Celine Gaurier-Joubert shares her wisdom and expertise to help you improve your piano playing as a serious amateur pianist in London!

Amateur pianist studying the piano

Improving your skills #1 – What to do when you feel that you are unable to improve further after reaching a certain level of musicality

At The London Piano Institute, we have met hundreds of amateur pianists who felt in need of benefiting from the expert advice of a professional pianist as they could not find the way to improve on their own anymore. They felt as they were facing a wall.

Many adult amateur pianists are in this situation, and despite trying hard, they are unable to solve technical or musical issues on their own. It is absolutely normal. Asking for the support of a professional pianist is necessary if you wish to take your piano playing to the next level.

There is no shame at all in asking for help, but it is essential to seek advice from highly experienced pianists and piano instructors to ensure that their guidance will produce immediate and long-lasting results.

Frustrated woman

Improving your skills #2 – What to do when you are frustrated with your technical abilities

Depending on your specific situation, you are perhaps unhappy with your technical abilities and feel that your fingers are not flexible enough to perform the music that you have in mind. You might be listening to concert pianists who execute the same piece with an extraordinary dexterity while you are struggling to play a passage evenly.

Do not worry. It is extremely common among amateur pianists.

You must remember that concert pianists have started to play the piano at a very young age, have spent countless hours practising and have benefited from the exceptional piano education of a master pianist.

You should therefore not compare yourself with the most skilled professional pianists, but you can definitely improve your technical skills drastically thanks to the advice of a brilliant piano instructor.

Like everything else in life, there is no mystery. If your technical abilities are poor, it is merely because your technique has not been developed and worked on properly.

An excellent piano instructor will definitely be able to advise on the most rewarding piano exercises to practice daily, and he/she will be able to offer you the guidance needed to focus on the right exercises without wasting any time.

At The London Piano Institute, we have met several amateur pianists who think that playing scales daily would resolve all their technical issues.

Playing scales is very helpful to develop your knowledge of the keyboard and dexterity when playing consecutive notes, but it will not help you perform double notes, such as thirds, sixths or octaves or improve your ability to play trills neatly.

Each technical difficulty that could arise in a piece of music should be practised first via technical studies in order to be ready when it comes up in a piece of the repertoire.

There are so many technical difficulties that you might undoubtedly feel a bit lost. You might not know where to start and how to structure the practice of all these various difficulties.

Once again, an excellent and highly skilled piano instructor will easily be able to direct you and improve your overall technical abilities reasonably quickly.

It is especially important as, as funny as it can sound, most of the technical issues that can seem insurmountable to you can often be resolved by a simple wrist movement that is not done correctly!

Pianist reading a score on sight

Improving your skills #3 – What to do when you’re disappointed with your sight reading skills and you spend far too much time learning a new piece of music on aggregate

Throughout my teaching career, I have met several amateur pianists who were able to perform quite difficult pieces of the repertoire but were not satisfied with the amount of time it took them to learn a new piece of music.

Once again, sight-reading is a skill that must be developed and worked on.

All concert pianists read a new score instantly thanks to their incredible reading skills.

By studying with a professional pianist, you will surely resolve this issue as he/she will structure your piano playing and help you choose the right exercises to improve this problem while working on appropriate pieces of the repertoire.

Sight-reading must be practised daily alongside technical exercises as this skill is essential if you wish to truly enjoy your piano practice and not spend all your time decrypting the score!

Struggling and stumbling when starting a new piano piece is hugely frustrating and discouraging. It is the reason why you need some direction to resolve this issue once and for all!

Woman interpreting a piece of music

Improving your skills #4 – Have you thought about the importance of interpretation and sound production?

Most of the amateur pianists I have met at The London Piano Institute were unsatisfied with their pure technical skills, but I cannot remember hearing them complain about their interpretation or sound production skills.

As if they were not aware of it at all. As if they did not consider it.

