How To Learn Piano All By Yourself

How To Learn Piano All By Yourself

When you have a small child and you’re enticing them with new hobbies, it’s natural to sign up for classes and have them participate. But for adults, we prefer to do things ourselves. When we start up a new hobby, many times, we do research online, watch a few YouTube videos, possibly invest in a workbook or other type of guide to help us along. 

A new hobby is meant to take away stress, not add to it. And a lot of times scheduling regular lessons away from home is more stress than it’s worth. 

Which is why in many cases, it’s easier to learn piano all by yourself. 

But is that possible? Can you learn piano all by yourself and do it justice? 

Yes. You can learn piano with a little determination and a whole lot of practice. Take it at your own pace. Here’s how. 

Invest in a piano

When you think about piano lessons for your kids, you’re likely to invest in quality materials to ensure they have a chance to get it right. But when we invest in things for ourselves, sometimes we put quality on hold, and search by price alone. A piano isn’t something you can skimp on. If you buy a cheap keyboard at your local big box store, you won’t truly learn how to play, and will only grow frustrated throughout the process. 

Spend some time finding the right piano for your needs. Why not make an investment in something nice, something that will add to the decor of your home? You’ll be more likely to play it. Others in your home may pick it up too. 

An acoustic piano will give you all you need to learn this new skill. You can select vertical if you’re short on space, or maybe now is the time to go all in and select that grand piano you’ve had your eye on for years. 

Learn the skills

Once you have your new piano in place, it’s time to learn the basics of the keyboard. Sit down and learn the major keys, where middle C is, and how the keys flow. Learn the differences between tones, what sharps and flats sound like. See how each of the notes looks on music. There are many ways you can accomplish this, both with video training and with apps and games. Have fun with it; you’re more likely to stick with it if you enjoy it. 

This is also when you should be learning about chords. Basic chords work together to play several notes together to create one harmonizing sound. Again, you can find a variety of recourses to help you learn the basics. 

This is also the time to learn correct finger placement and correct posture. If you don’t sit right at the piano, it can cause muscle problems, and make the entire process less enjoyable. This is about training all muscles for strength and helping you become a better player. While you can do this on your own, through online resources, it may be wise to check in with instructors periodically so they can help ensure you’re doing this right. It really does have a big impact on the way you play. 

Reading music

After you get the mechanics down of how to play the piano, it’s time to start reading music. Again, there are a wide variety of online tools ready and waiting to help you along. Start with basic music and learn in a straightforward way. Select more complex music as you advance and understand the basics. 

There isn’t a right or wrong way to learn to play the piano. Go at your own pace. 

But the one thing you should always implement is: practice, practice, practice. 

It’s the best way to ensure your love of playing the piano grows.  

How Piano Playing Impacts Child Development

How Piano Playing Impacts Child Development

As a parent, you’re concerned with child development from the moment you find out you’re pregnant. You scour the internet looking for ways to improve your child’s skill set. You sign up for different classes to push them in all the right places. 

Yet with so much to choose from, how are you sure you’re signing up for the right things? 

Sports promise team building and coordination. Computer based classes push STEM concepts. 

But what about music? How about piano playing? 

It doesn’t take a lot of research to discover music has a profound effect on human development. Looking back throughout time, music has always been a part of our lives. We use music for enrichment, for its calming factors. We’ve used music to tell stories. 

That’s because music builds neural pathways throughout the brain. Neurologists who study this believe it has a whole range of benefits, from problem solving to better memory skills throughout a child’s life. 

Have you heard of the Mozart effect? Simply stated, the research behind this says that children who listen to classical music are smarter. As they listen, it builds a child’s sense of hearing and the ability to process the sounds as it hears it. The distinct patterns in highly skilled works of art can increase cognitive performance. 

While it is truly difficult to determine if music puts your child on a different path, making them smarter, there is solid proof it does improve child development. It helps develop skills such as:

  • Language skills, including increased ability to pick up foreign languages
  • Stress reduction skills, which can help with anxiety and mood regulation
  • Patience and discipline
  • Fine motor skills
  • Improved memory and concentration
  • Self confidence and self esteem
  • Higher scores on tests

Yes, having music in your child’s life will influence your child’s behavior. The sooner you make it a part of their daily lives, the more they can gain. Babies are musical. They love to listen and even play with all kinds of musical instruments. Studies show that when you start playing before the age of seven, it changes the way the brain forms and grows. That stays with a child for life. 

Is it time to give your child the gift of piano playing? 

How Digital Sheet Music Helps You Play Better

How Digital Sheet Music Helps You Play Better

Remember the days of visiting a music store and browsing through the sections of sheet music? It could take time to find the perfect piece you wanted to bring home, practice, and learn. 

