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I think I’m too old
#2900641 10/16/19 01:06 AM
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I’m probably much older than most beginners and I wonder if it’s even worth it because I just don’t have enough time to become proficient enough to play well and/or play the things I’d like to play.
I’m in my early 40s. I’ve had a few lessons. I’m using Alfred’s, which I don’t like but hopefully, I won’t be using it very long. I get frustrated easily. I know that everyone will make progress at a different rate but what are reasonable goals for the first few months of lessons, assuming I practice everyday?

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Re: I think I’m too old
Mils #2900644 10/16/19 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Mils
I’m probably much older than most beginners ... I’m in my early 40s.

If you take a look at the last survey of ABF members from just over a year ago, over 70.5% of ABF members (including me!) are older than you are. In fact, over 44.7% of ABF members are older than you by more than a decade. 22% are older than you by at least 2 decades.


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Re: I think I’m too old
Mils #2900649 10/16/19 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Mils
I’m probably much older than most beginners and I wonder if it’s even worth it because I just don’t have enough time to become proficient enough to play well and/or play the things I’d like to play.
I’m in my early 40s. I’ve had a few lessons. I’m using Alfred’s, which I don’t like but hopefully, I won’t be using it very long. I get frustrated easily. I know that everyone will make progress at a different rate but what are reasonable goals for the first few months of lessons, assuming I practice everyday?

Are you too old to start anything new? I don't think so. You've probably got another 30 or 40 years or more left. Enjoy it. Any new subject requires effort and patience. Be positive. Time to turn over a new leaf. Oh dear, this does sound corny.

My dealer recently had in a 90 year old beginner who had just bought a grand piano!

Last edited by Colin Miles; 10/16/19 03:09 AM. Reason: additional comment

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Re: I think I’m too old
Mils #2900650 10/16/19 03:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Mils
I’m in my early 40s.

You are young! Oh, how I wish I had started as young as my early 40s.

Originally Posted by Mils
I’ve had a few lessons. I’m using Alfred’s, which I don’t like but hopefully, I won’t be using it very long.

If your teacher agrees, please quit Alfred's now. I also started with Alfred's, and in retrospect, I wish I had chosen a method book that was more inspiring. For instance, Piano adventures. But there are many more method books out there. Talk with your teacher about what kind of music you would like to play, and hopefully they can come with a suggestion.

Originally Posted by Mils
I get frustrated easily.

I think this may be your true challenge. Learning to play the piano will require quite a bit of patience and perseverance, and you will feel frustrated more than once. See to it that practicing is an enjoyable experience, well, most of the time anyway, that is the best way of keeping at it.

Good luck kiddo. Just kidding. wink Kidding about calling you kiddo. Not about the other things I wrote. smile


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Re: I think I’m too old
Mils #2900651 10/16/19 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Mils
I’m probably much older than most beginners and I wonder if it’s even worth it because I just don’t have enough time to become proficient enough to play well and/or play the things I’d like to play.
I’m in my early 40s. I’ve had a few lessons. I’m using Alfred’s, which I don’t like but hopefully, I won’t be using it very long. I get frustrated easily. I know that everyone will make progress at a different rate but what are reasonable goals for the first few months of lessons, assuming I practice everyday?


You are not the first to ask this question. I started at 45 and I can play many things i wanted to play, but of course it was not easy and sometimes still feel like hitting my head to the wall.
I also stared learning cello at 52 and I have never touched a stringed instrument before (kind of, i know piano has strings)... It's difhicult too...am I too old? My teacher does not seem to think so smile

And I definitely get frustrated easily...teacher must have strong nerves wink

Last edited by outo; 10/16/19 03:30 AM.
Re: I think I’m too old
Mils #2900653 10/16/19 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Mils
Iwhat are reasonable goals for the first few months of lessons, assuming I practice everyday?

I forgot this one. This is very difficult to say. For instance, some have great difficulties just learning to coordinate playing with both hands. For others, it is not so hard. It also depends on the way your teacher works. For instance, my Russian piano teacher devotes her first lesson to teaching how to play one note with one finger in the correct way. Other teachers go much faster.
Generally, I have found that it is not so useful to set up goals stating when you should be able to play what. Also, beginners tend to overestimate how fast it will go.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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Re: I think I’m too old
Mils #2900654 10/16/19 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Mils
I think I am too old. [...]I’m in my early 40s.
Haha, that's a good one. When I was a university student and in my early 20s, school teenagers found me incredibly old. When I was a young professional aged 32, students in their late 20s told me I was an old-timer in their eyes. Now I am 54 and my 40 something aged office colleagues keep telling me I am so old I should think of retiring.

Re: I think I’m too old
Mils #2900669 10/16/19 05:09 AM
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So you had very nice little friends in your 20s, very nice students in your 30s, very nice colleagues in your 50s...
Maybe you should move to another country so that you could meet less "friendly" people... laugh

Re: I think I’m too old
Mils #2900673 10/16/19 05:29 AM
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oh, how I would love to be just starting piano back in my forties (I started at 52), I would be great by now smirk

Originally Posted by Mils
I know that everyone will make progress at a different rate but what are reasonable goals for the first few months of lessons, assuming I practice everyday?


I don't think it would be worthwhile setting any goals or having any reasonable expectations for the first few months. My own experience was that just trying to do anything basic required skills that were still developing. If I worked really hard I could play a small, uncomplicated piece in the first few months but even I knew it sounded terrible.


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Re: I think I’m too old
Mils #2900693 10/16/19 07:55 AM
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Old?? No, you are not too old to start piano. But you have to ask yourself do you really want to learn to play the piano.



