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5 Things That Every Beginner Pianist Should Know

Updated: Mar 16

Did you know that playing the piano has a ton of amazing benefits for both your mental and physical health?! Improved memory, increased brain speed, lessened stress, better hand eye coordination, and a stronger core are just a few of the many benefits of playing the piano. And while learning how to play the piano may seem daunting at first, with the right dedication and support, you’ll be able to play your favourite song before you know it! If you’re thinking of diving into Toronto piano lessons, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for the top 5 things every beginner pianist should know.

A young boy playing piano

1. Start by playing songs

When starting out, many people think that they won’t be able to play songs on the piano until they put in hours and hours of practice. And this is just wrong! Yes, it’s crucial to learn hand placement and keys/chords, but perfecting these skills will come out of playing actual songs on the piano. While some of the songs you play at first may seem juvenile, they will actually help you learn the things you need to know to advance in your journey of being a pianist! When you first start taking piano lessons in Toronto, chat with your instructor about the music you like to listen to and if there are any certain songs you’d like to learn how to play. This will allow your instructor to tailor their lessons to your musical interests. Practicing at home? Check out the top 10 songs to play on the piano for beginners here.

A Toronto piano teacher

2. Make sure to ear train

Did you know that most music schools will require students to take an ear training course? Ear training is essentially a field of study that teaches you how to identify musical melodies, pitches, chords, rhythms, and more just by listening. Ear training is important for all musicians because it improves the ability to replicate the sound of a note. To excel in playing the piano, it’s important to build your inner ear training to understand overall music composition. Once people understand ear training, they have a much easier time playing music by ear which means not having to actually read any notes from a page.

But how do you do this? Start by listening to music and more specifically, professional pianists. Tuning into live performances by pianists allows you to study and understand their technique of playing the piano. Once you learn the different notes and pitches, you’ll be able to pick them out of your favourite songs. There are also many popular songs that you can listen to that are great examples of intervals and melodies (minor 3rd is featured in ‘Smoke on the Water’ for example!) Ear training takes major dedication and focus so don’t back down if you don’t understand it right away. Contact a qualified Toronto piano teacher to help you develop your ear training skills.

3. Don’t give up

A piano keyboard

Speaking of dedication, patience is the most important skill to have when learning the piano. Before even sitting down at a piano for the first time, you need to understand that the ability to play will not happen overnight. In fact, it will most likely take you months to get down the basics and years to perfect your sound. And did you know that people who want to be a classically-trained performer are looking at 10-15 years of practice?! So, if you’re someone who needs instant gratification, playing the piano may not be the best option for you. However, the learned skills and sense of accomplishment when you learn how to play a new song or perfect a certain ability is well-worth the dedication and patience. Give yourself some grace when learning and understand how big of an accomplishment learning a new instrument is!

4. Practice, practice, practice

If you want to excel in the art of playing the piano, you’re going to have to carve out some time in your busy schedule to practice daily. Yes, we said daily! Many beginner musicians are intimidated by the fact that daily practice is needed, but it’s actually less scary than you may think. Top Toronto piano teachers agree that spending 45 minutes to an hour practicing each day is sufficient enough. If you are looking to practice for more than that, make sure to take breaks in between to give your brain (and your hands!) a rest. Although, what’s more important than the length of time that you spend practicing is consistency. Consistency is truly key when it comes to learning a new instrument which means it’s better to practice for a shorter period of time each day than longer intervals 1-2 days a week. Make sure to take this time to practice thoughtfully and focused so you can get the most out of it.

A young girl taking piano lessons

5. Make it your own

At the end of the day, playing the piano should be fun for you and get your creative juices flowing. While there are a lot of basic fundamentals that you have to understand to play, there are also endless ways that you can make it your own. One of the best ways to make practice more fun is by starting and ending your session by playing a song you love. If you’re not good at playing those songs yet, no worries! Learning how to play an instrument is about making mistakes and progressing from there. If you’re able to make practice time more fun, piano will come that much easier to you.

Piano Lessons Toronto

Think you’re ready to take the leap into piano classes in Toronto?! Look no further than our piano lessons here at Greater Toronto Music School. We can help you learn how to classical music to rock ‘n’ roll and anything else you’re interested in! We have top Toronto piano teachers that cater to varying skill levels and availability. We currently offer completely virtual classes or private in-person lessons right from your own home. Give us a call today to learn more about piano lessons in Toronto!

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