It is interesting as sound production and interpretation are everything in piano playing. A perfect dexterity is, of course, essential but it is only built to allow you to support the expression you wish to add to a composition.

It is for this reason that I insist on enhancing dexterity alongside sound production and interpretation.

Most of the advanced amateur pianists who have joined my class in London came first with a reasonably good technique that allowed them to perform quite difficult pieces, but I have rarely heard someone who understood how to interpret a piece of music.

Most of the time, adults listen to the interpretation of a concert pianist and try to copy it without putting any expression of their own into the piece. On other occasions, they are delighted to play all the notes correctly without realising that the most essential element is missing: music.

Adding interpretation, breathing spaces, character, dynamics and colours into a piece of music is fascinating, and it is perhaps the skill that amateur pianists lack the most. Sometimes because they did not benefit from a good piano instruction before joining The London Piano Institute or because they were simply not aware of it in the case that they are self-taught.

As I said, it is the part of the work that is the most interesting while learning a new composition and it is always a great pleasure for us to help amateur pianists enhance it drastically!

I enjoy helping them feeling the music immensely, and I am always astonished by the exceptional results!

My most advanced pupils usually prepare a piece in the sense that they have learnt all the notes correctly before performing it for me. We, therefore, have a foundation on which we can add all the musical elements and turn a raw performance into a jewel!

I have myself discovered what interpretation and sound production truly meant thanks to my master piano instructor Edson Elias when I was an adolescent. I knew that something was not quite right in my piano playing, but I could not put my finger on it.

After only one lesson with him, my understanding and feeling of music literally transformed. It was due to him singing alongside my playing instead of giving me instruction. I now apply this technique with all my piano pupils. I am always incredibly impressed to hear a completely different interpretation in a matter of a few minutes only!

Problem solving

Improving your skills #5 – You definitely need to seek advice from an expert to solve unique and specific issues in your piano playing

All pianists are different as all individuals are unique.

We all have various issues when it comes to piano playing and I have never met two pupils who had the same concerns or problems.

Each issue is extremely specific due to the nature of the individuality of a pianist.

Our body and mind are so unique that the answers to your questions about piano playing cannot be found in a book.

As I said earlier, sometimes an issue that can affect your entire playing is due to a detail that can either be a wrong fingering or a stiff wrist. It is possible to self medicate yourself thanks to analysis but getting the feedback of a professional pianist is often necessary to resolve our problems.

In my early 20s, I was already an extremely advanced professional pianist but I still needed and enjoyed the observation of a master concert pianist.

I remember two examples that can illustrate it well:

  1. I was studying “Dante” by Franz Liszt for a few months already but I could never produce the sound I had in mind for the first few bars of the piece. I played it for my master instructor in Switzerland who immediately told me: “Your wrist is too relaxed”. I tensed it up and the sound suddenly became exactly what I was looking for!
  2. I was struggling with Chopin’s 1st study. My master instructor told me: “It is simply because your stool is too low”. Isn’t it amazing!

Even as a professional pianist myself, I could not figure out these little details. It is why it is essential to get feedback on a regular basis!

Good criticism are also important.

One of my piano students always thinks that she is not playing well enough and start all her lessons by telling me that it is a disaster. Well, I never think that it is the case. On the contrary, I think that she is doing extremely well, and I am often impressed by her progress.

It is happening as I obviously have much more experience than her in piano playing and I can hear small improvements that are part of the overall picture. A part of the puzzle we are building.

Once again, performing for an expert pianist could truly help you discover how to improve your piano playing but also realise that a large part of it is actually much better than you imagine!

Conductor

Improving your skills #6 – Benefiting from structure and direction

Another reason why it is a good idea to work with a piano instructor is the sense of structure and direction that you will benefit from.

Being alone at home in front of your piano could be lonely, you might lack motivation or not know what to do next.

You might also be in the situation of playing pieces to a certain level and give them up without satisfaction when you do not know how to improve them further.

Thanks to the instruction of an excellent piano teacher, you can then benefit from a structure, and practise from a week to another with a goal in mind.

