In our fast-paced world, it's all too common for adults to put their dreams and passions on hold, especially when it comes to acquiring new skills like playing the piano. While many may associate piano lessons with childhood, the reality is that it's never too late to embark on a musical journey.
If you've ever found yourself pondering the question, "Is it worth taking piano lessons as an adult?" – read on to discover why the answer is a resounding "yes."
Learning to play the piano as an adult is a fulfilling and enriching journey. It allows you to nurture your creativity, boost your self-esteem, and embark on a path of personal growth. The piano becomes a means of self-expression, enabling you to convey your emotions and thoughts through the universal language of music. Whether you're exploring classical compositions or composing your melodies, the piano empowers you to connect with your inner self in a profound way.
Achieving milestones in your piano journey brings a priceless sense of accomplishment. Progressing from simple melodies to mastering complex pieces boosts your self-confidence, not just in music but in various aspects of life. Regardless of age, embracing the piano is an opportunity for continuous personal growth, artistic fulfilment, and the pure joy of mastering a beautiful art form.
It is simple! By starting to play the piano you will definitely enrich your life and become a better YOU!
In the midst of life's hectic demands, playing the piano offers a calming escape that benefits your mental well-being. When you sit down to play, the world's stresses seem to fade, and you're immersed in the soothing melodies you create. It's a therapeutic experience that lets you release tension, express your emotions, and find solace in the music.
Piano playing has a proven positive impact on your mental health. It's like a form of mindfulness, keeping you in the present moment and providing relief from daily worries. Music engages your brain, boosting your mood and reducing stress. Over time, regular piano practice can enhance your concentration, memory, and cognitive abilities, ultimately contributing to your overall well-being. So, amidst life's chaos, remember that the piano can be your calming retreat, supporting your mental health and helping you find inner peace.
In today's world a musical escape is more needed than ever before! Make piano a part of your life and get rid of stress and work-related frustrations!
Contrary to the saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks," learning to play the piano as an adult offers a wealth of cognitive benefits. It provides your mind with a stimulating workout, challenging your memory, problem-solving skills, and reinforcing the concept of lifelong learning.
Adult piano learning enriches cognition, improving memory, problem-solving, and fostering a dedication to lifelong learning. Memorising musical notes and compositions sharpens memory faculties and overall memory capacity. Deciphering complex musical pieces refines problem-solving abilities and fosters cognitive flexibility, enabling adaptability in facing challenges. Embracing the piano as an adult promotes a mindset of curiosity, ongoing knowledge pursuit, and openness to new challenges and growth, crucial for maintaining mental sharpness and resilience with age. In essence, it challenges and enriches the mind, challenging the belief that it's ever too late to acquire new skills and knowledge.
The piano, often regarded as the king of instruments, stands as a versatile and captivating medium for creative expression. Its expansive range and dynamic capabilities make it a musical chameleon, suitable for a myriad of genres and styles. Whether you're drawn to the timeless elegance of classical compositions, the improvisational freedom of jazz, the infectious melodies of pop music, or even the thrill of crafting your compositions, the piano offers an enchanting playground for your musical imagination.
Beyond its technical prowess, the piano provides a unique channel for emotional and artistic expression. Its keys become a canvas where you can paint your feelings and thoughts through melodies and harmonies. Whether you're conveying the poignancy of a heartfelt ballad, the exuberance of an upbeat tune, or the depth of your own compositions, the piano empowers you to tell your story and connect with others on a profound level. It's a powerful way to tap into your artistic side, offering a platform where your musical ideas can flourish and resonate with both your own soul and the hearts of those who listen.
As an adult, embarking on a piano journey is not just a musical endeavour; it's a path to personal growth and self-discovery. Along this captivating voyage, you'll encounter numerous milestones that become significant sources of pride and confidence. These milestones aren't merely musical conquests; they represent tangible evidence of your dedication and progress.
One of the most fulfilling aspects of your piano journey is conquering challenging pieces. As you tackle compositions that once seemed daunting, you'll experience the joy of mastering intricate melodies and harmonies. The sense of accomplishment that accompanies the flawless execution of a complex passage is unparalleled. Each conquered piece becomes a testament to your perseverance, patience, and unwavering commitment to your musical passion. Moreover, the confidence gained from these achievements extends far beyond the piano bench. It bolsters your self-esteem, reminding you that with determination and effort, you can overcome any challenge in life.
Playing the piano as an adult isn't just about personal growth and artistic expression; it's also a gateway to a vibrant social world. Joining piano clubs, engaging in group lessons, and collaborating with fellow musicians offer opportunities for meaningful connections and a sense of belonging within a musical community. These interactions extend beyond the keys of the piano, fostering lasting friendships and supportive relationships.
Participating in group settings allows individuals to share their musical journey, exchange insights, and collectively work towards proficiency. Collaborative efforts with fellow musicians not only deepen musical connections but also provide avenues for personal and artistic growth. Playing the piano becomes a bridge to a rich social landscape where the bonds formed through shared music-making experiences can be some of the most enduring and rewarding connections in one's life.
Do you have the time? Learning to play the piano, like mastering any skill, requires a significant time commitment. As an adult with various responsibilities and a busy schedule, it's crucial to allocate dedicated time for your piano lessons and daily practise sessions. Consistency in your practise routine is key to making steady progress. Consider creating a schedule that accommodates your other commitments while ensuring you have ample time to nurture your musical skills.
Are you patient and persistent? As an adult learner, you may find that progress on the piano unfolds at a different pace than it did during your childhood. It's important to approach your piano journey with patience and persistence. Understand that there may be challenges along the way, but each hurdle you overcome will bring a profound sense of achievement. Embrace the learning process as a fulfilling and lifelong adventure, and you'll find that the journey itself is immensely rewarding.
