2. LEARNING PIANO
What Should I Look For In A Piano Teacher?
Whenever you’re about to embark on a new learning adventure, it’s helpful to know in advance the kind of teacher you learn best from. Most students benefit from finding a teacher who is fun to be with, who has a warm personality, has a wealth of experience, and who you feel inspires you to get better. More importantly, is the teacher flexible in their playing styles and experiences, so they can accommodate a wide variety of learning styles for different students, or do they only have a few ways that they are comfortable with teaching?
Our piano teachers are carefully selected from across Toronto for their educational background, their professional experience, and their wonderful personalities! All of our teachers are also police checked and reference checked, and we keep video cameras in all lesson rooms as part of our comprehensive family safety program. Our teachers are guaranteed to have warm personalities, and each one brings a wealth of professional and academic experience in just the right balance to really help you explore your potential in a safe, productive environment, and help you become the best you can be. With over 15 piano teachers (both male and female) between both locations, we most definitely have a piano teacher that will be the best fit for you. Get ready to fall in love with learning piano from friendly, supportive, and talented teachers!
Should We Do Private Or Group Piano Lessons?
Both private and group lessons provide unique benefits to the learning process. In the private lesson, you would get more focus directly on your own needs, and your learning would be much customized for you. But you may not have a sense of how your learning compares to others, or how you can learn from others in your own peer group. Group classes give you that opportunity to be with others in your own age group who are learning similar concepts as you are. Group classes help you feel a part of the larger musical community and give you a framework to understand how your growth fits in with that of others.
Group classes are also a great way to learn how to meet new friends, and how to bond with others over shared interests! At our schools, the foundation of all our learning is private lessons, although we provide complimentary group makeup classes as well to really compliment and accelerate your learning, as well as help you meet new friends and other families you may not have otherwise met!
What Kind Of Learning Program Should We Use?
At our schools, we don’t focus on just one way of learning for everyone. Every student has different interests and learning styles, and so each student often requires their own adaptation to the learning methods of the teacher. With that said, there are many successfully used, tried and true ways of learning piano that have been used around the world for decades. Some of those are: Bastien, Piano Adventures, Royal Conservatory Of Music, Alfred’s, and others.
There are in addition other piano learning systems that are rooted in the rich and varied, as well as established methodologies of the classical period. Some are more theory based, for those that love to get complicated, and others are designed to be more practical, structured to help you play popular songs you might hear in movies, games, or hit songs on the radio. We always suggest talking with your teacher so you can discover your motivation for learning piano, your interests, and your unique learning style, so we can look at ways to help you grow into the best piano player you can be!
What Are Some Of The Challenges With Learning Piano?
Learning how to master any instrument is a challenge and takes time. It’s difficult on most instruments to even get a pleasing sound out of it! But with the piano, the notes are there ready to be played. Although creating a basic tone is easier on piano, it’s the playing of the music written for it that can be the real challenge!
The challenge with piano, however, is that much of the music written for it can be quite complex. While most other instruments you would play one note at a time, on the piano, you play with two hands, often doing very different patterns. It can take some time to develop this autonomy with both hands. One also has to be able to read the music written for both hands at the same time!
How Can We Get Started Learning Piano?
You might have noticed that the piano keyboard consists of a series of black and white keys. These music keys each have names based on the letters ABCDEFG. Novice piano players may spend time in the beginning learning how to identify the letter notes on the keyboard, and learning how to play just the white keys to produce the major scale – a pattern of notes that most western music is based on.
Can you find where the letter names that match the keys on the piano?
What Is Good Piano Posture?
The first step in establishing good posture for piano playing is to start with how you sit at the piano bench. You want to sit about halfway onto the bench, and not too close, but not too far from the piano. Your elbows should be level with the keyboard when your hands rest on the keys. Keep your feet close to the piano pedals (not under the seat) and avoid holidng tension in your arms, remembering to let your shoulders relax. Your hand should form a dome as if you’re loosely holding an apple. That is this best posture with which you can begin to play!
What Is The Best Way To Practice Piano?
The first step is to make sure you have the right keyboard to practice on. We’ve included some guidance in the next section if you’re looking to purchase a piano, but not quite sure where to start.
Decide on your practice frequency. Then you want to decide on the best routine for you and your learning style. Some students find that going to the piano for a few minutes at a time with lots of breaks in between is great to allow their minds a chance to absorb their learning during the breaks, without getting overwhelmed. Others find that choosing a 30-minute window and practice during that time on a daily basis is preferable for them. Still, more serious pianists may practice for much longer periods.
In the beginning, divide whatever song you are learning into small sections, and learn them section by section. Master each one slowly. As you improve, you can work on longer sections. Also learn to separate your hands: Learn each hands’ movement separately, before trying to play them together at the same time. Learning just one hand is often quite enough to start with!
And remember: If your mind, your fingers, or your wrists get tired, give it a rests and come back to it later.