And why the piano is one of the easiest instruments to learn!
The piano has been one of the most common musical instruments to learn for hundreds of years. Based on some earlier instruments, it has a musical lineage going back thousands of years! The piano as we know it has been around since around the 1700s when it was invented.
It is a very simple instrument to play.
Don’t take it the wrong way. All music can be complex. And being able to play well takes a lot of time and practice.
But can you press a key on a keyboard? That’s the mechanical skill required to play. If you can press the keys with your fingers, you can play the piano.
How do you get your fingers going quickly, and accurately? How to read music? How to compose? Those are all parts that make music more complicated than just hitting keys.
But you want to learn. Let’s look at the 5 best ways to learn to play music.
5. Establish your routine.
Have you ever spent hours hammering away at the piano, or any new skill, and when you come back to it you have forgotten everything?
Too much at once can do that.
Studies have shown again and again that the best way to learn any skill is through repetition. Habit is a very powerful thing.
Set aside a piece of your day, every day, to work on it. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount. 5 minutes a day is more useful than one hour a week. If you can work out how to spend 10 minutes a day working on it you will make some great progress.
As you groove in the patterns, habits, and finger-eye-coordination, those will carry over day to day and across the weeks. And you will be able to build up your skills over time.
4. Bite-sized chunks.
One of the most excitement-killing things you can do is try to do too-much all at once. This isn’t just a piano learning thing.
Imagine trying to learn to ride a bicycle fir the first time. Not with training wheels, but going full speed on a rocky, hilly mountain path. You will fall down. A lot. Maybe enough that you give up entirely.
Compare that to training wheels. Or the new “balance bike” method. You learn a smaller part first. A bicycle requires balance, steering, turning, breaking. If you can take some of these out of the learning process you will be able to master them before moving on. The whole process gets much easier.
Don’t set out to master everything in a day. Take a specific skill and master it. Move to the next and really get that one. And you will find yourself getting better and better every day.
3. Never skip confusions.
This comes as a part of the last one. If you are trying to learn something, and there are parts of it that you don’t really get, don’t move on.
As eager as you are to move on, or as annoyed as you are to have to stop and clear it up, don’t skip ahead. It will lead you into a massive ball of confusion.
Let’s take a silly example. You are trying to learn how to paint a room. In the instructions it talks about using a latex-based paint. You don’t really understand the difference between latex and oil-based paints. But you already have an oil-based paint do you just keep going.
The application techniques are different, the cleanup is different, and now you are covered in paint that won’t clean up.
That, but for music. There is a lot to cover, but it isn’t worth getting lost on the way. Take your time and really understand everything as you go.
2. Get help from experts.
Sometimes it can be hard to look at yourself with the right sort of “critical eye”. We all have the tendency to over-criticize or just not see what needs to be corrected.
It can be a great benefit to have others look at you and tell you what to correct. Maybe you are playing too quickly, or inconsistently. Maybe you have a habit now that will make it harder in the future.
This is actually the place where a professional coach really comes in helpfully. But, they can be expensive. Minimally, you should be plugged into a community or people who are working together to all get better.
Having a few dozen eyeballs helping coach you along is an amazing place to start.
1. Start with an amazing curriculum.
What sequence should you learn in? What skill should get mastered first? What are the most important of the fundamentals?
This is the most important factor.
Without a great curriculum you might find yourself hundreds of hours in, and not the progress you should have. You might get really good at one song. And if that is all you wanted, that’s fine.
But with that sort of time investment you should be able to play plenty of songs, and even be composing yourself.
Of all resources, we obviously love the Ridley Academy the most. Our students are doing really well. We have an awesome community, and a curriculum unlike anything else anywhere. It is the fastest way to become an amazing pianist.