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Frequently Asked

How long does it take to learn to play the piano?

I have been asked this question quite a bit throughout my career as a piano teacher. To answer this question we have to define what does it mean to be able to play the piano? You often hear people say, “I play the piano. Again what does that really mean? You may hear an answer like this, “it doesn’t matter how much you know about or sound on the piano as long as you are enjoying it, then you are “playing” the piano and having fun and that is all that really matters.”– and I can’t really argue with that.

Someone else may define as being able to play the piano as someone who can sit down and read a piece of intermediate to advance music and be able to figure it out on their own so they can perform it or share it with others or just play it for themselves.

Someone else may define being able to play the piano as someone who can play a memorized piece and sound really good, such as Fur Elise from Beethoven or Chopin’s Waltz in A Minor.

However I know some intermediate and advanced pianists that struggle with sight reading, but their technique is such that they can sound really beautiful.  I’ve also heard beginning and intermediate pianists who sight read notes really well and they sound horrible-mediocre because they lack the proper technique to produce that beautiful tone you often hear in accomplished pianists. 

So it just depends upon your definition of what you think makes up the qualities you would like to develop in being able to “play the piano.”  

There is enough music and technique to keep you learning for a lifetime if you choose to.  I am always working on and learning new things. It’s like reading all the books in the world, you will never be able to read them all. Same with the piano there is always a new challenging piece to learn if you choose, old pieces to brush up on, compositions to compose and arrange.  That is what makes it so awesome!  You are forever learning and growing and that is what makes life so enriching and worth living!

What is the best age to start learning the piano?

In my opinion any age can work if the student shows interest and has time to invest in learning and practicing what they learn.  I have often heard it said by my older adult students that they should have learned at a younger age because they would catch on faster.  I really haven’t seen this to be true.  I have noticed in my older adult students that they catch on quickly and usually  have great coordination. The only downside is they usually have more demanding schedules than younger students and trying to squeeze in a weekly piano lesson that meets at the same time each week does not always work for them. That is why I believe online video lessons would be an excellent fit for an adult or older student.  It gives them the flexibility to choose when they take their lesson each week.  If they forget a concept, they can easily just watch the video again and get back on track quickly without having to pay for another private lesson which saves them a lot of time and money!

Will online lessons really teach me to play the piano?

It depends upon the program you are taking.  I have noticed many good programs that teach you just to play chords. Although I enjoyed and learned some new things from some of these coarses, they were sometimes challenging for me to understand even though I have studied chords for years which made me think how hard these coarses would be for someone who had never had any prior piano experience. They would be completely lost!!! So I really think you have to pick a program and a teacher that you can trust. You need to decide what you want to learn when it comes to the piano.  Do you want to play a few songs and sing with some chords or do you want to be able to learn to read music notation, count correctly, use correct technique, be able to figure out how to play on your own any piece of music you like and even write your own compositions which you will learn at  At first I didn’t think it would be possible to learn piano lessons online, but then I realized that it would be even more beneficial especially if you are an older student and are super busy!  Most adults probably don’t take piano lessons because they don’t have the time to make it to that weekly lesson. Also you get to review the lessons concepts you may have forgotten whenever you want!  As far as feedback goes, that would be the only downfall.  Yes feedback is important and that is where private lessons have an edge, but I believe you can get most of what you need for beginning lessons at when you get to study the videos and hear how the song should sound!!!

What type of piano should I acquire to take piano lessons?

There are an array of acoustic and digital pianos and keyboards on the market these days. I would just do a little research and choose something within your budget.  I prefer to play on an acoustic piano as I love the feel of an acoustic piano and like the weighted keys which really helps to build strength in the fingers as you work on your technique. The downfall is you have to tune them each year and they can take up quite a bit of space.  The digital world is advancing and everything keeps getting better. I would take a trip to a local music store and just see what is out there and listen to the sound and pay attention to the feel of the instrument. If you want to start out on a keyboard, look for one with weighted keys, at least 60 keys in length, a nice firm stand, pedal (can be portable), and a bench.

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