Become a PROFESSIONAL PIANIST while starting to play the piano late? Here are 5 things to succeed!

I’ll Share With You 5 Elements to Focus on so YOU CAN SUCCEED as I did!

by Lars Nelissen // updated: March 6, 2023

I’ll share with you 5 elements to focus on when starting to play the piano, so you can succeed to become a professional pianist.

Click and Read the Video Script

Watching this video, you probably started
to play the piano very recently.

Or you played piano already a while, but you
didn't do yet the real work for it, and now

you wanted to want to take it a little bit
more serious.

But you're wondering if it is not too late
to become really good?

And it's not so strange when you see on the
YouTube or recordings you see others play

difficult pieces, and it looks as if they
do it with such ease.

And you think I will never be able to play
like that, because you have to start to play

the piano when you're three or four years

Well, for those who believe really that, and
who promote that idea, I have to disappoint

them and prove them wrong!

And I can say that because I'm the living
proof of that.

I started to play the piano when I was 15
years old.

I didn't know anything about music.

I didn't play the piano, I didn't read notes,
I really started from zero.

But still I made it to go to the conservatory
when I was 19 years old.

In less than four years, three and a half
years, I learned to play Fantasy Impromptu

of Chopin, etudes of Chopin, Mozart sonatas,
and so on...

Everything that was needed for my entrance
exam, I did.

And I did my theory, music theory, solgège,
also I had to do that for the entrance exam.

And I was all able to do that.

But it took a lot of work!

But it's possible!

And in this video, I'm going to share with
you what it takes to really make such a progress.

If you're fascinated, everything, all the
doors are still open, because you know what

you are working at.

I was fascinated!

I listened to musical recordings because that
is an essential part of your piano learning.

Without listening to other great pianists,
you are just working in the blind.

Even if you have a good teacher, it's still
good to listen to the music for the future.

And I mean your future, because when I was
listening to let's say a sonata of Beethoven,

a difficult one, or a Chopin Ballade when
I was just started to play the piano, I was

listening that in a way; as music than I was
going to play myself one day.

It made me motivated!

And that's important; you have to motivate
yourself all the time.

And there's zero space for idling!

You have to work every day.

And there is zero space for self-doubt!

There was no doubt in me that I would not
be able to succeed in doing what I wanted

to do, and that was to become a pianist.

My environment was projecting on me: that
this is just a little bit silly and I will

probably come back from it, and eventually,
do something completely else.

But I didn't come back from this and I didn't
do something completely else.

I did exactly that and I succeeded in doing

The fascination is point number one, that
is very important to have.

And then we come to point number two: and
that is practicing hours.

You have to practice enough hours!

I was still in high school at the time, so
I'm mostly around three-four o'clock in the

afternoon, I came home from school.

I came home and I practiced and mostly until
in the later evening.

And I still felt I had time for doing hobbies.

It never felt as a pressure on me!

I was really fascinated and enjoyed practicing.

You need to have that!

But then we come to point number three and
that is: You have to have a plan!

You cannot just work blindly.

In the link in the description, I will have
linked the video, in which I will explain

five main points where I would spend most
of my time at, if I would start to play the

piano, from start, right now.

You have to be fascinated and you must feel
this drive in you to practice and to learn

and to study.

But you need to have a plan!

And it starts with, and that's Point number
4: to have a good balance between technique

and repertoire.

You cannot become an excellent pianist without
doing your technical work at the piano.

You need to do your exercises and you need
to do your etudes, and not just only play

the pieces that you like.

All the great pianists that you see out there
did a lot of technique work.

And you can take all kinds of exercises, from
Brahms, Hanon, Pischna.

And etudes, all kinds of etudes.

I would take a 50/50 division.

50 Percent of your time you work on technique
and the other fifty percent you work repertoire.

So let's say you work four hours; then you
work two hours on technique and another two

hours on repertoire.

I used to do one hour of exercises, without
exaggeration, I did with my stopwatch, every

day one hour of exercises.

In the beginning it was Hanon with my first
teacher, because he was a real believer of

Hanon and he was a believer in keeping the
fingers close to the keys.

And don't move your arm because it was all
extra movements, and you should avoid those.

This worked even against me!

Because it's a completely wrong way of playing
the piano.

And later when I went to Peter Simons, one-and-a-half
year after my first teacher, this last two

years before I went to the conservatory.

He taught me how to raise my fingers, how
to use my arm efficiently, how to make the

arm help the fingers solving pianistic problems.

And that freed up my playing!

And then I really started to skyrocket my

And not by trying to play with my fingers
so close to the keys.

And paying all attention not moving my arm.

That's really not a good way of playing.

But still, I learned quite a lot of things
with my first teacher.

