Playing the piano is one of the most rewarding skills you can learn. All you need is the ability to put together a few simple tunes and… you’re a musician. But how do you discover the best piano course for your particular musical interests? Easy… just follow the formula below and you’ll be playing all your favorite tunes in no time at all.
THE FOOLPROOF FORMULA
1. Set your goals. Ask yourself the following questions:
– What are your ambitions as a pianist?
– Do you see yourself as a concert grand master, or do you just want to ‘tinkle the ivories’ at home?
– Does it matter that you might not be the world’s greatest musician, when all you want is to play in your local band with friends?
– Do you just want to play other people’s music or do you have a talent for writing your own songs or compositions?
– Assuming you don’t see yourself as a concert grand master, do you still have the drive and ambition to be a professional musician?
– What kind of music do you want to play… pop, rock, gospel, blues, jazz, hip hop, classical…?
2. Based on the answers you get to the above questions, decide on the kind of lessons that would be most appropriate. For example, if you are a beginner with no previous experience, you might decide that face-to-face lessons with a music teacher in your local neighborhood is best. That way, you’ll have an expert to guide you along and advise you about your realistic chances of obtaining your goals as a musician.
If, on the other hand, you have played piano before, can read music and you’re just looking for some kind of refresher to get you back into the habit of practicing, the best option might be a piano course from your local music store.
If you’re familiar with the way that computer software has revolutionised the way music is taught and how this can enhance your piano playing, you might look on the internet for an online piano course.
3. For those who decide to search for music teachers in their neighborhood, here are some questions you might want to ask them:
(i) How long have you been teaching music?
(ii) What styles do you teach?
(iii) Are you a performing musician as well as a teacher (those who are may have special empathy for students who want to perform in public)?
(iv) Do you teach on acoustic and/or electronic instruments?
(v) Do you expect students to perform at recitals with other students?
(vi) How much do you charge, over what period and when do you expect to receive payment?
Here are some case studies of students looking for a suitable piano course:
STUDENT A. Ben is a complete novice and has never tried to play a musical instrument before. He is 35 years old and would love to be able to play pieces of music by Chopin. He is aware that he is not hugely talented, but has an ear for music and believes that, in time, his playing could reach an intermediate level.
After applying the above formula, he decides he needs a personal tutor and signs up for a semester of lessons at his local School of Music to test out the water.
STUDENT B. Angela, who is 46, once played piano to an intermediate standard. She stopped playing after getting married and starting a family. Now her children are older, she would like to take up playing again. She loves jazz, but has no plans to perform in public, at least not yet.
Going through the formula, she decides to find a local piano teacher who specialises in old jazz standards. She feels she’ll then be able to find her feet again, at which point she’ll probably be able to play directly from music scores.
STUDENT C. Chris is 19 and in a local band with friends. They write some of their own material and practice regularly. They want to play at local clubs and Chris wants to improve his technique. He is especially interested in writing more of the band’s material.
He does some research, but can’t afford to pay for lessons locally. He opts instead for a piano course on the internet, for a one-off cost, which contains a software program aimed at improving your technique when playing with other musicians.
Whatever your ambitions as a musician, it’s critically important to find the most suitable help for your musical aspirations. If you apply this foolproof formula, you will find your perfect piano course to help you on your way, just as Ben, Angela and Chris did.