Adult Student Profile: Alysia Stiles Kinsella

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“I allow myself room to take things at a pace I can handle so lessons don’t become stressful.”


After her kids started piano and voice lessons, Alysia Stiles Kinsella got a hankering for lessons of her own. She’d taken piano once in her twenties, but it was time for a fresh (re)start.

After her teenage daughter decided to take a break from lessons, Alysia slid into her spot with piano and voice teacher Audie Lomboy. Her daughter’s break didn’t last long, but Alysia enjoyed her lessons so much that she kept on, too.

Read on to learn more about Alysia’s experience, and her advice for other parents suffering from music-lesson-envy!

What’s your favorite thing about piano lessons?

First, I just really like to be able to play songs on the piano and have them sound like actual music. I enjoy that I am able to play something that sounds pretty.

Second, I enjoy working with Audie because he lets me determine what I want to accomplish without undue pressure. He makes the whole process enjoyable.

What’s your favorite thing to play so far?

I am only in my second book, so I don’t have too many favorites. I enjoy when I first start a song and it doesn’t sound like much, but as I continue to practice, it turns into a song I actually recognize.

Audie is going to arrange Fix You by Coldplay for me, which is one of my favorite songs so I am looking forward to learning that. (My daughter played and sang that a year or so ago.) Hopefully I can get it down well enough that I can play and she or my son can sing.

What’s a challenge about taking music lessons as an adult?

Time! I am a full-time working mom plus have a dog who seems to be mostly my responsibility. 🙂

I travel sometimes and have a lot going on. Plus we have to fit three people practicing on the piano, and no one wants to hear piano all night (as much as we might enjoy it)!

Do you think there are any special advantages to taking lessons at this stage in your life?

I allow myself room to take things at a pace I can handle so lessons don’t become stressful. The point is to enjoy them. If that means one week– because I was travelling or had something else going on– my first practice is my next lesson, it is what it is. The next week I try to do better.

Any advice for other adults thinking about taking lessons?

Just try it for a month or two. The worst that can happen is that you decide it isn’t for you, or it isn’t for you right now. As we get older, it’s important to continue to try new things and learn new skills. It keeps us sharp!

Check out another great adult student profile with Keith Weinberg.

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