Do you know how to choose the right piano teacher? Choosing the right piano teacher is a critical factor in your success as an adult learner. Look for an instructor who specialises in teaching adults and understands their unique needs and goals. A patient and encouraging teacher can provide valuable guidance, helping you navigate the complexities of piano playing effectively. Additionally, a teacher who tailors lessons to your interests and skill level can make the learning experience more enjoyable and productive.
Embarking on the journey of piano lessons as an adult is unquestionably a worthwhile endeavour. The advantages of personal fulfilment, stress relief, enhanced mental well-being, creative expression, a profound sense of achievement, and the opportunity for social interaction make it a highly rewarding pursuit. If you've ever harboured the dream of playing the piano, there's no better moment than now to commence your musical odyssey. Don't allow age to be a barrier to pursuing your passion and reaping the abundant benefits that music can bestow upon your life.
To get started, consider exploring the offerings at LMT Music Academy, where your musical aspirations can flourish. Find out more about our piano lessons and make your musical dreams come true!
The number of lessons needed for a beginner in piano playing depends on their goals and current skill level. Some students aim to play songs within a few months, while others intend to continue their studies and dedicate more time to playing the piano over an extended period.
However, it's important to note that not all students can achieve their piano-playing goals in just a few lesson sessions. Proficiency in piano playing typically demands extensive practice and consistency. In such cases, students must persist with their piano studies to attain their objectives.
While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, the number of lessons required to achieve your piano-playing goals is influenced by several factors.
The journey of learning to play the piano is unique for each individual, and the number of lessons a beginner needs depends largely on their specific goals. For those who simply wish to learn a handful of basic songs to play for personal enjoyment or others, only a few lessons may suffice. However, if one aspires to become a professional pianist, a lifelong commitment to lessons and practice is often necessary.
Regardless of the goals, it's crucial to allocate ample time to broaden one's skills and deepen their understanding of the instrument. A skilled teacher plays a pivotal role in guiding a student, imparting essential knowledge and techniques to facilitate improvement. Consistent practice is equally vital for developing muscle memory and honing overall playing abilities.
Whether pursuing the piano as a pleasurable pastime or aiming for a career in music, it remains a gratifying and fulfilling instrument to learn and master.
The decision to embark on a journey of piano playing, whether in the realm of pop, classical, or jazz, hinges upon one's goals and personal preferences. Opting for pop piano instruction offers the chance to delve into contemporary songs and perform music spanning various eras. Classical piano studies open the door to exploring the timeless compositions of classical music's great composers. On the other hand, delving into jazz piano provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in songs adorned with intricate chords and rhythms.
Each genre entails a unique set of skills and techniques to master. Learning the piano extends beyond mere note-playing; it encompasses grasping the essence of music and cultivating one's distinctive style. The choice of genre to study can infuse motivation and enjoyment into your piano learning journey, aiding in the development of your skills and a deeper understanding of this magnificent instrument.
Maintaining consistency and dedication in beginner piano lessons is a pivotal step towards achieving proficiency in piano playing. By adhering to a consistent schedule of attending lessons and practising at home, a student is more likely to expand their skills and become adept at playing the piano. Consistency also provides valuable opportunities to identify and address weaknesses in piano technique, allowing for the correction of any improper habits and the development of effective solutions for improvement.
Consistency extends beyond lesson attendance and encompasses the commitment to regular practice at home. This regular practice is instrumental in the development of muscle memory, fostering confidence in one's playing, and facilitating the targeted improvement of skills. In essence, consistency in piano learning serves as a reliable path to attaining piano-playing objectives, whether pursued as a leisurely pastime or a professional pursuit.
Finding the right balance between the amount of practice time and the frequency of beginner piano lessons is a critical aspect of piano learning. While consistent practice is vital for expanding one's piano-playing skills, regular lessons provide essential knowledge and techniques to build confidence and proficiency in piano performance. Striking this balance between practice and lessons offers valuable opportunities to enhance piano-playing skills while still benefiting from guidance and progress assessment.
Students should allocate ample time for practice at home to achieve their piano-playing objectives. However, it's equally important to recognise the significance of lessons where new techniques and skills are acquired.
Patience and persistence play vital roles in the process of learning beginner piano lessons. Being patient with oneself increases the likelihood of success in piano playing. Piano skills are not acquired overnight, and having patience allows for the gradual acquisition and expansion of those skills. In this way, patience also contributes to building self-confidence in reaching one's goals.
Persistence serves as motivation to continue the journey of learning the piano, even when faced with mistakes and challenges. Beginner piano lessons can be demanding and may require considerable effort, but persistence provides the opportunity to address weaknesses and find solutions to better grasp piano-playing skills. Overall, cultivating patience and persistence empowers students to steadily progress toward achieving their piano-playing objectives.
In conclusion, the number of lessons required for beginner piano students varies depending on their individual goals and current skill levels. The path to achieving confidence and proficiency in piano playing necessitates consistent practice and unwavering dedication. By embracing a regular practice routine and fostering the right mindset, students are better equipped to steadily progress towards their piano-playing aspirations. Additionally, it's crucial for students to remain patient and persistent throughout their journey, understanding that mastery of this beautiful instrument takes time and effort. With these qualities, learners can navigate the intricacies of piano playing and find fulfilment in their musical pursuits, be it as a hobby or a professional endeavour.
As a master piano teacher, I have met hundreds of amateur pianists and shared my experience with several colleagues who are terrific pianists.
We have all taught and are still teaching wonderful people who make teaching a delightful occupation. We can also, at times, experience lots of pain with students who do not seem to understand both piano playing and piano education.
Some people treat their instructors with little respect for unknown reasons and tend to forget that their piano teacher is likely to have expertise similar to top lawyers or brain surgeons.
Instead of looking down on them, some individuals should reconsider their views and admire the exceptional pianist for giving up some of his precious time to guide them through their musical journey.
