Different Strokes For Different Folks
So far, weve discussed some important skills you need to develop if youre interested in learning to play piano. Before getting into your study options, theres something I need to get out of the way.
I have pretty strong opinions on my favorite approach to learning piano. Also, I teach piano a certain way and Im proud of the resources Ive developed. Therefore, hopefully you can appreciate that Im here to share what works for me and my students.
That said, I understand that not everyone is the same. People have different goals and different learning styles. Some have fairly straightforward needs, while others prefer a lot of flexibility. I hear from everyone from stay-at-home parents, to world travelers, to CEO and retirees. So I get it, and I understand that the best way to learn piano for one person might not be the best choice for someone else.
As you read through the top methods for learning how to play piano, keep an open mind. Its important to think through your options, and then make an informed decision. You are the best judge of your own needs and goals.
Use Teaching Software And Apps
Learning how to play the piano through software or an app will incorporate tutorial videos and other resources that you can download and use. While they wont teach you the comprehensive musical theory of piano playing like sight-reading, they do stand out for reasons of their own.
These resources are all available on your phone, tablet or computer. They have a dedicated platform on systems like Mac, Windows and Android. Some of the programs also have plug-in connectivity which means you can sync your digital piano to the software. Your device will be able to see what youre playing and then provide feedback as you play.
Many traditional piano players are put off by the use of technology and software in their learning. They feel that learning piano digitally takes away the full experience and even diminishes the value of musicality.
Easy And Effective Steps To Learn Piano
Learning piano can be quite simple and easy if you follow a basic outline. Following these steps to learn piano will help make sure you make the most of your time.
- Choosing the proper instrument
- Learning useful music theory like rhythm, melody, and dynamics
- Basic piano fundamentals like piano keys, chords, and notes
- And solid technique that includes finger positions and intervals
Additionally, by following a guide you can be sure that you build some sort of cohesive and practical foundation. Check out the steps to learn piano and get started on your piano journey today!
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How To Teach Yourself Piano
One of the best compliments I received while teaching class piano was a student saying, After taking the last class, I realize that trying to learn by myself with online videos is not the way.
This is a guide packed full of tips for folks trying to figure out how to get better at piano without lessons, and for you if you want to teach yourself piano. I hope that by the end of this piece, you will have chosen the best way to learn piano at home for you.
Fear not, this is not a rant against youtube videos or piano apps. I think those are great tools to supplement learning. Using a learning app can guide and structure your practice and learning in a way that is very helpful in this age of competitive information. I use youtube videos to learn styles of music that Im not as familiar with, because they give me essential stylistic information that you cant get from the music notation. Absolutely use these tools to grow your piano playing!
The huge difference between personal learning tools and lessons with a teacher is the curated individual feedback that you get. A good teacher giving private piano lessons for adults will hear where you are stuck and give you the tools to move through that sticky spot. A great teacher will make the practice for those challenging sections fun and rewarding to work through. Taking a piano class or taking remote piano lessons will catalyze your learning and embed structure and accountability into your piano journey.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star/the Alphabet Song
In case you havent already noticed, these two songs are basically the same but with more or fewer notes. Therefore, if you learn one, you will also know the other. I know these are little kids songs, but learning them helps you to know the basics, so, these are great songs to start you off on your musical journey. Its very easy to learn, and its probably already stamped in your head.
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What Should You Look For In Online Piano Lessons
The answer to this really depends on what you want to get out of the experience. Can you already play a bit and just want to learn a few songs to impress people at the next office party? Are you a complete beginner who wants to progress through the ranks to a high standard? Or are you just looking for a good way for your kids to learn the basics of the piano?
Truth be told, almost any online piano teaching site worth looking at will cater for the whole range of abilities and aspirations, from complete novice to advanced player. The best sites offer a combination of archived video content, usually structured as courses according to skill level, and bespoke software to deliver structured learning with progress tracking and instant visual feedback. Flexible, good value subscription plans are important, and many sites offer a free trial period – at least 7 days, often more – or introductory content so that you can see if the system works for you, or even if piano is the right instrument for you in the first place!
Piano With Willie: A Good Solid Series Of Lessons For Adults
PianoWithWillie is available for purchase on a monthly, quarterly or annual subscription basis. It isnt the most cost-effective online piano course, but there are thousands of lessons that help you learn a variety of music genres, including jazz, blues, gospel, latin, funk, rock and classical.
