Piano is an excellent instrument to learn as there are many so many benefits. Learning how to play piano helps prevent brain processing, encourages creativity, improves math and counting skills.
There are also so many different songs you can learn to play. But the question you may be wondering is how hard is it to learn piano?
In this article, I’ll answer this question, plus tips on how to make learning piano easier.
Is piano easy to learn? Learning to play the piano can be the easiest or hardest skill to learn, depending on your diligence and dedication. Unlike many other musical instruments, there is a lot of music specifically written for the piano. This fact makes learning to play the piano interesting and challenging despite its complexity.
The piano has a lot of music available at many different levels or grades, for example, level 1, level 2, level 3, and so on. If you take piano lessons, your teacher will give you music to progress according to your gradually-improving skill.
Trying to learn any musical instrument requires certain traits for you to succeed. Such characteristics are needed because piano lessons can be more challenging than lessons for other musical instruments.
The piano could also be easier to learn as you can press one key, and a specific sound is produced, while for other instruments, you have to press several keys or strings to create a sound. Also, the piano keys can be softer to the touch compared to a string instrument.
Read on to learn more about how easy or hard it is to learn how to play the piano and tips for learning it faster.
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Is Piano Easy to Learn?
To make learning piano easy, you will have to start the procedure correctly so that you won’t be repeating the process. The ease of learning will also depend on several aspects, such as:
1. Type of Piano Lessons
The type of piano lessons can affect how easily you can learn them. The best method is to learn from an expert piano teacher/tutor. But since this method is quite expensive, other learners resort to using YouTube videos or other online free apps to learn the piano.
While the latter is less expensive and more convenient because you can learn anytime you want in the comfort of your own room, it may not be the best.
The reason is that no one can give you immediate feedback on your progress. Also, your little mistakes cannot be corrected instantly. Thus, you would be starting your piano lessons incorrectly.
With a competent piano teacher, you can ask any questions and expect immediate responses. The teacher will also be able to guide and direct you to the proper technique during your lessons.
On the other hand, if you have no option but to learn online for free, at least research well for reliable and effective piano lessons.
2. Willingness to Learn
Your desire to learn would be one of the vital keys to whether you would learn with ease or not. When you’re willing to learn, everything tends to be easier. If you are committed to learning the piano, you will certainly succeed.
In cases when you lack such desire, you can always find another instrument that could inspire you more to learn. Learning how to play the piano would be a waste of time if you’re not interested and willing to learn.
3. Availability of Needed Materials
Your materials must be readily available. One of these materials is your practice piece. Choose a musical piece that you love–one that’s not too difficult but not too easy to play. Gain mastery of this piece, and continue to add to your repertoire as you advance in your lessons.
Be organized with all your materials. Arrange your music sheets and the like in an organized manner, and keep all essential materials in one place.
Patience is needed when learning complex lessons from any musical instrument. Piano lessons need more time and concentration than most musical instruments. The reason is that you have to strike many keys simultaneously within the broad span of the keyboard.
Unlike other musical instruments where you only use your hands, playing the piano requires your feet, hands, and fingers to play in unison. They will have to work in congruence with each other. So, you have to be patient when learning the piano.
5. Proper Progression of Lessons
Your music teacher will arrange your lessons in such a way that you go through the proper steps. Depending on the strategy of your teacher, you could start with simple lessons before he/she assigns a musical piece.
You need diligence, as well, when learning how to play the piano. You should be willing to spend hours trying to practice your skills.
No matter how tough a lesson is, with diligence, you can conquer it. Even successful pianists had met failure after failure at first, but they didn’t give up. They stayed diligent, and eventually, they succeeded.
7. Methods Used in Learning
Are you a visual or text learner? Some people quickly learn when they can “see” the lessons presented. However, some students learn more through auditory experiences; meaning, they can quickly learn while listening.
Inform your teacher what type of learner you are, so he/she can adjust your lessons accordingly.
8. Interest in Music
Your interest will sustain you throughout the lessons, even when they are challenging to comprehend. You must have a genuine interest in playing the piano to make your learning experience worthwhile.
How Long Does It Take to Learn the Piano?
The length of time you need to learn the piano depends on various factors. They are as follows:
1. Time You Want to Spend Learning
If you spend 4 to 7 hours in piano lessons, you would learn more quickly than someone who just spends an hour of lessons. But it will also depend on your capacity. If you want to shorten your learning curve, then you can spend more hours practicing.
2. Purpose of Learning the Piano
What’s your purpose in learning how to play the piano? Are you doing it as a mere hobby, or are you planning to go pro? If it’s only a hobby, then it only takes a shorter time to learn the basics.
When you plan to go professional and play on big stages, your level of learning is higher. Thus, you can spend 10 to 15 years learning how to play professionally. In instances when playing the piano is your career, learning would be a lifetime process.
