What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life?

Posted by: jdsher

What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 06/21/04 09:49 AM

I'm curious what it is that motivates someone to learn piano. I'll start by saying that I've always loved music. I've always loved piano music and I've always had an interest in making my own music. I think I was fooled into thinking that the simple beauty that musicians create every day would be easy for me to emulate. Boy was I wrong. I think learning music and the piano is one of the hardest things I've ever done.
So it came to pass that my wife signed up our son for keyboarding lessons at his school. I decided to call up his teacher and ask her if she taught adults. She said she did, and so I finally came out of my comfortable shell and began the life long process of learing to play piano.
Jon
Posted by: devils4ever

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 06/21/04 11:45 AM

jdsher,

I always liked piano music. Moonlight Sonata was the one piece that really moved me and made me finally decide to "go for it" in my early 30's. I found my wife's girlfriend's brother was a piano teacher and that pushed me. Also, my friend from college was an accomplished pop pianist. When he was moving, I "babysat" his piano for a few months. That helped too.

But, I think the creative urge was there but it just took time to build up to the point where I did something about it.

Unforunately, I stopped with lessons about 12 years ago when my kids were born. Now, I looking a new teacher since I moved.
Posted by: Mikester

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 06/21/04 12:02 PM

When I was 13 I took a piano class as a blowoff course in school. Figured it was an easy A. The first piece I ever learned was Fur Elise. I just fell in love with the piano from that point. My parents bought this old, used piano for $600 and that was my practice piano until I graduated high school.

In college I seldom practiced. In fact I blew off piano for three whole years while I was getting my computer science degree. I forgot about piano, left it behind. The summer of my senior year, I was interning in Minneapolis when my girlfriend and I broke up. I really missed her and when I thought about her my mind would wander to her favorite piano piece, which was this Chinese piece I used to play.

So, figuring I should let out some steam, I snuck into a community college to play that piece. And little did I realize, my heart started to race again. From that day forth I went to the same practice room as much as I could. Since then, I've graduated college and now I'm working in Minneapolis full time. I have a new girlfriend who I adore very much :-) I take private lessons every week and have bought a Steinway grand piano. Thanks to my ex-girlfriend my love for the piano is rejuvenated and strong. I guess there's a silver lining behind every dark cloud...
Posted by: jdsher

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 06/21/04 12:40 PM

Great story Mikester; like you said sometimes things happen for a reason.
Jon
Posted by: Frank R

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 06/21/04 06:53 PM

My dad was a professional musician. He played sax and clarinet in big bands from the 40s-60s. I used to go to reherasls with him and enjoyed the music, however, I don't think I realized how much at the time. I just kept wanting to go with him, there wasn't really anything for a small kid to do but sit and listen so obviously there was a connection. My dad taught me to play both sax and clarinet which I did for about three years. Sports, girls, school (not necessarily in that order) took over in my high school years and the music went away.

At 55 after a couple close calls in a sport I enjoyed very much (hang gliging) I decided to do something a little safer. Also, something that I could do for many years without having age be too much of a factor.

My wife and I like to go to jazz clubs and other music events. I have a varied musical taste, love opera, some classical, jazz, standards, big bands, R & b, blues and even (please no comments) a LITTLE rap.

Sitting in a jazz club one night with my wife I looked at her and said, I'm going to learn to play the piano. She loved the idea (she would like almost anything that wasn't hang gliding). I Had to sell all of my hang gliding equipment to justify the piano purchase. After a year I moved up from the kawai upright to a new Estonia 190 grand, not a negative word about the cost from my wife, and she can be really CHEAP.

I'm just so happy that I finally got music back in my life. It's great to listen to but nothing can compair to making your own. I'll never let it go away again.
Posted by: Toddler2

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 06/21/04 07:12 PM

I always wanted to play. But at age 6, when I couldn't play Fur Elise in two weeks, I decided to quit against my parents advice. I took thirty years to get back to it, but I want my kids to play, so this is a good way to get them interested and to be able to participate with them. Having a blast too, and will start the kids on lessons soon.

Unfortunately, Suzuki school is full, but may be able to talk my teacher into coming to teach here at our home, which would be easier for the kids.

