If you’re considering learning the piano, you might be wondering what the best way to go about it is - for you. Is it possible to teach yourself? Can you learn from an app? Or is it best to go to a private teacher? Let’s look at the options and narrow down the best choice for you.
How to Teach Yourself?
If you ever had piano lessons at some point in your life, then it might be a viable option to teach yourself the piano. You might find it all comes flooding back to you as you get started with minimal help. However, if you have never had any lessons at all in your life, you might struggle.
In order to teach yourself anything you need to be quite disciplined and have quite a bit of spare time as it’s likely to take longer than if you had a teacher. The good news is that there are many types of support online.
Modern Way of Learning – by Apps or Videos
There are quite a few good apps on the market that take you from the very beginning to quite advanced. Several connect directly to electronic pianos and keyboards to deliver lessons from a device. You could certainly get started this way, as you could with YouTube - or using a combination of both to reinforce concepts.
The drawback of these options is that you haven’t got any personal feedback, which is critical. There are many elements that come into playing the piano and an app or YouTube can’t get into the complexity of it like a live teacher can.
An intelligent app, such as Skoove or Yousician uses AI to listen to you play and gives you real-time feedback, which amounts to did you play the correct note and did you play it at the right time. This can certainly do to begin with, but more for complex music this just isn’t enough - at least not if you want to play the piano well.
Online Piano Courses
The method of learning the piano by online piano courses appeared not so long ago. It has some benefits, and the most obvious of them is the course price. It is much cheaper than taking private lessons because the whole course is prerecorded and many people buy it. Usually if you choose good online piano course you will notice that it is well structured and goes from easy to difficult topics. Course developers are good in piano and have teaching experience, and sometimes they can even consult you by e-mail if you are stuck on some lesson. But as in offline learning, you may sometimes not like the course just because the manner of teaching of this specific teacher is not suitable for you. Luckily most online piano courses provide money back guarantee if you are not satisfied for any reason.
Old School Way – Private Teacher
A private teacher either comes to your home, you go to theirs or you might want to give online lessons a try. Online lessons give you far more scope to find a teacher you really click with as they can be located anywhere in the world.
Although online lessons seem on the surface to be less practical, they can actually be very effective and there are even some benefits over in-person lessons. For instance, time you would spend travelling to a teacher’s house could be spent practicing.
Another benefit of online lessons is that students who have an electronic piano or keyboard in their home seem to feel more comfortable at their own piano than on their teacher’s acoustic, and feeling more comfortable enables them to do better.
The biggest plus of taking piano lessons with a teacher - whether in person or online - is the personal interaction and feedback on how you’re getting on. A teacher inspires and motivates, while teaching yourself, learning from an app or YouTube just can’t give you that.
There are several ways to track down teachers in your area, including local and online adverts, sites specifically to find teachers of all kinds of subjects, and word of mouth.
Once you have decided whether you’d prefer in-person or online lessons and narrowed down your potentials, it’s time to start contacting your potential teachers to find out availability of days and times and fees.
If you can narrow possible teachers down to two or three, it’s a good idea to have a trial lesson with at least two. What you’re looking for is a teacher who makes you feel relaxed and comfortable. They should also be experienced in teaching your level and the style of music you’re interested in studying. After a lesson you should feel uplifted and inspired.
After you’ve had a trial lesson with a couple of teachers, you’ll probably know instinctively which teacher is right for you and you can start your journey towards learning to play the piano.