At the end of my piano studies in Switzerland, we only had lessons once a month as we had to prepare an entirely new repertoire each time. The lessons were extremely long (about 4 hours each). I did not enjoy this arrangement as I lacked feedback along the learning process and I felt quite lost.

By attending weekly lessons and benefiting from good guidance, you can then improve your skills progressively and being assured that you are heading in the right direction.

Even the best concert pianists in the world sometimes play for their colleagues to get feedback before performing new pieces in a concert hall. You see, there is no shame in sharing your piano playing with an expert!

Composers

Improving your skills #7 – Know what are the right compositions to play and discover other pieces of the repertoire

As I said earlier, we all have a different body and mind. This individuality is undoubtedly important to respect when choosing a new piano piece and an experienced pianist would surely be able to advise you on this matter.

You could, for example, wish to play Rachmaninov but if you have small hands and a slim body, it will probably turn out to be extremely difficult.

Or you could enjoy Mozart sonatas extremely much. Playing them with very large hands will certainly be harder than for somebody who has smaller hands.

Knowing which pieces suit us best comes with experience and relying on your instructor will undoubtedly be extremely helpful if you do not want to head in the wrong direction.

On the other hand, it is a fantastic exercise to study a piece that would initially not suit you well to develop other skills, but it is advised to discuss with your piano instructor prior.

Most of the piano pupils I have met so far tend to stick to a specific style (baroque, classical, romantic or modern) in their choice of pieces but also in the music they listen to at home or the concert.

A student would, for example, have a broad knowledge of the classical period but would never have heard compositions written by Prokofiev, Shostakovich or Ravel.

Concert pianists usually specialise in a specific style after studying all of them immensely. They would know which composers suit them best, but they can only make this decision after working on all of them.

I sometimes offer music discovery masterclasses for my piano pupils to discover pieces that are not performed so often. On one occasion, I played “Iberia” by Albeniz. My Japanese student loved it so much that she decided to start learning it. I was so pleased when I heard her version which was formidable!

Celine teaching Laurence at The London Piano Institute

Improving your skills #8 – As an adult amateur pianist, improve your piano skills drastically at The London Piano Institute

I first thought about The London Piano Institute in 2005 when I was mostly teaching children privately. As my parents are both amateur musicians, I thought that a countless amount of adults in London might also want to learn how to play the piano or develop their current skills with instructors who would specialise in adult piano education.

Adult amateur pianists were left in the dark, as piano academies mostly care for children and there is rarely a section for adults.

I have therefore created a unique haven of music entirely dedicated to adult amateur pianists as I wanted to offer them the rare privilege to express themselves in an environment that would be extremely suitable!

It is a real success and I am extremely pleased to see so many adult amateur pianists develop their skills and enjoy their passion for the piano at The London Piano Institute!

The importance of taking your piano lessons weekly. Why you need to persist and persevere to become the pianist YOU want to be!

Beginner-Piano-Course-with-Celine-Gaurier-Joubert-in-London-Mayfair

Taking weekly piano lessons is the best way for you to make SERIOUS improvement in your piano playing!

At the London Piano Institute we offer excellent quality weekly piano lessons in London.

It is our utmost desire to help YOU as an adult succeed at playing the piano and we will do everything in our power to help you learn!

Success is build upon a solid foundation.

We do not neglect important foundational elements.

We want to help you learn and get ‘there’ as quick as possible, without compromising quality!

In this article, you will discover why weekly piano lessons is paramount.

Learning how to play the piano is something that many adults want to do!

Women dreaming of flying

In my daily teaching studio, I often hear adults tell me: “I have always wanted to learn the piano! It was a dream and finally, I can make it a reality!”.

I personally think it is wonderful to hear someone pursue their dreams!

We have one life and we have to make the most of the time that we have and definitely DO SOMETHING just for us!

If you are considering piano lessons, then you absolutely need to read this article.

