Succeeding With Piano Lessons as an Adult Learner

Succeeding With Piano Lessons as an Adult Learner

Remember when you took piano lessons as a child? Maybe you suggested it to your parents. Maybe they pushed you into them. Yet, at some point, life got in the way, and you gave up piano to pursue other things. 

Now, as an adult, you’re contemplating what hobbies to take on. And playing the piano has surfaced as a skill you want to pursue. 

With a few tips in mind, there are ways you can bring it into your life and work on being a better piano player. It’s not impossible to learn, no matter what your age. 

Find a good teacher

Teaching comes in a variety of media formats today. It doesn’t mean you’ll have to head to your local music store anymore. Instead, you can search online and find many different programs virtually too. Consider private lessons as well as group learning, as they each have their own benefits. It’s important to select the right teacher, one who understands adult learning, and won’t pair you with a younger audience you’re not comfortable around. 

Look at other platforms

You can find ways to improve your playability in a variety of means. Download an app. Play a game. Watch a video course. Or even check out your local orchestra for musical theory. Becoming a better piano player isn’t just about playing. It’s also about understanding the way music is created. 

Create a practice environment

Like any hobby, the only way you’ll get better is if you practice. Schedule it if you have to. Then stick with a plan. Make it a time you enjoy playing, one where you can relax and focus on your music. If it becomes a chore, you’re less likely to do it. So pick a time that works for you. Maybe after a long day when you need stress relief. Or first thing in the morning when you’re full of energy. Don’t worry about starting and stopping a clock. Instead, play what feels comfortable to you. Because the more you enjoy it, the more likely you’ll be to play on a regular basis. 

Learn patience

Playing piano is a lifelong experience. The more you do it, the more you’ll learn, the more you’ll enjoy. This isn’t about burning through music as fast as you can. It’s more about challenging yourself and learning something new. Pick out songs you love and work on perfecting them. You can even look for ways to showcase your new skills – how about performing a concert for friends and family? Goals are good to give you something to work towards. 

But no matter what your end goal is, keep in mind it’s all about learning. It is possible for adults to succeed at piano lessons. It’s up to you to define what that means. 

Can Video Piano Lessons Work?

Can Video Piano Lessons Work?

This year has brought on new ways of learning. It’s also made each of us think about what is important. What hobbies do you want to take up? What activities are most important?

That piano that’s been sitting in your living room untouched for several years may be just the thing you start up again this winter. 

But if it’s been a while since you played, and you’d like to increase your knowledge on how to play, it’s time to look at your options. While you might not be ready to head out for group piano lessons, why not look towards technology? Video piano lessons may be just the thing to get you playing once again. 

Video piano lessons can walk you through many different methods for playing the piano. From staring up and learning the basics, to refining your approach and improving your technique. 

Video training is growing in popularity because you can refer to the training again and again. Watch it. Learn from it. Apply it. Review it. You can do this again and again until you’re comfortable with what you’re learning. 

Video piano lessons are great for teaching things like hand placement and keyboard layout. You can learn basic lessons about musical symbols and how music is laid out. It can even showcase different games and platforms you can use to make learning fun. 

Video piano lessons are a great way to teach the fundamentals. You can learn note placement and how to play scales and chords. You can review this content again and again, until it becomes a habit. 

Not all of playing the piano is based on fingers to the keys. Posture, arm movement, feet placement, and flexibility are all a part of it too. You can watch the necessary skills on video, and ensure your setup is good for your playing ability. 

Creating music is only a part of being a good piano player. The other part comes from understanding music theory. You can use video training to watch many different aspects of piano history, including diving into all types of genres, from blues to jazz to classical. Watching musicians in action can create a direct impact on the way you play yourself. 

What does it take to become a better pianist? Video piano lessons can be one way to learn how to be a better player. It can give you the skills you need now to bring the love of music into your life this year. 

