Are you looking for the best way to learn piano? Well, I guess that’s why you’ve come to this piano learning methods guide.
You’ve probably heard of how you can take private music lessons or even take piano lessons online at your own pace. However, before you jump on the first method you come across, take time to read this guide, which is specifically written to help you find the best piano learning path best suited to your needs and budget.
After reading this entire guide, you’ll have a clear perspective of available piano learning options and hopefully choose a method that best suits your goals, time, budget, and lifestyle.
You’ll be adequately educated on all the available ways of learning piano and make a more informed choice.
So, without much ado, let’s find out what's the best way to learn piano.
Start by Ensuring That You Have the Proper Instrument
The first thing you need to do before you embark on your piano learning journey is to choose the right instrument.
Just like you cannot learn to drive a car without one, you can’t learn how to play piano if you don’t have a good keyboard. It’s, therefore, important to find the right kind of keyboard before you begin your piano lessons.
There are basically two commonly used types of keyboards, namely the digital piano and the acoustic piano. The acoustic piano is the traditional option.
It gives you real mechanical action, better tone and timber, and fuller sound control. The acoustic piano is designed to make you feel the tiny vibrations when you press each key and the hammer strikes the metal strings.
You can even refine the sounds produced further using pedals and a host of other features. However, keep in mind that most acoustic pianos are too bulky and heavy to carry around and don’t provide most of the latest technology features found in digital pianos.
Digital pianos are more portable than acoustic pianos. They come in a slim compact design that makes it easy to transport your music appliance wherever you’re called for a gig. They also don’t require regular tuning and cannot be affected by humidity as acoustic pianos are prone to.
Digital pianos come with a host of tech features such as volume controls, headphone jacks, and much more. We've reviewed the best digital pianos to get in 2021 which will help you to pick the right model! Ultimately, your choice of instrument will depend on factors such as your budget, where you plan to learn piano from, budget, and your personal preferences.
Choose Your Piano Learning Mode
After you’ve chosen the right instrument, the next step is to find the most suitable piano learning mode for you.
There are several options to choose from but keep in mind that all options are equally effective. Each option has its own pros and cons. The option you choose will obviously depend on your personal goals, expectations, budget, lifestyle, and other considerations.
There are basically four piano learning modes which include:
The DIY Method
This is basically a do-it-yourself piano learning method in which you follow the standard piano teaching curriculum.
You can either choose to learn music theory and then simply apply the knowledge on your keyboard or play by the ear.
This is a affordable way of learning but keep in mind that it takes longer and requires total commitment and constant practice to see results.
Traditional or Conventional Piano Learning Methods
Traditional piano learning methods involve taking private lessons from an instructor or in a music school that offers piano lessons.
The costs involved in this approach depend on the type of tutor or the piano educational center you choose to learn from.
Technological Piano Learning Methods
There are three ways through which you can learn to play the piano using technological methods.
You can choose to take your piano lessons online by enrolling in one of the many online courses available today.
Alternatively, you can download videos and tutorials and learn from the videos. Another technological way of learning piano is by using available software and apps.
The Hybrid Method
The hybrid method basically involves taking piano lessons from an online tutor. The method combines one-on-one lessons from a tutor with technology.
Let’s take a look at each method in greater detail to help you understand what each learning path entails.
These are do-it-yourself ways of learning the piano without the use of a private or music school piano teacher. The methods show you how to teach yourself piano at home.
Compared to other ways of learning piano, the DIY approach will save you tons of money but make sure that you’re up to the challenge as you’ll need total commitment and personal determination to succeed. It’s a perfect choice for a self-driven piano student with plenty of time for studying and exercising his or her skills.
DIY ways require two important things, a piano teaching curriculum, and application of the skills and knowledge you want to learn.
Piano Teaching Curriculum
Just like the normal school curriculum, the piano teaching curriculum shows you what you should do and the steps and notes you need to achieve at every stage of your piano education.
The curriculum should be structured to suit your unique goals and learning ability. It helps to give you the right direction in your journey of becoming a competent pianist.
There are different piano curriculums designed and developed by different people but they all generally follow the same pattern. These methods are suitable for a piano student who wants a more structured approach to his or her lessons.
Learning Music Theory and Notes
Learning music theory will be helpful for all type of artist as it's one of the fundamentals to create music! Unlike the full piano curriculum approach, this method puts more emphasis on sheet music theory than practice.