In today’s world we get bombarded with information and how-to-instructions!

You may have watched several YouTube piano tutorials and even tried to play a little by yourself.

What we lack is good-old-fashioned world-class piano instruction and that is what we have set out to offer you at the London Piano Institute!

So without further ado, lets go right into the reasons why you need to take piano lessons with an excellent piano teacher in order to become proficient at playing the piano!

Weekly piano lessons with a great teacher can motivate you and help you with your piano-workout discipline!

Lady training with weights

Learning how to play the piano requires a frustrating component (for some) called practice!

If you want to get better at playing the piano, you will absolutely need to practice and put in the required time to improve.

Practising piano is not always fun!

It is sometimes boring and at times downright frustrating!

If you play the same piece for the umpteenth time and make the same mistakes over and over again, you WILL feel like pulling your hair out!

However, do not despair!

If you have a great piano teacher who provides you with excellent piano instruction, you can simply ask him or her what to do!

Tell them you are frustrated and share your feelings…

If they are any good, they will DEFINITELY motivate you to get better!

Of course, whining does not help, you should only speak to him or her if things are tough. (In that manner)

A great teacher will then remind you that every single pianist in the world has been at EXACTLY the same place again and again.

Frustration and hard work is part of the process of becoming a pianist.

You do not become a pianist without working really hard and developing excellent habits to conquer the complex world of playing music!

What a great teacher will do for you here is to get you to believe in yourself again and take up the baton and start practising again!

So the motivation that you will get from excellent piano lessons are of itself of tremendous value!

Weekly piano lessons will help you develop the correct technique, habits and mindset

Hands on a grand piano

Playing the piano requires a proper technical foundation.

Without a proper technical foundation, the building will crumble. (In this case your piano playing)

By studying the piano with an excellent piano teacher you will learn how to sit correctly, play correctly, move your hands correctly and so much more!

You cannot hope to learn this by yourself on YouTube!

It is too complex and it requires the input of a professional who has spend years learning the art and craft of piano playing!

You need a SOLID technique and that can only be acquired with the help of an excellent piano instructor during your piano lessons!

By taking weekly piano lessons you are committing to the process of learning the piano

process

Learning how to play the piano is a process that takes time and effort.

By attending weekly piano lessons with a great piano teacher, you are showing that you are a committed individual and that you are taking it seriously!

My very best piano students study with me at least twice on a weekly basis.

Some of our students at the London Piano Institute even attends classes on a DAILY basis.

Is this overkill?

I personally do not think so!

If you want to improve your playing you need quality input.

You need excellent weekly tuition.

You may not have enough time to attend on a daily basis, but once per week should be the bare minimum if you want to see serious results.

Of course, attend your weekly piano lessons is commendable, but you also need to attend your daily private piano practice if you want to see results!

You will increase your piano playing incrementally on a weekly basis (until it explodes!)

pianist

Do not be fooled!

We do not make progress in life with one big change and suddenly see the success that we’ve always wanted to see.

No, real change happens day by day.

“We are what we repeatedly do!” the great philosopher Aristotle said about 1700 years ago!

The key word here is: “repeatedly”.

By taking weekly piano lessons, you are creating the best possible environment for you to thrive as a piano student!

Sure, it will take time, effort and great education, but by showing up to your piano lessons on a weekly basis you will definitely make great progress!

One of the reasons why we (generally) do not allow a lesson per fortnight in our standard courses at the London Piano Institute is because we know that it generally does not work well.

We have discovered over the years that it is the weekly appointment in person or via Skype that makes all the difference.

The truth is, anybody can learn how to play the piano.

All you need is excellent piano instruction on a weekly basis and the ability to practice what is necessary on a daily basis.

Everything else is superfluous!

After some years of arduous study, you will play the piano!

It is basically a mechanical process.

It requires dedication, effort, and weekly input!

Weekly piano lessons will help you to benefit from EXCEPTIONAL growth!

