Learning to play piano can be a life-changing experience. It’s not only fun but also makes you smarter and opens a whole new world of possibilities.
In a Canadian study, students who took piano lessons every week for nine months experienced a three-point increase in their IQ levels.
This activity stimulates the brain, especially the areas associated with memory and learning.
Other studies have found that learning to play piano improves the brain’s plasticity as well as its ability to adapt to environmental stimuli.
In 2015, the average cost for piano lessons was between $30 and $60 per hour.
Luckily, you can cut expenses by learning on your own. Here are seven tips to hone your piano techniques:
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Choose the Right Song
Before you start playing piano, choose a song you really love. Good music is the best motivation you can have.
It’s easier to get your fingers on the keys when you’re playing your favorite music.
Make a list of songs you enjoy, and then pick two or three. Ideally, you should look for songs that don‘t involve a lot of hand jumps or chords with more than three notes.
If you develop a passion for playing, you’ll progress faster. Focus on the music and try to “feel” every note.
Experiment with different music genres, such as folk, jazz, and classical tunes. This way, you’ll keep things fun and prevent boredom.
Choose songs that reflect your personality and style. Remember that music is all about sharing emotion.
Feel the music and enjoy the experience instead of focusing too much on the technical side.
Even if you’re not familiar with a specific genre, give it a try.
Let’s take classical music.
Look for songs that are easy to master, such as Beethoven’s Ode to Joy and Prelude in E min by Chopin. The Blue Danube, Ave Maria, and Fur Elise are a great choice for beginners too.
Although some of these pieces may sound difficult, they’re actually fun to play for all ages.
Learn the Theory
Unless you learn the theory, you won’t be able to play your favorite songs. It comes as part of the package.
Read about chords, note values, key signatures, and other technical elements. This will boost your confidence and allow you to play a wider range of music. As your skills improve, you’ll find it easier to learn new things.
If you do your homework, you won’t need a teacher. With proper practice, you can learn to play piano by yourself.
Get familiar with the keys, select your scale, and start with easy notes. Remember it takes time to learn new piano techniques. Don’t expect to become an expert overnight.
Slice It Up
Another strategy is to break down your favorite songs into smaller sections. This allows your brain to memorize new hand movements easily.
For the start, learn one section per day. Once you master it, move on to the next section and then play both sections together.
Play the piece you are learning before bedtime. During sleep, these skills will be transferred to long-term memory.
The same happens with your school lessons. If you study before going to bed, you’re more likely to remember those things in the morning.
Harness the Power of Technology
With the advent of technology, learning new piano techniques is easy.
Nowadays, we have access to online videos, digital pianos, and portable digital recorders. You can even use an electronic metronome to hone your timing skills.
Digital pianos are particularly helpful for newbies. The latest models feature crystal-clear displays and advanced stereo speakers. Users can connect them to mobile devices.
For instance, the Casio Privia boasts a multi-dimensional AIR along with split and layer capabilities. If you don’t want to disturb your neighbors, connect a headphone set to the unit.
Establish a Practice Routine
Remember the old saying “practice makes perfect?” It applies to piano lessons too!
To improve your piano techniques, establish a practice routine. Aim for 30 minutes to one hour a day.
When you’re short on time, practice for 10-15 minutes. This strategy works really well for kids.
Keep track of what and when you’re practicing. Watch your progress and assess your results once every two weeks or so. Write everything down.
Practicing for 15 minutes a day is better than practicing three hours once a week. And let’s face it – it’s easier to squeeze a short piano session into your routine.
On top of that, most people become mentally fatigued after 15-20 minutes. They simply lose their focus and can’t wait to finish.
Even if you only have five minutes, do it. Practice again later in the day or whenever you have some free time. Remember to have fun with it!
Invest in Quality Gear
The equipment you’re using can make all the difference.
Traditional pianos are expensive and loud. A keyboard or a digital piano may work better for those who practice at home.
Today’s digital pianos are jus as good as “real” pianos. Just be sure to choose one with lots of various sounds.
Consider your budget, skill level, and location. Figure out where you will play the instrument and how much space you need.
When shopping for a digital piano, decide what features you’re looking for. Digital pianos come in all shapes and sizes, so it should be easy to find one that fits your budget.
How Long Does It Take to Improve Your Piano Techniques?
Unlike other instruments, the piano is easier to learn. For best results, it’s recommended to practice at least 30 minutes per day. The more time you put in, the faster you will learn.
If you get your daily dose of practice, you should master the piano within two years or so.
You won’t know how fast you can learn to play until you try it yourself. The key is to find your inner drive and stay on track with your routine. Think of it as an investment in your career and education.
Someday, you may become a concert pianist or play with a band. If not, at least you’ll be able to entertain your family and friends. Think about how great you’d feel to play piano at a party and be the center of attention.
Think about how great you’d feel to play piano at a party and be the center of attention.
Also, consider the many benefits of learning to play the piano! From improved memory to stress relief, this experience can change your life.
Ready to give it a try? Check out these cool pianos and start practicing!