The Benefits of Learning To Play a Piano With Headphones

The Benefits of Learning To Play a Piano With Headphones

Learning to play the piano is on many people’s bucket lists. Parents often gift their kids the gift of music after enjoying growing up in a musical family themselves. 

Yet with today’s technology, you can bring an entirely new experience to learning. Instead of sticking with a traditional acoustic piano, you remember from your youth, why not upgrade the experience? 

Learning to play a piano with headphones brings all sorts of benefits to your learning. If you’re looking at pianos for the very first time, here’s why you should consider one with headphone capabilities. 

You can play at any time, anywhere

Many homeowners place a piano in a location where it can be easily played. If it’s in a family room where there’s always action, it can make a practice schedule more difficult. Not so if you can use headphones. Headphones silence the output, yet create a way for you to play at any time without disturbing those around you. Want to get up early before everyone else rises to get your practice time in? You can with headphones. 

You’ll be more focused on your playing

Playing in a busy spot in your home makes it easy to be distracted. The phone rings. A timer goes off. Somebody asks a question. But when you slip into a pair of headphones, suddenly, the outside noises disappear. You hear the music you’re making, and block all other sounds out. This gives you a chance to focus on what’s most important now. 

You’ll hear your music clearer

When you’re learning new songs, it can be challenging to hear the melody and harmony coming together, paying attention to pitch and sounds. With headphones in place, you can suddenly listen to each note as they come together and create tonal quality you can hear. 

You can share with another

Some digital pianos have two headphone jacks. This gives you a chance to share the experience with another. This works well for sharing music with a teacher, so that they can hear the same quality as you. Want to practice with another? Headphones give the same experiences you’ll receive by wearing headphones … times two. 

Enjoy the experience 

Surround sound can make all the difference. You may experience that when you add headphones before you sit down to work at the computer. Playing the piano gives the same experience, allowing you to pull into what’s important, and give you greater aural experience. 

Have you played the piano with headphones before?

Myths That Often Hold New Piano Players Back

Myths That Often Hold New Piano Players Back

When new piano players first start, they approach piano with enthusiasm and excitement. They’re ready to learn, and can’t wait to play their favorite songs. 

Many find playing the piano more challenging than they’d imagined. That’s when it’s easy to say goodbye. 

Before you stop practicing and let go of your dreams of playing the piano, find a way to move past the challenging myths plaguing so many new piano players. 

Myth #1 – Reading music is a must

There are many ways to learn to play the piano. You don’t have to invest in workbooks, learn to read music, and focus on theory. While some teachers may think it’s mandatory to increase your skills, there are just as many teachers who provide other training methods. 

If you’re discouraged by a teacher, look around for other training methods. There are many who will teach by listening, and help you understand playing by ear. 

Myth #2 – Start by learning simple songs

How long have you been playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Mary Had a Little Lamb? They’re easy to pick out and play on the piano; that’s where many new piano players start. 

But if you dream of playing your favorite country or rock songs, move towards that sooner rather than later. Music is a series of chords – you may have learned that if you play the guitar. Piano works the same way, with 24 chords to create music. Yet very few songs cover all 24 chords – learn just a few, and you’re set to go. Hear the way they come together, and you’ll quickly hear it in your favorite songs. It makes playing any music that much easier. Just pick up the chords within the piece. 

Myth #3 – Practice is all hard work 

The sole reason you started piano in the first place was to have fun. Yes, learning anything involves practice and commitment. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun while doing it. That’s why you wanted to play the piano in the beginning. 

Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice does. And to accomplish that means repeating specific patterns – practice scales, work on something new, then enjoy what you do. Should you give yourself a challenge? Of course! That’s how you grow. But you should have fun in the process; that’s what keeps you motivated. 

If you’re having trouble staying on track, and are thinking of quitting, do something else instead. Hire a new teacher. Find a new approach. There are many ways to fall in love again, and get really good at playing the piano. 

7 Myths Stopping You From Playing The Piano

7 Myths Stopping You From Playing The Piano

What’s holding you back from playing the piano? Do you believe in one of these myths?