Todd
Posted by: billiegail

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 06/30/04 04:16 AM

I am 34 and I will be taking a piano class this fall in college. I have always thought that the piano is one of the most beautiful of all instruments. I want to get lost in the music. Some people relax with yoga or something simular, I want to relax with my piano and fill my home with that magical sound.
I am a little worried though. I have tried to learn to play the piano on my own and I have not been able to do it.
I can't read music and I can't play by ear, so I hope I have a good teacher.
God bless you all
~BillieGail~
Posted by: devils4ever

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 06/30/04 06:56 AM

billiegail,

Don't despair. Get yourself a good teacher and you'll do fine. I'm convinced there's no such thing as a natural pianist (or musician). Everyone struggles....some more, some less.

I just practiced and practiced. Being "driven" is what makes a good pianist. I thought I would never learn and that I had no "musical" talent. But, I'm now in between a beginner level and an intermediate level and re-starting lessons tomorrow with a new teacher after 12 years.

I'm not so sure about group lessons though. Everyone I talked to that took group lessons, really never progressed very far. It okay to start with, I guess. But, get one-on-one private lessons if you can afford to. You'll progress much faster. Also, you need to learn proper technique from the beginning. It's VERY difficult to unlearn bad habits and correct them. Learn correctly from the start.
Posted by: billiegail

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 06/30/04 07:14 AM

Thank you very much Devils4ever for the advice. I called a piano teacher today. She should be getting back to me shortly.
God bless
~BillieGail~
Posted by: plays88skeys

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 06/30/04 12:44 PM

A cut and pasted post I made in another thread:

As a child, I was unfairly labeled "prodigy." I was pushed and prodded and didn't live up to the title. I quit when music became more work than fun. I have regretted that decision my entire adult life. The thing that gave me the impetus to resume music lessons after squandering so many years of potential was reading this:

"The artist is a servant who is willing to be a birthgiver. I believe that each work of art, whether it is a work of great genius, or something very small, comes to the artist and says 'Here I am. Enflesh me. Give birth to me.' And the artist either says 'My soul doth magnify the Lord,' and willingly becomes the bearer of the work, or refuses.

Whether or not we serve is entirely our choice. God's first gift to us is free will. We can always choose to say "No. Sorry, find someone else." And Spirit will.

So God moves on until a willing artist with an open heart offers to become the creative conduit. This scenario goes a long way toward explaining why you are heartbroken, bewildered and furious when, after diddlying around for years, someone else takes out a patent on an article that resembles the one you designed; nationally syndicates the same column topic you've been writing in your head for the last five years but never got around to marketing; or composes a Grammy-winning song that sounds like the one you've played over and over in your head.

How on earth could this be possible unless somebody read your mind? Well, it wasn't your mind that was tapped. It was Divine Mind. Remember, before anything exists on earth, it exists fully formed in Spirit. God does not play favorites; each of us came into being to carry on the re-creation of the world through our gifts. And while you are offered many opportunities in a lifetime, Spirit only comes once for each Work seeking creative expression through you, then moves on.

The bottom line is that the Work must be brought forth. If you don't do it, somebody else will."

--Madeleine L'Engle, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art.
Posted by: Kitagrl

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 06/30/04 01:21 PM

Well I was offered piano lessons as a teen, along with my sister. She accepted, I didn't want to mess with getting practice time in every day. Well here, about 13 years later my sister plays awesome and I only played a little by ear as I sat down and messed around at a piano here and there.

Well we moved here and my husband is a pastor and our church had no pianist! So I started playing a few hymns the best I could but it was suggested I take piano lessons...which I have been doing now for about a year and a half. Now I am in the market for a digital piano as I am sick of cheap junky acoustics and don't have the money for a nice one.

I am lucky to have a wonderful teacher who is also a church pianist but also is basically a concert pianist...her life almost went the way of a big time concert pianist but she made other choices to stay with family instead. But she is awesome and I hope to learn alot from her, not just hymns.
Posted by: Jeffrey

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 06/30/04 06:37 PM

I am 37 and just started playing about 4 months ago. The main reason was that I loved listening to music and wanted to learn more about it from the "inside". I wanted to know what a key was, what a fifth was, how to improvise, etc. I picked piano because it was one of the most versatile instruments. I have to second Devils on the "talent" issue. I find that if I don't practice what was taught in the lesson was really hard, and if I do practice what was taught is fairly easy. "Talent" is often just the willingness to practice and not get frustrated.
Posted by: JD

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 07/02/04 04:01 PM

I decided to learn to play the piano at age 52.

When I was much younger my parent tried to get me to play the piano chose to play the drums; starting at age 9 in grade school and then all the way through college. I actually was a fairly decent drummer and played professionally from around age 15-22 (all kinds of music Country, Rock, Jazz, Big Band, Strip Clubs...anything.)