Later on with my second teacher, I went to
do the exercises of Johannes Brahms, the 51


And they are all about finger-stretchings
and arm movements.

And they'll really open up your technique,
if done right!

One hour of that and one hour of etudes.

Or you can make it half an hour and one-and-a-half
hour of etudes.

Something like that!

But no less than half an hour of exercises.

Later on, when I did six hours of practice,
and even eight hours, I used to do three hours

of technique one hour exercises and two hours
of etudes, and then three hours of repertoire.

If I did seven hours or eight hours of practice,
then I still did three hours of technique.

I added the extra time to repertoire learning.

And then we come to the last point, the fifth
point and that is: "Take your theory seriously!"

Theory and ear training and solfège.

You really need it!

It's not just all only about fingers, it's
about memory, about understanding.

How you can memorize a piece if you don't
understand any chord?

How you can understand the piece and play
a piece, and memorize it, if you are not able

to sing its melody?

Or how you can remember a melody that you
cannot sing?

You don't have to sing as the greatest, but
you just need to sing as a normal human being


Because we're all born with the voice!

You should be able to sing a melody!

It makes sense, no?

What you don't memorize is lost!

And then somehow it will slow down your progress.

If these five elements are there, I think
you can still become an excellent pianist.

Even if you started in your teens or even
early 20s.

Ignacy Paderewski, he was 24 when he started
to pick up piano seriously.

He played a little bit before, but it wasn't
it was no good.

But of Ignacy Paderewski can be easily said
that he was in his time the most famous, celebrated,

and rich pianist.

Because he even had his private train to go
on tour in the United States.

He was very famous!

And later even appeared in Hollywood movies.

So it's not too late!

But you have to do the work.

It doesn't come by itself.

But you also have to do the work when you
start very young and early.

If you don't do the work, you will also not

Talent is not going to save you.

But hard work, that is going to to to be your
best ally!

Check out my other videos on my channel.

I like to make videos about piano technique
and about piano playing, and tutorials about

piano pieces to help people like you to learn
to play the piano better.

So if you didn't subscribe yet?

Consider hitting that subscribe button, and
the bell, so that you don't miss out on my

newest videos!

And boop that like button if you like this

So to let other people know that this is a
good video and they will watch it too and

benefit from it.

And then I'll see you next time!


If you are a teenage or adult piano beginner and just started the play the piano and have some ambition to become a professional pianist or at least an excellent player at the piano, then this video is for you! 

You started the piano ‘late,’ and around you, you see many young pianists playing already so well. It is a bit intimidating, isn’t it, as a starter? I know because I was there. But there is no need to feel discouraged taking up the challenge of becoming an excellent pianist. And is it really late to be a concert pianist?

In this video, I’ll share with you 5 elements to focus on so you can succeed as I did. I started to play the piano late. I was already 15 years old and couldn’t even play or read any music. But I had a passion for listening to music. I started to take lessons, and less than 4 years later, when I was 19, I took entrance examinations at different conservatories, including Maastricht and Amsterdam. I was admitted as a professional piano student for all these conservatories.

I chose to study in Maastricht because of the teacher Avi Schönfeld, himself a pupil of Arthur Rubinstein, Vlado Perlemuter, Ilona Vince-Krauze, and Yvonne Lefébure. I studied for 7 years with Avi Schönfeld. It is the best choice I could make, and I’m still grateful for it today!

Let me help you to achieve your dream of becoming an excellent pianist.

Don't miss out and sign up for the latest blogs and news!

My Story

Piano learning Lars Nelissen van Gasselt Piano Fantasy

As a young teenager, I started to learn the piano and fell in love with this instrument. Although I was a late starter, I knew that I wanted to play professional. So I worked hard and became a student of Rubinstein's pupil Avi Schönfeld at the conservatory. Only playing the piano for about four years when starting my professional piano studies, I needed a system to catch in my lost years. I was in luck, Avi Schönfeld, who we easily may call a genius in understanding piano playing, gave me that system that I needed so much. Here I am to share with you...

Don't miss out and sign up for the latest articles and news!

Check out these articles:

What Nobody Told You About Erik Satie Gymnopédie 1
IMPROVE YOUR PIANO SOUND in Kabalevsky’s Magical “Lullaby”
19 Piano Exercises for the WEAK FINGERS!
Learn Big Piano Chords in Chopin Prelude Opus 28 no. 20
3 Methods to Warm Up Your Fingers Before Playing the Piano
Learn to Play Piano Scales Very FAST and BRILLANT

Let me know what you think?

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

E-Book Super Fingers Essential Piano Technique Available Now 

NOT JUST A BOOK, but a system of piano technique!
These exercises are created to unleash the super finger powers of any eager learner.

Free Download

Get a Preview of Super Fingers Exercises for Free!

Success message!
Warning message!
Error message!