Getting through lockdown with piano

Here’s how you can get started with piano at home.

You’ve decided to invest in your hobby (or passion!), and buy a keyboard or piano to get started on your musical journey.

Due to lockdown restrictions, many people are opting to learn at home, and with so many resources available, it is certainly a viable option, so what is the best way to get started?

Method books and YouTube. The combination of both is important, and here’s why:

Method books allow you to work through new techniques in the correct order, so instead of sifting through bits and pieces of information on YouTube, you are gaining a solid foundation to develop as a piano player in your chosen style.

In the era of information overload, the simplicity of working step by step through a book that  teaches both theoretic and practical knowledge is immensely valuable.

YouTube will bring your method book to life:

Half the battle of learning something new can be knowing WHAT to search for, and this again is where having a book explaining new concepts is very useful. For example, when using a method book, you’ll likely come across something called ‘Chord Inversions’.

Without any formal study in music, it’s unlikely that anyone would think to type ‘Piano Chord Inversions’ into YouTube, but when you do, you’ll see numerous videos with some great exercises, even one on ‘How Elton John Uses Inversions’.

Here are some great titles to get you started:

Accelerated Piano Adventures for the Older Beginner:

A good choice for anyone wanting to take a more traditional approach to music learning, you’ll learn how to read music, and a variety of tunes such as Amazing Grace, Forest Drums, and Row Row Your Boat.

You’ll learn to play chords in your left hand and melodies in your right hand – a great foundation for playing jazz, and popular music styles.

It’s also worth noting, this title defines older as ‘over 11 years old!’

https://www.australianpianowarehouse.com.au/product/print-music/piano-keyboard/instructional/methods/accelerated-piano-adventures-for-the-older-beginner/

Adult Piano Method:

This book will also teach you to read music notation with a combination of music styles and theoretical concepts. It also provides opportunity for improvisation.

https://www.australianpianowarehouse.com.au/product/print-music/piano-keyboard/instructional/methods/adult-piano-method-book-1-book-with-online-audio/

Seeking a less traditional approach? Check out 150 Keyboard Tips & Lessons:

Aside from music, learn about using DAW programs such as Garage Band and ProTools, navigating equipment, and finding a teacher. It covers music styles such as electronic, gospel, and country, as well as important jazz theory, and piano technical concepts that are useful in a variety of performance situations.

https://www.australianpianowarehouse.com.au/product/print-music/piano-keyboard/instructional/methods/150-keyboard-tips-lessons/

Additional tips:

  • Keep a practice diary – note down what you learned, what you struggled with, how long you practiced for, and any break throughs.
  • Celebrate your achievements – learned a new piece? A new technique? That’s great! Don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back for your great work!
  • Consider seeing a teacher on zoom, especially if you are feeling stuck or unmotivated. A teacher will also correct anything that a book or a video can’t pick up such as posture, hand position, and correct fingering.

Do you have any additional tips for learning piano at home? Let us know in the comments!

Are you looking for an instrument to learn piano on at home? Feel free to set up a virtual shopping appointment here: https://www.australianpianowarehouse.com.au/virtual-shopping/

How long does it take to learn the piano?

With a bit of practice and consistency, you’ll be playing all your favorite songs! 

Thinking about learning the piano in 2021? Take a look at the inspiring journey of these YouTubers who began playing the piano and documented their progress from day one. 

1. Matt Southam

Matt documented his journey from day one to a year. He offers some excellent advice for anyone thinking about getting started. He also performs a concert during his first year of learning the piano!

2. ROANAH 

This journey video is from someone who has a background in music as a guitarist and composer. In his description ROANAH explains how he approached his practice, as well as how and why he got into music theory. 

If you’ve been thinking of adding the piano to your instrument playing palette, give this video a watch. 

3. Jacky Kuah 

This video by Jacky Kuah demonstrates how you can start playing your favorite songs right away. He also takes some time to discuss how he approached teaching himself the piano. Great insights for those wanting to learn solely from the Internet.

4. James2x

Another self-taught piano player. In between his piano clips, James gives some great commentary into the journey of learning the piano, and discusses how he pushes through the inevitable challenges everyone faces when learning a new skill. Very inspiring! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JaPL8AQZ8s

5. Piano Progress

This video is a clear and concise look at the progress that can be made in three months using the Alfred’s Piano Books. This channel also features music from the Alfred’s Adult Piano course books, so is useful for anyone planning to take that route.

You will notice that everyone has taken slightly different approaches, so don’t be afraid to get started by learning your favorite songs, and be sure to build your technique and music theory bit by bit.

Taking piano lessons is the best way to fast tracking your playing, but as a lot of these videos have demonstrated, there are also a lot of great learning options available online and in music books.

We’ve got a range of pianos to suit your budget and lifestyle so feel free to visit us in store, or speak to one of our friendly live chat specialists on the website. 

Part 1 – Choosing the right teacher 

Your child has come home from school and said ‘I want to learn the piano’. Fantastic!

Now it’s time to start looking for a teacher.

Learning the piano is enjoyable, challenging and rewarding. The right teacher will set up your child for years of learning as they develop skill, technique and confidence. But how do you find the right teacher? There are a few things you can do.

Have a chat with your prospective teacher about their qualifications and experience. Do you need a piano teacher who has 30+ years of experience? Would a university student who is a piano major suit your budget a little better? Consider ‘real world’ experiences. A teacher with a wealth of experience performing, touring and recording can be a great source of inspiration and motivation.

Get a feel for their personality. Personality may be the number one thing your child walks out of their lesson remembering. In a pedagogy class I took during my university studies, the lecturer asked the class ‘What do you remember about your first ever music lesson?’. The answers ranged from how the room was set up, to how the teacher scolded them (yikes!). Interestingly, everyone had clear memories of their first experience all related to the teacher’s manner and the environment, but not one person one remembered what they learned.

Consider your budget and lifestyle. Would you prefer the teacher to come to your home and teach on your piano? Do you want the lessons to happen on the weekend? Is there the option to pay weekly? Or can you purchase a multi lesson pack?

Ask the teacher about their teaching methods. It’s also worth asking if they hold recitals, how many students they are teaching, what books and other resources they use to teach.

Ask your local music store. Here at The Australian Piano Warehouse, our experienced piano staff can guide you to a number of excellent music teachers and schools in your area. We’ve all been through the process of formal music training so we understand how important it is to find the right teacher.

A common concern:

I don’t know whether they are going to lose interest after a few months.

Imagine as an adult that you decide to try something new. Perhaps you decided to get Personal Training sessions. You haven’t spent any time at the gym before, but summer is around the corner and you want to get in shape.

You get to the PT session pumped and ready. Instead, the trainer doesn’t smile much, you’re not sure why the exercises are relevant, and it wasn’t fun at all.

Little by little, you dread seeing that PT! Your motivation to jog in between sessions fades, and you care less and less about getting into shape.

Now let’s imagine you go to a different PT. This time, they are really friendly and passionate about exercise, they push and encourage you, and you always learn a little something extra.

You feel excited to see them every week as you get closer and closer to your fitness goals.

It’s EXACTLY the same with learning piano, the teacher can make or break the learning experience which is why it’s so important to find the right fit for your needs.

Now that you’ve found a great teacher, it’s time to find the right instrument. Stay tuned for the next part of this blog series.