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I am interested in learning to play the piano but don’t have the time to take in-person lessons. I have never played a musical instrument before. What can I do now that will help me be more prepared for when I do eventually take lessons?
Before I took my first piano lesson years ago, we had a piano in the house for about 4 years. We had some really easy sheet music around the house and I just played around on the piano for a bit. Prior to taking lessons, I did have a significant amount of music theory (notes, scales, etc.) so when I started it wasn’t like I was starting from the beginning.
I have taught music lessons online, including piano. The first couple lessons it takes some time getting used to. The most difficult part is things such as internet (is it fast enough), lighting issues, microphone, and camera placement.
Yet, I don’t it is any different than the learning curve you face when going to a new studio. For example, every studio has a different piano. I play/practice/teach on at least 4 different pianos and keyboards. There are differences between all of those.
I say try it out and see how you do.
As with any online vs. face-to-face teaching, there are pros and cons.
- You don’t have to leave your house
- You don’t have to worry about going to someone else’s house
- You don’t need as much time to get started (getting music, traveling, walking to the facility)
- More options (teacher and student is more willing to do late evenings or early mornings if they don’t have to leave the house)
- Often cheaper rates
- Internet = I don’t care how good the internet is you will have problems with the lagging
- Lack personal connections – nothing is better than having someone that you can have close physical contact with
- Other technologies = lighting, microphone, camera
Overall, I would say try it out, so how you like it. Many online platforms allow you to take one or two lessons without commitment.
The youngest I have ever started was 3 years old, with my nephew. Now, with that said, we didn’t do much more than hitting some keys. At 3, I didn’t think he had the exposure to enough advanced learning to make a difference.
A stock answer would be 6 years old. At 6 years old, the student has had time to learn how to accept teaching and directions from someone besides their parents. In addition, they are able to learn important concepts at that age.
I believe that you can make progress on day 1. Anytime you take piano or music lessons, you are learning. You might be learning music theory, technique, or playing a song. Instead of thinking of it as “how much progress have I made?” switch the thought process into, “how much progress did I make when I finished my lesson?”
Remember being in school and walking out thinking, “I didn’t learn anything today.” If that’s how it is when you take piano lessons, then you need to rethink a few things: (a) am I doing all I can make progress – are you practicing (b) do I need a new teacher – do you find yourself spending too much time repeating things, or chit chatting?
I have seen a wide range of prices for music lessons. I have seen as low as $10–$15 an hour to as high as $125 an hour.
Absolutely!! While I learned the fundamentals of music as a teenager, I have learned more as an adult. There are tremendous benefits to taking lessons as an adult such as learning new things, math, de-stressing, and learning to accept constructive criticism.
I still take music lessons. I take guitar lessons to learn a new instrument. I also take lessons to improve on the instruments I also teach (piano, voice, songwriting).
Many jobs still require their employees to take training and continuing education classes. A musician should see it the same.