If you are interested to pick up piano and are reading this article, chances are that you are not sure what to look out for before doing so! In this article, I will be sharing about the 8 things to consider before enrolling for piano lessons. This will be a step by step guide to provide you with a great start before your first piano lesson!
Step 1. To buy or not to buy?
The first thing you need to consider before making a decision to enrol yourself for piano lessons is to decide if you are planning to buy a piano or not.
Although talent plays a huge part, it is not everything. When you are learning the piano, practicing is of the utmost importance to become a great pianist! In fact, it is directly linked to how fast you will be able to catch up during piano lessons. After all, you will probably not want to spend a few lessons just to pick up a single piano piece or skill set as that will just be a total waste of money!
Also, since you are interested to learn the piano, wouldn’t it be perfect if you can indulge yourself and enjoy the great feeling of doing something you love every now and then? Although it might seem like a huge cost now, as you attend more non-productive lessons, wouldn’t the piano lesson fees pile up to be the same as buying a piano in a few years time? Hence, if you are not planning to get a piano to practice due to the price, you might want to reconsider your decision to go for piano classes because chances are that you will end up spending more than what you will want to.
Step 2. Upright or grand piano?
Now that you have decided if you are get a piano, before you start to get confused over what piano to go for, it is best to ask yourself one simple question first. “Are you more inclined towards playing the upright piano or the grand piano? This step is extremely important as it will determine your entire piano progression.
Although there are individuals out there who claims that the grand piano is easier to learn, both the grand piano and upright pianos are equally challenging to pick up. However, due to the disparity of the mechanical structure of both pianos, while the feel of playing both pianos might be relatively similar, the sound of the two types of piano are totally different! The sound produced by grand pianos tend to richer and linger around longer than the sound produced by upright pianos. Therefore, the style of a grand pianist might differ greatly from that of an upright pianist. Hence, it is very important that you understand the difference between the two types of piano and choose the type that you feel more attracted to!
Step 3. What piano to buy?
The next thing to consider after deciding your piano route is to ponder over factors such as space constraints or budgets. For example, if you have a small space, you will probably want to go for a spinet or console upright piano if you are pursuing the upright piano route. Alternatively, you can go for a baby grand piano if you are pursuing the grand piano route. If you do not have much space constraint, that’s great! You can basically buy whichever piano you fancy as long as it is within your budget.
It is also important to take your learning capacity into consideration. For example, if you are slower to pick up new skills, digital pianos will be highly recommended as some digital pianos are equipped with functions such as a list of piano pieces that you can learn on your own! If you want to learn more about what kind of piano is suitable for your situation, you can read our article on the 3 categories of pianos to understand which piano suits you the best!
Step 4. Where to place my piano?
The next step is to decide and allocate space to place your piano. Try not to place your piano in gloomy areas or corners such as a study room or the quietest place in the house as it can get depressing and you might stop practicing earlier than expected every time due to the lack of motivation. Of course, if you are someone who needs absolute silence to be able to concentrate and learn, placing your piano at the quietest area of your house will definitely be a better choice.
Another major taboo is to place your piano in places with distractions. For example, do not place your piano near any television, computer or gaming rooms because the probability of you getting distracted is very high. Also, 9 out of 10 times, you will probably choose to be entertained by watching cartoons or playing games over practicing the piano. Hence, it is best to avoid gloomy or distracting places as practicing is key to learning the piano.
Step 5. What to look out for when buying a piano?
Now that you have more or less understood what is going on and what to buy, you should go ahead and get yourself a piano that suits you the most. However, there are a few things to take note of.
Firstly, it is important to check a few places or brands to have a rough idea of the packages most sellers provide. For example, free warranty and servicing might be given by some companies if you are to purchase from them. Do not get carried away and buy a piano hastily only to regret your choice afterward when you found out that there are better deals out in the market. A good tip will be to read online reviews that people published regarding the pianos that you are interested in.
Also, it is important to find a trustworthy and professional piano tuner who will service and maintain your piano on a frequent basis. It is exceptionally important to be consistent in maintaining your piano as the sound quality might be jeopardised due to inconsistent tuning, which will affect or slow down your training and learning process.
Step 6. Private lesson or school?
Now that you bought your piano, there is no turning back! The next step is to decide whether you are enrolling for piano schools or private piano lessons. If you are a slow learner, it will be highly recommended to hire a private piano teacher to engage in 1 to 1 piano lessons as the private piano teacher will be able to put their entire attention and focus on you, which will increase the overall efficiency and make the high piano lesson fees well spent. If you’re a fast learner or enjoys competition, enrolling to a public piano school will be the best choice for you to hone your piano skills as you will be able to compete and learn from other students.
Budget and schedule flexibility should also be put into consideration. If you have a low budget for your piano lessons, private piano lessons will probably be a better choice as you will have the flexibility to choose your piano lesson fees. Private piano lessons are also great if you need to have flexible timings as most private teachers are flexible with their timings. Piano schools, on the other hand, charge fixed rates and are usually more expensive. Also, they have fixed time slots and you might not be able to pick a good timing for your lesson due to the rigidity of the lesson schedules.
Step 7. What to do to prepare for lesson?
After you enrolled in a class, there are a few things that you ought to do to prepare for the first lesson. Familiarising with the basics of the piano is the first thing you can do. For example, you can read up more on topics such as the layout of the piano keys and the different sound and pitch each side of the piano produces.
Upon understanding the theories, the next thing to do will be to feel the piano and try out the theories that you have learned.
This step is crucial to a good start of your piano endeavour as familiarising yourself with the piano beforehand will boost your confidence greatly and save time by preventing a slow start during the first few lessons. You will also find out that you will be able to pick up much faster than most people if you grasp some of the basics before the first lesson.
Step 8. Timetable
This is a no-brainer, set your timetable! You should be consistent with practicing your piano skills and constant practice will lead to perfection. Also, by following strictly to your timetable, you are also honing your determination, which is also an important value a pianist must have!
Now that you have read and understood the 8 things to consider before enrolling for piano lessons, you should be able to have a good head start on your journey of learning the piano. If you are interested in reading more piano related articles, follow us on Facebook and stay tuned for our latest blog posts.
Wen Feng is a passionate music aficionado. He is constantly on the search for new music to listen to, with a particular interest in classical music. Piano pieces have always been a great companion and kept him calm throughout his school and work life.