Some piano students start their courses with the wrong mindset. They do not understand what piano playing is all about nor comprehend the enormous amount of work needed to succeed. Some see it as a task that must be completed as soon as possible. Others expect to play Rachmaninov's 2nd concerto within a few weeks and show little interest in the basics that cannot be skipped.
These misconceptions often lead to tension and frustration and make the lessons painful for both the teacher and the student.
If you decide to learn how to play the piano, you must keep in mind that becoming a proficient pianist takes years and that rushing the process is not the solution.
Let me share my experience with two of my former students.
Student A was very nervous. At his first lesson, he told me that he was taking a break from work for a year and that it was the perfect opportunity for him to learn how to play the piano. As I have a considerable experience in adult piano education, I immediately understood that he plans to master piano playing this year. He was quite a good student at first. He was very dedicated, and I was pretty impressed with his progress. He always completed his homework and even exceeded my expectations. No wonder why! He wanted to succeed so badly and quickly that he was highly motivated. As expected, he experienced his first setback after a few weeks of studies and the atmosphere changed entirely. He became highly nervous and turned each session into a nightmare. He would repeatedly kick the floor and keyboard at each mistake he made. As defeat was not acceptable to him, he ended up stop playing altogether after a few months of studies. Is it not ironic?
Student B was also highly motivated at first. He was practising much more than required to propel himself to the moon. He was doing very well, but he was still at a very early stage when he came to his lesson, informing me that the beginner book we were working from was uninteresting and that he would much instead study his favourite piece by Maurice Ravel. I do not need to add that it was one of the most challenging pieces ever written for the piano.
At this moment, I knew that the lessons would turn into an unpleasant experience. Fortunately, he quickly realised that this piece of the repertoire was far too hard for him, and he stopped attending his piano lessons.
You might think I am making these stories up. Sadly, I am not.
Piano teachers are usually excellent pianists with vast adult piano education experience. They know what should be studied at each stage of your development and what technical exercises or repertoire pieces are best for you. If you are a beginner, please remember that your teacher was probably playing the pieces you are practising at four years old and that they are incredibly straightforward to him. He knows exactly what he is doing. Criticizing his advice while you can barely synchronise both hands is not the way forward.
Once again, you might be surprised to hear that some people with no or minimal experience in piano playing argue the advice their instructor gave...
I understand that interpretation can be subjective, and I have no problem with that, but arguing when you can hardly play is unacceptable.
I have always been baffled when students seek my help to resolve technical difficulties and come to their lesson the following week telling me that the advice given made things worse.
How can it be?
As piano teachers and concert pianists, we have practised hundreds of pieces of the repertoire and probably encountered all possible technical issues. We know how to resolve them. There is no doubt about that.
Remember: If your playing is getting worse from one week to another, it is not because your piano teacher has given you the wrong advice. It is because you have either not practised enough or practised in the wrong way.
In the category of the worse piano students ever, there is a certain type of people who likes inverting the role between teacher and student. They are usually intermediate or advanced players but they can also be beginners.
One of my former students was a fairly known person in his profession. For this reason, he thought that he had it all and that he could conduct the lessons better than I would.
I could not give him any advice, even if there was a lot to say. He would systematically say “I know this but it is not the issue”. Or he would close the book to perform another piece as soon as I would open my mouth to give my feedback on his performance. Unbelievable but true.
You might think that I have a lot of imagination but I can assure you that all these anecdotes are true.
Some amateur pianists think higher of themselves than they are. They tend to copy the performances of world-class pianists without understanding them fully, resulting in inconsistent, incoherent playing.
I have rarely met such people but I still have. They would not listen to my advice but defend their poor interpretation believing that it was what Maurizio Pollini or Alfred Brendel were doing. Copying another pianist does not work, especially if you do not understand the reasons behind their variations of the text.
It made it impossible for me to express myself as a pianist and piano teacher.
The worst insult is to come to your piano lesson and proudly claim that you haven’t had time to practice. I have always been amazed by piano students who are not ashamed to attend lessons without sitting at the piano once during the week. How is it possible? How is it possible not to find a few minutes each day to do your homework? Are these people interested in piano playing? Don’t they want to make any progress?
We have all watched Groundhog Day, so practice in between your lessons if you don’t want to torture your piano teacher!
Do you ever skip work or reschedule a shopping trip with your best friend? I believe that it only happens when you are truly unwell and unable to leave your bed.
One of the best ways to show your piano teacher that his lessons are not important to you is to reschedule or skip them regularly.
In addition to showing a lack of interest in your piano lessons, you must also realise that rescheduling your lessons means throwing around your instructor's weekly organisation.
I am not saying that students should attend religiously every single week of the year on a set day and time and never have any impediment. Still, some people seem to think that their piano teacher is available at any time to suit their availability.
Remember that your piano instructor is possibly as busy as you are. He must manage a demanding schedule and balance his life equally between teaching, practising and performing.
Even if you must juggle between various activities, try and stick to your appointments as often as you can for the benefit of both your teacher and yourself.
I am sure you are a wonderful person and do not intend to disappoint your piano teacher. I just wanted to share my experience with challenging students and show you that acting oppositely will surely please your instructor.
Now that you know the six best ways to disappoint him, you will try your best to be a “perfect” student. You will carefully listen to his advice and ensure that you practice diligently. You will also attend your piano lessons regularly and appreciate that it is a blessing to spend some time weekly with a fantastic pianist!
Not being a good piano student is not beneficial either for you or your teacher, so I encourage you to ensure that you can be a fantastic pupil before starting your piano course!
Like most pianists, I started teaching in my late teenage years. My first two students were a 6-year-old boy and a middle-aged lady. After a few lessons, I realised that teaching children and adults required different skills and that I was much more talented at helping this lovely woman become a better pianist than tutoring little Leo.