Myth #1 The more you practice, the better you’ll be

Despite the adage “practice makes perfect,” practice doesn’t make your piano playing perfect. Instead, perfect practice makes you a better player. A lot of people establish a routine, playing the same way over and over again without ever learning the right way to play. The more you focus on becoming better at your practice routine, that’s when you’ll start to see better results. 

Myth #2 Don’t look at your hands while you play

Playing the piano is a careful orchestra of reading the music, moving your hands, and letting your body feel the rhythm. If you watch some of the greatest piano players in the world, you’ll notice they look at the keyboard, watching their fingers move effortlessly across the keys. 

Myth #3 Hand size determines how good you’ll be

While it is true you shouldn’t start a child too young, whose hands are too small for total flexibility moving across the keys, it’s not as important as a person grows. If you enjoy playing the piano, you work out ways to play your favorite songs. As you get into more complex music, you’ll find ways to reach across the octaves and be able to create beautiful music. 

Myth #4 Children learn faster than adults

While that may be true for learning a foreign language, it isn’t valid for playing the piano. As you age, you have a lot of experience behind you. Experience you can utilize as you sit down to play. You’ll recognize songs, making them easier to practice and play. You’ll have a greater understanding of rhythm. You’ll also have more patience to sit and play, and a better mindset to know how piano will fit into your life in the future. 

Myth #5 Practice sessions should be regimented 

When you work with some instructors, they may be very disciplined with their practice routines: warmups, scales, music. While it’s essential to have structure, it’s equally important to remember practice is all about learning. And having fun. 

Myth #6 Learn a new piece from beginning to end

You don’t have to focus on playing a new piece from beginning to end every time. Pick out pieces you’re struggling with and practice them. Start your session with your favorite parts of the song. Perfect it as you go along. Then put it all together as you feel comfortable. 

Myth #7 Most will never turn it into a career

Why do anything without a future? Some approach every hobby as if it should turn into a career. Piano is one of those rare hobbies that work as well when you’re seven as it does when you’re seventy. It’s a practice you can take with you throughout your life. And it can fit into your life in many ways, even to help you along with your career. How about music therapy? Or use it to help you with your podcast? Statistics show that music students have the highest percentage of people moving on into medical school. It’s a great tool to use for stress relief, as well as help with a memory boost. 

Is now the time for you to begin playing the piano? 

Listening or Playing – What The Piano Does To Your Brain

Listening or Playing – What The Piano Does To Your Brain

Music is a big part of our lives. Chances are you see how important it is every day. 

You turn up the volume of your favorite song, humming along, remembering a time from your past when it played a significant role. Maybe you danced to it at your high school prom. Or played it at your wedding. 

You might also play specific music depending on your mood. Do you have a playlist for when you’re happy? Or another playlist for when you’re sad? 

We all do. That’s because music plays a major part in our overall health, and we’re only just starting to realize its importance. Listening at safe volume levels is a great way to improve your health, raise your mood, and boost your creativity. 

But it’s not just listening. In fact, playing has its own added benefits. That’s why playing the piano is high on the list for adding creativity into a child’s life. And awareness is growing, showing it’s equally beneficial for adults to learn the piano too. 

Memory

Significant studies are being performed linking the power of music to memory. One study found that listening to favorite songs increases connectivity in the brain. They’re using it to further Alzheimer’s studies. Yet it’s not just listening; creating music improves memory skills. A study shows that musicians perform better in tasks requiring long-term memory skills.

Mood 

One of the reasons we love building playlists is because it helps us change our mood. Throw on your “happy” music and feel the smile spread across your face. Or maybe put on your “sad” songs when you really need a good cry. We understand that music controls our moods, and learn to use them well. 

Playing the piano allows a musician to express emotions more profoundly. Instead of listening, it can involve the entire body, which in turn helps with better mental health. It’s a great way to control anxiety as you pound out your favorite tunes. 

