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As a professional concert pianist I often have people ask me, “I’m in my 50′s is it too late to learn piano?” Well, there is no simple answer to this question since everyone’s capacity to learn and everyone’s passion to learn is different. But, based on my experience it is never too late.
However, it is absolutely imperative that you Start Learning Now! Why? Because, a very wise man once told me, if you’re not learning you’re dying. You see, life is all about learning. It’s what gives us reason to live. Can you think of anything better about life than the new experiences, relationships and wisdom that comes from learning? So, if you have any passion at all for learning to play piano music then I highly reccommend that you start right away.
The most important question you should be asking youself is; “How can I learn faster and retain more information?” Do you know what most people don’t understand about the learning process? It’s not how much information can you cram into your head at one time but, how much information you can actually retain that causes you to learn faster and more efficiently. What happens is; people inevitably try to tackle all at once the incredible amount of work that it takes to play the piano.
Not only is that impossible to do, but it’s not much fun either. And, that’s why most people give up after only trying for a short period of time.Let’s talk about the way most people were taught to learn. Think back for a moment to when you were in school. Do you remember cramming for an exam? Most people certainly remember the anxiety associated with it.
You cram as much information as you can into your head in a very short period of time, hoping to get a good grade on your exam. So, what would happen 2 weeks after taking the exam if you had to take it again? How much would you remember? Not much at all I’m sure! That’s why learning this way is so painful because you’re never able to show consistent long term retention.Now, imagine for a moment that you applied this technique of learning to the piano. You cram for 2 weeks as much information as you can get into your brain about a piece of piano music. Then, you stop practicing for 2 weeks. Then, you go back and try to play what you learned.
How much do you think you could get right? Based on my experience, “Almost Nothing!”In my line of work I am responsible for not only remembering a minimum of 1.5 hours of piano music for every concert I perform but, I have to perform it flawlessly. Is this possible? Yes it is! But, not by learning the way most people learn. You see, there is a formula that works best for learning to play piano music and it’s the same formula that works for learning anything worthwhile. And, here it is….10-24-7What does this mean? Well, 10 stands for the amount of energy you put into learning what it is you’re learning. How many things can you learn at once? One! So get rid of that big pile of music sitting on the piano because that just represents stress! You can’t possibly learn all that anyway. So, just learn one thing at a time and do it at a level 10 which is; giving 100% of your energy until you can play it without thinking.Then, do the same thing again in 24 hours.
At a level 10 (100% of your energy), learn the same single thing you just learned the day before. Then, in 7 days do it again and I promise you that your retention rate for that one thing you learned will go up by 85%. Is this possible? Yes! That’s how I’m able to perform as many concerts as I do and never take a sheet of music with me on stage. I learn one thing at a time. But, once I learn it, I don’t forget it…ever!
There’s a term we use for this type of learning and it’s called “accelerated learning techniques” or “advanced learning techniques.” It’s what I teach in my seminars because it’s what works best for me and for the hundreds of people I’ve taught it to. So, if you want to learn piano music, even if it’s for the first time, follow my example. Use the 10-24-7 approach, you won’t regret it.