Keep Your Kids Motivated With Piano Lessons With These Tips

Keep Your Kids Motivated With Piano Lessons With These Tips

Want to give your kids a gift? Looking for something that will help them for a lifetime?

Invest in piano lessons. Buy them a new piano.

Playing the piano is something a person can do throughout their lifetime. Any time you sit down and play, you learn something new. 

Of course, you may start your kids off knowing it’s something they can enjoy for a lifetime. But somewhere down the road, it will become a game of wits – they won’t want to practice, and you’ll find any way you can to keep them going. 

“I don’t want to practice.”

“Playing the piano is boring.”

“Why can’t I go outside like my friends?”

Yep, you’ll hear it all. It’s the struggle that every parent has trying to keep their kids engaged in an activity they lose interest in. 

And no matter how much we’d love to tell you there’s an exact science to keeping them playing, there isn’t. But we do have some tips to help increase the odds. 

Find the right piano teacher

Remember back in school how some teachers you loved, others – not so much? It’s called chemistry. We all connect with certain people in the world. And those people, they are the ones that motivate us to do better. In order to keep your kids engaged in playing, you have to find that teacher. The good news is you don’t have to rely on your local community anymore. With virtual learning, your piano teacher can be anywhere in the world. Find someone that “gets” your kids and you’ll find a motivated learner. 

Change practice expectations

Rigid practice times may work for some, but not for everyone. Some players may thrive on playing every day at the same time for a certain time period. Thirty minutes at three o’clock may keep some motivated. But for others, it can feel like quicksand. This is about motivating your child. Maybe they would do better with ten minute increments. A few scales before breakfast. Playing their favorite piece right after lunch. And a few minutes of challenge with something new right before they go out to play. That’s okay. Whatever keeps them playing works. 

The sticker challenge

Kids are motivated by earning prizes. But it doesn’t have to be large to create a sense of fun. Create a star chart and let them earn stickers as they play. Have them cash them in for fun things they enjoy. You can even stick with the music theme and give them opportunities to grow in their studies. New sheet music, downloads from their favorite bands, or even a ticket to a concert can all be great motivators. Plus, it can give you and your child fun outings together. 

Let’s hear from you. What tips do you have for keeping your kids engaged with piano lessons? How do you keep them playing the piano every day? 

How To Be a Great Piano Teacher

How To Be a Great Piano Teacher

Lots of people are looking for extra ways to make money. It’s called the gig economy, and many people are taking the skills they love the most and turning them into an extra income. 

But teaching piano isn’t like driving your car for Uber. If you teach someone a new skill such as playing the piano, you have to give more service to each of your customers. How do you become a great piano teacher? How do you get referrals because people love what you do? 

It starts by knowing how to play the piano

That sounds obvious, right? If you’re going to teach someone else how to play, you have to know how to play yourself. But it’s more than knowing the notes and being able to play a few of your favorite songs. You should have music theory down. You should understand rhythm and tone. You should have ample opportunity to play in different settings. 

You should enjoy playing and listening to piano music

Do people describe you as enthusiastic when it comes to music? Then you’re on the right track to becoming a great piano teacher. The best way to teach is to be excited about your subject. And that should show up in a variety of ways. Of course, playing is important. But listening is equally so. Do you like to take trips to the symphony? Would a tour of a piano manufacturer make your holiday? You’ll show more joy in what you do if you actually like motivating people to play better themselves. So it’s vital that you can handle listening to all kinds of levels of students. 

You enjoy challenges

As a piano teacher, you’re going to encounter all different levels of piano playing, with all kinds of people wanting to learn how to play. Can you deal with all of that and keep a smile on your face at the same time? Are you up for learning new ways to challenge your students and make them better? Every student will give you a unique opportunity to make them better. Your gift will be in challenging them to make them love playing piano a little bit more. Are you up for that challenge? 

