How Hard Is It to Learn Piano?

Learning how to play the piano is a fun and fulfilling challenge to take on. But it’s understandable if you’re concerned about how difficult it will be to learn. How hard is it to learn piano?

Learning to play the piano is not at all difficult. It’s just that some piano students take a little longer to learn compared to others. Once you have mastered the fundamentals of reading piano music and proper fingering, everything else will be easy for you.

Read on to learn more about how hard is it to play piano, and how to make it easier to learn.

How Hard Is It to Learn Piano?

how hard is it to learn piano

Learning how to play the piano is not difficult at all. It’s just that there are piano students who take a little longer to learn than the rest. But once they have mastered the fundamentals of reading music, everything else will be easy for them.

However, we can’t deny that some who say that, based on their experience, learning to play the piano is hard. Let’s hear them out and identify the factors that make them say that playing the piano is difficult to learn.

Among these factors are the following:

  1. Learning on Their Own Without Any Help from a Piano Teacher
  2. Unwillingness to Practice
  3. Lack of Musical Background
  4. Practicing Using a Cheap Keyboard
  5. Having Extremely High or Extremely Low Expectations

Let’s discuss each one of these factors.

1. Learning Piano On Your Own Without Any Help from a Teacher

It’s great to learn to read notes and play the piano without any assistance from a piano instructor. But it’s always best to seek help from a professional pianist to get all the important tips and reminders. If you are self-studying, you might not be able to have the opportunity to know the secrets to become a successful pianist.

A piano instructor will help you learn everything there is to know about playing the piano. This includes:

  • Being Able to Establish Good Habits
  • Making Stylistic Corrections
  • Access to Learning Materials
  • Holding You Accountable

Being Able to Establish Good Habits

If you want to learn effectively and progress quickly, seeking help from a piano teacher is the best way to do so. Among the things that a piano teacher will tell you is how to have the correct posture, hand position, and finger movement. If you don’t seek help from a piano teacher, nobody will tell you whether your posture, hand position, and finger movements are correct or not.

Making Stylistic Corrections

If you don’t seek help from a piano teacher, you won’t learn how to play at the proper volume, tempo, and rhythm. This is also best done if you know the proper finger and hand movements. Your piano teacher can give you feedback regularly. Unlike when you are on your own, you might not be able to recognize your own mistakes. 

Access to Learning Materials

Piano teachers can help us identify our strengths and weaknesses in terms of learning to play the piano. If they see us struggling in reading musical notes or understanding some parts of music theory, they can provide us with adequate learning materials.

Private piano teachers will help us find ways on how to address our weaknesses more conveniently. They can provide us with additional exercise to help us improve.

Holding You Accountable

We need someone to hold us accountable, and our private piano teachers can effectively do that. Without them, it will be easy for us to give up any time we want to.

2. Unwillingness to Practice the Piano

Sometimes, our 100% willingness to do something is just all in our minds. But, in reality, we don’t act on it 100%.

It is easy to say that you are serious about learning to play the piano. But if you only practice once or twice a week, it might be difficult for you to learn quickly. Besides, infrequent practice will tend to make you forget what you have already previously learned.

If you can only afford to hire a private piano teacher for one or two sessions a week, that’s alright. But it doesn’t mean that you will not practice on the days that you don’t have scheduled sessions with your teacher.

Make it a habit to practice every day. Allot an hour of your time every day to practice how to play the piano. If you aim to improve from week to week, you have to drive to improve daily.

3. Lack of Musical Background

how hard is it to play piano

Some people say that it’s hard to learn to play the piano since they don’t have any musical background. This is just an alibi. Anybody can learn to play the piano with or without any musical background.

It is true, however, that the learning process might take longer than those with musical experience. But it doesn’t mean that you will not learn. For all you know, you might even become a better pianist than those with musical backgrounds.

The key is to be patient, stay focused, remain positive, and stay driven. Always remember that even Ludwig van Beethoven was once a beginner.

4. Practicing Using a Cheap Keyboard

In general, if you are very much willing to learn to play the piano, you surely would not want to practice with an instrument that seems like a toy. The cheap sound and cheap overall quality will only add up to your frustrations as a piano student.

You don’t have to own or buy a state-of-the-art instrument. Many affordable pianos are available in music stores that feature full 88 keys, great sound quality, and excellent performance. You have to patiently scout for one.

As a beginner, you don’t need to own a concert grand piano unless you already have one! Getting an upright piano is more practical in terms of space and budget. Besides, piano teachers most likely make use of real pianos too. So, it’s advantageous if the type of piano you own at home is consistent with the type of piano your teacher owns.

