Classical Pianists

Which of These Classical Pianists are You Most Like? [Quiz]

Classical Pianists

Have you ever wondered which famous classical pianist you resemble the most? Take this fun quiz to find out whether your personality and musical traits have more in common with Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, or Chopin!

Which of These Classical Pianists are You Most Like?

To this day, famous classical pianists such as Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, and Chopin are regarded as some of the pioneers of classical music. Students around the world are still studying and performing the works of these four remarkable composers.

But how much do you actually know about their lives and stories? Here are some fun and interesting facts to spark your curiosity!

Fun Facts About 4 Famous Classical Pianists

Ludwig van Beethoven

At seven years old, Beethoven gave his first public performance in Germany as a virtuoso pianist. By the age of 12, he published nine variations in C minor for the piano. He quickly became admired by many aristocrats in Vienna. Although he had tremendous talent, he also reportedly had a terrible temper, too.

Beethoven spent his entire life composing beautiful works, even despite losing his hearing. He was able to make a living performing and commissioning public works.

He also took on many music students, (whom he often became romantically involved with). Many classical music fans consider the “Missa Solemnis” to be Beethoven’s greatest work.

Frédéric Chopin

Chopin is known as the greatest composer of Poland and the greatest pianist of the Romantic era. After growing up as a child prodigy, he quickly rose to fame in Europe. He performed and composed for the piano alone, and accompaniments.

Chopin was very innovative in his piano technique, fingering, and melodies. He became a popular teacher, and as he grew older he actually began to dislike public performances.

Chopin’s etudes and mazurkas have stood the test of time. After losing a battle to tuberculosis, his heart was placed in an urn in the Holy Cross Church of Krakowskie Przedmiscie.

SEE ALSO: What’s Your Piano Style? [Quiz]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart is regarded as the most influential composer of the Classical era. He had a reputation for not being “well behaved” in public. He also reportedly had a daring style and sense of humor.

Mozart came from a family of musicians in Austria and his parents pushed him to greatness. His music became known for its harmonic innovation which he demonstrated in piano, violin, and orchestral compositions.

His operas “The Magic Flute,” “Don Giovanni,” and “The Marriage of Figaro” are still popular performances today. Mozart influenced many composers to follow including Haydn and Handel.

Johann Sebastian Bach

Bach spent most of his life performing and composing in Germany. He was highly skilled at playing the organ at a young age.

Bach came from a family of musicians and played for many people of noble stature, including royalty. He had an excellent reputation as a performer. He also experimented with religious compositions of the Catholic mass, including the Kyrie and Gloria.

His compositions, such as “Ave Maria” and “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor,” gained notable popularity over the years. However, few of Bach’s works were published during his lifetime. He suffered major health issues at the end of his life including blindness. Many consider Bach to be the best composer of the Baroque era.

Each of these musicians were innovative thinkers who embraced their own unique musical styles. Without their boldness, the world would be at a loss for such captivating classical piano compositions.

Are you ready to learn some of the great works by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin? Schedule a piano lesson today to get started.

Leave us a comment below and share which classical pianist you’re most like!

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LizTPost Author: Liz T.
Liz T. teaches piano, singing, acting, and many more subjects online. She is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music with a B.M. in Vocal Performance and performs/teaches all styles of music including Musical Theater, Classical, Jazz, Rock, Pop, R&B, and Country. Learn more about Liz here!
Wolfie piano app

Piano App Review: Tonara’s Wolfie

Wolfie piano app

Are you looking for a new piano app to help sharpen your skills? Below, piano teacher Ryan C. dishes all of the details on the teaching app Wolfie…

As a piano teacher, I’m always looking for new ways to inspire my students and help them learn faster.

I’ve spent an enormous amount of time making my own supplemental materials, writing pedagogical articles, and thinking of fun piano games to keep them engaged.

While all of this work has been very helpful for my own sake as a teacher, I’ve found that my younger students often need a more light-hearted and fun way to learn.