You have a plan

Where do you see yourself in a year? In five years? Are you doing this solely for pocket change, or is this something you want to do for life? A great piano teacher can see teaching as a part of their lives for the long haul. They see themselves in the audience of their students, happy they’ve contributed to making their lives better. They have a plan for reaching out and connecting different levels of piano players in lots of different ways. 

It takes seeing your studio in full color, and building and upgrading along the way. It takes seeing where your students will come from, and finding new ways of connecting. It takes continually learning to find the right resources and using them to make each of your students better. 

Are you up for that challenge? 

Should You Sign Up For Group Lessons or Private Lessons?

Should You Sign Up For Group Lessons or Private Lessons?

You’re ready to sign your child up for piano lessons. But as you surf the internet and make a few phone calls in your local community, you’re suddenly confused by the offerings. Should you schedule one-on-one time with a piano instructor, opting for private lessons for your child to learn more? Or will they learn better when they take group lessons, one teacher in front of several individuals?

It can be a difficult decision. With a little research, you’ll discover there are benefits to both. 

Private lessons are typically short, instructional sessions with one teacher and one participant. You’ll often have one short session once per week. This allows personalized instruction where the student gets hands-on advice to create a stronger piano playing environment. 

Group lessons often consist of a larger class for longer periods of time. They can last up to three hours, and be guided by one or two teachers. Hearing other players can often motive to get things right. 

The advantages of private lessons include:

Personalized lesson plans – ever session is built around your skill level, your goals, your needs. The instructor will speed up or slow down based on your needs. 

Flexible scheduling – if you need to change times or dates, your instructor works to fit you into the schedule. 

Individualized attention – you get the attention of the instructor for the entire lesson. 

The advantages of group lessons include:

More instruction time – you’ll receive more information as the lessons are longer periods of time. 

More emphasis on the music – instructors work to learn and complete the song rather than focusing on methodology, hand placement, and other musical work. 

Teamwork – this allows you to be part of a group. The increased peer exposure allows you to keep up and be part of something bigger. 

Reduced stage fright – when people only play for their instructors, it can be intimidating playing in front of a larger group, even if it’s just parents. Playing with a group makes it easier to step out on stage. 

What’s the best playing method for you? It doesn’t have to be either/or. Sometimes the best course of action is to use both. Refinement and musicality all come from playing in a number of ways. 

What’s right for you? 

Supporting Your Child Through Piano Lessons

Supporting Your Child Through Piano Lessons

Did you play the piano as a child? Were you in the band or orchestra as you made your way through school? It can help you help your child as they take on an instrument of their own. 

But if you have never played an instrument before, and aren’t musically inclined, how can you support your child through piano lessons? 

Practice, practice, practice. The key to becoming better at playing an instrument is to practice. It’s not something you can do here and there; you have to stick with a regular schedule. Don’t get caught up in pushing off practice “until tomorrow.” Instead, make it a part of your schedule every day. Don’t skip lessons. Set aside time every day to play. This is the only way to get better at playing. 

Practice doesn’t mean playing a piece from start to finish. When you first start playing, songs are short and easier to play. But the more difficult the music becomes, the longer it takes to master. Sometimes a practice session will be about playing one small piece of the song. That’s okay. Allow your child’s teacher to set the pace. 

Compliment music lessons with other forms of music. In order to develop music literacy, it’s important to have a wide variety of musical training tools in your home. Buy different music books and sheet music. Be willing to invest in things your child wants to try. Also consider apps and other online tools to help to learn to play. And when the opportunity arises, take field trips to local symphonies, concerts, and other musical events. 

Daily reminders to practice don’t mean your child doesn’t like to play. Kids are kids. And sometimes they groan as you remind them to do their daily chores. But that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy making music. Playing the piano can be a relaxing experience. You do have to make the time and encourage them to sit and play for the designated time period. It’s no different than reminding them to brush their teeth or do their homework. It’s a part of a parent’s job. 