You’ll basically focus on learning the written and structural elements of music rather than style and techniques of practically producing sounds on the keyboard. After you have mastered the concepts of music and notes theory you can then apply the knowledge you have acquired on the real piano or keyboard.
This method is best suited for piano students who have some innate notes knowledge and an aptitude for applying theoretical concepts on the piano without outside assistance. The method may be challenging but is more cost-effective than the curriculum approach.
Traditional Piano Learning Methods
Traditional piano learning methods require personal guidance and assistance of a qualified instructor.
The methods provide a higher level of accountability and faster progress but may be expensive depending on the tutor you choose.
Traditional learning methods are perfect for the serious piano student who can afford the services of a private tutor.
Learning Through a Private Teacher
This is a good piano learning method for those who can afford the services of a skilled instructor.
You not only get personal attention to all the challenges you face in the course of learning but a mentorship advantage too, especially when you choose a competent and experienced piano tutor.
The lessons are also delivered on a one-on-one basis which gives you faster progress and the ability to ask questions about anything that you don’t understand.
The private instructor also ensures that you have everything you need to succeed.
However, keep in mind that besides paying your instructor, you’ll also need to buy printed materials and anything else the instructor recommends.
There are many ways of getting a qualified instructor if you don’t want to teach yourself piano. You could start by consulting the Music Teachers National Association, use the online Royal Conservatory Teacher Finder tool, or ask for recommendations from friends and other musicians.
Enrolling in an Educational Center
If there’s a school in your city or town, you may also consider this option. Enrolling in a music school for piano lessons generally provides the same benefits as a private tutor.
Most educational centers follow standard curriculums such as the Suzuki method.
They provide you with the services of skilled instructors and a personalized learning pace.
To get the best lessons from competent piano teaching professionals, make sure the school employs teachers certified by reputable boards such as the MTNA.
Some of the benefits you get from an education center include personal feedback from qualified teachers, a curriculum that’s designed to match your goals and progress, and the incentive to practice more when you learn in a group setting. However, music schools don’t come cheap and may not be available where you live.
Technology Piano Learning Methods
Technology methods use the services of a qualified personal tutor but also incorporate the use of tools and software to guide and help you progress faster and more effectively.
This approach provides a more engaging piano learning experience than DIY methods. It’s a perfect option for students who prefer to have a combination of personal tutors and technological tools.
You can learn piano online through online courses, by following tutorials or using software.
Online Piano Learning Courses & Tutorials
Online education has almost become the norm today, especially in the current COVID-19 quarantine and self-isolation conditions.
Advances in inter technology have made it possible to learn things without attending a physical brick-and-mortar class. You can learn to play piano online too. All you need to do is to enroll in a reputable online music school, log into a portal, and start learning everything including practical keyboard skills.
The best online piano lessons and courses are developed and guided by experts in the field. They are also significantly cheaper than a private tutor or enrolling in a brick-and-mortar piano class.
For a small fee, you can purchase a piano learning program and follow the course at your own pace from course learning sites like Udemy.com. The piano for beginners courses are designed to take you from a complete beginner to intermediate and advanced levels.
Each course comes with videos and other learning visuals to help you improve on practical skills such as using both hands on the keyboard.
You can also learn by playing your favorite songs with the guidance of the program. There are many free and paid piano learning resources online that you can download and learn at your own pace.
Using Softwares and Apps
You can also learn practical keyboard skills using software and apps that come with videos and other useful features. The apps are available for both desktop and mobile platforms.
However, you need to make sure that you get the best piano learning app that’s suited to your skill level. Most of these apps will teach you basic keyboard concepts and guide you on learning how to play piano and a wide range of popular songs.
The major downside of using apps and software is that you never get personalized feedback on your progress and you could easily get distracted because you don’t have external motivation.
In this post, we discussed 3 ways of learning to play the piano.
The list is by no means exhaustive but if you’re looking for an effective piano learning method you can always opt for DIY methods that show you how to teach yourself piano, traditional learning methods such as getting a personal tutor or enrolling in a music school, or rely on technological methods such as online courses, use software and apps, or download piano tutorial videos.
Whichever option you choose, make sure that it meets your learning style, goals, and budget of course. I hope you have an enjoyable piano learning experience.