Learning the piano can be a fun activity, especially when you have a lot of free time on your hands. If you are interested in taking some music lessons to specialize in the piano, you are in the right place! With so many types of classes and piano teachers out there it might be hard to choose one that works for you.

If you live in a developed country like the U.S, you have the benefit of having tons of resources to pursue your music journey than those who live in small towns. With so many fellow artists and talented music players in major cities like New York and Houston, you are bound to find a mentor or a music school to meet your needs. Continue reading to learn more about what it is like to take piano courses in Los Angeles.

Should You Enrol in Piano Lessons?

The piano instrument has been around since the early 1700's in the workshop of an Italian harpsichord maker named Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori. Although many similar instruments existed prior to this, it can be widely acknowledged that this gave birth to the modern instrument as we know it today. Today, the piano is one of the most popular instruments in the whole world, widely favored for its ease of play, it's beautiful sound, and its versatility to play various styles of music.

But just because the piano is almost everyone's favorite instrument of choice, you should still think about why you want to learn how to play yourself. There are so many instruments available like the guitar which is also popular, not to mention the years of commitment it takes to master a particular instrument, so it's important to make sure the piano is right for you before you invest your time, money and energy into playing.

Some other reasons people who choose the piano are:

  • Challenge yourself to achieve set goals
  • Try something fun and new
  • As a way to relax and unwind after a long day
  • Improve your knowledge of classical music
  • Play that song you've always wanted to play

No matter what your reason for learning is, it's important to remember that you are using this activity to enhance your life. If your playing sessions are adding more stress to your life or if you no longer enjoy playing, consider taking a break. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy yourself and your passion will show through your years of playing.

man sitting next to a colorful blue and orange piano
Photo by David Shvangiradze on Unsplash

Should You Take Private Lessons?

Taking a private lesson or two with a dedicated teacher can help you become a better musician along with many other benefits. If you have the means to pay for a private teacher, you are in luck. There are many available in and around California as the state has a big arts and performance crowd with the expertise to teach. Some benefits of learning one-on-one with a dedicated piano tutor are:

Less Distractions

When you take a large group course at music studios or music school, the experience can be very different when you take a music lesson with a private tutor either online or in person. For one, a large classroom with other fellow students can be a great opportunity to make friends who enjoy playing piano, but it can also be a place of distraction especially when class sizes are large.

This is where the benefit of private courses come in. With the help of a dedicated teacher, children (and adults) who get easily distracted by others can use their class time more wisely. A private music teacher can also give you more freedom to tailor the lessons to your taste, as you can choose the style of music you want to learn as well as which pieces interest you.

Better Academics

For many music students, their instrument is used as a way to relax and express their emotions as well as escape the stresses of everyday life. If you are a student, adding some music lessons can help you achieve more academics as music activates a certain part of your brain which have been proven to improve memory, reduce stress, and lessen any anxieties related to your studies.

Improve Your Confidence

Playing pieces on the piano is no easy feat as it requires good motor skills to coordinate both of your hands as well as an understanding of music theory and how to read written music. This is why when you finally master a piece on the piano, it can feel extremely satisfying to play it from the beginning to the end with or without an audience. If you are into recitals or performing, you may enjoy the thrill you get from performing in front of a live audience and overtime it can also improve your confidence levels being in front of a crowd.

man standing next to a blue keyboard playing it
Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

Taking Piano Lessons in Los Angeles

In large cities such as Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and of course, Los Angeles, the high population means there are greater demands for piano lessons. This is great if you are an aspiring piano player as you have the option of choosing between these studios and only learn from the ones that work best for your needs.

Southern California Piano Academy

The Southern California Piano Academy aims to provide the highest quality and affordable piano lessons residents of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. The teachers at the academy has a combined 80 years teaching experience and over the years have helped guide hundreds of aspiring pianists on their learning journey.

When you enrol in piano classes here, you will work with piano teachers who are have their music degrees, are formally trained to teach, and some may be professional musicians themselves. The school is also open to music students of all ages and levels with varying budgets. There are group lessons for those on a budget and private lessons for those looking for one-on-one instruction.

Tiffany Music Academy

This is a premier school to learn music as the school not only offers voice, guitar, and ukulele lessons on top of the classic piano. Anyone over the ages 4 of four us welcome to learn here and the school strives to make the lessons exhilarating and enjoyable. Instructors at this school are also highly accomplished musicians themselves and are passionate about teaching music.

Silverlake Conservatory of Music

Founded in 2001, the Silverlake Conservatory of music came from the idea of longtime friends and musicians Michael “Flea” Balzary and Keith “Tree” Barry who wanted to bring the arts education back into their community. The idea to start the conservatory came from the cuts in art and music education in public schools throughout Los Angeles.

The conservatory is also a registered non-profit organization that offers reasonably priced lessons for everyone and scholarships to those who otherwise cannot afford lessons. Programs offered here include group classes, summer camps and workshopsas well as private music lessons on all orchestral and band instruments.

Los Angeles College of Music

This music school is for those serious about learning the piano and looking to pursue a professional four year bachelor's degree. Many instruments are taught at the college, including guitar and piano. The piano program offers a contemporary approach designed to meet the needs of today’s complete pianist.

Those who complete the bachelor's program here will have knowledge of contemporary styles and a solid understanding of music theory and techniques. The graduate will feel at ease composing, improvising, rehearsing, and directing music - making them well-rounded musicians to pursue a professional career.

Grand piano sitting on a wooden floor
Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash

Best Pop Songs to Learn on the Piano

With the piano being so versatile, it is a favourite for many pop music artists. If you are a big fan of pop music, your motivation to learn piano might be to play your favourite songs in your very own studio written by your favourite artists. Luckily, with so many pop songs out there it isn't hard to find a simple and catchy piece for a beginner player.

Titanium by Sia

Titanium is a catchy pop song by Australian artist Sia. It is favoured by beginner players in E flat major as well as due to its simple chord structure. The melody of the song is played with the right hand and can be recreated using very simply chords. As you level up, you can change these simple chords into complex ones.

One Call Away by Charlie Puth

This is another recent hit song and is very easy to play on the piano due to its simple chord structure. The chord pattern is also to pick up as it is ii, I, V which can be formed using just the left hand. If you feel confident enough, you can use the melody of the right hand and play the chords of the song as single notes.

A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton

This classic pop song has one of the catchiest and most memorable piano openings riffs. Released in 2000, Vanessa Carlton has created a harmony that is super catchy, fun to sing along to and to play with. Despite sounding complicated, the song can be learned by route and the riff repeats itself throughout the song.

What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

This isn't a recent song but it has stayed popular and has been a staple at music auditions and in American culture. Always a joy to play around family and friend singalongs, it's a no brainer that you should at least try to play this piece during your music education. Due to its popularity, there are also many arrangements of this piece available so you can choose one that is easiest for you to play or sounds the best to you.

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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.