That’s where Wolfie comes along.

Wolfie, developed by Tonara, is a piano app for the iPad that features some incredibly powerful tools for students as well as teachers.

As a brief aside – I have worked with this piano app in the past and was impressed by its features, but it’s been significantly updated from when I first worked with it.

Below are some of my favorite features and benefits the app has offer.

Benefits for Piano Students

1. Great user-interface

The app features a fun, colorful user-interface with sorting of repertoire by grade-levels, which makes it easy for students to navigate and find pieces in their appropriate playing range.

It also has a surprisingly large amount of repertoire for most grade-levels, though much more for beginners than for advanced players.

2. Play along feature

This feature is probably the most useful. Wolfie will listen through your microphone (if you give it permission) and follow your playing.

It will also show you on the screen where you are, play accompaniment parts, and so on, in real time.

3. Multiple modes of practicing / listening

There are five different modes that students can access for each piece: Annotate, Practice, Listen, Evaluate, and Play Along.

The Annotate tool is probably more likely to be used by teachers, but all of the other modes are exceptionally useful to students.

For instance, the Evaluate mode will listen to your playing and give you a grade based on how well you did.

The Listen mode allows you to listen to YouTube recordings of professional pianists playing the pieces, and the Play Along tool plays alongside you with a midi recording that adapts to you in real time.

4. Cost-effective

Although the app itself is free, in order to access the music, Wolfie does require a paid monthly subscription. Just $5.00 a month unlocks a premium one-year subscription plan.

Paying a subscription for music may not sound incredibly appealing to many students/parents, but piano books are expensive. $5.00 a month is certainly less than spending $10.00 or so per book every few months.

Benefits for Piano Teachers

1. Easy collaboration

Teachers can ‘invite’ their students to a ‘studio’ in the app. This links students’ accounts to the teacher’s, who can then monitor their progress, see what pieces they’ve been playing (and how long they’ve been practicing them), and assess how well they’ve been playing them.

2. Hands-on teaching

Teachers can use the Annotate mode to write changes to the score directly onto the digital copy. This includes using a pen tool, making text boxes, highlighting, and so on.

3. Monitor student progress

If students are using the piano app correctly, teachers won’t have to worry about students not practicing or practicing incorrectly before lessons.

Thanks to the Evaluate mode mentioned earlier, teachers can see how well their students are doing prior to having their next piano lesson.

Check out this picture to see what the results of the Evaluate mode look like:

4. Fresh ideas

Thanks to the built-in features of the app, teachers no longer have to struggle to come up with new ways to motivate younger students to practice.

That means less time coming up with new lesson plans and more time interacting directly with the student.

5. Low-cost

Teachers get a year-long free subscription if two of their students sign up for the one-year subscription plan, making it a very low-cost solution!

Try it Yourself!

Wolfie provides some awesome benefits for both students and teachers to enjoy. I personally think that it’s a really powerful and useful app to add to any teacher’s tool-kit.

Photo via Wolfie

Post Author: Ryan C.
Ryan C. teaches piano, ear training, and music theory. He is a graduate of San Diego State University with a B.M. in piano performance. Learn more about Ryan here!

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Kids’ Piano Lessons: How Often Should My Child Practice?


Wondering how to best provide support and encouragement for your kids’ piano lessons, particularly when it comes to practicing? Here’s some great advice from Augustine, FL piano teacher Heather L...


When it comes to kids’ piano lessons, how often should a student be practicing? This is a common question that I’ve often received over the years. Parents find the best instructors for their children, invest time and resources in their music education, but aren’t sure quite what to do when the kids are at home, ready to practice. Frankly, this issue might turn into a tense conversation sometimes. Teachers will remind parents of their share of the responsibility for encouraging their child’s studies; parents have high expectations of how influential the teachers will be on how diligently the students study at home. Teachers might remind parents that they can’t very well go home with the student, but on the other hand, they’re failing to help educate the parents on how exactly to be a part of the educational journey.

