Taking piano lessons with a private teacher is not always possible or affordable. It demands having the time and money to hire a teacher and attend weekly lessons. This might prove to be a challenge for people with a small budget and inflexible schedule. Fortunately, technology has brought forth a fair range of options for the budding pianist to develop keyboard skills. All that is needed for success using alternate means of learning is an iron will and indefatigable determination.
Students can start by buying a self-teaching piano book at any bookshop or music store. The top books include music theory principles as well as piano-playing basics and practice songs. It is also beneficial to find a book that comes with a DVD or CD that can help students hear how their songs are supposed to sound. Hal Leonard, John Thompson, Alfred’s Publishing, and Mel Bay are respectable names in the publishing industry. They offer series for instruction as well as music to play at all levels.
Today’s Internet technology adds the option of online piano study. For free lessons, students can look for YouTube videos that offer comprehensive lessons or information on learning a particular skill. For students with webcams, there is also the option of taking courses online for a fee. The instructor uses Skype or a similar service to listen to, watch, and assess the student’s progress. There are also software courses, such as, Learn & Master Piano, Piano Academy Wizard, or Rocket Piano, that guide in keyboard skills as well as teach music theory. The last online option is to use games that teach piano skills. Two of the better known choices are Jayde Musica and Grand Staff Defender. Even though certain games provide free access, others must be paid for in order to use.
While traditional pianos are still the popular instrument of choice, today’s students also use electronic keyboards. Working with electronic keyboards provides students with learning features that are unavailable through a traditional keyboard. For example, electronic keyboards can be programmed to teach students how to play a particular song or chord sequence. This can either be through a display screen or via electronic strips that light up to indicate which keys should be played.
Not every student benefits from these independent of distance learning techniques. Some students truly need access to live piano classes in order to master this skill effectively. Unfortunately, private lessons are often quite expensive, which is why a lot of students are turning to group lessons. There are many reasons for choosing group lessons. There is an actual instructor present, there is more motivation to practice, and players can help each other.
There are disadvantages to group classes as well. For example, the teacher’s attention is spread out among several students rather than focused on one person. A good strategy to minimize this disadvantage is to choose a small class where the teacher’s support can be maximized for each student.
It is no longer necessary to take private lessons to learn how to play the piano. With ample avenues to find positive instruction, people can grow from aspiring pianists to fairly proficient amateur keyboardists. Self discipline, patience, and dedication will result in the motivated student establishing an impressive piano repertoire.