I talk to a lot of adults who are trying to learn piano on their own. They may just be practicing on their own, working through old books or trying to learn with an app.
These are all good things to do, but, as you can imagine, I’m a huge advocate of learning with a piano teacher.
There are just so many things that can easily be overlooked at the piano that a piano teacher can help you figure out and master more quickly.
While working on your own might work for the short term, here are six reasons that having a real piano teacher will pay off in the long run.
Maybe the biggest advantage to having a real live teacher is the sense of accountability that they bring to your playing.
The knowledge that someone else is observing your progress each week can be motivating, especially when life gets busy or if you hit a very difficult patch in your playing. If you’re only reporting to yourself, you may be tempted to skip out on practice or cut corners. Your piano teacher will help you stay on track with consistent practice.
More importantly, a piano teacher will be able to provide you with feedback on the accuracy of your practice. When you practice on your own, it’s easy to let little mistakes slide or to let bad habits creep in. An experienced teacher will be spot these habits before they become ingrained.
Finally, you may be more inclined to take responsibility for something that you have invested money into. That sense of ownership might provide an additional incentive to stay committed.
2. Individualized Approach
There is no one right or wrong way to learn the piano. We have different learning styles affecting how we perceive, absorb, and play music. Experienced teachers know this and can help you to find an approach that works best for your learning style and personality.
Some people are auditory learners who prefer to follow their ear as they learn. Others are visual who keep a strong grasp on the written sheet music or the patterns of the piano keys. Kinesthetic learners are most likely to tap into the way the piano keys feel under their hands and to follow their muscle memory.
You are probably a combination of some or all of these types of learners. A good piano teacher can help identify your learning strengths and provide you with resources and strategies that fit your learning style. A piano teacher will also recommend constructive ways to address challenges and roadblocks you may face along the way.
3. Answers To Your Specific Questions
It helps to have a real-life person available to answer specific questions that emerge as you are learning to play the piano. You can Google the answer to some straightforward questions, but you’ll find that some things are too situational to get a clear answer. A good conversation with a teacher who already knows you can clarify your questions and needs efficiently.
4. Troubleshoot Problems
Piano teachers make great troubleshooters. Not only do they teach many different kinds of learners at the piano, but they have had to work on their own struggles as they learned to play. If you run into a problem, they likely have a bag of tricks for you to try in order to progress. You’ll leave your piano lesson equipped with tons of ideas to apply to your practice.
5. Open Doors to New Musical Ideas
A piano teacher will likely expose you to new music, styles of music, and ideas about music. You can learn these things online, but piano teachers are plugged into all of the latest trends in the piano world and have years of their own experience to draw upon. They likely have a significant library of music to draw from as well. Most importantly, perhaps, is that their personal knowledge of you can help narrow down what you might be interested in or looking for.
Isn’t it exciting to think about how you might not even know your favorite piece of music yet? But a piano teacher can help you discover it!
6. Helps You Stay Committed in the Long Run
Learning the piano is a long term endeavor; we don’t become virtuosos overnight. You’ll experience a lot of ups and downs during the course of your piano study. Your piano teacher will help you celebrate your accomplishments as well as persevere through the rough patches. They will be your coach and number 1 fan and remind you why you wanted to learn piano in the first place.
If you took lessons as a kid, remember that it’s never too late to return to the piano. The same goes for adults just getting started with the piano. Find a teacher and enjoy your new hobby!