Create long term goals. There’s nothing wrong with creating long term goals as they improve their piano playing. Schedule trips to the symphony several months out. Encourage them by promising upgraded pianos or accessories in the future. Motivate them by showing them what they can do with their skills. It will help you get more comfortable with their abilities and how well you can expect them to play. 

Participate. Sit down and listen to their practices once in a while. Attend their practices with teachers and piano groups. Get involved in helping them find playable music. Kids get excited when mom and dad participate in their activities. 

Work together with your child’s piano teacher to keep them involved. However, this doesn’t mean carrying on with a ten minute conversation after the lesson. Chances are they have another lesson soon after. Send an email. Sit in on the lesson to gain clarity on techniques to keep them moving forward. Let the teacher know you’re an active participant in your child’s learning. Sometimes, it can make all the difference in how long your child moves forward with their new skills. 

Is Learning on a Digital Piano Different Than an Acoustic Piano?

Is Learning on a Digital Piano Different Than an Acoustic Piano?

Has staying in place made you rethink everything? 

Instead of being out and active 24/7, many of us are learning to appreciate what happens right inside our own homes. We’re more patient. We’re learning to appreciate the little things. 

We’re even taking up things we might have overlooked in the past. Like playing the piano. 

Maybe you’ve had an old acoustic piano sitting in your corner for years. 

Maybe you’ve pulled out that digital piano from under the bed. 

In either case, you have renewed interest in making music. 

Is there a difference between learning on an acoustic piano or a digital piano? 

Differences between acoustic and digital

Just looking at the two different types of pianos will tell you many things separate them. 

The most obvious is sound. When you press down on the key of an acoustic piano, it requires action to move the hammer inside to connect with a string. The sound depends on which strings it connects with, and how hard you press down on the key. 

For a digital, it relies on producing sound based on the key you touch. Each note is played and recorded from an acoustic piano. How well the sound is replicated depends on the quality of the piano. For this reason, it’s important to understand that all digital pianos are not created equally. If you truly desire to learn to play the piano, you will have to invest in purchasing a digital piano that replicates both the sound and the action of creating music on an acoustic piano. 

Size is also a consideration. Acoustic pianos take up quite a bit of space in your home. That’s fine if you live in suburbia, but if you’re trying to save space in a small urban condo, or even wish to bring your piano with you as you travel, digital might be a better way to go. 

Do digital and acoustic pianos play differently?

The sound may be the biggest difference between the two pianos, depending on the quality of the instruments. But there is something else that may be of concern. 

Some digital pianos are created to be a toy, not an instrument. They aren’t created to stand equally with an acoustic piano. The keys aren’t properly weighted, meaning when you press down on them, they don’t provide the same resistance as an acoustic piano. That means you can’t transfer your skills from one to another. If you hope to move forward with your musical skill, you’ll start over and have to learn how it feels. 

Which is right for you? 

If you truly wish to add piano into your life, quality is your most important goal. 

There are a range of factors for you to consider if you’re purchasing a piano to learn to play. 

If you already a digital piano, but aren’t satisfied with the sound, it may be time to upgrade to an acoustic piano. Give us a call today. 

4 Things To Think About Before Hiring a Piano Teacher

4 Things To Think About Before Hiring a Piano Teacher

Ready to learn to play the piano? There are a variety of ways you can go about doing it. 

You can buy a beginning book and try to learn yourself. You can invest in an app and use it to become more proficient with the learning process. 

But no matter how much you try on your own, you’ll eventually find it works better by hiring a teacher. For you or your kids, there’s something better about working one on one with someone who already has piano skills in place. They can make you into a better pianist, and make your playing more enjoyable, no matter what you choose to play. 

What do you look for when hiring a piano teacher?

Start with your goals

Some just want to play their favorite songs. Some have hopes of turning it into a career. Depending on your goals should direct you to finding the perfect piano teacher. If you have hopes of a professional career, be sure to look for someone who is doing what you want to do. Their experience will be the perfect guide for your next steps. 

