Adult Beginner: How long will it take, how much to practice, any famous pianists started late? : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

Hi! I am a 24 yr old beginner. I had a keyboard for a few years, but just learned a few pieces by rote and can't read music. I would like to know how long it takes someone in my age group on average to become a decent pianist - at least in terms of being able to play practically anything that is already in written form. Please list some figures here instead of the typical "it depends on your motivation, practice time, intelligence etc..."! That is why I said average - i.e., someone who practices for an average time (you can define that too), is of average intelligence, average motivation etc..

Are there any famous pianists who started at a late age? Or for that matter, anyone who started in their twenties or thirties and can play in a restaurant or give a basic recital? Also, what is the average price of a one hour piano lesson if you go to a studio or house of a teacher? And finally, can you recommend some really lightweight digital pianos? Like the 32 pound Suzuki Keyman?

Thank you for looking at these.

-- Anand Mehta (, December 22, 2002


Anand, I have some information on your question about pianists starting late. A book entitled, "The Pianist's Book of Classic Treasures" (Edited by Joseph Banowetz: C. 1981 General Words and Music Co., Park Ridge, Ill.) has this to say about Franz Joseph Haydn: "Haydn was a late developer, and largely self-taught. The range and extent of his output is amazing. Called the father of modern orchestral music, he could just as well be called the father of the sonata or string quartet."(pg. 39) I don't know anything about the reliability of this source, nor do I know the definition of the word 'late' as used here, but to me this information is encouraging!

-- Reg (, August 22, 2003.

Anand-- To start with, you probably should be willing to devote a total of 4 to 5 hours per week to learning all the necessary musical information. You really do need some musical material that will assist you in learning to read notes, rhythms, keyboard technique, and other relevant information.

It is NOT like learning to ski or play tennis in 6 easy lessons. Music is much more complex and takes time. However, you MAY be very talented and it will be easier and quicker for you than for some others. You won't know until you give it a try.

Try to find some excellent Adult Beginner books, probably by publishers such as FJH or Alfred. Their material is usually worthy of your time and investment.

It is also probably a good idea to find a teacher who enjoys teaching adults (not all teachers like to accept this challenge!)

Good luck with your endeavor!

-- Ruth Farkas (, August 23, 2003.

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