Brain 

When we have kids, we look for ways to give them every benefit. We hope to raise happy, healthy children. A popular belief for better emotional health often leads to The Mozart Effect, which simply states that regularly listening to Mozart’s Piano Sonata helped with better spatial reasoning. 

Studies show that students score significantly higher after listening to Mozart’s Sonata. But further studies have also demonstrated a larger gap between those who listen, and those who play. If you play the piano regularly, it can improve brain function. 

Takeaway

Listening to music is excellent for the brain, especially when you vary the input. Classical, jazz, or your favorite pop music can all have an effect. 

But if you want even greater benefits, sit down at the piano instead. Making music on the piano is a great way to increase brain power, and help keep you young at heart for life.  

This Is The Best Way To Learn The Piano

This Is The Best Way To Learn The Piano

As an adult, hobbies take on new meaning. When we select something to do, we move to things that have lifelong appeal. 

If learning the piano is on your list of to-do’s, start with the end in mind. Why do you wish to play? What music do you prefer?

The reason we start new hobbies is with an end in mind. With a piano, it might be:

  • Seeing ourselves relaxing after a day of work
  • Playing our favorite genre
  • Playing in front of an audience
  • Starting up a band

But before you get to your goal, you’ll have to start at the beginning. Buy a piano. Sit down at the keyboard. And learn to play the piano. 

The best way to accomplish your goal is to start at the beginning. Starting with the fundamentals gives you the tools necessary to be able to play anything you desire. The fundamentals include:

  • Learning the piano keys
  • Learning to read music
  • Learning proper technique
  • Learning chords and basic theory
  • Playing by ear

Thanks to technology, there are many ways to begin. Yet no matter where you start, you’ll need a learning strategy to dig in and develop your technique. 

Hiring a teacher 

Whether you work one-on-one in person, learn in a group setting, or select a virtual teacher to learn techniques from anywhere, having a teacher to consult and learn from gives you an added benefit to the learning process. There are many piano methods available that are specifically targeted for who you are: young kids, older kids, adults, and group settings. These methods teach fundamentals at your skill level, while combining technique, theory, and fun simultaneously. Teachers have a knack for keeping you engaged while ensuring you learn. It’s an important part of the process, one almost every piano student engages with at some point on the learning curve. 

Learning on your own

Can you learn on your own by working through workbooks and watching online videos? Many students have taken that route. Be aware that for most, it will take longer to play. You may not catch errors you’re making in your technique, or have the motivation you need when you start to burn out. But if you’re dedicated to the learning process, you can teach yourself as quickly as you desire. 

What’s the best way to learn

The good news is learning the piano is a journey, not a destination. It’s a lifelong commitment, one you’ll learn more about every step of the way. But no matter your goals or desires, commit to the fundamentals. A careful, comprehensive journey will ensure you have a foundation in what matters. 

Have fun playing the piano! 

The Tool Every Piano Student Needs – a Metronome

The Tool Every Piano Student Needs – a Metronome

As a piano student, what are the most important tools in your quest for learning? 

A piano is mandatory – you can’t play the piano without a high quality piano. 

A piano bench – sitting at the keyboard properly ensures you’ll become a better player over time. 

Piano music – it’s important to learn how to read music and how to play it well. 

Those three tools are mandatory. Every piano student understands that and has these tools in place before sitting down to play for the very first time. 

But there’s another tool that is vital to improve your musical abilities. It helps you with your rhythm, and teaches you how fast or slow to play each song. 

A metronome forces you to pay attention to time. It’s a device that helps keep rhythm and timing while playing a song. It has a specific sound, typically a clicking, that allows you to feel the beat and adjust your playing to create higher quality music. 

The most common is an old-fashioned metronome that winds up and has a pendulum rod that swings back and forth. It provides both visual and audio cues to help you while you’re learning. Of course, with modern-day technology, there are a variety of apps available too, which can be good to bring along and help you practice wherever you have the opportunity. 

Why should you use it for practice?

It teaches the piano student to understand time signatures. Every piece of music is created with a time signature, the speed at which the composer intended the music to be played at. It’s difficult to play a new piece without using this as your starting point. A metronome can give you the cues you need to learn it at the appropriate levels. 

