August 1st, 2004

classic cylon

adult piano students

Every so often there is a thread on posted by an adult student who's
struggling and is discouraged. Several posters usually respond by saying that children's brains are
more receptive to piano learning than adult's brains. However, I disagree with this notion (and
have posted to that effect). I don't think there is anything about an adult's brain that would make
it more difficult to learn piano. If anything, adults should have an easier time learning than
children, because generally speaking, they have more fully developed logic centers, better control
of motor skills, and more exposure to a wider variety of music. What I think gives most adults
trouble is that they generally don't have as much time to carefully practice as children, and they
have generally higher expectations of what type of progress they'll make. Adults have to fit piano
into their other obligations (job, family, household, etc.), whereas children have far fewer
obligations. Furthermore, since the parents paid a fair amount of money for the piano, they are
more likely to set aside (or require) quality practice time.

While my own recent experience is just one data point, I think I have made more progress in the last
three months than I would have if I was working. I am able to devote quality time to playing in the
morning, after I eat breakfast and do some leg exercises. I wasn't able to do this before, except
for some weekends (and this wasn't until after checking to see that there was nothing wrong with the
site that would affect my work).