Growth

Your primary goal when it comes to learning how to play the piano is to get better at playing the piano!

By taking weekly piano lessons with an excellent piano academy in London you are proactively choosing to become a better pianist.

Weekly piano lessons will help you benefit from exceptional growth.

Exceptional growth happens when apply yourself wholeheartedly at every lesson with your piano teacher.

Missing lessons, rescheduling appointments is not the way to grow.

The secret is attending every week of the year… yes up to 52 weeks a year if possible. (Of course we do take breaks, so in reality you will really receive 48 lessons per year if you attend weekly)

In my opinion if you want to really get explosive piano growth, then you should attend EVERY opportunity at hand.

Be at every concert.

Attend every masterclass.

Participate in every seminar… and throw yourself in with plenty of zeal and zest!

The more passion you apply to your learning the better you will become! (In a shorter period of time)

In conclusion:

Lady thinking

Your piano future is in your hands.

You are the master of your fate.

You decide your limits!

I recommend that you do everything possible to improve.

If you are able to, I suggest attending twice weekly!

My best success stories come from students who see me for 2-3 hours each and every week.

Remember you get out what you put in!

You must make the choice.

YOU must decide to be great!

Success will happen when you choose.

So to conclude: get the best quality piano lessons on a weekly basis to give yourself the BEST chance of becoming the pianist that you deserve to be.

Mix that up with regular, focused practice and the sky is the limit!

Yes, I believe YOU can succeed!

Never, never, never give up! You are closer than you think to your piano success!

Never Give Up - Winston Churchill

Run before you walk

Women running

As humans it’s natural to want to run before we can walk.

Sometimes the bridge just seems too far.

Maybe you’ve come to a point of giving up and are deciding not to cross the bridge at all!

Would you let a fellow student give up?

After you’ve watched her put the time and effort in?

Heard her play well at her level. Seen her happy playing. Watch her stumble at a few blocks.

But you know it can get better for her. Now think of yourself and don’t do it.

You think I can’t do this.

Well, you can.

Take a breather.

Get some perspective and continue.

It is possible to look past the “can’t” and just get on with it.

With a little patience and thought you can go on.

To finish something you started.


Moments of frustration

frustration

Think of something else you learned and had moments of frustration – driving lessons?

Driving is about co-ordination, coordinating multiple facets at a time to get the vehicle from A to B in one piece.

You don’t jump in a car one day and know how to do it.

There is a fundamental practical part to driving but what about all the theory that goes with it.

As an adult that has driven for many years we almost do it on auto-pilot. But you had to start somewhere.

Learning the piano at any stage will be the same rocky road, no one says it will be easy.

A testing one on the ups but a pleasurable one on the downs.

But as we’ve deduced you have chosen to learn this beautiful instrument so keep going, do not throw what you have done so far away.

You will regret it in later years.

You have put so much into it thus far.

Please keep going.

Never give up on a passion.

Or what has become one.

It’s a beautiful skill you have. Many people don’t put the effort in but so wish they could do what you do.


Learning the piano

success

Learning the piano at any stage will be the same rocky road, no one says it will be easy.

A testing one on the ups but a pleasurable one on the downs.

But as we’ve deduced you have chosen to learn this beautiful instrument so keep going, do not throw what you have done so far away.

You will regret it in later years.

You have put so much into it thus far.

Please keep going.

Never give up on a passion.

Or what has become one.

It’s a beautiful skill you have.

Many people don’t put the effort in but so wish they could do what you do.

At the London Piano Institute we always encourage all our students and will do our utmost to help you learn this beautiful immortal instrument.

We have lots of options available for piano courses in London and you can view the course options here.

If you have any questions regarding starting to play the piano and you want to enrol in an adult piano course, simply contact Stefan at enrol@londonpianoinstitute.co.uk

Who knows what the future holds for you? Rachmaninoff, Bach, Chopin, Count Basie or Jelly Roll Morton?

The answer to the question is in your hands… simply NEVER NEVER NEVER give up!