As a parent of a young pianist, you could be the very element in their music education that projects them to success – self-confidence, the ability to think critically, and a lifelong love of learning. If you were to study the great pianists, or even simply the best-educated, hardest-working people in the world, then you would probably find a parent who was consistently inspiring.

All of this brings us to the question, “How often should my child practice?” It is part of my teaching philosophy that every piano lesson, and more importantly, every student, is different. One job of the teacher is to identify, over time, a student’s particular learning style and general attitudes about work, and then adjust the specific practice schedule accordingly.

All students should practice six days a week. How long each daily session is, depends on the child’s age. Typically speaking, young children, ages 3 and 4, should be practicing about 10 minutes. Five- and six-year-olds should extend it to 15 minutes, seven- and eight-year-olds, 20 minutes, nine- and ten-year-olds, 25 minutes. Children ages 11 through 14 should devote a full half of an hour to their piano studies.

The time suggestions listed above are merely that. They are also subject to change due to an upcoming audition or performance. In the case in which your child has, for instance, a recital coming up, the daily practice session should be extended by 10 minutes. Practice time suggestions should also change according to long-term goals. If you have a 15-year-old teenager who wishes to audition for the Juilliard School, then his practice habits will be different from the 10-year-old soccer player who plays piano for fun and just wants a lifelong hobby.

Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that your young pianist’s hands should be on the keys six days every week. If a child is really tired of his regular piano curriculum, then it’s still important to play something, even if it’s just for fun. Encourage your child to pull out an old piece that they’ve always loved to play. If your child dreads the length of each practice session, “I’m TIRED of practicing!”, then let him take a short break and come back to piano later. It’s important not to force a child into a frustrated and resentful state, or else they might always hate playing the piano. Inspire a healthy relationship with the his keyboard studies, and you’ll see a great pianist blossom.

HeatherLHeather L. teaches singing, piano, acting, and more in Saint Augustine, FL, as well as through online lessons. She is a graduate of the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and has performed with the New York and Royal Philharmonics, the New Jersey and Virginia Symphonies, the American Boy Choir, and the internationally renowned opera star Andrea Bocelli. Learn more about Heather here!


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4 Signs You’re Ready for Longer Piano Lessons

piano lessons

If you’ve been taking piano lessons for a while, you’re likely familiar with that feeling of excitement – learning the “language” of music, playing your first piece, and thinking about all the beautiful piano songs that you could learn next! Whether you’re on your way to Juilliard, hoping to perform something special at your next family gathering, or simply want to explore a new hobby, the piano is a fantastic instrument to master!

Most students, regardless of age, start out with 30-minute lessons. It’s a great starting point, and one of the best ways to gauge your interest level. Maybe you’ve committed to several lessons upfront, or perhaps you’re taking it one step at a time. Either way, you’re eventually going to reach a point in your lessons where you’re ready to take it up a notch. When you’re really enjoying yourself, that 30-minute lesson can really fly by!

So how do you know when it’s time to make the commitment and increase your lesson length to 45 minutes or even an hour? The simple answer is: whenever you feel like you’re ready! Your piano teacher will have a good sense for this, as well, and may suggest the idea before you ever think of it. If you’re unsure, consider the questions below and see where you stand:

  • Are you able to stay engaged and motivated during your current lessons?
  • Are you left itching to learn more at the end of each lesson?
  • Are you preparing for an upcoming recital or audition?
  • Are you interested in branching out and learning new things, like composition or music theory?

Your answers to these questions will be a good indicator that it’s time to upgrade!

Just remember: the most important thing is to allow yourself to stay motivated and excited about your lessons! Parents, if you’re pushing your child into longer lessons before they’re ready, you might be risking a meltdown in the future. Learning how to play an instrument can be an incredible journey, but it’s not always something you can force. Consider your son or daughter’s attention span – and discuss the idea with his or her teacher – before making any changes.

