Adults Picking up the Piano: Better Late than Never

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Maybe you have a piano sitting in the corner. Maybe you heard an old song on the radio that you really loved. Maybe you want to take a break from working at your desk all day. Maybe you just want to try something new.


Although it may seem that piano lessons must start at a young age, there are many adults seeking to begin piano lessons. For some, their children have since learned piano and grown out of it, leaving the piano in the corner of the living room. For others, they want to learn something new and work on a project outside of their 9-5 work schedule. Whatever the reason, Upbeat Piano Studio is here to help you start your musical journey—no matter when, where, or who you are. For Upbeat student Maia, she began her piano journey with her kids, learning and taking lessons along with them. Even after her kids discontinued piano, she continued to take lessons. “I just kept going,” she explains, “it’s fun!”


Aside from being a new hobby, learning piano comes with many other benefits as well. Learning to play piano enhances motor skills and provides cognitive stimulation. A 2003 study by Harvard neurologist Gottfried Schlaug showed that the brains of musicians had an increase in gray matter when compared to those of non-musicians. Even “amateur” musicians with some musical training showed an inarguable amount of gray matter compared to those without any musical training at all. Furthermore, another study by neuropsychologist Brenda Hanna-Pladdy showed that adults with musical training yielded better results on tests based on nonverbal and visuospatial memory, naming objects, and learning new information compared to adults lacking any musical training at all. Another professor, Jennifer Bugos, studied adults aged 65-80 learning music. She discovered that in as little as 6 months, those adults showed improvement in memory, verbal fluency, information processes, and other cognitive functions. Ultimately, studies show that learning music, no matter at what age, provides cognitive benefits.


Although you may be afraid to take the first steps of your musical journey, the teachers at Upbeat Piano Studio are here to help and guide you along. Although the piano may seem daunting and complicated at first (the darn thing has 88 keys!), one beautiful aspect of learning this instrument is that you need not worry about being able to produce sound. When you hit a key, you know that, inevitably, it will make a sound. As a result, even a small and simple piece of music can sound beautiful and wow an audience on the instrument.


For many adults, playing piano becomes a destresser for them. After an endless morning of sitting at a desk, scrolling and checking emails, and staring at a screen, playing piano becomes a refreshing break from it all. Due to the pandemic, many adults, like Maia, are working from home, and some are even opting to have online piano lessons during their lunch breaks—allowing them to take a step back from their work, shake off the stress, and focus on something they enjoy. Since the pandemic, Maia, like many other students, have opted to make the switch to online lessons. When asked about the switch to the virtual sphere, Maia explains that “[she’s] been doing [lessons] online since the beginning of the pandemic, and the lessons have still been lovely.” She goes on to explain the way lessons have benefited her amidst the chaotic work from home life. “Piano is always a nice break from work and back to back Zoom meetings. Even though it’s taught over Zoom, it doesn’t feel like Zoom. I get to use a different part of my brain and learn something new as an adult.


“My lessons are 30 minutes long and in the evening. [My teacher] always keeps it fun and it’s a nice change from the work day. All you need is a working laptop or tablet!”


It’s not just Maia who feels this way. Some adults even report that the short musical break can be compared to that of going to the gym. After playing piano for as little as 10-20 minutes, they feel refreshed and focused when they return to conquer their piles of paperwork and emails—just like going to the gym (without even needing to break out a sweat)!


The teachers at Upbeat Piano Studio are happy to work with students of all ages—including adults! Here at the Studio, we promise that we will find the right teacher, the right musical workout, and a lesson time that will fit into your hectic schedule.

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