You’re living in Boston and want your children to start learning piano as soon as possible. Maybe you’ve even decided to make the leap and sign up for music classes yourself, choose a new creative and artistic activity for your leisure time.
You adore listening to professional pianists play gentle melodies, and that’s all you need to start you off.
You want to learn how to pour out all that emotion and engage total strangers in your music as you press down the keys on a keyboard.
This is why you’ve decided to sign up for piano classes. You aren’t aiming to become a virtuoso like Mozart or Beethoven; you just love the idea of letting your heart and soul pour out onto the keys in a new creative outlet.
Looking for the opportunity to take lessons in Boston, you won’t lack for choices. Just as the banks of the Charles feature some of the best universities in the world, the music conservatories and schools are also top notch. It won’t be any challenge for you to get to the point where music is pouring out of your fingers as you play.
Learning a new musical instrument will also help improve your ear for music and exercise your brain.
If you want to learn piano in the same city as Keith Jarrett or Howard Shore, the teachers you’ll find in Boston will help you discover previously unknown musical talents.
Music can be a great way to escape your day to day worries and stresses, and to connect and exchange ideas with new people. There’s no right age to be a pianist – whether you’re 3 or 80 you can become a musician and learn to play the piano.
You can learn to play the keyboard no matter your age or objective – discover a new instrument and improve your musical talents, breakdown your favourite pieces of music by ear, amuse yourself, join a music group, perform in public, or maybe even one day become a piano teacher yourself.
There are many reasons why it’s a good idea to learn some music theory, how to read music, and piano chords.
Where should you start? What style of music do you want to learn – classical, jazz, or blues? Where can you sign up for classes that will help you learn to play the piano as easily and quickly as possible?
Here are a few of our recommendations for places to learn the piano in Boston, from the Pru to Huntington Ave, out to Lexington and back again, whether you’re looking for lessons for your child or yourself we’ve got you covered.
Reasons to learn piano in Boston
Signing up for music classes at a young age will give children a great advantage in social and academic contexts later in life. Children’s brains are the most malleable and absorbent around 6 or 7 years old.
The advantages of learning piano from a young age
Learning music theory, chords, harmonies, and how to read notes will help your child develop their coordination and analytic abilities from a young age, especially if they start early.
Playing the piano will also help to build your child’s confidence. As they practice and learn new songs, they’ll find a sense of satisfaction in their progress and successes.
In order to improve however, you’ll need to make sure they practice for at least 10 minutes every day. Daily practice on the piano will improve their musicality and has other benefits too. Pianists’ brains are often fully stimulated by their playing. As they practice they become used to following multiple ideas and actions at the same time.
Playing the piano will improve any musicians’ coordination and ability to multitask. While their eyes read the notes, the left hand plays rhythmic chords and the right hand taps out the melody.
All good reasons to sit your child down at the ivory keys for a lesson in Boston…or if you live on the West Coast, why not check out places for piano classes in LA?
Learning piano in Boston – find a network of fellow musicians
Music and piano are a common language that can cross social divides and bring musicians together, whatever their level or skill with the piano. What’s more, learning to play the piano alongside other musicians like guitarists, drummers, and saxophonists – joining a band or concert group – will definitely help improve your musical abilities and help you move to the next level.
You could find a spot to play in crowded Quincy Market, or set up a keyboard outside the public library near the gardens. Maybe you’ll set up along the banks of the Charles, or cross over and join a group of students in Cambridge.
Learning to play the piano in Boston will help you build a whole new social network. The city and Massachusetts’ nearby college towns attract plenty of music students with its conservatories and schools like Berklee and Emerson.
Boston also plays host to plenty of piano teachers; it’s a great city to enjoy the arts and learn music. Finding a piano teacher will help you improve to the intermediate level and truly master the keys in any situation.
Finding a network of professional or amateur pianists is always a good idea as well, and will help increase your joy of playing as well as help you improve. It’s a good idea to do no matter where you are in the US, including if you wanted to improve at the piano in DC or Chicago.
A great place to start your piano career might be Berklee College of Music, consistently ranked one of the top ten conservatories in the country.
Berklee College of Music, a top place to study music in Boston
Located between Fenway and the Pru in Boston, Berklee is the largest independent contemporary conservatory in the world, as well as one of the best.
Musicians such as Cyrus Chestnut, Bruce Hornsby, Bob James, and Rob Mounsey all began their careers at Berklee, and in addition to piano the conservatory is also renowned for its other music and performing arts programs. Graduates can leave with a degree in piano performance, or opt to join one of the 270 instrumental groups that sit under the piano department.
Piano courses at Berklee cover a wide range of techniques, including scales, and arpeggios, exercises such as Hanon, Czerny, and Pishna, and styles including classical, rock, pop, and jazz.
Berklee is truly a school for future music professionals. Students here will develop and improve their playing while learning everything about their music – history, harmony, composition, theories, and techniques.
Of course, with such a reputation Berklee does not accept everyone. The admission process includes an audition and live interview as well as a review of your academic grades and transcripts. According to the school’s admission’s, they are looking for creative and collaborative students who show potential.