If owning an upright piano is impossible, the next best alternative is to buy an electric keyboard that features weighted and touch-sensitive keys. There are digital pianos that can impressively mimic not only the sound of the real piano but also the “feel” of playing the real one.

5. Having Extremely High or Extremely Low Expectations

As someone serious about learning to play the piano, remember to manage your expectations. Don’t expect that after two months, you’ll already be as good as Beethoven!

Here are several ways how you can meet your expectations:

  • Learn to Strategize
  • Master the Fundamentals
  • Come Out of Your Comfort Zone

When you build your expectations, establish your action plans too. In essence, if you expect to learn the fundamentals of playing the piano within two months, set action plans by asking yourself “how.”

So, how can you master the fundamentals in two months? By practicing how to play the piano for at least an hour each day. Also, day by day, make sure that there is a noticeable improvement.

Learning to play the piano is not at all difficult. It’s just that some piano students take a little longer to learn compared to others. But once you have mastered the fundamentals of reading music, everything else will be easy for you.

Master the Fundamentals

The key to learning to play the piano well is mastering the fundamentals. You’ve got to learn the basics and establish a strong foundation. Take it one step at a time, such as learning one-handed songs and basic melodies for a few sessions. Then, leveling up to more complicated ones in your next sessions. 

Refrain from trying to learn complex pieces before mastering the basics. This will lead to frustration and give you an urge to quit.

Come Out of Your Comfort Zone

You will not meet your expectations if you wait for them to happen. They will not come to fruition if you don’t act on it. If you want to progress to the level you desire to reach, come out of your comfort zone.

Every time we watch a concert pianist, it seems as if playing the piano is easy. Sometimes, we watch pianists with envy, asking ourselves how they earn by doing something so easy.

Like you, professional pianists experienced struggling too. They also had to learn how to read musical notes, which they didn’t learn in a day. Those pianists exerted their efforts to master their piano skills. They went out of their comfort zones and explored.

Try coming out of your comfort zone. You will be amazed by all the opportunities in store for you.

What Makes Piano an Ideal First Instrument?

how hard is it to learn to play the piano

If someone is interested in learning how to play a musical instrument, learning to play the piano is an ideal place to begin! It is an ideal starter instrument, and here are several reasons why:

  1. Piano Provides Instant Gratification
  2. Learning to Play the Piano Provides a Solid Musical Foundation
  3. Playing the Piano Improves Coordination for Other Instruments

1. Piano Provides Instant Gratification

If you’re a beginner, it’s easy to be comfortable with a piano. All you have to do is to sit down in front of it and press the keys. You can conveniently start to pick out melodies to songs by merely pressing keys.

It is easy to identify which key produces the C note. Once you do, everything else will follow. This is not the case with other musical instruments. In fact, some musicians learned to play the piano first before they became professional guitarists or professional trumpeters.

Another thing, you don’t have to tune your piano. Of course, it needs tuning, but you don’t have to do it every so often. This means that when you sit in front of your piano and place your fingers on the keys, you can right away begin making beautiful music.

2. Learning to Play the Piano Provides a Solid Musical Foundation

The piano provides you with a vast range of musical notes that are even greater than other musical instruments. At the same time, the notes are laid out side by side for the players’ convenience.

It is easy to identify sharp and flat keys. This makes it easy to understand scales and keys. Everything is just there right before your very eyes. Undoubtedly, playing the piano offers you a great way of understanding music theory.

3. Playing the Piano Improves Coordination for Other Instruments

Learning to play the piano means learning to move your left fingers and right fingers independently. Once you master this, try to learn a new instrument. You will be amazed by how fast you learn to play the guitar or the drums, or any other musical instrument for that matter.

Conclusion – How Hard Is It to Play Piano?

Learning how to play the piano is challenging but not that difficult if you really want to learn how to play it. There are piano students who take a little longer to learn than the rest. But once they have mastered the basics of reading music, everything else will go smoothly for them.

To reiterate, these are some of the reasons why there are people who think that learning to play the piano is hard:

  1. Learning on Their Own Without Any Help from a Piano Teacher
  2. Unwillingness to Practice
  3. Lack of Musical Background
  4. Practicing Using a Cheap Keyboard
  5. Having Extremely High or Extremely Low Expectations

The bottom line of all this is discipline. Discipline yourself to allot some time to practice playing the piano every single day. You also have to discipline yourself to improve your piano skills every day, no matter how little the progress is.

I remember mentioning taking at least an hour of your time each day to practice. Honestly, it doesn’t have to be an hour. It can be 30 minutes, or it can even be 15 minutes. Or if you can allot more than an hour of your time, you may do so too. What matters is that you improve every single day, no matter how long or how short your practice time is.