Discover 10 reasons why you really do not need to know anything at all about playing the piano prior to starting out

No prior experience required

There are things we all wish we had started sooner. From learning a new language, taking up a new sport, or mastering a musical instrument – many adults simply don’t try to learn a new skill because they think they’re too old to start as a complete beginner now.

If you’ve been thinking about learning the piano but have been disheartened by a lack of prior experience, here’s the truth: you can start learning the piano at any age.

At the London Piano Institute, we pride ourselves on offering first-class tuition to adults with absolutely no prior experience necessary. Even if you’ve never touched the keys in your life, we can guide you through the steps you need to begin learning the piano, today. If you need more convincing, check out 10 reasons why the piano can be learned by anyone – no experience necessary!

Reason #1 Piano is a skill that simply needs to be learned

Like every new skill, to play the piano you first need to start from the beginning. You don’t need to remember past lessons or attempt to learn the basics by yourself – in fact, this is a sure-fire way to take up more of your time! Whether you are starting as a complete beginner or with a little experience, you still need to go through the same learning process to create the muscle memory need to play the instrument.

A person who learned piano as a child and has forgotten most of the technique is going to have little advantage over a complete beginner in adulthood. All you need to do is apply yourself to learning a new skill, and practice – no matter what age you are and at what level of experience.

Reason #2 – You already have the three most important skills: discipline, focus, and motivation

Adults have a huge advantage over children when it comes to learning the piano in that you are more likely to be at your class out of choice, rather than because your parents are forcing you to go! Beginners are therefore more disciplined with their lessons, more focused on learning, and far more likely to stick to a consistent practice schedule.

With this level of discipline and focus, even with no prior experience you should go from beginner to an experienced player with our expert guidance! (On the condition that you practice!)

Reason #3 – A structured course is perfect for total beginners

You don’t need experience to start learning the piano as an adult, but a structured piano course will do wonders for how quickly you develop your skills. Our piano instruction cuts no corners – you will receive a solid foundation that will take you from the very first introduction to playing the piano, to eventually learning more complicated compositions.

It will take time, but even with no prior experience we guarantee our courses alongside your motivation and regular practice will take you to the level you want to achieve.

Reason #4 – Starting your lessons with no prior experience guarantees better habits

Prior experience is not always a benefit – in fact, improper learning can actually cost you a lot more time and money in the long-run. Having the wrong teacher or trying to self-teach can be a quick way to develop bad habits that are difficult to re-learn. With no prior experience, you’re guaranteed to be taught perfect habits from the beginning with our highly trained teachers!

Reason #5 – Your teacher is a specialist with inexperienced adults

At the London Piano Institute, our lessons are designed specifically for adults. Learning as an adult is different to learning as a child, but our classes are designed to tackle this fact and overcome any obstacles you may face by learning at a later age with no experience.

Our teachers are trained to identify any problems you are having, and to work with you on these before moving on – ensuring you have the solid foundation in playing the piano you need before moving to more complicated lessons.

Reason #6 – Learning piano just needs practice and time

To master the piano, you need to practice repetitively. This helps to create muscle memory and will help the lessons and skills you’re learning really stick in your mind. While prior experience may make this muscle memory return a little quicker, someone without any previous experience is certainly capable of making the same progress – if not better!

Reason #7 – Adults are always capable of learning new skills

Our brains are capable of learning new things throughout the entirety of our lives – those neural connections may be a little slower as an adult, but they’re still perfectly capable of forming! Whether you’re 5 years old or 50, you can pick up the piano as a complete beginner and still make amazing progress with quality instruction.

If you’ve been putting off learning to play the piano because of a lack of experience, don’t let this stop you. Our teachers will guide you through every step, and make sure you’re comfortable with the speed you’re learning at, at all times.

