The best ways to sharpen piano skills at home
Many people believe that learning a new skill such playing the piano takes a lot of time – and in many ways they are right. There’s the private practice to factor in, and it’s necessary to find a competent tutor, visit them or have them visit, or in the current climate commit to regular online lessons. Online piano lessons are a great option – students can be comfortable at home and have someone supervise their playing from a distance, pinpointing mistakes and making improvements just as with an in-person lesson. While there is no doubt that private lessons help with one-on-on learning, some cannot afford them (online lessons warrant the same financial commitment), and making time for them may be an issue. Below are some ways to learn to play the piano at home without a formal teacher.
Books and ebooks
Whether students prefer the old-school way of holding a physical book or downloading one, piano learning is fun with the right literature to help. There’s the option to learn in-depth about music theory and easily read the notes on the page. Many books even offer exercises to improve keyboard skills.
The best part is that, in whatever format, a book can be taken anywhere. It’s easy to brush up on knowledge even while commuting to work or school. A range of publications are available online or at local bookstores and libraries.
Software and apps
Everything has become digital these days, and a mobile phone has multiple uses. When it comes to learning to play the piano, it can work like a charm by storing an extensive wealth of related information.
With smartphone web searches, software downloads and mobile apps, there are various options providing piano instruction for players of varying skill levels. Software can in many cases also be used on desktop computers, sometimes with an on-screen keyboard or USB connection.
For free lessons on piano playing, nothing is better than YouTube (though, of course, they can not be tailored to the same extent). There is a plethora of options, with many pianists sharing their knowledge or even doubts on the platform from beginner level to expert level.
There are rhythm exercises, covers of favourite songs and chord progressions, and YouTube allows users to connect with like-minded individuals who are just starting to learn. Videos can be paused or slowed down, and it’s possible to re-watch anything missed on the first viewing.
Online piano tutors and websites
As much as the above methods to hone piano skills at home are easy and accessible, they have their disadvantages. For instance, in most cases there will not be an option to see tutors live or interact with them in a private session. More importantly, many don’t provide a customisation option and tuition won’t be personalised to benefit individual students and learning styles.
Vetted websites offering paid-for online piano lessons allow learners the opportunity to benefit from tutors’ input in real-time, while also hosting high-quality video content so that you can look closely and learn.
it’s possible to access piano basics and sheet music, and use a laptop or cellphone microphone to record practice sessions, play them back, and evaluate progress with time.
Online piano lessons offer many of the same benefits as the gold-standard in-person option:
Personalisation – live piano lessons cater to players with any goal, and instructors will appreciate it if those goals are specific, as they will be able help students to achieve them.
On-demand lessons – learning a new skill or improving it takes time. If sticking to a set schedule is a challenge, online classes can allow users to practice in their own time. They also have consistent lessons if for those who prefer a regular schedule.
Supervision – since this is an interactive method, tutors can observe playing and provide feedback. Based on the learning speed of the student, they can formulate weekly or monthly targets.
Lesson length – taking age, experience level and other factors into account, users can choose from 30, 45 or 60-minute sessions. In the case of piano classes for children, it’s worth considering how long they can sit without losing focus.
Genre and style – there is the option to work around a range of musical inclinations. For pupils wanting to learn classical music, blues, jazz, modern pop, or any other genre, online piano lessons have numerous teachers to suit. Or maybe they are looking to learn a specific technique and nothing else – they can find the program that works best.
Most importantly of all, whether online or in person, a tutor can understand individual learning styles better than any streaming platform, automated service or library can. And no matter which learning route is taken, practice alone will be the deciding factor in making a better pianist – no amount of lessons will work without time spent between them cementing the learning. It’s also worth throwing in random pieces and slowing down the metronome to improve sight-reading. All students should remember that if they can’t play it slowly, they cannot play it quickly!
For best results, as with most projects, it’s a good idea to set realistic goals, keep challenging abilities, and listen to the experts.
The editorial unit