There are also lessons on how to improvise and arrange music, which are rare topics for online piano courses. One-on-one Skype lessons are available for people who still want the personal attention normally associated with face-to-face piano instruction.
We recommend this software more for adults than young children because of the lack of progress tracking. PianoWithWillie works better with self-motivated individuals who complete practice lessons without being prompted by the software. However, it does track your progress within each lesson and displays a percentage of completion before you start the next lesson.
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The Three Legs Of The Stool Of Learning To Play Piano
1. The IntellectualThe intellectual leg of the stool refers to facts about piano playing such as how many notes there are in music, the pattern of a Major scale, what the intervals are in a chord, etc. These are simply facts that you understand on a cognitive level.2. The AuralThe aural leg refers to your sense of hearing. This isnt necessarily play by ear which I covered earlier, but would tie into it. What the aural leg refers to is hearing what your playing and recognizing the variations of the sounds. If you play a Major chord, it will sound one way, a minor chord sounds different, a diminished chord will sound more different than both of these. One of the most important aspects of the aural leg is hearing when you play a wrong note. This comes very naturally and your ears are a lot smarter than you realize.3. The kinestheticThe kinesthetic leg is one in which most piano instructors dont discuss because theyre not aware of it . This is probably the most fascinating aspect of piano playing because of how it relates to everything else that we physically do.
A good example of kinesthetic sense can be taught to us by a mouse. Mice seek to find food sources in a familiar environment so they can easily commute. But theyre not able to do it very well visually.
Mice have poor vision and cant see farther than about 20 feet in front of their face. Theyre also color blind and to make things more difficult for them, they cant see sharp images.
Play Slow In The Beginning
You arent a master musician yet. Its okay if you dont play your music fast.
Before you start working on speed, make sure you are accurate. Spend your time making sure you hit all the right notes.
As you rack of practice time, muscle memory will start kicking in. When this happens, you should see your speed begin to get better.
Until then, take things slow and do things right.
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Best Ways To Learn How To Play Piano
Piano an instrument that inspires joy, awe, and quite a bit of intimidation. What is it about the piano that causes so many different reactions? And why do so many people want to learn how to play piano, but never do?
These are some of the questions Ive asked myself over the years. But if youre new here, your number one question is probably a bit simpler:
Can I learn how to play piano?
Youve come to the right place, because Im more than happy to walk you through your options and help you find the best fit for you. Your journey into piano learning doesnt have to be scary or confusing. Believe it or not, anyone with the right training can learn how to play the piano in as little as 21 days.
What If You Are Tone Deaf
Unfortunately, numerous individuals are tone-deaf, meaning they cant distinguish between sounds. However, just because you are not able to perceive tones now, doesnt mean you have to give up your dream to become a musician you can learn how to identify tones.
First, take the tone-deaf test to find out if you really are tone-deaf. This test was created by professional musician-educators with many years of experience in the music industry based on scientific research in tone-deafness. You might be surprised to find that you are not completely tone-deaf.
If you pass, great! However, even if you fail, youre still not out of the Ballpark, there are many online resources to help you learn how to distinguish and recognize tones Musical U is one of them. And dont forget there is still one thing that can help you to be a great musician even if you are tone-deaf and thats memory.
Playing by memory, put into another perspective, is a way that you can fake it until you learn to play by ear. Its what you can do when all else fails, but you should continue to work on recognizing tones while playing by memory.
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Play With Other People
After some time, its a good idea to find other people to practice around or with.
Ask a more experienced piano player if they want to get together and practice, or if they have any resources that helped them learn.
Once you start making progress, do mini performances for people, even if its your family. They will be able to tell you what sounds great and what could use a little tweaking.
Last, consider taking piano lessons with a piano instructor. An instructor will give you hands-on coaching, accountability for learning the instrument, and teach you how to correct pacing. Plus, if you teach yourself the basics, a piano teacher will help expedite the process to you playing some simple songs you really want to learn!
One good set that many adult beginners have used is the Alfred Self-Teaching Adult Piano Beginners Kit. While you might only want to learn how to play current popular music, a piano teacher might introduce you to other genres such as classical music or jazz music.
Practice Mistake : Failing To Revise Pieces To Maintain A Repertoire
Having made the above point that just playing through material you already know and can play easily can be a cop-out that is not really piano practice, the opposite is just as common for some students.
It may surprise you to know that many students, once they have learned a piece, are disinclined to ever play / practice it again, instead preferring to always push ahead to the next new piece.