I still taught children and adults until my mid-twenties before deciding to specialise in adult piano education. I quickly realised that I tremendously enjoyed guiding amateur pianists throughout their piano journey and that I had a passion for this occupation.
I was teaching privately from my apartment in Pall Mall. For those who do not know London well, this renowned street is located in St James’ and is home to the most notorious private members’ clubs in Central London. I remember teaching David, who was a very talented pianist and lawyer, as well as Ame-Love, who was a piano beginner and a writer.
The combination of the elegant social settings I was surrounded by and piano playing soon awoke me to the desire to create an environment where adult amateur pianists could meet fellow piano enthusiasts.
There are four categories of amateur pianists:
They are all fantastic people who are passionate about piano playing and take lessons to benefit from the guidance of an expert.
They are not looking for perfection. They do not have the intention to become concert pianists. They want to enjoy playing the piano and be guided to reach a certain level of proficiency. The goal varies from one person to another as it can range from being able to play a few pieces by Einaudi to performing Chopin's 1st concerto to the best of their ability. All adult piano learners are different and require specific attention.
I have never taught or approached two of my students similarly. On the contrary, I continually adjust to their needs, wishes, abilities and personality. I believe it is what makes adult piano teaching fascinating, as it includes psychology and adaptation.
To be a fantastic piano teacher for adults, you must put your student first, analyse who is in front of you and find the method to teach each of them most suitably. You must always follow them while respecting a specific structure and revealing the aspects of piano playing that will make a difference. Unlike children and future professional pianists, it is not appropriate to expect adult amateur pianists to excel in all aspects of piano playing. You must use finesse and intelligence to show them what is going to be beneficial and nothing else.
As a young piano tutor, I did not understand the above, and I tended to teach everything I knew to my piano students. I soon realised it was not the way to go, and adaptation was vital.
Amateur pianists must be approached in a specific way which I could describe as an art.
When teaching children, you are bound to provide a complete piano education since these little ones could potentially aim to become professional pianists. Teaching adults require different psychology and pedagogy since adults play for pleasure. Analysing and understanding the personality of each of your students is essential to be successful and help them become the best pianist they can be.
Throughout my career, I have dealt with hundreds of adults who all had to be approached differently. Some were extremely sensitive and criticising their performance had to be done with gloves to avoid causing any offence. One of my female students excelled at interpreting Chopin beautifully but her lack of technical abilities would prevent her to express her emotions fully. As she had a demanding job and a limit amount of time to practise, I could not give her an endless list of technical exercises to help improve her overall playing. I had to find the right balance to enhance it.
Another lady was obsessed with perfection and would spend up to 4 hours a day practising to perform as well as Maurizio Pollini. It was her favourite pianist. She wanted to know everything about piano playing at once and was never satisfied with the results. I had to teach her everything I knew but I had to adjust since her goals could never be reached.
A gentleman was extremely quick as learning some of the most complex pieces of the repertoire. He was very talented but his lack of technical abilities would result in him not being able to perform these pieces professionally. I tried to introduce him to technical exercises but I quickly realised that he was not interested. I could not push him in that direction since he was playing for pleasure. Having to practise scales, arpeggios, doubles notes or octaves daily would have surely discouraged him greatly and possibly lead him to stop his piano lessons. It would have been a great shame since he still had a lot to learn to improve his interpretation skills.
I have also met an Asian lady who had a fantastic technique. Everything was played accurately, including musical phrases that were respected impeccably. Unfortunately, she could not feel the music internally and I had to focus entirely on this aspect, without ever telling her what the problem was.
I am a very honest person, but I have never shared my deep thoughts with my students. The truth would have hurt them deeply and it would not have done any good. Remember that adults are not looking for perfection. Maybe some do but their demanding life will never allow them to dedicate the necessary amount of time at the piano to become a concert pianist. Making them aware of that fact would simply discourage them and not help them improve. Your job as a piano teacher for adults is not to break your pupils down but to make them shine using their qualities and work on the faults periodically.
At the end of the day, music is what you should focus on unless a student specifically asks to work on his technical skills.
I use a similar approach when it comes to piano repertoire. I always let them choose the pieces they wish to study, as long as it is within their level of competency. Some students love Mozart, Haydn and early Beethoven pieces. If it is what they like playing, well, it is wonderful. My job is to make them play this particular style as well as possible until the limit is reached. It could be a technical or a musical ceiling that won’t be passed. I know it and they know it too.
My sister who is a professional cellist doesn’t understand amateur musicians. She often says “I don’t understand why they are playing. They are so bad. What is the point?”
It is precisely what I am discussing. The point is to help them become the best they can be by figuring out what can help them without ever judging or criticising them. Understanding who each individual is and work around it.
A lot of adjustment is needed while teaching amateur pianists. You must come down to their level and never expect them to come to yours. You must encourage them in their endeavour and find a way to make them excel at their level without aiming for perfection.
All of that said, I am often very impressed by the love for music and the expressive abilities that some amateur musicians have. Their technique is perhaps not up to par but they possess a great sense of artistry which I must command!
It's a wonderful time to begin your piano studies as an adult! You're about to go on a brand-new adventure, ready to discover a world that may be utterly unfamiliar to you. You've seen several piano recitals and heard several piano compositions, and you now believe it's time for you to enjoy playing this magnificent instrument as well.
You're ready to take action now that you've made up your mind and eliminated any and all excuses for not making your dream a reality.
As with a successful cooking recipe, you'll need a few components to get this new endeavour off to a good start: a piano to practice on, a handy area in your home to place your instrument, time to practice, and a piano teacher. You may believe that you can learn to play the piano on your own, but trust me when I say that having an experienced piano teacher is exceptionally vital.
