Perhaps you want to add a musical note in your life by learning to play the piano. Whether your goal is learn to play simply for enjoyment or you hope to pursue a serious career as a professional musician, finding the right piano lesson teacher can be the key to being successful in your endeavors.
Strike The Right Note
Piano lessons can bring real value for both children and adults. Therefore, if you want to explore music lessons for your little one, or you want to master the art of playing the piano yourself, now can be a good time to explore the options that exist in your area. Better yet, you might be interested to know that when you invest in piano lesson costs, you might just get some unexpected benefits. For instance, some of the latest research shows that young people who take music education actually improve their reasoning ability and study skills. As a result, the young musicians do better in school and have higher test scores overall. They also improve their motor skills and eye-hand coordination. And for adults, playing the piano can also be a great way to continue to exercise their mental skills and provides a creative way to relieve stress and improve their health and confidence in the process, too.
Different Teaching Methods
When you decide to seek out piano lessons, either for your child or for yourself, you’ll need to define what you want to get out of the experience right from the outset. You’ll also need to know what style of learning will be most comfortable. A few of the popular types of piano teaching methods used today include:
Traditional classical piano teaching method teaches students to read music and play one note at a time using formal techniques and form.
The Suzuki method has students play by ear at a young age before they are ready to read music.
The Simply Music piano teaching method is similar to Suzuki but provides more of a hands-on experience.
You’ll also want to find out what type of experience any piano teacher you’re considering brings to the task. Is he or she professionally trained? Keep in mind that some of the best musicians may not be good piano teachers, and vice versa, so you’ll need to find someone who you feel comfortable with and who has a real passion for music, regardless of expertise and accomplishments. Talking to other students can be helpful in understanding the piano teaching style and determining if it will be a good fit for your needs. Keep in mind that some piano teachers are better with young children, while others may be a better fit working with older children and adults. If you’re shopping for piano lessons for your child, it’s also a good idea to find out if parental involvement is encouraging during the lesson or during practice time. Many piano teachers encourage this, as the support of an adult can help motivate the student toward success, but it’s important to find out the expectations up front so that you can plan accordingly.
Finding Piano Lessons
When looking for beginner piano lessons, it can help to narrow in on the top of class setting you prefer. Do you want to take private piano lessons at a formal music academy or in the comfort of a piano teacher’s own home? Or do you prefer group lessons through a recreational center, community college or continuing education program? You can also check with local performing arts centers, which often offer different types of group and private piano lessons. You can also contact the music department of any colleges in your vicinity to see if you can find a student who is willing to provide piano lessons. If you prefer to search for piano teachers online, several resources that can be helpful in your search for piano lessons include The Music Teachers National Association, the Suzuki Association of the Americas and Simply Music, all of which offer directories you can search for qualified piano teachers in your area.
Practice Makes Perfect
Regardless of your piano class setting, you’ll also need to have a piano that you can use to practice in between lessons. This is crucial to gaining the skills and fluidity on the piano that you need to excel and continue to improve your ability.
However, purchasing a new or used piano in excellent condition can be quite expensive and this may not fit into your budget at the moment. In addition, maintaining your piano can also be costly. This doesn’t mean you have to go into big debt in order to have the equipment you need, though. An economical alternative is to buy a decent quality keyboard. You can find an inexpensive model at a price of about $150. (Depending on the type you select, the price can go up as high as several thousand dollars or more.)
What To Expect In Return
In a typical beginner piano lesson, you can expect to learn how to read music and also how to play the notes on the piano. You will probably be asked to practice finger exercises that will help you play the piano and most lessons start off with very easy-to-play songs and progress to more complicated numbers as you master the basics.
You may also be required to buy piano books that include the sheet music you will use for your piano lessons. These can run anywhere from $5 to $25, depending on what your piano teacher suggests. Some piano teachers will provide you with handouts of songs you can use in addition to the books (or perhaps instead of them).
Piano Lesson Costs
The costs for piano lessons depends on the part of the country in which you live and the qualifications that the teacher you select brings to your class. As you would expect, piano lessons in rural areas generally cost much less than in big cities. In addition, group lessons are usually much more affordable than private piano lessons. A piano teacher who has advanced music training and performs professionally will likely charge you more than a college student who plays recreationally and teaches children. Remember that the piano lesson costs won’t necessarily correspond with the level of satisfaction you will get from the piano class. It’s important to find the piano teacher that you or your child has the best rapport with. Therefore, don’t shop by price or credentials alone but also let your instinct guide you on your selection.
Here are some general piano lesson costs to give you an idea:
A half-hour beginner private piano lesson costs $15 in small towns and goes on up to as much as $75 in big cities. But most people pay on the lower to middle of the spectrum for children’s piano lessons.
Hour-long piano lessons can cost between $25 and $125.
So you can expect to spend between $15 and $75 for private 30-minute piano lessons, or between $60 to $300 a month. Hour-long piano lessons are between $25 and $125 a week, or between $100 and $500 a month.
Group Piano Lessons
While private piano lessons may are on a per-lesson cost basis, group piano lessons usually charge by the month, rather than by the lesson. You can expect the cost for group piano lessons to be between $25 and $100 at a local community center or piano store, depending on where you live and what you get.
DIY Piano Lessons
If you don’t have the budget, or the time, for formal piano lessons, but you do want to learn to play anyway, it can be worth considering teaching yourself in your spare time. You can find books, audiotapes, CDs, DVDs and even websites that offer do-it-yourself piano lessons. The price for DIY piano lessons can span a wide range, from $10 for a basic music book on up to a few hundred dollars for a professional kit that provides a range of tools you can use to help you learn to play the piano.
Last Updated: Feb 19, 2012