There are lots of reasons for you to enroll in adult piano lessons.
It’s something that will build you own confidence and lead to great fulfillment. It may be something you’ve always wanted to do and can “cross off” your bucket list. Plus, it stimulates your brain – which can help with Alzheimer’s prevention.
But sometimes it can be really difficult as a mom to take on a commitment for yourself. Maybe you feel selfish signing up for adult piano lessons, taking away time from your day that could be used to clean your house, get dinner ready or help kids with their homework.
And while there are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t guilt yourself about having some YOU time, here’s the thing: taking piano lessons isn’t just benefiting you.
If you have a child who is taking piano, or even another musical instrument that’s not the piano, signing up for adult piano lessons and learning how to play the piano yourself is going to actually help your child in his own musical studies.
You can assist your child in his practicing.
At the time of this writing, I teach a load of about 35 students ages 12 and under. Some students have parents who have played or are taking lessons. Many have parents who fall into the “I always wish I had taken lessons…” category. While those parents can often help their students through the basics, there comes a point where the student progresses beyond what his parent can grasp.
Your child’s teacher is only with him for one lesson a week. You, however, are practicing with him during the remainder of the week. Often, a student and I will work on a rhythm for a piece in our lesson and then she will come to me the next week with the rhythm all mixed up, having practiced it incorrectly all week long. It can take a lot for her to “unlearn” the incorrect way and relearn the correct way. If she then goes home and starts practicing it the “old” way again without someone at home correcting her, we only continue the downward spiral.
If you are learning with your child or have a strong musical foundation, you will be able to help your child practice things correctly, ensuring a technically strong and musical student!
You can ease your child’s frustration when you are able to help him.
This is how it often goes: your child starts lessons and is super excited about how easily it comes to him and how quickly he is progressing. Then, things start to get difficult. He becomes frustrated, resists practicing and may even beg you to quit.
If you’re in adult piano lessons, not only will you learn how to read and play music, but you’ll learn how to approach and analyze a piece. You’ll be empowered to help your child break down the difficult passages, building up his confidence and sense of accomplishment as you work through the tough parts together.
You’ll have more empathy.
When my daughter was 5, she took up ukulele and eventually, guitar. While I’ve been playing piano for 27 years, reading TAB and playing the guitar makes no sense to this staff-note-reading brain. I began to trade piano lessons for guitar lessons with her teacher.
While I’d love to say I became a proficient guitar player, I mostly just learned enough to be able to help her when she became exasperated (see #2). I also learned to become a more patient piano teacher and parent — because I remembered how challenging it is to learn a new “language”!
Adult piano lessons enable you to play piano WITH your child.
Duets are super fun! (In both my Busy Kids and Busy Moms online programs, I include duet music, in case you have another musician under the same roof.) Your child’s method books also likely have some accompaniments under many of the pieces. Playing along with your child helps her to develop her musical ear, learn to listen and focus on her own part and also strengthens her rhythm skills.
If your child is learning an instrument that is not the piano, you’ll hone your understanding of chords and music theory in my Newbies course so that you’ll be able to add a simple piano accompaniment underneath a melody played by a different instrument. You’ll be able to put together some lovely (and original!) duet music
Your child will LOVE seeing you learn something new.
My daughter so enjoyed the year we spent learning guitar together. She thought it was hilarious to see me struggle with something and laugh at myself. She was proud to tell her friends that I was learning the guitar, too, and even bought me a turquoise guitar strap for my birthday that year. And the most exciting part for her was being able to play in her recital with mom at her side.