It's no secret that adult students have a reputation for quitting the piano. Whether it's personal, financial or technical reasons.
Every adult students starts with great intentions. Perhaps it is to try a new hobby. Or to revisit a dream to pursue a lifelong passion. But soon after a few lessons or a few months, the interest in piano simmers down and they are faced with the reality of learning a complex musical instrument.
1. The student is not playing music they want to play
Problem: Often, music studios only have adult students as a small percentage of their community. Hence teachers are more accustomed to teaching child or teenage students. The mistake made by the teacher is using the same children method books, to teach adults. The adult student is put off by learning children songs and doesn't feel lessons are geared with their mental maturity in mind.
Solution: Use method books and music choices which are designed for adult students. The studio favourite is Adult Piano Adventures Book 1 and 2. Click here to see the books Qian Tutor uses for adult students.
2. The student feels guilty for not practising
Problem: Adults lead busy lives and can have lots of life responsibility outside of attending lessons. The intention of a healthy number of practise sessions before the lesson, is gradually not prioritised. This means they arrive to lessons feeling embarrassed and not comfortable.
Solution: From the beginning, the studio and teacher should set the realistic expectations with the student around practise. Practise habits can temporarily change due to lifestyle demands. Make sure that the language and tone used by the teacher, conveys the understanding that it's fine if practise sessions at home cannot be met. The lesson can easily be turned into a practise sessions, and this takes the pressure off the student. Click here to learn more about adult piano lessons at Qian Tutor.
3. The student compared themselves against child or teenage students
Problem: The adult student sees child student who look quite young, and see the child playing similar or higher level than themselves. This causes the adult student to feel disenchanted, because they feel they can never play as well as the other student.
Solution: The teacher should explain that the performance from the child student, is the result of countless years of practise, lessons and parental support. The child's progress has been a series of incremental steps. Have the conversation be centered around the progress of the adult student, and the skills adult students perform stronger in. For example music theory, musicality, note reading.
4. The student loses their passion
5. The student gets frustrated, instead of inspired, with their lessons
6. The student feels the reality of their progress doesn't match their imaginative expectations
7. The student feels the commitment is too high
8. The student is disenchanted with their rate of progress
9. The student has their goal set on learning a piece far beyond their playing level
10. The student doesn't understand that the learning process is just as rewarding as the result