Like others who have commented here, I stopped after college and got a "real job" and started down the path of good, responsible career person. To make a long story short, I came to realize that there was a "hole" in my life. (Seems to happen to a fair number of folks around my age.) The hole wasn't music per se, for me, it was the soulfullness of spirit that accompanies making music.

So, three years ago I started taking piano lessons. No more hole.
Posted by: Steve B.

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 07/04/04 04:26 PM

I started piano for the first time six months ago, at age 45. Everyone I know was surprised that I started a long musical journey at this age. I was surprised too. Several things converged in my life to prompt me toward piano.

First, in church one week we studied the life of Solomon, including his famed wisdom. One verse stood out: "Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore." I thought about the value of "breadth of mind," and I realized that music was one area that I had never broadened my mind to study.

Second, I was doing some research on technical specs for digital pianos, since our church was getting ready to replace an aging piano. My hunt through piano web sites awakened an interest in the instrument, the beauty of the sound, and the keyboard layout as such a good visual model of Western music.

All this led me to study a beginning book on music theory. I had never been able to read music, and the entire art was a mystery to me throughout my life. Only now, as I studied this book, did the concepts all come together in my mind. Maybe it was just the right time in life for me to grasp the concepts.

So, here I am with a Clavinova, six months of lessons to my credit, and my first post on this discussion board!
Posted by: Bob331

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 07/06/04 10:25 AM

For me, the catalyst was my 11-year-old daughter starting lessons.

She had one of these Casio keyboards (66 keys, no weighted action) and I realized that I could plug headphones into it and practice silently (my most available time for practice is after 10PM and before 6AM). Well, after about a week of frustration because of the shortened keyboard and the lack of action, I bought a Yamaha "Clavinova" - a keyboard in a piece of furniture. It also feels like a real piano.

I've been playing for about 4 months - mostly self-taught (since I can read music and rhythm because of prior experience playing other instruments) and I take occasional lessons (about every 3 weeks) from a local teacher.

And I can practice anytime I want without disturbing the rest of the family.

Bob
Posted by: pianojuggler

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 07/06/04 11:27 AM

There were many factors that culminated in my starting lessons at age 38.

Most of all, I always loved to doodle around on various instruments. There had been a piano in my house a couple of years earlier, but the person who belonged to it moved out and it went with her.

Then during a severe downturn in my industry, an acquaintance had gotten laid off (for the third time) and was selling a few things because he needed the money. He had a Kawai K1 keyboard for sale, and I bought it. I looked in the mirror and asked myself if I was just going to doodle around (like the recorders, the clarinet, the balalaika, the Hall crystal flute, etc.), or if for once, I was going to be serious about it.

I started shopping for a piano teacher.

Shortly after finding one, I started shopping for an acoustic piano.

Three years later I've acheived my original first goal: to play Scarlatti. Now I need to decide what my next goal is...
Posted by: CHAS

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/22/12 06:28 PM

Remembered being better than I was when I was allowed to quit at must have been 8 years of age.
Played the sax through high school.
In my late 50's I bought a piano and worked with myself. Bought a bigger piano and a larger place to live in with it. Took lessons for a while. My teacher became ill and quit and I followed.
Stared at the ignored piano and decided to sell it. Found a buyer.
Ended up at a piano dealer. Got the buyer to deliver the money to the dealer and I paid $$$ to upgrade to yet another piano.
The mover brought my new one when he came to get the used one.
Started with Alfred Adult 2. Don't like the selection.
Plan to play classical however badly, to I want that sort of method book.
Just ordered Thompson's Modern Method #2 and #3.
I do far too many things. Trying to eliminate some of the other things in my life that take too much time.
We will see.
Posted by: D7K

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/22/12 07:00 PM

I just turned 63 and retired for all practical purposes ( I have two clients who I consider friends) and decided learning what music is and playing a piano was my next challenge. Two weeks in, I know I've made the right choice. I like the reading and the playing. Lessons will come in a bit, but even if I only sound slightly better than a cat fight, I know its going to be a fun trip.
Posted by: Sand Tiger

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/22/12 08:49 PM

I was inspired by an Android tablet app with a pokey piano keyboard on the screen. Apple is featuring a similar app on one ad for the Ipad mini. I enjoyed poking on the tablet's virtual keyboard so much, I decided I wanted to try something more.

I thought I would be terrible at piano. I never learned to sight read despite many years on pennywhistle and Irish flute. I never played a chord. When I was part of a choir, I was terrible at harmony. I always wanted to sing the melody line. I had a few months of guitar instruction at a public school when I was kid, and I was terrible at that.

