Short reply: YES, it is! Still, many teachers make them pretty similar, leaving the adult beginner a little bit puzzled about the whole learning experience.
In this article, I’m going to write about:
Teachers have to adopt a teaching method that reflects the students’ world; this means that a lesson with a child has to involve plenty of games because the children’s world is full of them! In the other hand, adults have already their background, comparing the new experiences with the past ones. For example, it’s easier for the teacher to explain how the body works with the piano to students who have a medical degree. What’s clear for us, is that the teacher has to take a different approach based on the age of the student.
Having different backgrounds and experience implies that adults have different challenges compared to a beginner at a younger age.
Based on my experience, the most frequent challenges that adults have are:
Lack of time represents the first challenge for adults students; having an important job which requires serious commitment seems to leave no time for other activities. Yet, studying piano can be doable and awarding with the correct planning of both lessons and study routines.
Especially for those who have sedentary jobs, it’s not immediately possible to retake control of body parts like the forearms, wrists and shoulders. In addition to this, many beginners think they have to use some force for playing the piano. What they don’t realize is that we have to cultivate new habits, using only the necessary muscles and tendons while relaxing others.
The last point is Expectations! Adults have a better overview of their life compared to children, having particular goals in mind. Especially after seeing the last prodigy on YouTube, many of them pretend to start with some super tricky piece of music. After they took the first lessons, they immediately realize that probably it will take more time to get to that point. The critical step here is to talk with the teacher who can suggest realistic goals and how to enjoy the process. There are different activities related to play the piano which can give some good satisfactions without playing the complete Concerto n 3 of Rachmaninov.
What I wrote so far are the three main challenges that adults piano students encounter at the beginning. Based on the background of every student, the approach is unique for everyone; it’s probable that in some areas a student can perform better than another one. What I feel is important, is to have a good two-way conversation with the teacher; talk about your goals and listen to feedback and information from your teacher about the whole process.
Whatever your piano skills are, check out the other articles and information about having piano lessons and how to enjoy the process of learning to play this instrument.