Like everything in our world, smart devices have changed the world of sheet music. Digital sheet music can provide a variety of resources to make learners find new connections with the music they play. It’s not just notes on a page anymore. Digital sheet music has powerful ways of connecting you with the music you play. 

Interaction

Depending on which digital app you choose, you can change up how interactive the music can be. Students can choose songs they love, giving them even more reason to play every day. It can help adjust the tempo, giving beginning students a chance to learn at a slower pace, picking up speed as they learn and grow in confidence. 

Feedback

Many of the newest additions to the digital sheet music world also bring AI to the table. Not only can you follow along on your tablet, but it can “listen” and adapt based on your playing. If you make mistakes, the digital sheet music can adjust, giving you feedback on how to grow more successfully at your playing. Try that with traditional sheet music; you had to rely on an instructor, which you may only have facetime with thirty minutes per week. 

Tracking

Having digital sheet music allows you to track your progress. It can also help parents participate in a child’s learning, having full visibility of what they are learning. This can help students stay accountable for their learning, and overall make them better players. It can help them set goals and stick with schedules. 

Convenience

One of the biggest reasons people like digital sheet music is the convenience factor. Instead of having to tote around a bag filled with papers, risk leaving some of them at home, or worse, losing them, you have it all conveniently stowed away on your portable device. No more printing off extra copies and worrying about leaving them behind. 

What’s more, going paperless will also make your piano playing practice more sustainable. You won’t have to worry about how much paper you use, or print off new sheet music as you make changes to your work. It’s all conveniently stowed on your tablet, ready to go at any time. 

Do you use digital sheet music? 

What You Should Do Before Your Child Starts Playing The Piano

What You Should Do Before Your Child Starts Playing The Piano

For many parents, it’s a fine balance between keeping your child busy after school, and finding activities they truly love.  It’s about pushing just enough to give them the chance to fall in love with an activity, while recognizing what they’re really good at. 

Setting them up before they begin is half the battle. If you do a few things before your child starts playing the piano, you’ll give them a better chance of falling in love with it. 

Buying a piano

This may seem obvious, but a lot of parents get this wrong. They approach it with a “wait and see” mindset, and select a toy piano from a discount store to “test the waters” before investing in something bigger. If you don’t have real equipment, you’ll never learn the right way. Ideally, you should invest in an acoustic piano that can help your child learn things a digital can’t teach. Like how to play using the touch of the keys. And how to capture harmonics by depressing keys and playing others. Touch is essential, something that not all digitals get right. 

Put your piano in the right place

Want to know the two biggest reasons children quit the piano? Because the piano is isolated and they don’t want to practice. Or the piano is next to the television, and they can’t practice without interruption. Choose a place that won’t be interrupted by either of these things and you’ll give your child a better chance at success. 

Tonal quality 

Where did you get your piano from? Was it in your mom’s friend’s great aunt’s next door neighbor’s basement?  How long did it sit there? If your child tries to play a song and it sounds nothing like the song, it doesn’t motivate them to keep working. If every note they strike is out of tune, what’s the point? It’s important to enjoy what you do, and you can’t do that unless the piano has a beautiful tonal quality to it. 

Introduce the piano before you start lessons

Bringing a piano into your home several months before you start lessons can give the opportunity of having it as a welcome guest. Encourage your kids to sit down and play. Show interest in making music. You can even explore using apps and games to make it more of a challenge. If kids pick up some skills before they attend their first lesson, it can help them stay motivated. 

Make sure they are ready

Children need basic skills before you sit them down at the piano. Do they know the difference between right and left? Do they know their alphabet? While the piano may be easy to touch the keys and hear sounds, it is a challenging instrument. It requires a person to use both hands independently, while paying attention to notes on the sheet music. Plus a lot of patience and practical skills mixed in. 

Is your child ready to start playing the piano? 

How To Master Better Piano Playing

How To Master Better Piano Playing

Start reciting your ABCs. Did you say them in your mind? Or did you start to sing them? 

Singing isn’t just for fun, it’s something we do for better retention. Think back to some of the most popular children’s songs – how easily do you remember them? 

Music is heavily involved in associative memory. That’s why many of us can hear a song and instantly be transported back to a time when it was popular. 

Music motivates us. And when you combine that with learning, it’s one of the best ways to become better at piano playing. 

Imagine having to sit down and learn music you hate. What fun would that be? But if you select music you love, if you have a desire to become better at playing the music you love, you suddenly have motivation to keep playing. 

The good news is there are a variety of renditions of popular music, made for all different levels of playing. 