In addition to performance, other majors at Berklee include music therapy, songwriting, and film composition – any of which you can also incorporate piano playing into!
Learning to play the piano in Boston’s music schools
For those who’d prefer to avoid the conservatory route or who weren’t admitted, there are also lots of other ways to sign up for piano classes in Boston.
And this is to head for music schools, many of which are actually part of the continuing education centers at the conservatories. At these lessons you’ll be able to practice in an environment that has literally been made for the piano, and with schools like the New England Conservatory, you’ll also cover the basics of music theory from some of the best teachers in the country, here in Boston.
Finding a piano teacher through a music school will help students work on the more technical aspects of music like sight reading, working on rhythms and beats, and learning the nuances of each segment of music. Learning these elements is key to be able to master each piece of music at the piano.
Teachers will generally use a teaching method suitable for you skill level at the piano and adjust depending on whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced. When you meet for your first class, have a discussion with them about the music style you’re hoping to learn; let them know whether you want to play jazz, classical, or the blues.
Having classes that are tailored to you will help you enjoy practicing and playing the piano all the more - especially since you’ll also get to play the types of music you like. At music school you’ll be able to get all the basics of a musical foundation – motivation, thirst for learning, a love of music, and desire to always keep learning.
No matter your level, you’ll find plenty of choices to take piano classes in Boston. Getting started will be just as easy in Red Sox nation as if you were further south learning to play the piano in New York. There are many different methodologies and centers where you can sign up for your first piano classes, or join a pre-professional program to get to the next level:
- New England Conservatory: Located right on Huntington Avenue, the conservatory offers a range of private lessons, group classes, and piano workshops for you to choose from. Classes range from upwards of 30 minutes, and like at Berklee, you’re being taught by some of the top professionals in the country. Jazz and professional studies certificates are also available.
- Yamaha Music School: located outside Boston off of 128 in Lexington, the Yamaha Music School follows the widely respected Yamaha method, and accepts anyone over the age of 8 for group and private classes. As they say, their method “goes beyond the traditional piano lesson to help students learn technique, repertoire, keyboard harmony, duets and improvisation. Lessons will also include other traditional methods carefully chosen by the teacher to meet individual goals and needs.” At Yamaha you’ll have the advantage of finding suitable classes for any age groups, and your child will be following a method that’s popular with private teachers and other schools around the country too, to make it easier to carry on lessons in the future.
- Musicians' Playground: On Tremont Street in Boston’s South End, Musicians Playground is one of the most popular music schools for children and adults alike in the city. The playground really aims to immerse students in all the fun that can be had with music, giving students a choice between private or group classes (or a combination of the two) and offers frequent excursions to concerts and visits from professionals. But it isn’t slacking on the foundations either, with Casio keyboards as well as a Steinway baby grand to play on, you can be sure you’re learning from and on some of the best.
- Page Music Lessons: As central as can be, this popular music school is located right on Newbury Street in the popular Back Bay area, and was named one of Best of Boston’s ‘Best Kids’ Music Classes’ in 2016. The school offers a choice of piano or keyboard lessons, and teaches all ages and levels. Page focuses on private lessons where the teachers can really focus on your individual goals, and help you learn to play the piano in the style you want. With everything customised to you, it’s hard to find a downside.
If you don’t yet feel ready to go to a formal school or join a group class, a good alternative might be to look into private piano lessons with an independent piano instructor.
Learn piano in Boston with private classes
In order to take local classes in Beantown, your best bet might be to sign up for private lessons. These are generally one on one, and will ensure you the undivided attention of a professional and experienced teacher. You may be able to play on a real acoustic piano, and you’ll be able to practice regularly.
The teacher will watch you for errors, checking your posture, finger placements, music theory, rhythm, sight reading, and wrong notes. You’ll develop a bond with your music teacher, and your relationship will help them personalize classes for you to help you improve and gain confidence at the piano.
Our Superprof network has a selection of teachers based in Boston itself. Our instructors will be able to show you the best techniques, help you avoid bad habits, and learn how to play the piano well. Boston is a true center for music, just like its neighbor to the South, for those who are thinking of starting piano classes in New York.
Your local rec center will also often include piano lessons in its program of extracurricular classes and activities. You’ll often be able to learn piano in small groups (or try other instruments like the guitar, drums, or violin). Rec. center classes will often be offered at a discounted rate and aim to give students their first taste of playing music. Teachers aim to instil an enjoyment and love of piano in their pupils.
You can also find a private piano teacher on Craig’s List – many musicians or conservatory students will post ads on the site, offering their services to teach children and adults alike the basics of playing piano. You’ll also save some money by going direct and cutting out the schools.
Do you know which kind of classes would suit you best?
If you aren’t sure about submitting to structured classes and you’re generally disciplined enough for self-study, you can also look into many free online music classes where you can teach yourself - hoffmanacademy.com, pianonanny.com, zebrakeys.com and pianote.com are all good places to start.
You can work on your music skills and take online classes to improve your playing at home and for free! Of course, there are also many in person free classes in the US. For budding musicians, why not check out piano classes in Philadelphia?
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