Don’t worry about location

In today’s world, you don’t have to rely on someone you can visit face to face. Thanks to technology, your perfect instructor can be a half a world away. The important thing is getting what you need from the instructor and learning all you can. 

Personality is everything

Learning piano is a lifelong challenge. It’s not something you’ll gain overnight. Instead, it takes hard work and endurance. And at times, you’ll become challenged, possibly even frustrated with the process. That’s when personality matters most. Do you have an instructor who meshes well with your temperament? Do they challenge you in the right ways? 

Price is everything

Look beyond the dollar amount. Is the piano instructor you are considering a good value? Will they help take you to the level of professionalism you desire? If so, find a way to include their fees in your monthly budget. You’ll be happy you did. 

Becoming a better piano player starts by having a great instrument to play. If you don’t have the right equipment, no matter how much a piano teacher pushes you, you’ll never achieve the results you’re looking for. Start with a great piano. Whether used or new, we can help. 

Using A Metronome For Better Piano Practice

Using A Metronome For Better Piano Practice

Want to be a better piano player? The key is with better piano practice. 

Unfortunately, not everyone is an expert at understanding rhythm. Sometimes it takes work to get the beat right. 

That’s why incorporating a metronome into your practice will help you improve the way you play. A metronome can help you understand the right tempo and develop perfect timing for each piece you play. 

What is a metronome?

Metronomes emit a sound on each beat. It sets the tempo, then ticks off the counts to help you adjust the rhythm and understand the feel of the beat. Most metronomes can be set between 40 and 240 beats per minute. Some pianos have built in metronomes. You can also purchase apps that allow you to take it anywhere. 

How it can help identify technician issues

When you play without a metronome, you can glide over technical issues you might have with your playing. Spots where you’re dragging or rushing become apparent when you play it with the beat of a metronome. Practice the song with the clicking beat; you can do so just a few bars at a time. 

Getting up to speed

When you work with a teacher, they can help you through spots you might not be playing well. But most of your practice will be done alone. That’s where a metronome can help you along. Start by playing slower until you can play the notes effectively. Then speed it up until you’re at the proper dynamics. This works very well to overcome technical issues. It also ensures you play the music as intended by the creator of the piece. 

Do you have the proper tools to ensure your piano practice is effective? If not, we can help. From new and used pianos, to metronomes and sheet music, we can point you in the right direction to make every practice session its best. 

What’s The Most Effective Way To Practice Piano?

What’s The Most Effective Way To Practice Piano?

Practice is one of the most important parts of piano playing. It’s how you learn. It’s how you get better. But like everything, piano practice can grow boring if you don’t have a goal. Is there an effective way to practice piano?

Start with a goal. “I’ll play several times a week” is not a goal. Instead, sit down every session with something specific in mind. “I’m going to learn to play ____ today.” “I’m going to learn the opening of _____ today.” Make sure the goal is achievable, given your level of playing and what you’re attempting to do. 

Slow down. Playing isn’t a race to the finish line. Instead, it’s about playing the best you can. Take the time to learn what you do perfectly. If it takes longer to move through a piece of music, that’s okay. The important thing is to learn, and do it well. 

Pay attention to fundamentals. It’s nice that you want to play music from your favorite band. But learning the fundamentals can make you a better piano player. Spend time mastering scales. Take the time to learn technical skills. You’ll see it in every piece of music you play. 

Use a metronome. It’s one of the best ways to bring a song up to tempo. But that doesn’t mean you have to start at tempo. Slow things done and focus on the notes and fingering. Master music in pieces. Then bring the metronome up to speed until you can play it as intended. 

Listen. Listen to the best piano players in the world. Go to concerts and see them in action. You may even wish to sign up for competitions to learn from others around. You’ll learn a lot from listening to what others have to say about your performance. 

End with fun. The last few minutes of your practice session should be designed for fun. What’s your favorite piece of music? Playing your favorites allows you to leave your session fully energized and ready for your day. 

What’s your most effective way to keep piano practice interesting?