It teaches the piano student to develop consistency. It’s easy to speed up and slow down as you’re learning new music. A metronome holds the rhythm steady as you continue moving through each portion of the music. 

It teaches the piano student to develop a sense of timing. You often hear someone say that top musicians have a sense of music. What they really mean is they have a sense of timing. This comes from understanding how a song should be played, and picking up on the visual cues of how to make the song enjoyable. This comes with practice, patience, and passion. 

How long have you been a piano student? Do you have a metronome available for your practice sessions? If not, maybe now is the time. 

The Biggest Problems People Face When Learning The Piano

The Biggest Problems People Face When Learning The Piano

Learning the piano can be a rewarding experience. It can also be frustrating. 

You reach a plateau, and everything seems to be complicated. The more you try, the more you feel like you’re taking a step backward. 

If you feel like you’re not making the progress you were hoping would happen, it might be because:

You’re not practicing enough

You may have a routine down for your practice time. But you may be stuck in a rut with how you’re practicing. Practicing doesn’t lead to perfection. Perfect practice does. It’s more important to make headway with your learning curve than to follow the same routine. 

If you’re bored with scales, how can you change them up? If you dread 30 minute routines because your mind drifts to other activities, try breaking it up to 15 minutes twice per day. 

Do a little research, or talk with your piano instructor about rescheduling your practice routine. You’ll find yourself enjoying the piano once again with a few changes. 

You have too many distractions

Do you find yourself thinking of other things while playing? Find a way to put distractions aside before you play. 

Even if you rely on your phone for practice apps, can you put other tools on hold, so you’re not interrupted by dings, bells, and whistles? It’s one of the biggest distractions for productivity across the board – putting it aside may help you practice better each day. 

You’re playing the wrong music

Maybe you picked up sheet music because you love the song, but if it’s beyond your capabilities, it may be more frustrating than motivating you. 

You should also work with your instructor to select music that motivates you to want to play more. While every piano player should learn the basics, you should also be able to play things you love. 

You don’t have the right motivation

Maybe you learn better with a group. Maybe you need a new instructor. Maybe it’s time to show off your skills by scheduling a recital or concert. 

We all have different things that motivate us. Before you give up on your dream to play the piano, ask yourself what would make you fall in love with it once again. 

In today’s world, there are many ways to utilize your piano knowledge and give you motivation to become a better player. 

Learning the piano is a personal journey, one that changes consistently throughout the years. Keep moving forward – it’s a skill you can use for a lifetime. Enjoy!

You’re Never Too Old To Learn The Piano

You’re Never Too Old To Learn The Piano

When are you too old to learn the piano? Is age ever a factor? Many adults might feel they should hold back, and let children have all the fun making music. 

While adults may learn differently than kids, it’s never too late to take up the piano. In fact, some evidence suggests you may have an easier time because you’re more committed to following through and getting to the end result you desire. 

Need a few more benefits? 

Better health

As we age, we focus more on doing what’s right for our bodies. We eat better. We pay attention to the amount of exercise we get. We do activities for brain health. 

brain-than-just-listening in your 60s and beyond can boost your brain’s health as well as help decrease memory loss and cognitive function. One study found that people who learned to play the piano between ages 60 and 85 showed more robust gains in memory, verbal fluency, speed at which they processed information, planning ability, and other cognitive functions than those who hadn’t received lessons. 

Think it’s too late? Think again. 

More time, less failure

As we age, we tend to understand how to prioritize the things that are important to us. We have more time for the things we truly want in our lives. If you want to play the piano, dedicate the time it takes to practice. Carve out time you spend watching television or reading, and start to play instead. 

Adults are also more aware of what it takes to move past failure. Their dreams shift. Priorities change. Instead of seeing yourself in a full time career, maybe your desire to play is to learn to play your favorite songs. You understand goal setting. You know what it takes to achieve results. You may also better understand how to set realistic goals, and what it takes for you to see the end result. 

