Have you been spending a lot of time at home lately? Do you find yourself having more freedom than usual? Is your work or school life boring and uninspiring to you? If so, you might be looking for a side activity or hobby to focus on in your spare time, a hobby like playing the piano.

Believe it or not, there are millions of piano students learning how to play the piano the United States. When you to play the piano at a music school or with a teacher, you will become part of the large piano community where you may meet new friends. Because the instrument is also so versatile, you will never get bored! The possibilities are endless on the piano and numerous genres of music can be played on it.

Are Piano Lessons Right for You?

Besides the piano, there are many instruments available out there like the guitar, violin, and drums to choose from. For music students in Boston and elsewhere around the world, all instruments require years of dedication, patience, and determination to master so before you invest your time and energy into a single instrument, think about whether piano is the right instrument for you.

If you are a new piano student in a city like Chicago with no prior knowledge of music theory, understand that you'll need to factor in the time required to understand music theory as well. If you are not sure about learning the piano, it's a good idea to test-run other instruments like the guitar and the violin for a few weeks as well as the piano so you can make an informed decision on which instrument best suits you.

young girl playing keyboard wearing headphones
Photo by Fitsum Admasu on Unsplash

For most piano players, one of the main reasons why they chose the instrument is because it's highly versatile and can be used to play songs of any genre, from classical rock and pop. There are also so many songs available that you can learn with varying degrees of difficulty. Interested in learning Fur Elise but your skills are very beginner? No problem! There are simplified versions of this song that you can follow and practice from.

Another reason you might choose the piano is that it makes a very gorgeous sound, especially when you play on high-end instruments. For those on tighter budgets, it is also possible to get a piano that will meet your budget also, as there are keyboards available that mimic the sound of a piano.

Group Lessons vs. Private Sessions

Once you have made up your mind to focus your resources on mastering the piano, it's time to enrol yourself in some lessons! While it is entirely possible to master an instrument like the guitar or piano on your own, most beginners in major cities like Philadelphia where there is a large population find it a lot easier to get started with the help of a dedicated teacher with years of experience who can also pass down that experience to you.

A lot of music schools also offer group lessons or private sessions that you can choose from. If you are not sure whether to sign up for individual one-on-one lessons with an experienced piano teacher, or if you should join a group course and learn piano with other fellow beginners, there are some factors you can use to decide what works best for you.

One obvious factor that helps you decide is the cost. Private piano teachers often don't come cheap, especially ones with years of professional performing or teaching experience. Specifically, you are looking at anywhere between $50 an hour to even $200 an hour, depending on your geographic location and the reputation of the piano tutor. If you are fortunate enough to be in a situation where budget isn't an issue, then individual lessons could work better for you.

For one, private piano lessons allow you to advance at your own pace and a chance to curate your learning material to suit your own tastes. You will not feel weighed down by others in a group lesson who may be less advanced or dedicated to playing than you. Facing your teacher one-on-one also gives you more accountability to your practise as you cannot hide behind other classmates when you have failed to practise properly for a song.

If a private piano education does not meet your budget, you will find group lessons at often much less the cost. Group lessons are also great for keeping you on track and can be a good way to meet friends who enjoy learning the piano as much as you. You can find future music partners as well as use each other for support and to stay motivated to keep playing for years on end.

Finding a Teacher in Houston to Meet Your Needs

If a private piano teacher is what you are looking for in Houston, then you are in luck! Being in a major city like New York, Los Angeles, and of course, Houston offers a wide range of possibilities with teachers of varying backgrounds, skill levels, and teaching experiences to choose from. We will offer you some advice on how best to find a teacher who can meet your learning needs.

First, think about what you want in a piano teacher. You can also write down your needs as they come to you so you can have a written record of what to look for in case you forget one.Like making a grocery list, lists can help you stay focused on which criteria is the most important. If you are looking for a young and spontaneous piano teacher, make sure to note it down. If you want someone with years of classical music education and playing experience, write it down also!

girl holding keyboard in front covering bottom half of her face
Photo by Christin Noelle on Unsplash

Next, think about which one of these criteria are negotiable. For example, are you on a tight budget and do not have the extra resources to pay more for a piano lesson? Then make the budget part of your list the non-negotiable one. This helps you narrow down your options significantly as well as help you save the time you may need to spend investigating other potential teachers who may not meet your most important criteria.

When it comes to actually seeking out these teachers, many music students use word-of-mouth to recommend their favorite ones to each other. If you don't know any music students because you are just starting out in music, try joining online Facebook or Reddit hobby groups or posting online ads on websites such as Craigslist. Another way to get the contact information of local piano teachers is to visit your local music shops where piano teachers may frequent and ask for recommendations from there.

Beginner Songs to Play on the Piano

With the piano being so versatile, you have music of any genre to choose from when it comes to learning pieces as a beginner player in the studio. If you took some voice lessons and would like to sing while you play, it's entire possible too! For beginner players, we list some fun songs that have simple chord progressions, repetitive parts, are rather simplified and are also catchy and fun to play amongst family and friends.

 Let it Be - The Beatles

A classic pop song written by Paul McCartney, Let It Be's catchy intro might require some practice if you are a total and complete beginner. But it is possible to find extremely simplified versions of the song and work your way up to the full version. For those taking voice lessons at the same time, it can also be a fun singalong at family gatherings, and not to mention it's meaningful and heartfelt message makes it a rewarding play.

Let It Go - Frozen

For those Disney fans out there, this hit from the movie Frozen by Disney has a catchy tune and simply lyrics that are easy to remember and to sing at the same time. It is also a great song to share with children. The chords are simple to learn for beginners, but if you are more creative, consider adding a few notes of your very own to spice up the song.

Ode To Joy - Beethoven

A true classic, this song doesn't come with fun lyrics to singalong to (though you can totally make up your own!). Beethoven's masterpiece is often one of the first classical songs that are taught to beginner music players. It comes with a very simple rhythm, melody, and fingering style, and since most people have already heard of the song, they'll find it easy to replicate once they find themselves sitting next to the piano.

glasses and a black pen on top of music sheets
Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

The Blue Danube - Strauss

Originally written as a waltz song, this catchy classical piece might sound tricky to play at first, but it is actually a great song for beginners to learn! You don't have to play it fast when you are just starting out. The melody itself is also very simply to pick up. Once you get the hang of the melody, you can add the rest of the song for a wholesome performance.

A Thousand Miles - Vanessa Carlton

Those with musical knowledge in pop music will know this song as a true 2000's classic known for its distinctive opening melody played on the piano. Once you get used to the beginning riff, the rest of the song is somewhat repetitive and does not take much effort to master. For those with voice experience, try singing along at the same time as you play!

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Former high-school tutor with a passion for science and technology, I now work in the software industry and enjoy reading and learning about all kinds of topics.