Personal practice is critical to your piano education. It is critical to attend piano lessons on a regular basis in order to benefit from the instruction of a professional pianist, but you will not be able to learn to play the piano unless you devote time to personal practice. To become a successful pianist, you must practice the piano on a daily basis. You can begin with 15 minutes per day, but as you make progress, you will quickly need to raise to 30 minutes. Unfortunately, there is no magic trick to improving your piano playing; you must practice on a regular basis. It may be comparable to working out. You must go to the gym on a regular basis if you want to reduce weight and build muscle.
As a result, you'll need to buy or rent an instrument. As a newbie, you have various possibilities. It all comes down to personal preference. You might get a basic keyboard (as long as it has 88 weighted keys), a sophisticated digital piano, an upright or a grand piano. The latter is preferable, but it all relies on your available space and cash.
Some individuals believe that a great grand piano is not required for a beginner. I believe that having the best instrument available is always preferable.
If you want your practice sessions to be effective, you must locate a peaceful and serene location in your home. Even if a piano is a gorgeous piece of furniture, practicing in the living room with your family members all around you is not a good idea. If you want to get the most out of your practice sessions, put your piano in a quiet location where you won't be disturbed. Also, you play the piano for enjoyment, therefore you deserve to be at ease so that you may enjoy your me time!
Furthermore, I would advise you to turn off your phone to avoid being distracted by text messages or phone calls. If you are not focused, you will not be productive, so keep a calm demeanor while practicing your instrument.
As you've probably figured out by now, personal practice is essential for your piano progress. Attending piano lessons is necessary, but it is insufficient. Before beginning your piano lessons, make sure you can devote some time to practicing this new skill on a daily basis. Depending on your schedule, you could either go to bed a little later or set your alarm clock a little earlier. If you work from home, you may practice during your lunch break. It makes no difference what time of day it is as long as you are consistent.
I believe that having a predetermined daily schedule is preferable to letting the day unfold. So many things might happen in a day that you may end up not practicing at all most days and deferring it to the following day, which is meant to be more quieter. This peaceful day may never come, so make it a point to practise every day at the same time. Consider it a meeting with yourself.
Having the supervision of a good piano teacher is very important in your piano education. To be honest, many individuals have attempted to do without it, but it has never worked out well. Piano playing is a complicated art form that cannot be learned on your own. You may believe that if you buy a piano book for beginners and watch some random YouTube videos, you will be fine. You won't be, believe me.
Throughout my time as a piano teacher, I've encountered countless adults who attempted to learn on their own but quickly realised that it was impossible and that the assistance of a piano teacher was required.
Professional pianists have all been students at some point, and they know how to get you from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible. They know everything there is to know about piano playing and how to help you develop step by step. You can be confident that you will not develop negative habits and will make rapid progress if you follow the advice of a piano teacher. There is no need to go through the frustration that you will definitely experience if you attempt to learn to play the piano on your own.
There are several excellent piano teachers in London, as well as a few platforms or piano schools where you can meet them. If you reside in a city, it should be reasonably straightforward to find a highly certified and experienced teacher. If you reside in a small town or in a remote location, I could recommend online piano lessons with Zoom, FaceTime, or GoMeeting. These platforms are wonderful and can offer you excellent service. The technology has advanced to the point where it makes little difference whether you take your piano lessons online or in person. If you are too busy to commute to your piano teacher, you can also choose this option.
I hope you found this post useful and that you now understand what you need to do to make your piano instruction a success!
Here you are. Your first adult beginner piano student is due for his first lesson in a few days, and you're at a loss for where to begin. You have never met an adult who is brand new to playing the piano, and the pressure is on. So, what should I say? So, what should I do? Will he enjoy my lesson? What shall I first show him?
I understand how intimidating it can be, so I am happy to share my experience.
Over the years, I have met several adults who were brand new to piano playing, and I have refined my approach until I found a recipe that worked pretty well.
You may be nervous about meeting your new student, but believe me; he is even more so. He is scared to death! He has never touched a piano key in his life, and he feels worthless. He is worried about not being good enough, and he is probably doing some research before coming to see you so that he does not appear too stupid.'
So don't be concerned. He is more embarrassed than you are!
Your first task should be to put your new piano student at ease. Greet him with a friendly smile and enquire about his day. It will help to break the ice and make everyone feel more at ease.
You should talk a little more and ask him a few questions once the pressure has gone down. I believe it is critical to discover who sits on the piano stool. In addition, instead of reciting a script, asking questions shows your student that you are interested in him and that you will adapt to his needs.
I don't think you'd be pleased if a doctor gave you a prescription without asking you any questions, do you?
It is critical to show interest in your new piano student. Ask your new piano student about their motivation for learning, preferred music styles, whether they have access to a piano at home, and if they have time to practice between lessons.
After this brief conversation, you should both be much more relaxed and ready to begin the piano lesson.
I always take a few minutes to explain that the piano stool should be adequately adjusted before moving on to hand positions. It doesn't matter if your student doesn't know what a middle C is. I don't discuss the piano mechanism or the pedals.
Instead, I show him around the keyboard. Remember that if your student has never played the piano before, he may feel completely lost in front of these impressive 88 keys that all look the same.
First, I concentrate on one octave, from middle C to high C, and teach him the names of the white notes. I explain briefly that the black keys are variations on these notes, but I don't spend much time on it.
I highlight the C and F, indicating that the C is on the left side of a group of two black keys and the F is on the left side of a group of three black keys. Most adults notice it right away, and it helps them get a better picture of the keyboard.
Then I ask them to find all of the Cs and Fs on the keyboard.
At that point, your student should have a slight smile on his face because he is beginning to understand how everything will work. He now realises that the same keys repeat themselves and that it isn't so frightening after all.
Following this initial discovery, I prefer to begin only with C – D – E – F – G.
At this point, I don't know if the student is a quick learner or not, so I think it's best not to take any chances. I once met a lady who could not remember these five notes.
