How to Learn to Play Piano: Exploring the Many Options Available to You

Posted by Gordon Bolton
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girl learning to play piano

“Where words fail, music speaks.” – Hans Christian Andersen

Throughout the ages, people have turned to music to lift their spirits and calm their nerves. It has the power to alter our state of mind and make the effects of a horrible day seemingly melt away. It speaks to celebrations, sorrows, and any number of other significant occasions.

When we need a release from the world around us or want to connect with other people, all we have to do is turn on the radio or pull up our favorite music downloads on our phones. Some people even prefer to resort to ye olde CDs for comfort or joy. Of course, when you can make music with your own two hands, you empower yourself to unleash its full potential.

Making the Piano Speak Through You

Several musical instruments are out there waiting for someone to make them speak, but the piano is one of the most popular. Playing the piano can have a significant impact on your mental and emotional well-being. It can also allow you to convey feelings that words can’t begin to express. If you’ve been thinking of learning to play, there’s no better time than the present to start. Several options are available to aspiring pianists, so you’re bound to find one that works for you.

Traditional Piano Lessons

In-person piano lessons are a tried-and-true method for learning to play piano. For centuries, people have turned to experienced musicians to teach them their craft. Now that the pandemic seems to be winding down and the Earth is no longer standing still, meeting with a piano teacher for traditional lessons is once again an option. Maybe it’s time to bring your piano out of storage, dust off the keys, and start scheduling lessons.

For some people, face-to-face lessons are the most effective option. Many of us need the motivation that comes from working side-by-side with a knowledgeable instructor who will encourage us and guide us through the learning process. In-person lessons give piano teachers the opportunity to help students with finger placement, timing, sight-reading, and many other important elements.

Online Piano Lessons

These days, working with an instructor doesn’t necessarily mean traveling to piano lessons and having an instructor by your side in the physical sense. Thanks to the internet, virtual meetings, and other advancements, it’s possible to take real-time piano lessons with an experienced pianist from the comfort of our own homes.

This is the perfect option for people who don’t have the time or means to drive to a piano teacher’s location. It’s also great for those who need more flexible scheduling options than face-to-face lessons allow. If you’re one of the many people who want to learn to play the piano but don’t have any local instructors to turn to, online lessons are certainly the way to go.

If you’re interested in taking online lessons, you’ll need to have a computer, internet connection, webcam, and piano at home. These lessons work in much the same way as in-person instruction, but you’ll meet with your teacher online. They offer similar benefits as the traditional approach, such as being able to watch your instructor in action and learn from their experience.

Video Tutorials

Some of us get a bit nervous when working with a teacher one-on-one. Others might have packed schedules and can’t fit in a lesson during normal business hours. In some cases, having the flexibility to be able to learn at our own pace when we have a few extra minutes is essential.

For those who fit into these categories, video tutorials might be the answer. They’re similar to online lessons, but they’re recorded sessions rather than live ones. You can pull up these tutorials whenever you have a little free time and energy. If need be, you can rewind them to go over lessons you don’t quite understand the first time around or fast-forward through points you already know.

Self-Teaching

Maybe you already know how to read sheet music but have never tried to apply your knowledge to the piano. If that’s the case, you may be able to teach yourself to play. Watching some video tutorials or reading helpful articles on how to find middle C on the keyboard would be a good place to start.

From there, you can learn how to locate the other keys that correspond with notes on your sheet music. If you’ve never played an instrument before, teaching yourself to play may be a bit difficult. After all, it takes a great deal of coordination and practice to make your hands work together and transform individual notes into music. Still, learning on your own certainly isn’t impossible.

Let the Piano Teach You

When we think of pianos, many of us picture conventional baby grands or upright models. Electronic keyboards might come to mind as well. Having said that, today’s electronic pianos are far more advanced than many people realize. They’re equipped with complex software and other components that truly make them modern marvels.

Certain modern digital pianos actually contain the technology to help you learn how to play. Some have digital readouts that show you which notes to play and when to play them. Others have keys that light up, so you can simply follow along on the keyboard itself. In either case, you can pull up pre-programmed songs and let the piano teach you how to play them.

You may not learn to read sheet music with this strategy, but you’ll certainly be able to play any number of songs with time and practice. Keep in mind, though, electronic pianos as advanced as these don’t come cheap. They can cost anywhere from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.

Bringing Out the Musician in You

Being able to play the piano allows you to unleash the power of music and bring out your inner strength and emotion. Today, there are more options than ever for those who want to learn how to play. From taking traditional in-person lessons to letting the piano itself teach you, the possibilities are endless.

If you’re not quite ready to learn to play or you’re saving that piano for the next generation, preserving it in the best way possible is crucial. Consider hiring an experienced piano storage company to safely move it to a climate-controlled environment until the right time comes around. Otherwise, mull over your options and choose the learning method that best suits your needs. Before you know it, you’ll be able to make the piano speak what’s in your heart.

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