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Learning The Piano

Learning The Piano

Learning The PianoRegardless of the method we choose to use, learning the piano is an extremely rewarding undertaking. It brings us a lifetime of enjoyment making music, developing our skills, and deepening our overall appreciation of the arts. As adult students we have many different paths to choose from for our studies.

The most traditional approach to learning the piano is to enroll in private lessons. Most communities have a conservatory type music school. The school will offer private lessons for various instruments including piano. It will also offer students performance opportunities several times a year, and the chance to play in different ensembles with other students. Typically music schools serve school-age children and teenagers, but adult students are welcome and increasingly turn to these institutes for their studies as well.

If the formality of a music school is not for you, you can find many quality instructors that simply choose to teach out of their home or private music studios. You may even find one that is willing to travel to your home, although you will be paying a premium for this extra service. Look for instructors through the internet and local papers. Another excellent source is your friends and family with school-age children. They likely have some experience with music lessons and instructors, or know someone else that does.

With private lessons, you typically sign up for a half-hour weekly session. Lessons run for the school term. Schools and instructors may offer summer lessons, but this is usually their slow season during which most teachers reduce their work-load or may not teach at all. Remember to ask about the instructor’s lesson cancellation and make-up policy. It can range from no refunds or make-up lessons to a very generous one.

You can also study the piano through classes offered at music schools, your local school-board, and community centers. Expect the focus of these lessons to be a little less formal in nature than a private lesson, perhaps offering a simple over-view to the instrument and its repertoire. A piano class may be a good choice as a gentle introduction to the instrument if you are not ready to commit to private lessons. Typically the classroom consists of several electric pianos linked together to a master piano which is controlled by the instructor. She can listen to and instruct the class as well as individual students through headphones and a monitoring system.

Many adult students prefer to teach themselves skills, and musical instruments are no exception. You will find no shortage of self-study systems available to you, from simple method books to complex interactive software and recordings. These programs are the most inexpensive means to learning an instrument. Even a set of DVDs priced hundreds of dollars, will cost you less than private lessons in the long run.

Nevertheless, self-taught methods require a great deal of discipline on the part of the student. The most common mistake that beginner students make is that they do not spend enough time on each lesson. They tend to race ahead during the easy initial lessons, and later becoming stuck once the material become more challenging, not having developed solid practice skills. The most successful students in self-taught approaches are ones that may have learned a different instrument as a youth, or perhaps have some experience in another discipline. These students are familiar with and know how to develop a realistic practice routine with achievable goals.

Learning the piano online offers a different flavor of self-study. An online program resembles self-taught ones with offerings of a combination of texts, recordings, and even video lessons. Their advantage, however, is how they supplement their core material with online forums and other social media. They may also have regular article series that address different issues that a students faces in their development. These resources provide the necessary feedback and encouragement to a student that they may be missing from other self-study methods. They also offer the student the opportunity to become part of a larger musical community and the possibility of exploring different aspects of creating music.

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