Anyway, I didn't spend much money, and bought something that most on the forum consider a toy. Still, I find that even that limited of an instrument can take me to an almost magical place. I get such satisfaction out of just playing notes and some chords.

Because of my struggles with sight reading, I mostly write my own music. Always have, probably always will. My weakness has turned into my strength. I have ten uploads at my signature link and eight are my own originals.
Posted by: j&j

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/22/12 11:02 PM

Had lessons as a kid until I was in high school and had too much homework, which squeezed out my practice time. I always wanted to go back and play, take lessons and study music theory. I did buy a Baldwin console years ago and Alfred's Adult 2 and 3 books and reviewed on my own on and off until I almost lost my vision in my left eye. When I recovered, I decided that I would go back to piano more seriously. I traded my Baldwin for a Yamaha GB1, (which I loved but was much scorned by the Piano Forum), started to take lessons and took group piano classes at the university. After 2 years, I then traded my GB1 for a fabulous C3 and have been practicing, taking lessons, and have finished my group piano classes.
I will be starting a Music Theory for Non-Music Majors in a few weeks. I'm not retired yet, so squeezing in practice and study time is a challenge, but I am finishing the MOYD 12 requirements and I'm waiting for the new icon for my signature.
Posted by: cookiemonster

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/23/12 02:16 PM

I played piano through high school, but moved away from home after college and stopped playing partly due to lack of access to a piano. Many, many years later my parents informed me that they were planning to sell the family piano, the old spinet/upright they'd purchased when I was five years old. Somehow I couldn't bear the thought of the piano no longer being in our family, so I offered to split the cost of having the piano shipped over 2K miles to Seattle. I figure I can't be the only person to have paid more to ship a piano than said piano was actually worth (in financial terms, anyway)? :-)

The piano sat in my living room for a few years until I started taking harp lessons from a teacher who also gives piano lessons. Every time I went over to her studio for a harp lesson I'd see her Steinway grand and start thinking about taking it up again. Two years later I finally did :-)
Posted by: BillTheSlink

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/23/12 03:41 PM

I am 37 and got bitten by the bug to learn how to play just two months ago while doing research to help a blind girl I know who is a professional musician by trade, but who does not play piano, choose a digital piano from an online source. After actually listening to the piano samples I began to develop a love for the sound of the piano and began listening to those, "piano music to study and relax by", videos on YouTube of very slow and simple piano melodies. I actually discovered this was my favorite type of music and I just have to learn how to play.

Being disabled and having a lot of time on my hands means that I do need something to do but I must be cost conscience. I had recently had to give up on my hobby of beer brewing because I could no longer lift all of the equipment and boiling water necessary for brewing due to a rapidly deteriorating back. I decided to sell all my brewing equipment and buy my own digital piano and try to learn. I do not have it yet but will be ordering it the day after Christmas.

To be honest piano is a means to an end. I actually enjoy organ music most of all. This is one reason why I went with the Casio PX-350 since it actually has so many good organ sounds and once I learned to play piano well enough I can experiment with some of the organ tones. Of course the fact that the Casio is the only thing in my price range that offers a wide range of tones and features was another selling point for me.

I will be teaching myself (hopefully) because I cannot afford formal lessons. I do have some excellent resources however, and feel with time and patience I will succeed. Hopefully down the road when I get my Social Security, or I have the cost of the and original investment in equipment paid off I will take some formal lessons. In the meantime however, I will amuse myself because as I said I have a lot of time on my hands and with so much time I can practice quite a bit.

So to sum it all up I would say that the main reason I decided to play is that I just fell in love with the music so much and I wanted to be able to make the music myself. I also have to admit there's a little bit of the competitive side in me and I wish to show off my acquired skills in our piano recitals. laugh
Posted by: malkin

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/23/12 06:14 PM

I won a Yamaha Clavinova in a raffle at work. It seemed the right thing to do to learn a song to play to accompany the kids. At a banquet to thank our volunteers, the whole school sang "Today is Monday" and I played with them and it was fun.

Why not continue?
Posted by: justpin

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/23/12 06:27 PM

I used to work a VERY stressful job, which gave me heart palpitations sleepless nights. It was a macho job where on the job bullying was normal and accepted.

To cope I used to get VERY drunk and spend time online chatting in my drunken state. The silliness approached epic levels. Realising my health was suffering badly. I had a serious breakdown, literally in tears at my desk...