Beginner songs will only have a few notes in the left hand. They will use simple chords with no more than three notes at a time. They also won’t have a lot of hand jumps or quick finger movements. They’ll keep things simple while you learn. 

If you truly want to master piano playing, you should also change the way you learn. 

A master learner doesn’t sit down and expect to play a song all the way through the first time. Instead, they focus on learning sections before combining them. A simple schedule would include learning a section on day one, followed by learning section two on day two, and combining it with section one. 

And so on. 

You can also learn by pulling the music apart, one hand at a time. What makes so rewarding is also what makes it a challenge. Piano playing combines music reading with playing both the right and left hand separately. That gives your brain a workout. But it can also lead to frustration. 

As you’re learning, focus on one hand at a time. Play the right hand until you learn it. Then play the left. As you coordinate both hands together, the song will come together quickly. 

While there isn’t a best way to learn and play, there are many things you can do to become better at piano playing. These are just a few of the things we use. How about you? 

Give Your Brain A Boost By Playing Piano

Give Your Brain A Boost By Playing Piano

The American population is aging. The number of Americans over 65 will more than double in the coming years, reaching 80 million by 2040. The age group over 85 will quadruple during this same time period. 

Do you fall into this category? 

No matter what your age, you’re probably looking for ways to hold onto your youth as long as possible. This isn’t just from a cosmetic standpoint. It’s also about your health. 

Want your memory to be as sharp as a tack as you age? Consider playing the piano. 

Playing piano enhances your memory

Playing the piano builds a variety of skills, including improving your memory, particularly your verbal memory. Why? Because of the focus you put on creating beautiful music. Piano requires a variety of skills to play it well. You have to coordinate your left hand with your right, with the ability to follow along and ready music. It focuses on creating good habits like perseverance and diligence. It also sharpens your creativity. 

Playing piano makes you a better listener

You can’t play the piano well without listening skills. That’s because you have to listen carefully to the sound to ensure you’re playing well. Are you in pitch? How about tonal quality? Does it sound good to others listening in? It also focuses you in on how you’re playing, forcing out other noises that may be happening around you. 

Playing piano enhances language skills

And you thought only learning a new language would sharpen your language skills. In some ways, playing the piano teaches you similar tactics. You have to learn how to read music. You have to listen to hear how the music sounds. You have to translate it from visual cues ( the music) and increase output through your fingers. 

So what’s your reason for playing piano? Whether it’s for pure enjoyment, or to give yourself a new skill, you’re going to love all of the benefits a piano brings to your life. 

How To Stay Motivated When Playing The Piano

How To Stay Motivated When Playing The Piano

When you start a new project, it’s fun and exciting. You’re ready to take on the world, and see your goal through to fruition. 

Then comes a time when frustration sets in. You can’t play the way you’d like. You can’t seem to move up in skill level. 

Maybe you should give up? 

The good news is you’re not alone. Every piano player has felt this from time to time. What makes you a great piano player is pushing through. Here’s how. 

Return to music you love

People often give up when they aren’t having fun playing the piano. And the reason this often happens is that you’re playing music you don’t like. Talk to your piano teacher. While it’s important to work through various genres, it’s equally important to enjoy what you play. If you’re having trouble, move back towards the music you love. That’s the whole point of learning to play anyway, isn’t it?

Set your mind up for mastery

Sometimes pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is a tempting endeavor. This is to give you a reason to improve your technique and expand your repertoire. You can give yourself challenges in many ways, by stepping into new genres, or by upgrading the difficultness of the music. 

Set milestones

Is there a song you’ve been itching to play? Why not set it as a goal? Your teacher should be able to find interesting ways to keep you on track. Maybe you wish to surprise everyone for a holiday concert. Or learn a new song by a special event. Set milestones to ensure you’re on track to play it perfectly by the big day. 

Give yourself rewards

Remember star charts when you were little? There’s no reason those concepts have to end just because you grew up. Give yourself a goal to strive for, then reward yourself as you meet them. You can start with simple rewards like new sheet music, or a trip to the symphony. Work towards larger goals – how about that baby grand you’ve had your eye on? 

Even if you’ve made playing the piano top priority, sometimes to push through you need a little extra motivation. 

What do you do to stay motivated? 

Taking Up Piano Now Will Make You More Successful For Life

Taking Up Piano Now Will Make You More Successful For Life

Thanks to staying in place, we’ve all started looking for new hobbies. If taking up the piano is on your new resolution list, congratulations. Piano playing isn’t just a great hobby, it can also make you more successful for life. 

That makes it a perfect hobby for you, your kids, for everyone in your family. 

If you dedicate time to playing the piano, you will master many things. 