Reason #8 – You can learn anywhere, anytime

Have you been meaning to pick the piano up, but can’t find a good teacher local to you? Well, now you have no excuse! We provide Skype and Facetime lessons that allow us to teach our students wherever they may be in the world. With classes specifically designed adult learners, you can start learning the piano today and be well on your way to gaining valuable experience in the instrument – even if you’re a total beginner.

Reason # 9 – Age can be an advantage

If you’ve got a genre in music that inspired you to start learning the piano, you may have an advantage even with no prior experience! It will surprise you how quickly you can identify tunes and even scales in well-loved songs, and even with no technical experience you may still find some elements of learning the piano familiar to you.

Reason #10 – Dedicated beginner lessons for adults

The London Piano Institute is one of the only schools that takes on students at any level of experience. Our teachers are trained to deliver dedicated instruction at whatever level and depth you need – so even if you’ve never touched a piano before, we’ve helped many others in the same situation develop the skills they need and to successfully learn to play the piano.

Whether you’re a complete beginner with no prior experience, or have had a few piano lessons in the past, at the London Piano Institute we pride ourselves on providing a quality piano instruction that will help you build a solid foundation of the instrument with great habits, and eventually move on to beautiful, more complex compositions.

No matter what level of experience you are at, our teachers are able to assess your needs and ensure you’re receiving the right tuition for you. Get in touch with us to book your first ever piano lesson today!

Find out more about our piano courses for absolute beginners

If you are ready to start and you want to learn how to play the piano with the correct technique, sound and posture – please do contact us here.

You can also visit the following pages to find out more:

» See our special message for absolute beginner piano students here

Your Piano Course

Sometimes obstacles may seem insurmountable, but if you follow the advice below you can definitely overcome any obstacle in your way!

Overcoming obstacles

Three years ago you started playing the piano for the first time and it all seemed so easy.

You passed your graded examinations with flying colours and your on your way to grade 4 now.

The only problem is that things are getting very difficult…. You have to play scales, arpeggios, broken chords with two hands at faster speeds and the compositions are a LOT more challenging!

You even start to think… “Can I really do this?”.

You attend the regular concerts and events at the London Piano Institute, listen to some of the advanced players and feel totally demotivated.

Guess what?

We’ve ALL BEEN THERE!

Yes, even the most proficient pianist in the room has once been where you are right now…

Hitting rock bottom is actually a good thing as it will help you to improve your playing and take it to the next level.

It is a challenge time, but I promise you that within six months of arduous applied study, you will feel a LOT better about yourself.

This article is here to inspire you to follow the words of Churchill: “Never, Never, Never give up!”.

It is only through continuation that you can reach your musical dreams!

You need to understand how progress works

Progress is rarely a one-way street.

Your piano development will have many twists and turns and moments of difficulty.

The secret is staying the course and overcoming the initial frustration to move to a higher level of performance.

When we think of progressing as a pianist, we imagine a nice straight line to improvement.

The truth is that improvement often happens at the moment of despair when we’ve had enough and want to stop altogether!

If you knock on the door enough times, it eventually opens.

Some doors requires weeks of knocking, others months and others even years!

I know this is not something that most will want to hear, but it is the truth.

Most aspiring piano students never make it past grade 5 for the simple reason that they do not know the secret just continuing!

It is in the continuation that success lies!

It is when you are able to continue regardless of initial frustration.

If you are currently frustrated, it may help to speak with your piano instructor as he or she will definitely be able to encourage you!

Just keep going and understand that there will be hard (as well as easy) times and that at times in your development, you just need to keep going!

You must accept the fact that you will stagnate musically from time to time

It is wonderful to perform when everything goes to plan and the audience gives you a thunderous applause!

But at times you will stagnate.

At times you will feel as if you are not going anywhere!

And guess what? It is not just with piano playing, it is with ALL endeavours of life!

Do you think that Beethoven’s great symphonies just happened in his sleep?

Maybe towards the latter part of his life, but I can guarantee you that Beethoven worked and worked and worked.

Through ups and downs, through a nice flowing time and a horrible stagnating time!

