Have you always dreamed of touring the world with a piano like Billy Joel or playing Mozart's greatest symphonies at Carnegie Hall?
Have you never dared to take the plunge, or simply don't know how?
If you're reading this article, then perhaps you still have some doubts or don't know exactly how to get started.
Learn on your own with help from tutorials? Enroll in courses at a music school?
Or call a private tutor to sign up for lessons in your home? The decision is even more complicated when faced with all of the possibilities in terms of learning to play the piano...
Let's have a look, together, at the advantages of music lessons!
Why Should You Learn to Play the Piano?
If you're one of those people who think music lessons are deadly boring and that it's better to spend time watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones rather than going over scales with a teacher, than you don't understand all of the intangible rewards that playing an instrument like the piano offers.
A true testament to one's intellectual and social development, its reputation cannot be outdone.
For ages now, this stringed instrument has been prized for its numerous benefits, granted to all the musicians who've dared to touch its keys. Whether its simply to have fun with it or to express creativity, the piano will satisfy all of your expectations and surprise you along the way.
But the rewards it offers go beyond the personal benefits. Playing the piano will also enrich your social life.
If you take lessons with a teacher, whether in private or in a group, it will be difficult to escape the gazes of others at any point. Even though this might seem terrifying, it will actually help you get used to expressing yourself in public as well as listen to those around you as develop a new sense of critical exchange, with respect for everyone.
And no one will be upset with you if you use your instrument to seduce the pretty young woman who lives next door. All you have to do is play your best song and leave the window open. The magic of music will do the rest.
Because it's not just guitar lessons that will help you charm the opposite sex.
And if you still aren't convinced of the usefulness of piano lessons, don't forget that you'll have the opportunity to play any style of music on the instrument, which can seem a little to classical at first glance. From Chopin to Alicia Keys, and with artists like Jeff Buckley and Elton John in between, you can choose your style of music. And who knows, maybe you can form your own band.
Life Lessons You'll Learn from Your Piano Teacher
Now that you've been convinced that learning the piano will be great for your personal well being and social life, you might be wondering what value of asking for help from a piano teacher in an era where information is free thanks to online tutorials and courses online, many of them free, too.
But a human presence can bring you more than simple techniques.
Educational know-how is essential and your teacher will provide you with real life lessons thanks to the relationship you'll develop with him or her over time. Things that no other method of learning the piano can offer. As they say, you get what you pay for. And with free piano lessons...
Most notably, it's a great help in terms of working on yourself and your attitude.
Music theory and keyboard techniques won't be learned in a week and your teacher will make sure you progress at your pace. Patience and perseverance will the key words to live by.
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Plus, regularly working on the basics of learning to play the piano can often become repetitive, especially if you aren't doing it properly. It's easier to make bad habits than it us to unmake them, and there won't be a competent person around to help you correct them.
More than just giving you advice as you progress, your teacher will help you identify the sources of your mistakes. You can then analyze, with his or her help, your mistakes, to help address them better. This is an important ability for all players throughout their lives.
Your teacher will also be like a supporter and guide. It's very difficult to climb Mt. Everest without someone at your side, especially if you're a beginner.
It's the same with the piano.
The difficulty of learning this instrument can discourage almost anyone, like anything in life. So the presence of a teacher is necessary to motivate you!
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Scientific Reasons to Play the Piano
Contrary to what you might think, the sciences and the arts are not opposing fields.
Many researchers are interested in the effects that playing an instrument can have on the body from a purely scientific point of view.
It's been shown that the piano can lead to better health for those who play it. It notably helps stimulate the memory thanks to having to learn the chords or songs by heart, and improves muscle coordination.
But science doesn't stop there. Some researchers are interested in the benefits that can be gained from music in general in terms of sleep.
Do you need a little lullaby before going to bed?
It's not surprising that science has confirmed that gentle classical music helps the brain find the necessary sense of calmness it needs to sleep. The brain focuses itself on the music that it hears and not on everyday stresses. This is good news for insomniacs!
All of this goes into what is commonly called art therapy. This practice that consists of addressing ailments with music is being used in hospitals more and more.
It has been said that music eases physical pain by directly interfering with the neuron receptors. In hospitals, art therapy is most often used with patients before and after surgery.
"Its impact is huge. It can even give us goosebumps. The sensation is the result of the release of endorphins that act as painkillers." — Pierre Lemarquis, Neurologist
With people suffering from Alzheimer's, learning to play music, and in particular the piano, provides memory support. Many cases have shown the importance of musical practice in terms of memory retention. Like, for example, a 101-year old pianist who couldn't remember his family but could play more than 400 songs on the piano.
The Different Goals of Piano Lessons
Whether you take piano lessons for a year or for your entire life, your piano goals won't be the same as your neighbor's.
While your music teacher's main goal is obviously to help you make progress, he or she won't take the same approach with each student.
Some will want to learn Chopin's entire repertory, while others will simply want to learn the main chords in order to get themselves going with musical improvisation.
No matter how, whether it's in a conservatory or in your living room, your teacher will be your guide. His or her goal is to get to know you in order to help you reach your goal. He or she will know your strong points as well as your weakness, all in order to help you progress.
Your teacher's work doesn't stop with the practical aspects. Musical background is just as important as technique. It's thanks to a background like this that you'll be able to find inspiration for your own pieces.
And it's your teacher's role to help you understand the history of music you don't have to do the research yourself. The process will help you refine what you want from your piano lessons.
Moonlight Sonata, Flight of the Valkries, Swan Lake,... classical songs and their composers, like Mozart, will no longer be so mysterious to you.
How Much Do Piano Lessons Cost?
You've finally been convinced that piano lessons are right for you. You're going to run out tomorrow to buy your first upright piano or synthesizer.
But you also need to find that best balance in terms of quality and price of courses, in relation to your expectations.
Would you prefer a conservatory or private courses?
Conservatories are places recommended for more motivated students. Indeed, aspiring pianists will have to commit themselves to a year or more, since conservatories usually offer four-year programs.
The teaching style is often classical and it's obligatory to take classes besides piano technique, such as musical composition and the indispensable music theory. This option, then, is not recommended if you prefer jazz or contemporary music.
The cost of attending a conservatory can be as much as $45,000 a year!
They do, of course, give you an incredible base of understanding, which can lead to a professional career, which is significant.
If you don't think you'll be the next Bach or Beethoven, and you want to stay on the little stage and give occasional performances, private lessons should be enough.
That said, the costs vary from teacher to teacher, depending on where you live and your level. An older teacher with many years of experience is automatically more expensive than a younger teacher. But if you're just a beginner, the latter will do just fine.
With Superprof, private courses cost an average of $TK per lesson, while piano lessons cost an average of $TK. The cost of piano lessons obviously depends on the city you live in. Big cities are generally more expensive than smaller towns.
It's up to you to choose what type of private lesson will be best suited to your needs.
How to Choose the Best Teacher Available
You're looking for the best teacher for your child, nothing short of that.
Your intuition will tell you more than any biography or resume.
Here are some tips to help you find a piano teacher.
The majority of parents begin their search with someone in mind who might look like this:
A patient teacher, competent, not too old but not too young, who loves teaching classical, jazz, and pop. They seamlessly integrate new technology and proven traditional styles. They're an expert and a brilliant performer.
Let's be clear: this teacher doesn't exist. You'll have to make tough decisions.
Look for these things, simple indications that you've found a rare pearl:
- A good first meeting.
- A commitment to the art.
- The time to commit to teaching.
- A sense of humor and self-deprecation.
Humor is invaluable with children. It's better for your child to have lessons that include laughter. After all, your child is still a child.