Discipline

Have you ever sat down and played something simple like chopsticks? That’s the beauty of playing the piano – anyone can sit down and hit a few notes and create music. However, the more you practice, the more you play, the better you become. Practicing frequently can immediately start to show improvement in the way you play. And when you see it, hear it, it motivates you to do more. The only way to improve is by practicing. And when you dedicate to becoming better, you’ll learn the art of discipline. 

Time management

Which brings us to increasing your time management skills. We all have just twenty-four hours a day. If you commit to getting better at piano playing, you’ll have to fit practice time into your schedule. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to make time for what is truly important. As you hear yourself play better, feel more comfortable with the notes, you’ll have more desire to put a practice session on your calendar every day. 

Concentration

Have you found yourself scattered, not sure what to focus on? Maybe taking up piano will change your concentration skills. When you play the piano, you must focus on rhythm, pitch, tempo, hand positions, note changes, and several other things. It requires multi-tiered concentration levels to ensure everything is in place. The skills you learn from playing piano have been proven so worthy, kids do better with test taking skills, and musicians have the best chance of moving forward into medical school. 

Memory skills

That’s because playing piano fires off all your brain cells the moment you sit down to play. Piano stimulates your brain. Whether you’re listening to the greatest piano players of all time, or tickling the ivories yourself, your brain will thank you for it. 

And that’s a pretty good reason to take up the piano now, while you’re looking for new hobbies to start up for a lifetime of enjoyment. 

Can a 3 Year Old Learn To Play Piano?

Can a 3 Year Old Learn To Play Piano?

We’ve all seen videos of young prodigies in action. A 5 year old swings a golf club and makes a hole in one. Or a 3 year old sits down at the piano and plays Bach perfectly. 

But is that reality? Can a 2 year old really learn to play the piano? Or are you setting them up for failure? 

People are naturally drawn to the piano. No matter who walks up to a keyboard – a one year old or a hundred year old – we all have the tendency to push the keys and plunk out a tune. It makes music, after all, and that can be an exciting thing. Especially when you start to hear a familiar tune. 

But pushing a few keys is different than taking lessons and practicing every day. 

The best age to start learning to play piano is somewhere between the ages of six and nine. That’s where concentration and focus start coming into play, making it easier to sit and learn. Of course, it ultimately depends on your child and what they are capable of. 

Physical characteristics

In a lot of cases, a small child simply doesn’t have hand size and coordination to play the piano. It takes a great deal of skill for finger independence and ability to sit down and play. Will the fingers stretch and move from key to key with ease? You can always adjust the bench to the proper height. But it is important for proper hand placement. 

Basic motor skills

The piano is a skill that takes a lifetime to master. Start too early and it leads to frustration. It’s important that your child has proper motor skills, and they can reach throughout the keys, playing with ease. They also need adequate strength to carry the arms up and down the keyboard, pushing down the keys. That’s why violins are often easier to start at earlier ages. 

Motivated

It’s important to have the proper attention span to sit down and play. Your child will learn much faster if they are truly motivated to play. Do they like producing music? Do they have favorite songs? Are they motivated to learn and do so willingly without constant prodding from you? 

Maturity 

Is your child motivated to sit for up to thirty minutes at a time? Can they follow simple instructions and be motivated and work toward successes? Do they understand that it takes time to build skill, and have motivation to work towards a goal? Your child will have more success if the desire is there to grow. 

Is your 3 year old ready to learn to play piano? 

You Don’t Have To Have Natural Talent To Be a Pianist

You Don’t Have To Have Natural Talent To Be a Pianist

What does it take to be a great pianist? Do you need natural talent? Or is it something you can work towards, perfecting your piano playing all the time?

If you’ve ever said, “I don’t have talent to play the piano,” think again. You’re not born with the ability to be a pianist. Anyone can work towards developing the talent. 

How do you do that? 

Practice. 

Malcolm Gladwell became famous for his 10,000 rule, which simply states that in order to become successful at something, you’ll need to invest 10,000 hours at it. Perfection takes time. It’s okay to make mistakes along the way. The important part is sticking with it, and ensuring you take the time to get a little bit better every day. 

To become a pianist, you have to invest in what it takes to be good at what you do. You can’t sit down and play scales or simple songs like chopsticks and expect to get better. It takes push. It takes drive. It takes improvement, a little bit each day. 

And it might take a little something else. One pianist suggests it’s passion, not just for playing music, but also for the challenge of hitting your goal

Maybe you’ve set Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata as a goal. Or how about Chopin’s Nocturne in E-flat Major? No matter what piece you choose, the challenge of getting there might be all the goals you need. 

Talent isn’t something you’re born with. 

Talent comes from choosing a goal and sticking with it. 

It’s not luck or genetics. To be a better pianist, it just means doing a little bit each day.