I then spent a year on walkabout as aussies say. Doing the things I had always wanted to do.

I returned but the drinking and online life continued. My income dropped by 80% I was still working but in a different field.


I came to realise I was spending $$$$$$$$$ on beer which I could ill afford. Also I was wasting a lot of my life doing very little.

I wrote down a list of desires as a child.

One of my strongest memories was my sister playing on a big shiny black piano as a child,

I wanted to be in a similar position.

8 months later here I am. Still very much a beginner, but I've felt I've grown so much, there is still a long road but I'm enjoying the ups and downs.
Posted by: justpin

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/23/12 06:30 PM

Lucky sod.

I saw a clavinova today. Had a play then noticed the £8000 price tag. When I regained conciousness. I shuffled over to the Casio part of the store which I can afford.
Posted by: malkin

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/23/12 07:25 PM

Unquestionably lucky. (mine wasn't in the 8000 range though, even in US dollars)

For the raffle, I was thinking it would be great to win some minor league baseball tickets. Our boys are a farm team for the Angels.
Posted by: BillTheSlink

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/24/12 01:47 AM

Originally Posted By: justpin
Lucky sod.

I saw a clavinova today. Had a play then noticed the £8000 price tag. When I regained conciousness. I shuffled over to the Casio part of the store which I can afford.


I know that feeling. I almost had my heart set on a CVP 501 but then when I found a price list somewhere and found that how much they were I was heartbroken. Who knew digital pianos could be so expensive? I thought they were inexpensive.

Back during the electronic piano and organ craze of the 1980s my grandmother was going to get me one, and a very nice one at that, if only I would've agreed to take lessons. Oh how stupid I was to turn that offered down. Of course I know that even a budget Casio is better than the electric pianos and organs that cost a fortune in the 1980s, I still would've been a lucky little boy and would have known how to play the piano by now. bah
Posted by: Toastie

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/24/12 02:24 AM

Originally Posted By: malkin
I won a Yamaha Clavinova in a raffle at work. It seemed the right thing to do to learn a song to play to accompany the kids. At a banquet to thank our volunteers, the whole school sang "Today is Monday" and I played with them and it was fun.

Why not continue?



This one is my favourite. That Clavinova was clearly meant for you x
Posted by: Teodor

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/24/12 03:23 AM

I don't know precisely. I just felt the need to play music. I did all my life but I ignored it and went on to study business. But I realized at some point after I spent a few months in the USA that I can do anything I want with my life. If I wanted I could stay in the USA illegally and forget my past life in Europe. I could also go home and move to another town, start a new life. Anything. Especially since I am so young. But even then I felt like I was a prisoner, so I had to introduce something new to my life. Something I had been dreaming of but never dared do smile
Posted by: adultpianist

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/24/12 07:43 AM

What irks me is when people who have had no musical training try to think they know all about music. They say because they listen to music then they know all about it. Not so. I once played for someone who told me I was rubbish and the piece should have been played such and such a way. I nearly said to them... I am no expert but at least I have sufficient training to know that I am playing it CORRECTLY
Posted by: Ragdoll

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/24/12 08:59 AM

Quote:
What irks me is when people who have had no musical training try to think they know all about music. They say because they listen to music then they know all about it.


sleep wow What irks me is people who think they know everything about anything because they saw it in a book or had someone tell them what to think or do.
Posted by: Greener

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/24/12 01:15 PM

My Father taught piano (some Organ) for many years. I asked him once "why are your students so old?". Being a teenager at the time, old was anything over 40 smile . He replied that, that is when people want to learn.

I understand this better now. In my case, I picked up some things over the years, being around it so much in my childhood, but never with a disciplined approach. I was happy to be able to play a few things and make some nice sounds as a teenager and young adult. But, it was not until much later that I rekindled my interest and motivation to what it is now. Years went by where I barely touched the piano. Now though, I can't seem to find enough time to practice.

Posted by: SwissMS

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/24/12 02:05 PM

Playing piano has always been on my "someday" list. "Someday" when I have more time. I played as a child, but I only had a couple years of lesson and then just dabbled around with the piano until I went to college. I never lost the love for piano though.

As I grew older, the "Someday" seemed like now or never! After my husband and I sold our business and retired, I bought a piano. I have been hooked ever since!

When we left the States and moved to Switzerland, I was without a piano for a couple of years. I found that I really missed it! So, in January 2011, I bought another piano and have been playing ever since!
Posted by: BillTheSlink

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/24/12 07:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Ragdoll
Quote:
What irks me is when people who have had no musical training try to think they know all about music. They say because they listen to music then they know all about it.


sleep wow What irks me is people who think they know everything about anything because they saw it in a book or had someone tell them what to think or do.