I saw her twice, and even after two hours of lessons, she couldn't recognise them. It is an extreme case, but you should be prepared because you never know!
If everything goes well and the student knows the name and key of these five notes, I show him where they are on the music staff. I ask him to take a few minutes to figure out where they are written and then ask him to read them on a music sheet.
Learning to read music is critical and skipping this step is a big mistake that will quickly become a problem in your student's education.LMT Music Academy
The first line contains only Cs, Ds, and Es. The Fs are added in the second line, followed by the Gs in the third line. I go slowly and step by step.
I pick up a piano book and ask the student to play his first piano piece once he recognizes these notes on the keyboard and the music sheet. I always choose 'Au Clair de la Lune,' a French children's rhyme with only Cs, Ds, and Es.
I take advantage of this opportunity to explain the treble and bass clefs and ask the student to tell me the names of the notes he plays. Instead of memorizing, it is a wonderful exercise that forces beginners to memorise the names of the notes and associate a name with a key.
When it appears to be simple, I move on to time signatures and note values. I keep it simple by only discussing semibreves, minims, and crotchets. This simple piece has no other rhythm in any case, so it is ideal!
What I've learned so far should be sufficient for any average piano beginner. Some may require more time than others, so adjust accordingly. Do the same for the bass clef if he is a quick learner and can absorb more information. It all depends on how long this first lesson lasts!
I always encourage my students, no matter what they have accomplished. I think it's lovely to see adults learn to play the piano, and I can only applaud them for it. So many piano enthusiasts wish to begin but never do, so let us cheer on the daring!
I also advise the student to practice as much as he can on a daily basis. I tell him exactly what to do and give him some pointers on improving his memorisation of the notes and determining whether he truly understands them. In addition, I recommend purchasing a notebook to be used for homework writing.
As you can see, it is a very simple recipe that produces excellent results.
People are always happy when they leave their first piano lesson if this method is used, and they feel a sense of accomplishment. They discovered that reading music is not as complicated as they had previously thought, and they were able to play their first tune.
What more can they ask for? 🙂
Confidence is required to play a musical instrument, and it has a significant impact on the quality of one's performance. It will aid in developing a brilliant sound production and a remarkable technique. It is nearly impossible to perform the most complex pieces without it, and lacking confidence may cause your playing to sound weak.
I gained a lot of confidence in my early twenties, but I had a lack of confidence as a child.
It had a negative impact on my piano playing, resulting in weak and insecure performances.
I could play reasonably well at home, but my efforts were futile when I went to piano lessons.
I was so afraid of not being able to play well or of being told that I wasn't good enough that I couldn't even press the keys. I would make an extremely superficial sound and muddle through all of the technical passages. The more concerned I was, the less interesting my performances would be, the more confidence I would lose, and the more I would be criticised.
This lack of confidence, I believe, stems from a quest for absolute perfection, which resulted in not being perfect at all!
Because I specialise in teaching adults, I frequently encounter people who said to themselves before touching the keyboard, "It's going to be disastrous" or "It's all going to go wrong." They would do it before each and every performance at every lesson. Their performance would have been very acceptable to me, but they kept saying, "they might be the worst student I have ever met."
I recall a specific person. She was a successful and talented woman. She was also very attractive and appeared to lead an exciting lifestyle. She appeared to be quite sure of herself in everyday life, but as soon as she sat down at the piano, she lost all confidence. She always wanted to go slowly through each piece or technical exercise to ensure that everything was in order. She was constantly doubting herself and struggled to play a piece from start to finish without making a mistake. It appeared that her lack of confidence kept her from performing as beautifully as she could have, which was a real shame. We talked about it and she revealed that her aim of perfection was actually preventing her to express herself fully.
I had another student who had a very successful career as well. She was a total perfectionist who demanded that everything be "perfect." As a result, she played so softly that I couldn't hear the sound that was supposed to come from the grand piano.
These examples demonstrate to me that a lack of confidence is caused by a fear of failure, and it can severely limit people's abilities.
Adults who are new to music playing frequently doubt themselves, so I believe it is critical to put them at ease by emphasizing that mistakes do not matter.
I completely understand why adults are shy. Most of my students are highly successful professionals who are suddenly confronted with the harsh reality of being "OK" at something new.
I purposefully put some quote/unquote signs around the word OK because their perception of being average at music playing is not accurate. They believe they are not very good at it because it is new to them and they have not excelled as much as they expected. They have most likely not been in that situation since their studies and are, therefore, unprepared to be the novices that they are.
I believe they lose confidence as a result of this, preventing them from achieving much better results.
I always encourage my students and always begin my report after a performance by discussing the positive aspects of their performance. After they've identified what they've done well, I look for areas where they can improve without ever criticising them negatively. I always tell them that what they have to do is difficult and that if we have to work on a specific passage, it is completely normal.
Because confidence is so important in music, saying anything that might cause your students to lose theirs could be extremely damaging.
Children aren't very good at hiding their shyness, but adults can often pull it off.
As a result, you should approach each of your adult students as if they lacked confidence.
You should always compliment them on their accomplishments and provide them with practice material appropriate for their current ability level. Playing too difficult technical exercises or pieces may be detrimental and result in your student losing confidence.
I always enjoy working on two pieces at the same time: one that is well-known but still has room for improvement, and the other that is brand-new. As a result, students are not constantly confronted with new challenges, which can give them the impression that they are back at the bottom of the ladder.
I also advise my students not to put away a piece that they have mastered, but rather to play it from time to time in their spare time. Hearing yourself play something well while working on new material, I believe, boosts confidence.
I never hesitate to congratulate my students on their incredible progress and to share my impressions with them. Music students are often so engrossed in their studies that they do not realize how far they have come. That is why it is critical to provide them with feedback on a regular basis and to remind them that they are doing an excellent job!
