Friday, March 14, 2008

Piano recital

I attended a piano recital this morning, given by a piano teacher who teacher primarily adults, and primarily older, retired adults. Most had been studying only a year or so, and the teacher was very enthusiastic about their progress. Another teacher attended, older and retired herself, to play a duet with the host teacher.

And they did sound pretty good to me. I have taken piano lessons myself, so was familiar with some of the pieces (Fur Elise, the Moonlight Sonata, for instance). The pianists stumbled a bit here and there, varied the tempo, and occasionally started over, but all in all it was a great recital--and probably easier to listen to than a recital by cellos students taking lessons for the same period of time!

I've been wanting to write about the joys and benefits of playing music for older adults, and this group is perfect for such an exploration (I didn't want to write exclusively about people I play with). The oldest student is 83, and just started playing a few months ago.

Of course, by the end of the social hour following the recital, I had agreed to come back and play cello with them (students and teachers) at the next recital. I was hoping they'd ask.


Anonymous said...

That sounds like a really lovely time you had,and I am sure you will enjoy playing your cello with them. I love the thought of older people starting something new. Never say, "It's too late. I am too old"!

Melissa said...

Some of the best players in our orchestra are those who had put the instrument down for 30+ years and took it up again after seeing us play in concert. It's a wonderful second life for them.

Guanaco said...

There are very few adult "late starters" where I live, but I've come to know so many more through the blogosphere. I'll be looking forward to your writings on this topic so near and dear.

CelloGeek said...

That is an inspiring story! Please post a link after you write about it. I hope you enjoy playing the cello with the group!

Maricello said...

It is interesting to me that this piano teacher did not decide to teach older adults because there was a demand from potential students, or because she believed in the power of music for seniors. Rather, she is a mother of four school-aged children, and wanted to teach during the day when they were at school.

The interest was there though, because when she posted signs around town, people responded. And she has become very in tune with the needs and interests of seniors. She believes in their ability to learn and in the mental and social benefits of playing. And her students love her.

I wasn't going to mention that practical aspect (more or more convenient teaching hours for teachers), but perhaps it would help encourage teachers to reach out to seniors.

The next recital isn't until September, so I have time to find a piece with an appropriate piano part that I can play semi-brilliantly. I might even toy with the piano again. :-)