I accept students who are age 18 or older, or are 17 and have finished high school. Students are often middle-aged or retired. There is no upper age limit.
Adults Learn Differently than Children
Most piano students are children, because children can learn new languages and develop new motor skills easily. Therefore, most piano teachers focus on teaching children. They have advanced knowledge of what children need to develop musically, and may apply similar approaches to teaching a few adults.
However, adult and child learners are not the same, and are best taught differently. While children respond well to a teacher giving orders as an authority figure, adult students who may be experts in their own fields do best with a different, more collaborative approach.
Adults have different motivation, strengths, weaknesses and goals. While children often study piano at the insistence of their parents, adults choose to study because they have a genuine interest. Adults may have expert knowledge of music as listeners, and strong preferences as to which kinds of music they like and want to play.
Adults bring to the study of music breadth of life experience, self-awareness of mind and body, analytical ability, experience with independent study, a long attention span, self-discipline, and well-developed communication skills. The adult learner already has some finely developed motor skills that involve mind-eye-hand coordination, like typing on a computer or playing golf or tennis, that help in understanding the significance of timing and precise movement.
Adults may have long-standing attitudes that impair progress, such as perfectionism, self-doubt or self-criticism. Adults may have expectations of progress based on the instant results of modern technology, without understanding the commitment needed to develop a manual skill.
Adults may also have long-standing attitudes that help progress, such as confidence and patience. Adults can identify areas of discomfort, ask questions, and verbalize what is not understood. They can understand cause and effect, know that practice leads to improvement, can appreciate personal successes, and may have a strong desire to succeed.