Did I miss something in the thread or did this come out of nowhere? whome confused
Posted by: malkin

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/24/12 08:44 PM

Never mind.
Just carry on.

Peace on Earth and good will toward all forum users.
Posted by: Ragdoll

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/25/12 08:06 AM

Quote:


What irks me is people who think they know everything about anything because they saw it in a book or had someone tell them what to think or do.

Quote:
Did I miss something in the thread or did this come out of nowhere?


I was making a point that somethings that disturb people can be polar opposites and share common attitudes. adultpianist is "irked" by the opinions of those unschooled musically who criticize her playing, whereas I am "irked" by the highly skilled who think their opinions are the only correct approach to any means of learning or doing something if it's not grounded in formal education.

I dealt with this before I retired, when working alongside engineers who had more degrees than a thermometer, regarding something I had proven worked before that they couldn't find proof that it was possible in any of their books, hence my opinion was discarded. Sometimes to their embarrassment. Nothing personal just an observation.

Merry Christmas to all PW members 3hearts
Posted by: Marco M

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/27/12 05:01 PM

Listening to piano music does not catch me much. Anyway, I really love its sound.

I have had the experience from other instruments (especially drums) how much playing an instrument can occupy me, demanding 100% of all my senses and concentration, demanding full selfcontrol on body and mind. It has the power to perfectly disconnect me from stressfull life (especially my very stressfull profession) and brings me in contact with other musicians, a social community which I prefer over others for my private time.

Well, loving the sound of a piano and unfortunately not having the possibility anymore to continue to play drums (they are loud!) in my new environment, learning to play piano (on a digital piano, it is silent and always tuned) seemd for me to have the potential to susbtitute for my beloved drums.
And it worked out fine. I am a very happy adult beginner on the piano now, frequently disconnecting from harsh life times by again making music. I really enjoy to immerse into my peaceful worlds of piano sound, and little by little also discover some joy in listening to other´s performances on the media!
Posted by: EdwardianPiano

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/27/12 07:41 PM

Because now is the only time I have the opportunity- it never arose before- and certainly not in my childhood- we were too poor.
Posted by: joyoussong

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/27/12 09:19 PM

I always wanted music lessons when I was a kid but it wasn't possible. As a young adult, I taught myself to strum a guitar, but never took lessons, & I learned basic recorder, also self-taught. But my guitar was stolen almost 20 years ago, & my recorder has mostly been gathering dust. Then, a few years ago, a friend mentioned needing to store her upright piano. & something lit up in me. I was living in a tiny rental apartment at the time, looking for a condo to buy, & I asked if she could leave it where it was till I found a condo. The place I found has at least 5 other piano players in the building, & I started taking lessons as soon as I moved the piano in; I bought it from her about a year later. I recently bought a digital too, to extend practice hours - even a building with 5 piano players has limits (so far unstated) to how early or late you can play! I've taken to piano 'WAY more than I ever did to guitar or recorder - partly it's because I have more time now than I did when I was younger, also that I've had teachers this time, & maybe most importantly, it's so much easier to understand theory on a piano than on a guitar.
Posted by: malkin

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/27/12 10:05 PM

That's a fun story; how many units is your building, joyoussong?
Posted by: floydthebarber71

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/28/12 04:28 AM

I'm not exactly sure why or how I got so interested in the piano. I never went for lessons as a kid, nor did I care for piano or classical music.

Somehow, Muse and Matt Bellamy had something to do with it? Hehe but I had developed some interest in my early twenties I guess. I played guitar self-taught for a while, and used to play drums and trumpet back in the school band days. Anyway, I had heard a few classical pieces (and others) which I really wanted to know how to play.

At university studying engineering, I had some crazy guitar kid who used to pull me in to the Music department's piano rooms to just mess around. I thought it was time to just start, so I walked into a shop and bought some Casio 61-key thingy for $100 or whatever. It was great, because I had the acoustic pianos in the music rooms to keep me grounded on what a real piano felt like (whenever I could sneak in), while I learned and practiced fingerings and built muscle memory on the plastic Casio. It worked for me.

I taught myself random stuff for about a year before I left varsity and had no access to a piano. Playing that Casio for pleasure just doesn't work smile Family life took over, I got married with kids and four years later I found myself in a rut with work etc, not having played guitar or piano or messed about with any other of my many hobbies, so I put down the money for a Kawai CL-36 a couple weeks ago. It's all I could just about afford, but I am very happy with it.