I hope you found this article helpful and that you now better understand why some adults may lack confidence. I hope you now better understand how to deal with and resolve this issue if it arises in the future!
Believe it or not, I've met a few overly ambitious piano students. If you are new to piano teaching, you may not understand what I mean because having a student who dreams great aspirations seems terrific. Someone who begins with high hopes and a lot of enthusiasm. Someone willing to scale the highest peaks and swim the deepest musical oceans. Someone who claims he will follow your advice to the letter and practice two or three hours per day. Someone willing to go to any length to become a successful pianist. Someone who swears never to give up and understands that plateaus and setbacks are all part of the learning process. Someone who will always attend his piano lessons regardless of the circumstances and who will be with you for the next ten years. Someone who has made a precise determination and is willing to put in the necessary time and effort to perfect Rachmaninov's Second Concerto, even if it takes him twenty years.
Isn't that what you're looking for in a student?
You might believe I'm joking or that I've imagined the ideal pupil. I can promise you that I have not and that I have met students of this type a few times in my career.
I was as taken by the first two students as you would surely be, but I soon realised that it was all a ruse and that individuals who are so eager are incredibly difficult to manage. I'm sure they are confident in their ability to succeed when they begin their piano lessons. I do not believe they are inventing it to impress you. I think they're sincere, but their diligence, regrettably, remains a figment of their imagination.
These "exceptional" students are usually terrific at first. They arrive early for their piano, ask many questions, show considerable interest, attend piano performances regularly, practise meticulously, and even phone or WhatsApp you between lessons to check that they are practising correctly.
Unfortunately, this appetite vanishes rapidly. It can go one of two ways: either your "dream" pupil will grow increasingly erratic over the next few weeks, or he will begin conducting the lessons on your behalf. He'll become a piano instructor, and these once-in-a-lifetime piano lessons will become a nightmare. Trying to control this type of student is akin to attempting to catch a jellyfish!
It's a problematic scenario that can quickly become unpleasant if you don't take charge.
If one of your pupils appears to go out of hand and try to lead the lessons because his ambition led him to rob a music store of their scores and recordings, I will encourage you to put him back in place immediately. The longer you wait, the worse the situation becomes. The more power he wields, the less power you have, and you will be unable to conduct your piano lessons.
I had many of these horrible encounters, and it was incredibly tough to get out of them once the game began. Every week, the student would bring a new piece that was completely inappropriate and unsuited for this skill level. He would start to disregard the technical exercises offered to him because he believed he had discovered a better method to practice them (let me remind you that he was a beginner). He would also start arguing against musical guidance because another pianist's version was more to his liking...
After a few weeks, you begin to question why you are seated next to him and begin to lose your sense of direction. The teachings no longer make sense, and you wish this specific student would quit your class. It eventually happens due to his great ambition, which causes him to smash his nose on the keyboard.
I've been teaching piano students for over two decades, and I've always seen that those who try to make too much progress make little development. They jump from one piece to the next, from one technical exercise to the next, from one recording to the next, and end up nowhere.
I understand how difficult it is, but as a piano instructor, you are expected to give your students the best advice, even if they do not behave appropriately. You are expected to guide them in the right way and bring them back if they take the wrong turn.
I did not always correct these too-ambitious students as a young piano teacher. I didn't want to disappoint or discourage them, but now that I think about it, I realise it was a mistake. Debating with your students also takes a lot of bravery and energy, especially if they are utter beginners with incorrect beliefs. It takes a lot of psychology to get them back on track because hurting someone's feelings is never nice. Regrettably, it is sometimes unavoidable...
With additional teaching experience, I now have the confidence to confront these pupils and identify inappropriate behaviour at an early stage. I use a lot of energy throughout each lesson, but I take satisfaction in maintaining control, which is critical to their progress. Allowing your students to go wherever they want and following them down the wrong road is not the way to go.
As I previously stated, pulling the harnesses is much more difficult, but it is the only option for you to continue instructing properly. You must keep your status as a piano teacher and ensure they heed your recommendations. If a student believes he knows better than you, he is free to study elsewhere, but don't let anyone rule you. There's a reason you are the instructor, and they are students. Never forget that!
Throughout my musical studies, I met various piano teachers, and I have been a piano teacher for about 25 years. I've had some wonderful teachers. Others were not so nice, and attending their classes was not particularly inspirational. I was also not always such a great piano teacher at the start of my career since I lacked experience but I always tried to make my piano lessons as enjoyable as possible.
In this article, I would like to talk about the different flaws and qualities that I've noticed in my piano teachers, as well as how I have always attempted to learn from them in order to make my piano lessons more pleasurable.
The instructor's lack of attention and the horrible habit of starting each class by shattering my playing first before looking at the qualities were the two most vexing flaws.
I'm sure you realise that I'm not going to divulge any names so as not to offend anyone!
One of my master piano teachers was unquestionably a fantastic pianist. However, he appeared to be offering piano lessons for financial reasons and seemed uninterested in my performances. He used to be at least 15 minutes late for each lesson and would spend a significant amount of time on the phone.
To begin each class, one of my other piano teachers would completely crush my piano playing. That approach did not strike me as particularly productive. It was depressing, and I used to spend my lessons grieving.
I have also had some wonderful music teachers that made learning fun. Naji Hakim, my music analysis teacher for a few years, comes to mind. I wasn't very interested in the subject, but he was so enthusiastic about it that each lesson was a treat.
I also recall fondly my piano lessons with Edson Elias, Francois Weigel, and Thierry Lang. They were all outstanding pianists and teachers, but they were also much more. They were my friends because they were so personable and understanding. I could talk about anything with them, and going to their lessons was my favourite time of the week!
Through teaching experience, I believe you can develop your own technique and find the proper balance. You will gain confidence and feel more at ease as you teach different people each week.
