September 4, 2021

About the Author: Celine Gaurier-Joubert

Founder of The London Piano Institute, Celine Gaurier-Joubert is a concert pianist and one of the world’s leading experts on piano education for adults.

Many adults sadly do not get into piano playing, despite their burning desire to learn how to play their favourite instrument, or never get back to it after a long break. Others give up after a few months because they think that they are too busy at work to justify their piano lessons.

Throughout my career I have met a large number of adults who never made their dream come true due to some wrong beliefs. As others succeeded greatly and manage to run both a successful career as TV producer, banker or lawyer and brilliant piano studies, I wanted to discuss the issues that several adults seem to face.

hands playing the piano

You Are Not Too Busy

I do not believe that it is ever possible to be too busy to be able to enjoy what you enjoy most. If you get well-organised, there is always a way to make some adjustments and make your dreams come true.

Life is not all about your professional achievement. Doing something for yourself and spending time improving yours skills in a field that matters to you will definitely help you become a much happier and balanced person.

It is all about being well-organised and eliminating tasks that are not so important. We all have 24 hours each day and it is up to us to make the best out of it.

Have you ever heard about the International Competition for Outstanding Piano Amateurs that takes place in Paris each year? If not, I invite you to make some research. It is fascinating to watch and listen to surgeons, judges, CEOs of extremely large companies play the piano at an extremely high standard. It always captivates and inspires me to see that men and women who work about 16 hours a day master a repertoire that includes some of the most difficult piano pieces. They are absolutely amazing and surely prove that having a demanding career is not an excuse for those who have a burning desire to start learning the piano or get back to it after several years.

woman writing music

Have a Look at Your Daily Life and Get Organised

If you closely analyse your daily routine, you will quickly realise that there is more time in a day than you have probably ever thought. You could either wake up earlier, sleep a bit later or reduce the time you spend chit chatting with friends and colleagues.

Managing a demanding career and your piano studies can easily be done if you use your imagination.

It is all about having a clear goal in mind and having the discipline to follow through. If you plan your days ahead, you will soon realise that you can actually squeeze an hour of daily practice.

If you are about to give up the idea of taking piano lessons because you think that it can be daunting to find a hour-window, why don’t you divide your practice sessions in two, three or four parts?

You could for instance practise 15 minutes in the morning before work, 15 minutes at lunchtime, 15 minutes straight after work and 15 minutes before going to bed?

Practising for a short period at a time is extremely powerful! I would actually recommend arranging your schedule in this manner to ensure that you are 100% focus and that you make the best out of your practice time.

I will never forget what my philosophy teacher told me once when I was preparing for the A-level. I did not study a text from Descartes as I claimed not to have had any time. She told me: “It is not true. You had time. You choose not to make time for it!”

man traveling

Business Trips or The Well-Known Commuting Issue

Some adults give up the idea of taking piano lessons as they think about the obstacles that could come their way. Instead of thinking of ways to make it possible, they prefer focusing on the reasons why it will impossible. They are worried about finding the time to practise but also about the time spent to go to a piano school or a teacher’s studio. They also add their business trips in the mix to convince themselves that attending piano lessons isn’t a good idea.

We have discovered that practising is not an issue if you get organised and eliminate all unnecessary daily activities. I am glad to let you know that the new technology offers a solution to this problem: What don’t you take online piano lessons?

Some people are still very reluctant to attend their piano lessons via Skype, Zoom or Facetime but I can assure you that it is a fantastic alternative. The technology is now so advanced that there is no delay and that an in-person or online lesson is very similar.

Thanks to remote piano lessons, you can eliminate all commuting time and take your lessons at your residence whenever it is convenient for you. If you are travelling for work, you can also attend your lessons in your hotel room and work with your instructor on another aspect of piano playing. Isn’t it a better use of your time than spending the evening having small talks at the bar with your colleagues?

male hands playing the piano

Some Give Up at The First Obstacles

Despite my encouragements, I have met a few people who gave up piano playing as soon as their life got busier at work and I always thought that it was a real shame. Being a careerist is wonderful but as I said earlier, life is not all about work!

What a shame to give up piano playing due to a project at work!

I have always told my students not to stop but to look at the situation differently. Instead of giving up, you can practise a bit less during this period and maintain your knowledge.

As you know, things always change in life so losing your technical abilities or forgetting what was so hard to learn would be heartbreaking once things calm down…

Piano playing is wonderful and I believe that you can achieve your goals if you stick at it and put everything in place to make it possible. You are welcome to look at the obstacles but overcome them instead of succumbing to them!

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