I am looking forward to pushing ahead with my piano endeavour. When I taught myself during that one year, I never worked on any theory, not a single care for technique or posture etc; I just played. It was fun. I couldn't care about the complexity of a song, I just tried to learn it and had fun playing it. But I am now thinking long term and I am going to sit a lot more now trying to get a good foundation to eventually play properly. I'm sure this means I will need a teacher, but we will see how this goes.

Not sure why I am posting this, since it's pretty embarrassing, but I did post a couple of videos on Youtube back when I used to play. Technically they are terrible and I didn't seem to have much of an ear for what I was playing, looking at it now, and I think I've improved more in my 2 weeks of working on technique, posture and just *listening* to what I was playing than I have in that one year thanks to reading around on these forums and working on specifics. I guess I got over the novelty of being able to 'play' the piano, and want to work on being able to play it properly. http://www.youtube.com/user/floydthebarber71?feature=mhee

I look forward to being a part of this community in the following years!
Posted by: mabraman

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/28/12 05:11 AM

I began with theory classes 2 courses ago, and this year is my first piano course. It's an old "nailed thorn" that no longer hurts.
Why piano? Well, I love the sound, I feel it more "natural" than a guitar for my hands and fingers to work at, and...I'm a smoker, so sax is out of the equation.
I'm 45, but it's never too late to be happy by learning anything. The piano is very challenging, and that matches with my obsessiveness (I prefer to think about music, instead of filling my head with nonsenses).
There's a said that tells we usually don't face our main habilities, in order not to be dissapointed if we can't match our dreams. What if I don't have that musicality I was supposed to have?
Well, I'm glad I faced it, at last. The beggining of this long road is being quite promisory, in therms of having a great time.
Posted by: Toastie

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/28/12 05:34 AM

Yes I'm another who was too poor as a child. I asked all the time for lessons, but we just didn't have the money. I was always obsessed with pianos and would run up to any piano I saw and attempt to "play" it. I still get this urge now, haha. I had a friend who was having piano lessons and I used to visit her house all the time when I was about 7 and I used to have to go and play in the garden for half an hour during her lesson, but really I'd watch through the window. The teacher must have felt sorry of me, as she said I could go in and watch after a while. After that I used to draw keyboards on pieces of paper and pretend to play them at home. I have no idea where this obsession came from.

Well I turned to singing (because it's free) and used to sing all of the time, I mean really, all of the time. Like from getting home from school to going to bed, 6 hours a day. I'm not particularly talented, its more just that i have to be making some sort of musical sound much of the time in order to keep my sanity. Went through a phase of singing all my words and getting into trouble at school, drove my parents crazy. In the end they put a swing outside in the garden (to stop me breaking chairs, because I have to sway back and forth while I sing) and I would be out there swinging and singing whatever the weather. I carried on the constant singing through my teenage years and had given up asking for lessons by then as knew we didn't have the money. I had forgotten all about piano, so when I was 16 and got a job I used the money to pay for singing lessons. Not that it did me much good, as unfortunately she was a 19 year old university student who turned out to be very unreliable and rather uninterested in teaching me. It's a shame as I was really keen.

This all changed when I finished my education and got a job, although I still sing all the time, though not for hours a day every day as it would be a bit anti-social for my boyfriend. Then..... I went on a trip to London with work in July and came across one of those street pianos. And weirdly I still had the same longing I have always had whenever I see a piano, only i had forgotten all about it. A man sat down and played something really nice and I thought, "that's it, I'm learning to do that" and I went home and looked up teachers on the Internet. And my whole life is different now and by fortunate coincidence my teacher also has a choir, which I am now part of and everything has come together nicely. I don't know how I managed for so long without it.

Toastie's (very long) piano story xxx

P.S. the piano was outside the Tate, and whoever the man was I am eternally grateful to him for inspiring me.
Posted by: joyoussong

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/28/12 09:30 AM

Originally Posted By: malkin
That's a fun story; how many units is your building, joyoussong?


51.


