You want to learn to play the piano. What are your options? In what ways can you learn it? And what is the best way for you to learn to play the piano?
Here you will learn the pros and cons of different methods. So you can choose what suits you. Therefore it is recommended to read the entire article. This takes no more than 5 minutes and can save a lot of time and money and prevent disappointment.
In short: the best way to learn to play the piano is the one that suits you best. With your budget and your way of learning and living. But what are your options?
WAYS TO LEARN TO PLAY PIANO
- teach yourself
- private teacher
- music school
- online course
First of all, we need to determine what is actually most important in learning something in general, and playing the piano in particular.
If you really want to learn to play the piano, you will most likely succeed.
Some talent for music in general and playing the piano in particular is a bonus. You will learn it faster and easier.
But if you really want to learn to play the piano, you will persevere. Even if things don’t work out. It’s a bit tricky.
That motivation can come purely from yourself. But a good teacher who inspires you can also motivate you enormously.
Of course you need an instrument to learn to play the piano. And you have options in that too. You can read all about it here.
In any case, the instrument should not hinder your progress. But it is more fun and better if your instrument inspires and motivates you.
Practice makes perfect. It is better to practice for 5 minutes every day than once a week for half an hour.
Why? New connections, new pathways have to be created in your brain. For every new skill.
It takes some time for such a path in your brain to form. How much time depends on how often it is “walked”. But especially how regularly. Walking the path a hundred times in an hour seems like a quick way. But if it is then not walked for a long time, the path just grows closed again.
It will work!
Practicing every day – if possible of course – ensures that the path in your brain is slowly but surely (!!!) constructed.
And especially that “surely” is important. If you keep trying, it will eventually work.
That’s why motivation is so important.
In order to learn to play the piano, the order in which new information is presented is especially important.
That’s like building a house.
First, the foundation must be laid. The base. And it better be solid.
Only then can something be built up layer by layer. In the right order. You can’t put the roof on a foundation and then try to stuff the rest of the house in between.
That order of building, the order of supplying new information, is crucial.
In addition, it is crucial that you are offered all essential parts in the beginning. Otherwise your foundation will miss essential parts and the house of cards will eventually collapse.
That is why searching the internet for great tips and facts makes very little sense. You are not an expert (otherwise you no longer have to learn it).
In “construction language”: you are not a construction engineer. Before you know it, you are working on a dormer window without knowing whether that load-bearing wall of yours can handle it. The consequences are obvious.
You learn the best, easiest and fastest, step by step. The steps are offered to you by an expert with – preferably, because of the overview that comes over the years – years of experience.
And it is not until you really master and understand a step that you take the next step. If you don’t, you will automatically get in trouble.
You can teach yourself to play the piano. In practice this rarely works, but theoretically it is possible.
Or figure out everything purely by ear.
Or watch free movies on the internet. YouTube for example. That is really not advisable. As said: the quality and sequence of the steps (method) is crucial.
Everything is possible. Everything is allowed. Freedom happiness. But seriously. Do not.
You do not get a good basis and that works against you throughout your “piano life”. Unlearning is much more difficult than learning.
Especially methods to learn to play the piano without reading notes should be avoided.
It’s fun to learn songs through a method. But learning to play songs on a piano is not the same as learning to play the piano.
Learning to play the piano really means that you can eventually learn new sheet music at your level completely independently.
Teaching yourself to play the piano is of course the cheapest method. However?
The price is stumbling, struggling and frustration. That’s quite a price to pay. The most expensive “method”. In addition, you don’t get what you actually want: being able to play the piano.
The luxury option. Costs the most. Can be very effective. Personal guidance and direct feedback.
All options stand or fall with the quality and motivation of the teacher. But a good private tutor is a great choice. Provided your budget allows it (after all, it is by far the most expensive option), going to the teacher is no problem and you can find a time together that suits you.
Learning to play the piano: what is the best way?
$ 30 for a half-hour lesson is a very normal rate. With 20 lessons in a year (less than once every 2 weeks) you are on $ 600. If you would like weekly lessons, you would have lost more than $ 1000 per year.
At music schools you usually have the choice of group lessons or private lessons. Group lessons mean less personal attention, but are often cheaper and possibly more fun.
Moreover, lessons at a music school are usually cheaper than regular private lessons.
If there is a good music school in your area, that is certainly a good option. Provided you can afford it and fit it into your schedule. The lesson times are even less flexible (almost not) than those of a private teacher.
In any case, at a music school you will receive systematic lessons and direct feedback on what you are doing.
On average, lessons at a music school cost about $ 500 per year. You will receive a maximum of 40 lessons for that. About half the price of private lessons.
ONLINE PIANO CLASSES
This is the biggest disadvantage of online piano lessons. You don’t have a teacher who looks over your shoulder at what you are doing.
The big advantage of online courses? You don’t have a teacher who looks over your shoulder or gets angry when you haven’t done anything for a while.
What is pleasant for one person is an abomination to another.
But there are even more benefits to online courses.
For example, they are usually much cheaper than the other options. You don’t have to travel for it. Plays on your own trusted instrument. In your own familiar environment. Can take classes whenever you want. As often as you want.
A big advantage is that you can view online lessons as often as necessary. Unless you record and listen to all the lessons – which is not user-friendly in practice – lessons at a music school or with a private teacher simply pass by. And you forget things. How did that go? How did he do that?
You will not be bothered by this with an online course. The online teacher is available at any time. And explains it the 10th time just as patiently as the 1st. A huge advantage.
Prices vary widely. And whatever you get for it.
So online piano lessons are say 2 to 4 times cheaper than piano lessons at a music school and 4 to 8 times cheaper than private lessons.
Incidentally, that has not much to do with how many hours of video an online course consists of. Education is not entertainment. An online course is not Netflix. It is meant to learn something.
In principle, as a teacher you can easily convey something in 1 minute that the student can then enjoy for a week or more. So don’t just focus on the number of hours of video in a course you can get for your money.
Always go for quality and a teacher and method that appeals to you. The goal is ultimately that you really learn to play the piano. Without unnecessary struggles and unnecessary frustration.
WHAT TO CHOOSE?
Choose what suits your personality, agenda and budget.
If you have the time and money and travel is not a (big) problem, you can choose what you want. Just whatever feels best for you.
Are you short on time? Little money? Or do you dread traveling? Then an online course is really the solution. But look carefully because there is quite a difference in the range. A trial lesson and a satisfaction guarantee (not satisfied, money back) are important.
For the vast majority of people, a digital piano and an online course are a great solution. They make learning to play the piano accessible to people for whom it would otherwise be inaccessible. And handy for those who would otherwise be inconvenient.
But this is about the best way to learn to play the piano. The best way for you is the way you can afford and stick with it. And you keep motivating.
Experience shows that a good teacher for you (online, at a music school or in private) is someone you trust and inspire.
Do you remember the most important factors?
Motivation and practice.
An acoustic or digital piano is perfect, but you can also start on a simple keyboard.