You will learn how to find a balance between educating your students and making their courses pleasant. You sometimes have no choice but to tell them that they haven't done well, but the key is understanding how to do so in the proper way, with the right words and tone.
I specialise in teaching adults and have learned how to successfully approach them over time.
It may appear unproductive, but I believe it is essential to speak with your students at each lesson, especially when they come in. They have just arrived at your lesson after a long commute, and they need some time to unwind and recover from the stress. Also, some of them may be nervous about showing you what they have practiced, and talking can help them relax. Whatever the situation, I feel it is critical to show to your student that you care about him or her on a personal level. After all, you are not a teaching machine!
I would gladly share my personal stories. I have always liked listening Edson Elias share his personal experiences. Instead of merely knowing my piano teacher, I was getting to know the man a little more with each passing week.
Criticising is difficult! It is far easier to compliment someone's performance than it is to tell him that he is doing everything wrong. Usually, this is not the case, and there is always something you can commend your pupil on.
Here's how I approach a performance or a technical exercise: I start by looking for what has improved since the previous week, and then I focus on the flaws. I always congratulate my students before examining the areas that need to be improved.
I believe in motivating my pupils and bringing out the best in them. We all have flaws and strengths, and being commended initially aids in realising that there is still work to be done in other areas. I feel that if we are encouraged, we can find some inner power, and I employ this technique with all of my students.
Having a good sense of humour can also be beneficial because you can always laugh together!
When you take on the position of a teacher, I believe it is equally necessary to become a good listener. You should be prepared to answer questions and assist your student with any problems he may encounter. Students are occasionally anxious about trivial things; they frequently believe that they are not good enough and that they are not progressing as expected. Whatever their concerns or concerns are, you should remain calm and ready to assist them. After all, you are their guide, therefore they should never feel as if their questions are too foolish to ask.
You want all of your students to be at ease with you. Some piano teachers play the role of the huge guru and wear a faraway mask, but I don't think that's the right way to be a teacher.
I would also be pretty flexible in terms of repertoire selection, as long as the piece is not far too tough for my pupil. I believe it is critical that your students play music they enjoy, as long as it is appropriate.
I would let them choose whether they want to prepare for the grade exams or perform at the piano recitals you might put on at the end of the year.
I have always liked allowing my students to be free within a structure, and I believe it is the best way to go if you want your pupils to enjoy their piano lessons with you!
The best piano teachers have a variety of qualities, but I'd like to focus on the most important of all.
An excellent piano teacher will undoubtedly possess the following characteristics:
This is an important consideration because you want to make sure you're studying with a piano teacher who knows everything there is to know about the instrument and can give you the best advice based on his personal experience.
Pianists new to teaching are often unsure how to approach a piano student. When I first started a little more than 20 years ago, I didn't always know what the best methods would be, and I had a tendency to ask too much of my students. I used to struggle to adapt to their abilities and had unrealistic expectations.
A great piano teacher will not only have brilliant ideas and a wealth of piano-playing experience. He will know how to find the right word and have the patience to pass on his extraordinary knowledge to his students in an easy-to-understand manner.
Reliability is essential because you must attend your piano lessons regularly to make any progress. It is inappropriate to study with a brilliant pianist who is only available once in a blue moon due to a busy performance schedule. To ensure consistency in your piano education, your piano teacher must be available every week.
Kindness and understanding are essential if you want to enjoy your piano lessons. How could you learn if your piano teacher constantly criticised you and made you feel ineffective? When your performance isn't up to par, your piano teacher must be extremely patient and use the appropriate words. Disappointment is not a sign of a good teacher!
As I previously stated, your piano teacher must be able to use a great deal of psychology when telling you that you have not performed well. He must adapt to each of his students and become a chameleon to avoid offending you regardless of your mistakes. He should explain himself in a way that is appropriate for your personality to prevent you from losing courage and motivation.
Some brilliant pianists and piano teachers prefer to teach advanced students and have little or no interest in teaching beginners. That is admirable, but I believe that an excellent teacher should be able to adapt to their student's abilities. They should always encourage them, even if their most recent progress is insignificant to a concert pianist. Each student should be treated individually, and even negative progress should be recorded.
Some pianists have unquestionably extraordinary knowledge and pianistic abilities. However, they dislike being questioned and become anxious if a student does not immediately understand their advice. Patience is, once again, an essential quality for a piano teacher. Getting tense when a student asks a question is not a good way to help them learn. On the contrary, this behaviour will make the students feel inferior and may cause them to stop playing the piano.
I believe that taking piano lessons in a beautiful setting will help you enjoy your lessons more. I am aware that some piano teachers conduct their lessons from their bedrooms or other inconvenient locations, which can be very uncomfortable for their students. I've always found music college studios to be quite clinical, and I don't think it's appropriate for those studying such a beautiful art.
A good piano teacher will have such a knowledge of the repertoire that he will be able to select the right pieces at the right time as each student progresses at a different pace and encounters different difficulties. He will know how to select a piece that is appropriate for his students’ current level of ability, whether they need to improve their technique, understanding of interpretation, or sound production.
A great piano teacher will always be able to answer all of your questions and solve any problems you may encounter. He will be able to quickly assess the situation and determine what steps to take to get you out of trouble. In other words, they could be compared to a magician who can instantly find a solution and turn a situation around!
I am sure you could find other qualities that I have overlooked, but what do you believe is the most essential quality that I have overlooked?
In my opinion, the ability to inspire his piano students is the most crucial quality in a piano teacher. If you genuinely have a great piano teacher, you should leave each piano lesson feeling like you have two wings on your back and are ready to climb the highest mountains. He should be able to share his enthusiasm for the instrument and his love of music. You should have the impression that you are eager to learn more and that beginning his piano lessons with him is the best thing that could have happened to you!
I believe that in order to be considered exceptional, a piano teacher should possess these 11 qualities, and I am very happy for you if you can speak so highly of yours!