Mabraman - I don’t know if we have that saying in English, about not exploring our main abilities, but it sure rings true.
Posted by: DannyW

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/29/12 01:29 PM

I really enjoy reading these replies. I started playing about 8 months ago--officially. I retired from the Air Force in late 2010 after 25 years and after a few months felt like a kid graduating from high school with the whole world in front of them. I decided to do those things that I have always wanted to do. I messed around with trying to learn on my own several times over the years and was on that road again about a year ago when I read a comment from someone basically saying---if you really want to learn then go and get some lessons. I thought that sounded like good advice. so I researched several teachers and their styles etc... found a great person who has been working with me for 8 months. Boy, what a great decision. I would have never got this far by myself. The books and online instruction are ok as I have done several of them, but there is no substitute for having someone sit down with you and push you along. I 47 and am loving learning to play. Had a break through a couple of months ago where I could actually really hear the difference between my digital and my instructors steinway (yes took 6 months)... felt good to actually say "I can hear what people are talking about". Bad news is that I hate playing on my digital now am in the process of finding a grand. I hope to one day play the classical music that I watch many on PW perform but certainly don't stress about it. Just enjoying the ride and the learning process. Thankful for the opportunity.
Posted by: torquenale

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 12/29/12 03:24 PM

Hello, I'm new here (just registered for the MOYD 2013).
I started piano lesson at 12, and stopped 3-4 years later; I wasn't talented and interested, I was always playing volleyball and swimming instead of practicing. So my parents stopped paying for my lessons and gave back the rented piano. I didn't touch a piano for 25 years (without regret).
Then in 2010 my husband, after a 30 year long iatus, restarted playing tenor saxophone and one year later (mid 2011) gave me a digital piano for my 42nd birthday. I tried playing easy pieces, but I found it so difficult!
So, in september 2011, when one of my children asked for piano lessons, I started myself (different teachers). It has been difficult because my teacher is a couple of years younger then me, and at 42 I was not used to be an almost beginner in something.
But I'm happy now because I can play again and having lessons is a strong motivation (though, work and family are always in the way!).
One year ago we bought a 30 year old acoustic upright, and now both my children play it, and my husband as well...
Posted by: EdwardianPiano

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 01/01/13 04:37 PM

Toastie that's so sad having to watch a piano lesson through the window. frown
Glad you never gave up your dream and are playing your shiny new piano.
I didn't know anyone who had a piano til I was a teenager- she let me tinkle on it and then I bought a small synthesiser ( this was the 1980s).
Posted by: warlock214

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 01/01/13 11:41 PM

I love music and always wanted to play. When I was a teen, I knew my mother couldn't afford lessons and a piano. My kids are grown and I have a little extra money now. So hopefully I can learn to play well enough to play at family gatherings especially at the holidays.
Posted by: wouter79

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 01/02/13 03:52 AM

It was already much longer on the todo list (I'm talking about tens of years) but other projects (that have been completed) had higher prio.
Posted by: Toastie

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 01/02/13 07:09 AM

Edwardian Piano - I'm honestly not sure why I was so obsessed, but it seems to have remained. Though the girl whose lessons I used to watch... I don't think she plays piano anymore!!!! I remember she went to a variety of dance lessons too and lived in a big house. At one point someone did offer to teach me piano for free, but my mum said it wasn't for the likes of us and wouldn't let me go there - I was about 11 and remember sitting on the step heartbroken because I would have to tell the nice lady. I was too embarrassed to say my mum wouldn't let me, so I just avoided her and then said I didn't want to do it when she asked me again. I think I grew up in a Charles Dickens novel.

Warlock214 - good on you for doing it now!!!

It makes me a sad that so many kids who would benefit from proper music lessons don't have access to it. In primary school my enthusiasm for music was mistaken for bad behaviour and I used to have to sit outside while everyone else did music. Then in secondary school when the other 29 kids really were very badly behaved, as an interested student in music I was ignored and left to bang on a xylophone for an hour once a week, whilst anyone who was "musically talented"' i.e. already had private music tuition went elsewhere to learn proper stuff.

I think things are a little better today, but access to learning an instrument still feels very much social class based. As you can tell I get a bit mad about these things. I try to add a little bit of music education wherever I can for my own students, though as an English teacher it's limited!!
Posted by: Carlwag

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 01/04/13 11:29 PM

I'm 38 and just starting piano again , played as a kid but not for long.
In October we lost our 2 year old son jake to pneumonia and I would have loved to have been able to play at his funeral as I was not strong enough to speak , I did write a poem which the wife read out tho which was nice .
From that day I vowed to learn to play the piano .

Regards Carl .
Posted by: hamlet cat

Re: What made you decide to learn to play piano later in life? - 01/05/13 12:03 AM

Because youth is wasted on the young, and I was too foolish to realize the magic to be obtained by playing when I was young.