Ultimately, you’ll need to figure out what works for you or your child. Curious about taking longer lessons? Give it a try for a while, and see how it goes. Chat with your teacher about your goals, ask for his or her feedback, and do what you need to do to stay motivated – whether that’s exploring new material, or maybe even performing in front of friends and family or at an open mic night.

Good luck on your musical journey – we’re here for you!

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8 Year Old’s Piano Recital Goes Viral

Can you imagine your town coming together for an 8-year-old’s piano recital? The residents of one Minnesota town did just that, gathering by the hundreds in the rain to see young Dylan Spoering play a free show.

A local musician saw the sign Dylan had put up in his front yard to advertise the show, and thought it would be fun to get the community together to make this talented kid feel like a rockstar for a day. He created an event page on Facebook, and now the piano recital is getting national attention. Check it out!

Have you seen anything like this in your town? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!


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Top Five Piano Songs For Kids

2372172953_8da7d61e8e_bAre you a teacher or a parent looking for some great piano songs for kids? Check out these suggestions from Nutley, NJ teacher Christina C

As a piano teacher at several music schools in northern NJ, I’ve attended quite a few recitals. While listening to my colleagues’ students as well as my own, I’ve heard a variety of musical pieces performed, which got me thinking: What are the top five piano songs for kids to play?

Since there are many different songs and arrangements of songs to suit different levels of ability, I will stick to the top five songs that can be learned within the first year or two of taking piano lessons. The following five pieces are in order of easiest to most difficult, but assumes that other songs will be taught in between learning them.

Mary Had a Little Lamb

The first song I teach my students, after introducing them to the white keys of the piano in “C position” is “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. This song is easy, recognizable, and children can play its simple melody with their right hand alone. Kids love to play this because they are excited about playing a song that they already know, and can show to their family and friends, who will recognize it too.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Another song I have a lot of success with is “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. This song is great because the melody can be taught first using all five fingers of the right hand, and teaching the new concept of stretching your pinky finger over to the right to play the A key as well as the G key. This is a perfect piece to teach this new concept because the student can easily see that the hand should stay mainly in the C position, only moving the pinky to the right as necessary to play the A.

Another good thing about this song is that after the right hand melody part is taught, I help the student learn the underlying chords that go with the melody to play with their left hand. I explain how to find the “home note” and how to identify the key that the song is in by listening. Three very basic major chords are used (C, F, and G) and they happen to also be the I, IV, and V chords, respectively, which is also a very important concept to learn, as many songs use this very popular chord progression. After learning the melody and chords with each hand playing separately, when the student is ready, we put the hands together.

Happy Birthday

My third pick for top piano songs for kids to learn would have to be “Happy Birthday.” This is a staple song in a pianist’s repertoire. The next time your child attends a birthday party for a family member or friend, encourage them to play the song on the piano while everyone else sings along! This is also a good song to teach kids because the melody can be split between both hands for an early beginner to learn, or arranged for the melody to be played with the right hand and the chords with the left for a more advanced student.

The next two pieces I have selected are classical and also more difficult, but can usually be incorporated into a student’s repertoire within the first year or two of study.

Minuet in G (J.S. Bach)

There are two sections to this Minuet and most people will instantly recognize the first section. I usually play the whole piece for my student, and get them the music for both sections – but so they don’t feel overwhelmed, I tell them that we are only going to learn the first part and see how it goes. I slowly teach them the beginning of the first section- right hand separately, then left hand separately. They will practice it hands separately for a week in between lessons and then start putting the hands together. Before they know it, they are playing Bach and they are usually so excited they can’t wait to go on to the next section of the piece!

Fur Elise

Finally, this list would not be complete without “Fur Elise” by Ludwig van Beethoven. I can remember hearing it as a little girl and wanting to play it as soon as possible, which I did! It is fairly easy to play, and uses both major and minor chords. There are different arrangements with simpler left hand chords that also skip the middle sections of the piece, which are rather challenging to a beginner. These easier arrangements are really wonderful because they allow a beginner to play a well-known classical piece, which can really boost their student’s confidence.