It doesn’t stop when you have learned to play several musical pieces. The lessons tend to continue as you advance in your career–even when you’re a skilled piano player already.
Levels of Piano Learning
To help you out with your piano lessons, here are the levels/stages of piano learning that you should be aware of. Keep in mind that each level is assigned one year before you can proceed to the next level. The levels are planned with the concept that four hours of practice are accomplished daily.
In cases when you increase the number of hours per day, you can also adjust the number of years of practice. In this scenario, it would take you a minimum of 10 years to learn how to play the piano like a pro.
Level 1 – For complete beginners, you may know how to play notes using one hand and one note at a time. Then, you would eventually play two-note chords and a wider variety of note combinations.
Level 1A – Both hands can now play several chords. You can play faster-paced songs and learn your first piece.
Level 1B – You can play songs with more hand shifting and can cross your hands more adeptly than before. An example of a song you can play at this level is the practice piece “Firework” by Katy Perry.
Level 2 – You can now play skips and handle more complex notes and more chords.
Level 3 – In this level, you become more skilled, being able to play musical pieces that need a few complex hand movements.
Level 4 – You can now play a Beethoven. Your hand’s reach is an octave apart, and you can quickly play arpeggios.
Level 5 – You can play quicker tempos and start journeying into the music of Bach and other classical music masterpieces.
Level 6 – You can now play four-note combinations, and your reach is getting wider and wider. You now feel comfortable shifting your fingers across the keyboard.
Level 7 – Your expertise and skills are now above average, and you can complete a full piece of complex classical music that has more hand movements and quicker paces.
Level 8 – You’re on your way to becoming a virtuoso. You can play more complex notes and fast-paced tempos. Your fingers are flying through the keyboard.
Level 9 – At this level, playing advanced pieces won’t be a problem. You can smoothly perform hand shifts, larger arpeggios, and quicker-paced musical pieces, such as Étude for Piano No. 13.
Level 10 – You’re now a genuine virtuoso performing musical pieces flawlessly. Your hand speed, range of double octaves, arpeggios, and speedier hand shifts are perfected. You can now play any classical masterpieces with ease. Name it, and you can play it. An example is Stravinsky’s genius arrangement – Trois mouvements de Petrouchka.
You can start training as early as 6 years old. Studies have found that children who learn musical skills early develop their fine motor skills, cognition, and spatial skills more rapidly than their peers.
The reason is that learning how to play the piano or other musical instruments can instill discipline, spatial recognition, and hand-eye coordination. There are more chances that the child would become a prodigy, too.
What Is the Correct Posture When Playing the Piano?
Aside from learning the lessons in an organized manner, you should also know the correct posture to protect your body from unwanted injuries.
- Keep your spinal cord neutral. You can move your extremities more easily with the correct position of your spine.
- Allow your wrist to be flexible. The position of your wrist is crucial for your fingers and hands to move properly.
- Your neck must be aligned with your straight back. Your back and neck would hurt when your neck is positioned forward.
- Your fingers should be arched. When your fingers are arched, you can strike the keys more efficiently. Avoid “pizza hands” that are flat out.
- You should sit comfortably near the notes that you would play more. If your musical piece is more of high notes, position yourself in such a way that you can reach the high-note keys with ease and convenience. Do the same with those that have low notes.
- Your elbows must be away from your body. Find a comfortable position so that your elbows are away from your body. This position would permit flexible movements of your hands and fingers.
- Shoulders should be down. When your shoulders are down, they will allow a comfortable movement of your hands and fingers.
- Your feet must be flat on a comfortable surface. This position will prevent you from having feet cramps and other discomforts.
- Your knees should be comfortably positioned from the keyboard. Your knees must not be too cramped near the keyboard, or too far that you have to stoop forward to play.
Learning the correct posture will prevent injury to your hands and body. It would also allow you to start your learning process properly.
What Is the Fastest Way to Learn How to Play the Piano?
1. Through Online Courses
Many open universities are offering online courses, such as Udemy. You can set your own pace and learn comfortably at home. Your speed will depend primarily on how fast you learn.
2. YouTube Piano Lessons
Head over to YouTube, and you can find thousands of instructional videos or tutorials on how to play the piano. I cannot recommend any video, as you will have to choose one that is suitable for your style of learning.
3. Through a Certified and Competent Piano Teacher
This method is the most reliable and effective way of learning how to play the piano as you can interact directly with your teacher.
Conclusion – Is Piano Easy to Learn?
So, to answer the initial question: Is piano easy to learn? Learning the piano can either be easy or difficult, depending on several factors involved in your learning process. The key factors to learning quickly are your dedication and willingness to put in extra hours of practice. You also hold the key to how long you’d want to learn the piano.
In instances when you want to learn the piano fast, you just have to stay more committed to your goals and practice as much as you can. Earn your way to becoming the piano virtuoso that you have always dreamed of.