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Teaching Yourself Piano: is it Possible?

Posted by Hans Heshusuis on 24th Jun 2015

When someone suggests a singalong at a party, it’s great to have a skilled pianist who can pick up any tune. People who can do this have natural talent, and this is often backed up by years of lessons that have helped them hone their skills.

Being able to play the piano during an impromptu jamming session is a great skill to have. But is it really possible to get to this standard without formal training?

Self teaching

Your starting point will be your level of musical experience. There are online courses, books you can buy to work through and videos available where you can watch and learn at the same time, but you will find these a lot easier if you have some background in music.

Learners who can already play another instrument have the knowledge of sheet music, time signatures, latin expressions and what ‘sounds’ correct. The underpinning theory is already in place – it’s a matter of transferring that knowledge and adapting it to piano playing.

If want play a few basic pop songs and you’re looking to just learn the basics, then it is perfectly possible to teach yourself ‘parrot fashion’. However, you’ll not be able to progress much further, and you certainly won’t learn the music theory, and expression of the music, that all successful players are taught.

The benefit of having lessons from a teacher

Signing up to lessons with a piano teacher means that you’ll start from the beginning with the core skills you need, then use these as building blocks to move to more advanced playing.

A teacher will help you understand phrasing, scores and fingering in ‘real time’ – something even the best DIY course simply cannot do.

Self-taught pianists with a natural ear for timing, and a feel for the way any piece should be played, will benefit from lessons to hone their skills by advancing their skills of rhythm and musical theory. Even the best natural player can never really prepare themselves for a formal recital or exam without the support of someone who has been there and done it.

Tuition, talent and enthusiasm

The desire to play any musical instrument to a degree of skill requires ongoing enthusiasm to be able to continually improve. Piano practice is sometimes a chore, and it requires ongoing commitment on a very regular basis. Without a teacher for motivation, the self-taught musician can quickly lose impetus. 

A piano teacher will guide, advise and nurture anyone of any level of existing skill. If you have the urge to learn to play, talk to the experts at Austral Piano World about taking some lessons. We will be able to offer you 40+ years of experience in buying, selling and playing the piano, as well as advising you about affordable and convenient personal tuition. Most of the piano teachers we recommend we have known for a long time. It won’t be long before you’re heading into your first lesson. Explore your own talents, you owe it to your self,  but some times a little guidance can help a lot!