Take the 2-minute tour ×
Music: Practice & Theory Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for musicians, students, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I started learning to play classical piano 6 months ago, at 27 years of age. Although I did not play the piano at all prior to this, I have been listening to classical piano and attending concerts for several years.

In these six months, I have made some progress, and in particular can now play the Chopin E-minor prelude (Op. 28 No. 4) and a Clementi sonatina reasonably well. I only have enough time to practice for about an hour a day.

Examples of my 'dream' pieces are Chopin's 4th ballade, the Liszt B-minor sonata, and Rachmaninoff's 3rd piano concerto. Don't scoff at me - I have come to realize that it is simply not realistic for a 27-year old beginner to expect to ever play these, depressing as that sounds.

It is clear to me that there are limits of adult learning. (I don't think any person who started the piano at an age above 10 or 12 has ever played Rach3 in the 100+ years that it has been composed.)

Instead of harboring the above grandiose and foolish aspirations, what are reasonable 1-year, 2-year, 5-year, 10-year and 20-year goals I can set for myself? (I am looking for 1-2 pieces suggestive of the level of difficulty at each milestone.)

share|improve this question

closed as too localized by Matthew Read Apr 3 '13 at 15:12

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

If you really like these works you can do it. There are effective ways to practice the piano (and any other instrument) which maximize your progress for the time spent. Check out this eye opening book by one Chuan C. Chang. –  Kaz Apr 3 '13 at 3:08
Chang believes that people in the 20-35 year age range can become concert pianists. –  Kaz Apr 3 '13 at 3:17
> I don't think any person who started the piano at an age above 10 or 12 has ever played Rach3 - Says who? Go ask on Pianoworld.com forums and see for yourself. (There are literally thousands of people who started playing as adults there.) I'll bet you're wrong. –  Stephen Hazel Apr 3 '13 at 4:04
The only limitation here is your practice time. At an hour a day, you probably won't be able to learn those "dream" pieces, at least not within a reasonable timeframe. As you start to play pieces that are more than 5-10 minutes in length you'll notice that it takes more practice time to absorb everything. That said, don't despair! If you can make more practice time, work hard, and enjoy learning, you can do it. Kids have simply logged more hours of practice time before they become working adults -- that's the biggest difference. –  terpsichore Apr 3 '13 at 4:15
I also disagree that this question is too localized. I am sure there are many many adult piano learners interesting in knowing what reasonable long-term goals are. –  Velvet Ghost Apr 3 '13 at 17:56