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Re: I think I’m too old
Mils #2900696 10/16/19 08:07 AM
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I started at 41. I was pretty inconsistent with my practice the first several years, but then I really got the bug about a year and a half ago, and have been practicing diligently since then. I'm wrapping up some RCM level 3 selections, and about to move onto level 4. I have every intention of hitting the higher levels within the next several years. I'll never be a professional, but have no desire to be one anyway (I like my day job). I will absolutely be able to learn to play with some degree of competence, and enjoy the heck out of it along the way. It wasn't too late for me; it's not too late for you.


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Re: I think I’m too old
Mils #2900697 10/16/19 08:15 AM
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If you aren't enjoying it, it doesn't matter how old you are; why spend time doing something you don't like?

You could change your attitude and find a way to enjoy it or find something else to do.
Of course you are welcome to carry on being miserable and frustrated if you want.


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Re: I think I’m too old
Mils #2900703 10/16/19 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Mils
I’m probably much older than most beginners and I wonder if it’s even worth it because I just don’t have enough time to become proficient enough to play well and/or play the things I’d like to play.

What are the things you want to play?
Quote
I get frustrated easily. I know that everyone will make progress at a different rate but what are reasonable goals for the first few months of lessons, assuming I practice everyday?

If you practice seriously everyday, there is a good chance that you will be able to play this Mozart piece in twelve to eighteen months:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUAu2VExvzc

BTW, my friend who started lessons at the very young age of sixty (when he retired) is now playing the easier Chopin nocturnes and slow movements from Beethoven sonatas. That's nothing to be sniffed at. He's now had some nine years of lessons.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: I think I’m too old
Pianist685 #2900728 10/16/19 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Pianist685
Originally Posted by Mils
I think I am too old. [...]I’m in my early 40s.
Haha, that's a good one. When I was a university student and in my early 20s, school teenagers found me incredibly old. When I was a young professional aged 32, students in their late 20s told me I was an old-timer in their eyes. Now I am 54 and my 40 something aged office colleagues keep telling me I am so old I should think of retiring.


I hope you hit them with your cane, LOL!!! I'll be 54 in 3 months. 😊👍


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Re: I think I’m too old
Mils #2900738 10/16/19 10:05 AM
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I turned 55 on the weekend. The average age of my workplace is 32. Mostly a collection of peeps in their late twenties and early 30s with a few outliers like myself. I've been the oldest since I started over 3 years ago up until 2 weeks ago when a ++ old person started. I like this new person.

P.S. I started a year ago. I did learn as a child, but there was a more than 40 year break.

Last edited by KevinM; 10/16/19 10:08 AM.
Re: I think I’m too old
Mils #2900745 10/16/19 10:17 AM
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Perhaps the best way of looking at this is - What will you be playing in 1/2/5 years time?
ABF recitals will yell you what others are doing; naturally it's relative to the time input, teacher expertise, and intellect.

Just to play a simple melodious tune, both hands, is a wonderful thing for me, still. Any advance I have on that is a huge bonus. I started playing when I was 4. But my intellect would only take me up to something like Grade 6, or 7 max.
I also earned a lot of money over the years when live music allowed that to happen to folk such as me . . . smile

Last edited by peterws; 10/16/19 10:19 AM. Reason: typo

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Re: I think I’m too old
KevinM #2900746 10/16/19 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
I turned 55 on the weekend....

P.S. I started a year ago. I did learn as a child, but there was a more than 40 year break.


Same here, exactly. I turned 55 in September. I took lessons from about age 11 to 13 then stopped for 40 years, just re-starting last year.

For me, choosing the pieces I want to learn has been a big motivator; a luxury I didn't have as a kid.

Re: I think I’m too old
Animisha #2900771 10/16/19 11:18 AM
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I do think the Alfred’s book is a problem for me. I don’t like or know most of the songs and I have little motivation to play them. I’d rather have a more challenging piece of music that might take longer to learn but, that I am interested in learning to play. If I’m going to get frustrated, I’d rather it be for something that I look forward to being able to play. I don’t know of this teacher would consider a different book and I absolutely do not want to have to go through another Alfred’s. I don’t see the utility of a lot of things in the Alfred’s book, especially in the order in which they’re presented. For example, I’m working on the Lone Star Waltz. Timing is something I need to work on but going up in sixths doesn’t seem like anything that is going to help me play other pieces of music. Plus, I really hate that song.

Last edited by Mils; 10/16/19 11:22 AM.
Re: I think I’m too old
Mils #2900773 10/16/19 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Mils
I do think the Alfred’s book is a problem for me. I don’t like or know most of the songs and I have little motivation to play them. I’d rather have a more challenging piece of music that might take longer to learn but, that I am interested in learning to play. If I’m going to get frustrated, I’d rather it be for something that I look forward to being able to play. I don’t know of this teacher would consider a different book and I absolutely do not want to have to go through another Alfred’s.

What music (genres) are you interested in and would "look forward to being able to play"?


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: I think I’m too old
Tyrone Slothrop #2900776 10/16/19 11:25 AM
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I think if I had, at least, recognizable pieces, from any genre, that weren’t those common music book type songs, like “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Alfred’s pieces aren’t classical, they’re just old and boring. I lost interest playing the guitar when I was young because I was olaying nothing but Alfred’s. There are teachers who will allow students to choose songs and teach from those songs but unfortunately, none of those teachers is in my area.

Last edited by Mils; 10/16/19 11:27 AM.
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