This addiction to completing lessons / levels is, for some students, part of the appeal of Musiah online piano lessons.
But it can lead to a scenario where students are unable to play anything for family / friends / visitors because the student has not yet finished the piece they are currently learning, and they have forgotten much of the pieces they have learned recently because they have not made a point of going over them occasionally to maintain a repertoire of say 5 songs they can play upon demand.So there is a balance to be reached here.
At least once a week, allocate some time for refreshing your memory by revising some of the pieces you have already learned not so you can get out of practicing / learning something new, but for the specific purpose of maintaining a repertoire that will enable you to share what you have learned with others.
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Best Way To Learn Piano Final Thoughts
Finding the best way to learn piano is ultimately down to you. Hopefully, the ideas presented here will help you whittle out what it is you are looking for as an individual.
All pathways have their advantages and disadvantages and at the end of the day, money could be the real decider.
There is plenty to say about traditional piano lessons, they give you an advantage over those going it alone, but in modern times we are all turning to tech, and currently finding a tutor to visit might be far from feasible.
An online piano lesson platform with a good mixture of resources and the right balance of music theory and practical song-based study could be the answer!
Some provide the option of a private tutor for an extra fee. Most of them have free trial periods so test the water and try them before you buy to see which one you prefer.
I Want To Play With My Kids And Help Them Learn Too
Theres a standard piano system designed for this exact goal: the Suzuki method, invented in the 1940s by the Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki. The theory is that children learn music the same way they learn language through immersion, play, and parental involvement. They dont initially teach music in terms of reading notes. They first teach to play by ear, says Rose Crichton-White, director of marketing and development at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. Theres this Suzuki triangle, which is made up of the parents, the child, and the teacher, she says. Parents take lessons with their children, or learn some music before their children start, so the child can learn at home.
Suzuki isnt the only option. Keylab has a coaching package that helps parents teach their children using a personalized set of supplies, and the Diller-Quaile School of Music offers programs that involve the students families and friends.
One Great Teacher: Tobias Meinhart, Tone Academy of MusicTone Academy is a Suzuki school, which means every child there attends classes with a parent, but Meinhart also specializes in adults. One adult student liked the lessons so much she kept going after her daughter quit.
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Utilizing Software And Apps
Learning keyboard skills through software and apps incorporates videos and other features, as the previous online learning methods will do, but they do so with a special twist.
Flowkeys user interface
With variations, these options teach basic keyboard concepts and enable you to play a wide range of popular tunes. Many of them do not teach comprehensive music theory, sight-reading, improvisational style, or sight-reading skills.
Nevertheless, these software alternatives stand out for two noteworthy reasons.
First, they provide dedicated software and apps across popular operating systems, including Windows , Mac OS , Android , and in some cases even Steam, making these learning resources available on your computers, tablets and phones.
These programs also feature plug-in connectivity enabling you to sync your electronic keyboard to your phone, tablet, or computer.
This enables your device to hear what you are playing and provide constructive, interactive feedback along the way, with corresponding, onscreen visuals such as finger hints, misplayed notes and hand assignments.
Online videos cannot provide this feature. Furthermore, some of these options even offer support for lighted keyboards, illuminating the keys to your song in real time.
Skoove Best For Pop Music
Get well-acquainted with this interactive piano learning app!
Skoove is a piano learning app that combines video lectures, AI teaching, and personal support from piano teachers.
Its a great way of working on your piano skills, especially if youre a beginner or need a reminder of some music theory.
First of all, Skoove listens to you play and provides feedback, exactly like Flowkey and Playground Sessions . You can connect it via MIDI, Bluetooth, or microphone.
Video lessons are clear, interactive, and easy to follow, and with the split-screen method, youll be able to learn notes while seeing someone play the piano.
Courses are divided into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced categories so they are adjusted to your level of experience.
With Premium membership, youll gain access to special courses and more piano lessons.
Content and benefits
Although its similar to Flowkey and Playground Sessions , Skoove will teach you songs in the very first few lessons. At the same time, youll be learning notes. Reading sheet music is crucial if you want to be a good piano player or learn new songs easily!
The app also focuses on important elements that are sometimes neglected in virtual piano lectures. For example, the beginner course starts off with an explanation of hand positioning.
With Premium membership, youll gain access to special courses and more piano lessons.
What Sets Skoove Apart From Other Platforms?
Who is Skoove Best For?
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