Life experience

When kids sit down to play a song, it may be the first time they’ve heard it. As adults, we have the advantage of a lifetime of learning. Want to play Elton John, Maroon 5, Bach or Beethoven? You’ve heard it before, and have a good understanding of how the rhythm goes. 

That comes from a lifetime of experiences. You may never have sat down at a piano before, but you’ve been to enough concerts to understand how music works. You see how the various instruments work together to create a magical sound. You understand harmony and melody. 

Maybe you’ve never played piano before, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start now. 

There are many reasons why you’re never too old to learn the piano. The question is: Will now be your time? 

Want to Improve Your Health? Play the Piano

Want to Improve Your Health? Play the Piano

People learn to play the piano for many different reasons:

  • To create music
  • To learn the classics
  • To pursue a career in music
  • To increase memory skills
  • To play a favorite song

It’s usually about the music. But there may be another reason too. Studies consistently show that if you want to improve your health, learn to play the piano. 

We’ve become more aware in recent years of the importance of mental health. Playing the piano helps people relax, experience less anxiety, and overall have less stress. Want even more benefits for playing the piano?

Stress relief – sitting down at the keyboard gives you an outlet for your stress. Pour out your anxiety into your music and let the stress fall away. 

Confidence – as you work through a song, you’ll discover your “can do” attitude improves as you accomplish more with your music. 

Memory – it takes a lot of coordination to play with both hands while reading music in front of you. As you work your way through harder music, you’ll find your memory improves too. 

Multi-tasking – working two hands together while they are each doing different things can seem a bit challenging at first. But the more practice you have, the more you’ll find your mind stays on track with several tasks at hand. 

Focus – pay attention to the rhythm, tempo, music, and how your body moves to the song. Block everything else around you, feeling how the music moves through you. You’ll be able to bring these skills forward into other areas of your life. 

Playing the piano should never cause pain. As you move forward, a teacher can ensure you use proper technique, and gain all of the benefits of playing the piano correctly. 

And enjoying playing the piano for life.

Are Acoustic Pianos Still Relevant?

Are Acoustic Pianos Still Relevant?

You’re thinking of buying a new piano. Should you look for an acoustic piano? Or should you move towards a digital piano? Which is more relevant, and will provide you with an experience you can grow with? 

Old versus new technology

Over the last two hundred years, we’ve had a whirlwind of technological advances. 

Cars have gone from basic forms of transformation to vehicles with impeccable safety standards. They’re even starting to drive themselves. 

Film cameras were once the norm. Now you can accomplish so much more with even just a phone in your hand. 

Or consider the novelty of a typewriter. Yes, they’re still fun to have in an office. They can be reminiscent of days gone by. But when you really want to sit down to work, you’re going to pull up your computer every time. 

Acoustic or digital?

For today’s piano players, if they walk into a room to practice before a concert and they see an acoustic and a digital, which will they choose? In most cases, they’ll move towards the digital. 

We’re accustomed to the precise movement that comes with digital. We can open up our computers and have access to the best editing software, sometimes for free. We’ve grown accustomed to precise sounds – and a clunky, out of tune acoustic piano might not be the first choice when two options are available. 

Today’s digital pianos offer preciseness you’ll never find with old technology. While it’s fun to look at, may hold memories from our ancestry, they don’t have the quality that comes with upgraded technology. 

Is it time to upgrade your piano? 

If you haven’t looked at today’s pianos, you haven’t discovered what upgraded technology can do for the way you play. 

Today’s top digital pianos play like the acoustic you learned on. They aren’t keyboards you’ll find at your local big box store. 

Instead, they offer the best of what an acoustic piano delivers. And then they offer more. They give you the opportunity to play even better; to use technology to its fullest. Play. Record. Enhance. Whether you just want to sit and relax and play your favorite song, or you have the desire to be the next YouTube sensation, it’s possible with today’s technology. 

Are you ready to upgrade to something that transforms the way you play the piano? 

Stop by today and check out our latest technology. There’s a perfect piano waiting for you.