Teaching 82-year-old beginner!

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Hello! Next month I will be teaching an 82-year-old man who has never played but has always wanted to. Isn't that great? I've only taught a few s, and I'm wondering if anyone has specific suggestions for an older beginner as far as which series to start with, if any. I know that he enjoys big band music, so I'm going to look for some beginner jazz collections. Just looking for suggestions. Thanks!

-- Laurie (lauriesmusicstudio@yahoo.com), December 29, 2003


I'd try Faber's Adult All-in-One - they have a good mix of music while introducing basic concepts.

-- Joy (sonlyjoy@aol.com), December 30, 2003.

Laurie, I'm almost 70, and have just a few years of piano under my stretch band (!), but I'd like to comment - PLEASE assure him that he is doing well, if he is trying. Unless he is past the "I've got to do things perfectly and quickly" stage of adult life (which he may be, and great for him - it will sure be easier on you!) he must be reassured that learning the piano takes time. And more time. A small word of encouragement goes very far with us old folks, even coming from a young whipper-snapper. The very best of luck to both of you, and I'll bet that within a year he can be playing simplified Big Band music, and having a ball! And I think it is so great that you are accepting him as a student.

-- Shirley Gibson (sacgibson@juno.com), December 30, 2003.

Laura - have you had a lesson with your 82-year-old student yet? I'm sure a number of us would like to know how it went! Shirley

-- Shirley Gibson (sacgibson@juno.com), January 22, 2004.

Yes! He's had two lessons and catches on very quickly. His daughter prepaid for 3 lessons as a Christmas gift - we'll see if he continues on after the next lesson. I hope so - he is a lot of fun to teach. I just wish he would quit making comments to the effect that 82 is too old to learn piano - it's never to late! I'd love to hear how you are doing as well, Shirley. Laurie

-- Laurie (lauriesmusicstudio@yahoo.com), January 22, 2004.

Laurie, just curious what method (if any) you decided to use.

-- Kate (noname_poster@yahoo.com), January 23, 2004.

Oh, Laurie, how lucky! I hope you're still teaching him. I see MANY collections of old Big Band and forties music on eBay. Search for "piano sheet music vintage" (or even just leave off "vintage" and search for music and scroll down). You can get it for $1 plus shipping. I should think he'd love some of that "music of your life." Heck, I ordered a pile of it 'cause *I* think it's grand stuff.

As far as a method book, my cousin is looking at the Pointer System (a chord method) for teaching adults. There are some nice arrangements done by Lee Evans of jazz standards. I think if you can help him figure out some stuff like "little brown jug" by ear, that would be a big hit.

Keep us posted!

-- Shalanna Collins (shalanna@yahoo.com), February 11, 2005.

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