Looking up “things to do at home”? Piano is a great skill to pick up. The coronavirus pandemic is not over yet and it looks like it won’t be in America for a long time. You’re likely spending most (if not all) of your time at home. Don’t just sit on the couch and binge Netflix all day. Remember, you won’t see people for a few years when the pandemic is over and large social gatherings can continue just as it has done in the past. Wouldn’t it be nice to grow during this time and emerge with new skills and as a better version of yourself?
Music is something that anyone can learn and can be something you pick up during quarantine! Imagine this: 3 years from now, you’re at karaoke and suddenly, your friends realize that you aren’t tone deaf anymore! It’s also something that you can bring up as a topic of conversation when you run out of ways Covid 2020 was terrible and got worse and worse. Or you decide to plan an impressive piano performance while your friends dance to it as a birthday gift because you didn’t know what to give to the 2 year old. The point is- music will forever stay with you. It’s part of our lives and is what makes life more fun and entertaining. Music itself is a gift that keeps on giving.
What are you waiting for? Music is easier to learn than you think. You’ll only need to make up your mind and find the right resources to get you started and on the right track!
Why piano? Piano is the first instrument of choice for many beginners. Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven- they’ve created some of the most recognizable songs using this instrument. It’s also very beginner friendly as it only requires your hands to play and it is easy to play the notes themselves by simply pressing down on the keys.
With 88 keys, it may seem daunting to learn all of them. But these keys are actually a repeating pattern so once you find middle C and learn the next few notes, it’s quite easy. Piano keys themselves are very easy to learn and once you realize how easy you can master it, you’ll have that motivation to learn more!
Even before you step into a piano class, you can start learning music theory and practicing on your own! The piano is an easy “beginner instrument” to learn music theory as sharp and flat notes are easily discernible with black keys. When you’re not taking music lessons, there are ways that you can teach yourself the basics of music theory. Free resources such as https://www.musictheory.net/lessons can teach you the basics as a foundation for any lessons you decide to take! Once you’ve learned the basics of music theory, you can start choosing songs to learn on the piano.
Beginner Friendly Piano Songs to Learn:
*Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Learn these songs first! These simple, right handed songs are a great start to learning how to play the piano. You’ll find that they’re also very easy to memorize so you won’t need sheet music in front of you.
A quick google search will show that 90% of the world is primarily right-hand dominant. When learning piano, the right hand is the one that is in a better position to play notes after a treble clef. The bass notes are equally as important for music! A pianist doesn’t simply play with his/her/their dominant hand. Both are used. This is one of the more difficult skills to learn but put together, you can create amazing songs and melodies at the tips of your fingers that would wow any audience. Using your nondominant hand in new motions is also a good workout for your brain. For learning songs that require both hands, learn how to play the right hand melody first, then the left hand, and then work on incorporating them both. It sounds really simple but any skill requires practice so don’t give up!
Piano lessons are sure to teach the basic foundations of music. But even if you’ve mastered that- a piano tutor will help to accelerate your learning exponentially! Many who want to save money chose to get a tutor after learning basic music theory. This is up to you. A piano instructor has walked your steps of learning how to play and can give you tips and tricks to make learning a lot faster. You can self-teach piano with books. If you want to master piano, having a tutor is a must-have. Even if you can play the notes and read sheet music well enough, there are still skills such as improvisational playing, chord progression, ear training, and posture that you wouldn’t know that you needed. Having another person critique your playing and give you tips is invaluable for those who seriously want to learn and play the piano like a pro.
During the coronavirus pandemic, going to lessons in person may not be the safest option you have when it comes to learning a new skill. That’s where online piano lessons come to play!
Make sure that there are a lot of time slots available! It’s a good idea to have a consistent schedule when you’re home. When you build a routine, you’ll need less effort to get up and do the things you need to. The same applies when you choose to learn piano. Make sure that your piano tutor offers time slots that fit well with your life schedule so that you won’t miss a class! Piano tutors should have a consistent schedule of when classes are offered. If you don’t see a regular schedule, you should consider looking at other tutors since their layout of lessons may be just as hectic.
Set a SMART goal for yourself. Something Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Before you start committing yourself to ANY lesson, make sure to create a goal for yourself. What do you want to get out of piano classes? What level do you want to reach by what time? How long do you see yourself taking classes for? A piano tutor who only focuses on technical playing won’t help you ear train to get better at karaoke. If you see yourself playing piano for a few years, check to see if there will be more advanced levels for you to learn about from the same instructor. Finding piano tutors is time consuming so it’s better to stick with one tutor for a long time instead of starting the process of finding the right tutor again.
Your learning style is something you need to know in order to start taking classes. Nowadays, online classes can be offered in private or as group learning. Depending on how much you can motivate yourself without peers, you may choose private classes. If you enjoy meeting like minded people who you’ll be taking classes with online, PianoLab may be the choice for you. Keep in mind that each piano tutor offers different types of classes and you have a lot more to choose from when classes are online!
The biggest part of taking piano lessons is finding the right tutor. The first step is to do a background check. If there isn’t an “about” section for the tutor, is this person reputable? Probably not. Pictures and video evidence portraying the tutor’s skills is also a must to avoid being scammed. Google the tutor as well to find reviews! This can help you see what the tutor offers, pros, cons, and what to expect before the first lesson. A big thing to keep an eye out for is the teaching style of choice. Some tutors don’t assign “homework” to make you attend more classes in order to learn more. Stay away for these tutors who are only out for your money. A proper instructor gives you room to grow, practice, and improve on the skills you’ve learned in class. Giving you motivation and direction to practice outside of class will accelerate your learning more!
Something a few people overlook is the quality of the website and ease of access. When taking an online class, you want to learn from a platform that not only has experienced tutors, but also something that is easy to use. You’ll be learning online so what you see on the website will be the quality reflected in how you’re learning as well. A neat website layout shows that the instructor has put care into preparing how students will receive the information.
“Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it”- Tom Lehrer
Once you’ve chosen your instructor and classes, make sure you’re mentally prepared and willing to put time into learning a new skill. Best of luck in your lifelong journey with music!