These five pieces are highly recommended to learn if you are taking piano lessons. Each song has its own concepts to learn in addition to learning to play the song itself. If you are in your first year or two of piano lessons, see which of these you have played and which you have yet to learn. Ask your piano teacher about anything on this list that you have not yet learned, and I’m sure that he or she will be able to take it from there and teach you arrangements of these songs appropriate to your individual level. Above all, enjoy playing the piano!

ChristinaCChristina C. teaches piano, composition, songwriting, and more in Nutley, NJ. She majored in Piano Performance at Ithaca College, and has over 15 years of teaching experience in professional music studios in NJ. Learn more about Christina here! 

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How to Make Composing Fun for Singers and Pianists

compose a song for piano

Want to learn how to compose a song, but not sure where to start? Here, Saint Augustine, FL teacher Heather L. shares her strategy for teaching the process and making it fun at the same time! Read on to learn more…


Teaching my voice and piano students how to compose a song is a huge part of my curriculum. It is multi-functional, in that it works to hone students’ sightsinging, musicianship, creativity, and theory knowledge in practice. And with most students out of school for the summer, it’s a great time to do something out-of-the-box, like composing!

One of the easiest ways to get even the youngest students to write and then sightread their own music is a simple game. First, on a sheet of staff paper, I draw a five-note scale in a tessitura where the singer’s comfortable. If the student is a pianist, I’ll choose a position where they’re comfortable. I prefer the simplicity of C major for beginners, but I might use an entire scale for more advanced students. Below it or beside it, I draw a series of notes. For instance, for my six-year-old voice student, Ella, I drew a quarter note, then a half note, then a dotted half, then a whole note. Depending on the student’s theory level, I sometimes write the number of beats beside each kind of note.

Now, the fun begins. I’ll ask the student to choose a note from the scale that’s been custom tailored, so to speak, just for his theory level. Then I’ll ask him to choose what kind of note we’ll use. So my voice student, Ella, asks, “May I please have an F and a half note?” I write a half note on F. Ella then asks, “May I please have a G and a dotted half note?” I reply, “No, Ella. It’s in 4/4 time. Only four beats fit into this measure. With a dotted half added to a half, that’d be five beats. That’s too many.” “Okay,” Ella says, “I’ll take a quarter note on C and a quarter note on D.”

Many of the best piano curriculum books feature a few exercises in which you must write a few measures of melody, but this game extends it and makes it accessible either for voice students who don’t have those books or for piano students who may not be quite ready for the exercise of simply coming up with something. Eventually, of course, you will slowly grow to take charge of this game and be able to compose a song more freely and independently. As that time comes along, I’ll begin to allow more freedom with only some constraints.

For instance, if you’re an intermediate student, I would ask you to write your own eight measure piece, but I’ll give you the time signature, the key signature, and perhaps the left hand chord progression. Making it even more fun could mean writing some lyrics first and trying to write the melody to match.

When I was growing up, it was always the running joke that singers were the dumbest of the musicians when it comes to theory and composition. Often, pianists weren’t regarded much more highly. But perhaps, that’s because they were never given the encouragement needed even to try.

HeatherLHeather L. teaches singing, piano, acting, and more in Saint Augustine, FL, as well as through online lessons. She is a graduate of the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and has performed with the New York and Royal Philharmonics, the New Jersey and Virginia Symphonies, the American Boy Choir, and the internationally renowned opera star, Andrea Bocelli. Learn more about Heather here!


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Learning Piano: Keeping Young Students Excited About Music


Is your child learning piano this summer? Check out these tips from Des Moines, IA teacher Mariana P. to help him or her stay on track and motivated…

Do you have a young child who just started taking piano lessons? The summer is a great time to start lessons, since children have more time and are able to practice a little more, which is essential to grasp the basics of music and piano technique. However, with more time also come fun vacations and camps.

