If you didn't learn to play the piano as a child, or if you did, but you gave it up a long time ago, you might think that it's too late to gain or improve your piano skills now. But the truth is that you can successfully learn to play the piano as an adult too. You may or may not be destined to become a concert pianist, but there are a number of benefits that you can gain from indulging your love of music by learning to play the piano as an adult.
Improve Your Hand/Eye Coordination
When it comes to activities that improve hand/eye coordination, playing the piano is one of the trickiest. Not only do you have to read music while moving your hands over the keys, your two hands may be doing two very different things at the same time.
Hand/eye coordination affects your gross and fine motor skills. People with good hand/eye coordination tend to have better reflexes and coordination, which can affect everything from your reaction time while driving to the legibility of your handwriting. Hand/eye coordination tends to deteriorate with age, but choosing activities that improve your hand/eye coordination, like playing the piano, can help you keep those skills strong.
Improve Your Ability to Multitask
In addition to improving your hand/eye coordination, the hand movements that you make while playing piano also improve a skill known as split concentration. Split concentration is what's needed to play a melody with one hand while playing harmony with the other hand at the same time.
This is one of the hardest things for piano students of any age to master, but once you've improved you've developed split concentration, you may be surprised to find out how beneficial it is. Multitasking – the ability to concentrate on two or more things at the same time – is increasingly expected in both professional and personal settings, and developing split concentration can improve your ability to multitask.
For children, piano lessons are often a mixed bag – even kids who want to learn to play and love the music sometimes have to be reminded to practice, and may resent having to give up other activities to practice, attend lessons, or perform. High expectations from parents or teachers may also lessen the enjoyment for kids who just want to play for fun.
For an adult, however, things are different. When you choose to play the piano as an adult, you're probably not doing so because of any parental pressure or expectations, and you're choosing piano as a leisure activity, not instead of another leisure activity. Therefore, it's possible that you may get more sheer enjoyment out of learning to play as an adult than you would have as a child. Playing the piano is a great way to relax and destress from your responsibilities and obligations.
If you've always wanted to play the piano, it's not too late. Many qualified piano teachers are happy to take on adult students. Find one in your area who can help you realize your dream of playing the piano.