the group helped to motivate. Private classes may have been more productive, but the urge to give up is too easy.

    • Tyler

      Hi Don. Glad you found something that works! And at 69, that’s amazing. Just goes to show, age is just a number. Thanks for sharing Don.

  • Playing piano with my own tune makes me happy. I started playing piano at the age of 16, and my mom was my first teacher because she was also a pianist.