So, how do you help your new piano player retain what he or she has just learned when you’re away? First of all, speak to your instructor and get their insight. The lesson before a trip or summer camp, meet for five to ten minutes at the end to discuss a plan. If you feel confident enough to guide your child through a few new pieces, exercises, or worksheets, have your instructor write down a detailed plan of what to do in between lessons.

For example:
Week 1 – Lesson book page X, theory book page X, technique book page X
Week 2 – Lesson book page Y, theory book page Y, technique book page Y

Please be aware that almost every lesson book page has a corresponding theory, technique, and performance page and you will be able to find those at the bottom of either the lesson book pages or the complementary book’s pages.

Supplementary Materials

If your child has a particular weak point, go ahead and explore some of the worksheets available for download or purchase at lesson plan marketplaces like Teachers Pay Teachers or Lesson Plan Pro.

I have a four year-old student who is just learning her finger numbers, so I suggested to her mom to visit The Plucky Pianista and download her Froggy Fingers worksheet. I’ve used it with my most recent students who are new to learning piano and have had a ton of success. If your child is more into games, Susan Paradis has a couple of them for learning finger numbers. My favorite ones are:

I’ve also created a set of flashcards to practice finger number recognition and placement on the keyboard. You can find it here.

Free iPad Apps
I own an iPad and and iPhone so I haven’t been able to try out the apps available for the Android platform, but here are my favorites for iOS users:

This is great for beginners to feel the beat internally when learning piano. Students have to wait for the count-off and tap the green button for the necessary duration. Each level has an accompaniment to make the exercises more interesting.

This app includes a few free songs and you can buy some more through the app. There are 15 “bots” and they each play a different pitch. When the player is ready to play the song, one bot will light up and raise its hand to let him know to touch it. It’s a fun version of a light-up keyboard. The app offers the option of having the bots sing the pitches on “la,” note names, or solfege syllables.

This is a bonus one. It’s a silly ear-training app to introduce tonal memory. There are three “blobs” and their “king blob.” The three blobs sing three different pitches and then the king blob will sing a pitch that matches one of the other blobs’; choose the correct one and move on to the next exercise.

Finally, the most important thing to keep your child excited about music is being excited about it yourself. Have fun during your practice sessions, be silly, and explore the instrument to ensure the joyous light of music remains lit in their hearts.

MarianaPMariana C. teaches piano, singing, and Spanish lessons in Des Moines, IA. She has a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Shenandoah Conservatory and a Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy at the Catholic University of America. Learn more about Mariana here! 



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Basics of Piano: What Should I Expect at My First Piano Lesson?

What To Expect From Your First Piano LessonNervous about your first piano lesson? You’re not alone! It’s only natural. The piano is a daunting instrument – so many keys, so little time! But we’d like to let you in on a secret: there’s nothing to be nervous about. With a little bit of preparation, you can start your piano-playing journey without any worries whatsoever.

How to Prepare

First of all, relax. It all comes down to your mindset. Before your first lesson, think about your goals. Do you want to someday play at Carnegie Hall? Do you want to play in a band or just noodle around at home? It helps to know exactly where you want to go. Of course, starting small is always the best strategy. Get the basics of piano down: scales, beginner exercises, and maybe one simple tune. Your first lesson will be all about your introduction to the instrument. Just remember, the professional musician playing Carnegie Hall this weekend was once exactly where you are now!

Chat with Your Teacher

Every good student begins with a good teacher. Establishing a solid teacher-student relationship is important, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your teacher will likely ask you what your goals are – so if you followed the above step,  you’re prepared for this! Feel free to name some songs you’ve always wanted to play or your favorite artists. At this time you can ask about studio policies as well. Any advanced knowledge of what to expect can go a long way to ease those first-day jitters. Here are a few questions you might want to ask your piano teacher:

  • What equipment, books, or other accessories do I need?
  • What is the policy regarding rescheduling lessons?
  • How is a typical lesson structured?
  • What do you expect of me as a student?

