Learning to Play the Piano

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Learning to Play the Piano

The piano is one of the most difficult musical instruments to master. But don’t let that discourage you! With dedication, patience and commitment, you can learn how to play the piano within a relatively short period of time. The following guidelines will come in handy:

Commitment is key: If your desire to learn how to play the piano is a passing fantasy, think again. Playing the piano is a lifelong learning experience, even for experts, so discipline and dedication is very important.
Getting a piano: Pianos are expensive. If you can’t buy one, consider digital keyboards from Yamaha or Casio. Alternatively, look for bargains on second-hand pianos. Of course, if you're willing to invest some serious moolah, you can’t go wrong with Steinway, Mason & Hamlin, Bechstein and Bosendorfer.
Find a teacher: Teaching yourself to play the piano is difficult unless you are naturally gifted. So at least for the first few weeks, go for lessons to help avoid common piano mistakes and find out the basics so you can carry forward on your own after a few weeks.
Get the basics right: Before you can learn to play the piano easily, you have to learn piano basics such as theory, chords, music notations, piano parts, keys, scales, right-left hand coordination and finger exercises.
Start easy: Once the basics are in place, start with easier pieces before graduating to the harder ones. This will build your confidence and also make you aware of the mistakes you are prone to, so you can rectify them early.

Practice daily: Maestros practise the piano for hours every day but a beginner can get by with about 30-60 minutes of daily practice. Like any art form, learning the piano is all about practice.
Break pieces down into parts: When learning a new piece, deconstruct it into smaller parts, play them slowly, and then put all the sections together. This way, you can pick up the piece easily and also avoid mistakes. Play a piece at its normal pace only after you have memorised the notations and finger movements.
Learn how to sight-read: This can be challenging at first but the more you look at unfamiliar sheet music and learn to recognize the patterns, the better you get at playing the piano and reading music. It takes quite a while to master sight-reading; once again, practice makes perfect.


Be patient in your quest to learn the piano. If you work hard and with a disciplined approach you’ll soon find yourself mesmerising friends and family with your piano skills.




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