Piano Lessons: Should I Or Shouldn't I?
Everyone has their own reason for wanting to learn to play the piano. In addition to the creative satisfaction in being able to play a musical instrument, playing the piano can be a fun hobby or lead to a future career in music.
Thinking of taking piano lessons? Here are a few pointers to help you make up your mind:
Pros and cons of taking piano lessons rather than trying to learn on your own
Having an experienced pianist will help you avoid bad techniques that could eventually hamper your enjoyment and progress.
Taking piano lessons will help provide motivation to practice.
You will likely make much quicker progress taking piano lessons from a professional rather than learning on your own.
Piano lessons cost money, not only the teacher’s fee, but also the costs for music books, notebooks, and possibly other materials.
You will need to practice on a regular schedule. This may seem like no problem at first, but eventually the novelty fades, and there will come a day when you begin thinking of excuses why you can’t practice ("I have too much homework”, “I’m too tired”, “I really wanted to watch that special episode of Monster Truck Mania tonight!” etc.).
You may sometimes have to practice pieces or exercises you don’t particularly like.
By Debbie Ridpath Ohi, N2Arts Correspondent
Before you look for a teacher
You need to have a keyboard instrument. This sounds like obvious advice, but some people mistakenly think that they can “try out” piano lessons first, and then buy a piano later.
Figure out what you want to get out of your lessons, why you want to learn to play piano, and what kind of music you want to learn.
Ask yourself if you’re ready for the commitment. In order to learn to play the piano, you need to take your lessons seriously and schedule a regular practice time each day. You’ll make much more progress if you practice a little every day rather than cram in one long practice right before your lesson.
How to find the piano teacher you need
If any of your friends are taking piano lessons, ask them about their teacher.
Ask your local music store or music school for a recommendation.
Make sure that the place where you get your piano lessons is close to your home or school. Some piano teachers will come to your home, but they are often more expensive.
What to ask a potential piano teacher
Before signing up with any teacher, make sure you have a meeting beforehand so you each have a chance to get to know each other a little better. It’s important to find the right teacher-student match; the teacher will be aware of this as well, so will likely be asking you questions to find out why you want to take piano lessons, and what you hope to get out of them.