Be Patient

Once again, your results are highly dependent on your state of mind. You’re not going to be playing Rachmaninoff at your first lesson – you’re more likely to start with a major scale, probably in the key of C Major. These basic scales and exercises may not be the most fun at first, but they’re the best thing you can learn for control over the instrument. You’ll get to the fun songs and melodies with time!

What Control?

The piano is a big instrument, but it’s also a delicate instrument. Tap a finger lightly on one key; see how lightly you can tap. Notice how the sound takes on a soft, almost bell-like quality. Now strike that key harder. Notice how the sound brightens and becomes more percussive. Training the fingers to control these piano dynamics is one of the basics of piano study. Again, don’t discount the simple exercises your teacher starts you out with! They’ll come in handy – we promise!

A One and a Two and a…

Your teacher will probably teach you some basic exercises, and expect you to practice them on a daily basis (or whatever you’re able to work into your schedule). These are basically repetitive melodies designed to get your fingers used to playing. For years, a popular exercise routine was the Hanon method, a series of exercises to strengthen the fingers for virtuoso performance. Many teachers rely on these exercises for their students, but not everyone does. When they don’t, it’s usually for one reason: Hanon exercises can be a tad boring! Some teachers try to combat this by using more interesting melodies and exercises that make practicing fun as well as effective.

The piano is a truly a one-of-a-kind instrument. No other instrument gives you the entire tonal range of the orchestra right at your fingertips. Learning the basics of piano may not take you straight to Carnegie Hall, but the joy you’ll receive from learning this awe-inspiring instrument will take you somewhere far greater – to a world where music is at your command.

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How to Get Ready for Your First Piano Lesson

first piano lessons

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and schedule your first piano lesson? Congratulations! If you’re feeling a little nervous, you’re not alone. It’s totally normal to get the jitters when you’re about to do something new for the first time.

Preparing for your lesson is a great way to banish your nerves, plus you’ll show up to your lesson primed for success. Follow these 5 steps and enjoy the excitement of your first piano lesson!

1. Ask Your Teacher
Before lessons begin, have a chat with your teacher to find out which books they teach from and if there are any other materials they’d like you to have before your first lesson. Take notes during your conversation and feel free to ask your teacher any questions you might have. There’s no such thing as a stupid question, especially when you are just getting started. Your teacher is here to guide you and help you, so take advantage of his or her knowledge as much as you can.

2. Key Into Rhythms
When you’re listening to music, make a point of listening for the beat and clapping or tapping your foot in time. Get used to noticing the beat and note when there are tempo changes within a song. This will help you improve your physical tempo and your ear for rhythm.

3. Find Middle C
For beginning piano students, middle C is your musical homebase. Sit down in front of the center of your piano keyboard. You’ll see the black keys are arranged in sets of two and three. Put your right hand index finger on the lower (left) black key on the set of two black keys closest to the center of the piano. Now, let your finger fall to the next white key on the left and press down. Great job! You’re playing middle C.

Once you’re at middle C, each white key is the next note up (D, E, F, G). After G, the scale starts over and the next white key is A. Practice playing a note and saying the name to get to know the keyboard.

4. Get Strong
Try this exercise to strengthen your fingers. Lay both hands flat on a table and practice lifting each finger, one at a time. In addition to strengthening your fingers, this exercise improves your coordination and dexterity. For another great way to strengthen your fingers, practice creating rings by pressing each finger individually into your thumb. Count to ten as you hold your hand in a ring and don’t allow your fingers to collapse.

5. Put it in Writing
Give yourself time to think about what you’d like to accomplish by studying the piano. Is there a certain song or style of music that you’d love to be able to play? Write down at least one goal, even if it seems crazy. Writing your goals makes them seem more real and achievable. Keep your written goals posted by your piano as a reminder of all that you’d like to accomplish.

Are you feeling more confident yet? Taking the time to get prepared will help ensure your first piano lesson goes smoothly. We hope that your lessons will result in a lifetime of loving music!

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Photo by liperuf