Too old, too young…I’ve heard this response before when asking people to do something outside their comfort zone. True, a mom may be too old to be wearing her teenage daughter’s outfits, and a two-year-old may be too young to understand algebra (well, maybe with a few exceptions!). But I hardly see age as a reason for not doing something. In fact, no one is ever the incorrect age to achieve anything – even if they are retirees over sixty competing in a world-class piano competition!
Often, prospective students and parents ask me when the “right” time would be to begin lessons for their youngster. My answer is that not every child is truly ready to sit near a piano for half-an-hour at the same age. Typically, children begin learning the piano around the age of 5, but given a child’s ability to focus for chunks of time and aptitude with counting, this age can vary between the ages of 4-8. Most children are ready by 6 with the help of loving parents and supportive teachers. Although not every child can begin learning the piano at this age, it is important for a child to begin learning a musical instrument during these early years when the brain is rapidly developing and absorbing new material, more so than during later childhood. There are many parallels to why very young children can also naturally and quickly learn second languages.
Adults can begin learning at any time. Don’t believe me? I once taught a fifty-year-old mom how to read music within a month (she also learned how to play Schumann shortly thereafter). Yes, this student was quite determined, and no, this student had never played the piano before. This does not prove that anyone will or wants to set the same goals, but it does suggest that anyone can achieve whatever they set their mind to. Young tots may not have this kind of drive to learn, but older children and certainly adults do. It just comes down to setting reasonable goals and sticking to them.
So, if your question is, “Is my age too…,” I will say, “Yes, you can do it.” You can run a marathon, make a quilt, or learn art history, too. Age is just a number!