Keys To Successful Piano Lessons

These keys to successful piano lessons will help you succeed --from your very first lesson!

You've found a teacher and your first lesson is on the books. Great!

You're excited and ready to get playing, right?

Take a moment and read through these strategies.

As a piano teacher, my highest goal is to help my students succeed - and develop a love for playing the piano.

Your teacher will bring preparation, experience, and a love for playing to your private piano lessons.

That's a part of your success - excellent instruction.

But your teacher only sees you for a small amount of time each week. The rest of the time, and success, lies in your hands!

Keys To Successful Piano Lessons: Set Goals!

Weekly Goals One of the first keys to successful piano lessons is to appreciate the small victories. Every week! Every time you put your hands on the piano, you make progress, whether you can see it or not.

Your weekly assignments are actually weekly goals. Every time you play a new song, finger exercise, or just a couple of measures - you've succeeded!

The Longer Term News flash! You're not going to be a piano master in six months. I know you know that, but have you really examined your expectations? Many students begin lessons with unrealistic expectations, then feel frustrated by their "lack of progress." Even if progress has been exceptional.

Talk to your teacher about where you can expect to be in six months. In a year. When you know what to expect, you'll be proud of your progress.

Ups and Downs Another one of the big keys to successful piano lessons is to realize that there will be great days. And not-so-great days. And terrible days. And days where you play everything with ease!

Good, bad, terrific, or terrible - you will experience all of them. Remember that everything you feel is OK! It's all part of the journey of learning.

Tomorrow, you'll feel different. I promise.

Keys To Successful Piano Lessons: Have A Great Attitude!

Be Teachable Be willing to listen and accept instruction and correction. This tip is true for everyone, young and old.

But I find that adults - who are used to making decisions for themselves every day - have the hardest time adjusting to being a student again. Enjoy not having to decide for yourself. Trust your teacher. You will learn more quickly and more successfully.

Enjoy Being A Beginner Yes, I mean it. It's another important key to successful piano lessons.

Our society puts a high value on being the best. And right now! Most people live life in a nearly constant state of comparison to those around them. There's no room for being a beginner, or for the process of discovery. It's all instant gratification, all the time.

Let it go. Take joy in the beauty of the simple melodies you play. Don't focus so hard on the destination that there's no enjoyment of the journey!

Keys To Successful Piano Lessons: Be Responsible!

Take Care of Business This might seem like common sense. But you'd be surprised if you could peek behind the scenes into the daily life of a piano teacher!

Show up on time for your lesson. Actually, show up a bit early so you're ready when your teacher finishes with the previous student. Pay on time. Only cancel for emergencies or with lots of notice. Bring your books and materials every week.

Common sense, right? ;-)

Be Honest Tell your teacher when you don't understand something. Don't just sit and nod (thinking that you'll go home and figure it out on your own). It's really OK! Your teacher wants you to understand! She'll be happy to explain differently.

Remember, you're the customer! You're paying for instruction. Don't be embarrassed if you don't immediately get a new concept. Ask for clarification! You'll leave your lesson happier, and enjoy your practice much more.

Make Time Priorities get done! That's all there is to it.

Give yourself the gift of time. Daily time that's your own - to play piano. Put it at the top of your to-do list. Above washing dishes and dusting bookshelves. Make your dream of playing piano a priority, and you'll be getting closer to your dream every day!

Keys To Successful Piano Lessons: Have Fun!

Just Play Don't just do your assigned work. Sit down at the piano, without books or music, and just noodle around. Find a musical sentence in your right hand that sounds good. Now find a note in the left that sounds good with it. Don't censor yourself - just play!

(And by the way - that's all there is to composing.)

I can guarantee your piano teacher wants you to enjoy your lessons, and enjoy learning to play the piano. She's your coach and one of your biggest fans! That's how I feel about my students. I want them to succeed. I want you to succeed!

My last tip? Print this page and keep it on your piano. Read it often. And tell yourself again that you really can play piano!

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