The secret once again is to pick yourself up, ignore the stagnation and just keep going – you WILL reach the next level it is only a matter of time and effort!

Get back to the reasons why you started playing piano in the first place

One of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself when you feel frustrated with your progress is to get back to why you wanted to learn initially!

Perhaps attend a concert at the Wigmore Hall, or go for a walk in your favourite park!

Listen a pianist you love and take stock to see how much you have ACTUALLY achieved!

As humans we are not very logical in the here and now, and we often let emotions get the best of us!

You can also ask your piano teacher to just do something different in the lesson and explain to him or her how you feel.

An amazing chat with your instructor can often clear any dark clouds that may have seem to find its way into your piano world!

Be of good cheer – there is hope and your future is bright!

Take a break from the grades for a while… and return fresh! (If you are doing the grades)

The graded examinations are a wonderful stepping stone/methodology for learning how to play the piano, but remember that the grades is not everything when it comes to piano playing.

Sometimes you need to take a break from the grades for a short while, freshen up your playing and return with zeal and zest if that is your forte!

Playing a few pieces of music that you actually love on the piano is also very beneficially for your piano development and your mindset.

Make a few small changes, take a break and return fresh!

Count your wins…

Counting your success can definitely help you clear the grey skies and see the bright sun!

You will be pleasantly surprised at just how much you know once you take stock of what you can actually do!

Compare that to your first piano lesson and you will be astounded at your rate of progress!

Counting your successes can help you get back to having that success mindset that will make all the difference to your piano playing going forward!

You can even take a pen and pad and write down what you have achieved, you will be amazed at just how far you’ve come!

Attend workshops and seminars to rekindle your passion!

Success giant Brian Tracy has stated that those who attend workshops and seminars are usually the top in their chosen profession!

Although piano playing may only be a hobby for you, if you attend workshops and seminars, you will be one of the top amateur pianists that you can be!

Therefore I want to encourage you to attend ALL workshops and seminars that we do at the London Piano Institute.

By attending these wonderful seminars, you will most definitely increase your musicality and gain that extra edge that you deserve to have!

Be part of those who win when it comes to playing the piano, be part of those who become the best that they can possibly be!

Success comes to those who patiently persist!

The truth is without persistence and diligent, daily practice you will not become a great pianist.

To become great, truly great you need to PERSIST and INSIST until you reach the level of musicality that you hope the achieve!

It’s a common fact that the most successful individuals – take Mo Farah as an example, persists and work harder than anyone else to achieve their goals!

Be inspired, take action, be bold and you will reach your highest goal!

Persist and the world is your oyster!

Yes, you can!

It’s not only a cliche! It’s the truth.

YES, you can learn how to play the piano.

You are talented and it is only a matter of time and effort along with quality education before you reach your goals!

Believe in yourself and you will achieve whatever you have set out to achieve!

Make sure you study with excellent piano instructors!

Here at the London Piano Institute, lessons are taught by professional and experienced pianists – so you’ll learn the right techniques from day one! To book your lessons – get in touch with us today. The best method is to simply contact our manager Stefan Joubert at stefan@londonpianoinstitute.co.uk

The fact remains, you are only going to become as good as your passion, input and education. You need serious education to become the pianist that you have always wanted to be. We have excellent piano teachers who genuinely care about your piano progress and future.

Join a course today with the London Piano Institute and become the pianist that you deserve to be!

Playing the piano is very healthy… find out more now!

Healthy lady

You might be thinking of taking up the piano to become a master pianist, to perform in public or to play the Chopin’s nocturnes, but did you know that playing the piano can actually have some incredible health benefits?

Here’s what learning the piano could help do for you:

Reason 1: It can reduce your stress levels

Playing the piano can be a great way to relieve stress. You can sit at the piano and fill your mind with nothing but the most gorgeous piano music – helping you to forget the stresses and strains of a rough day at the office!

Yes, playing the piano will certainly reduce your stress levels!

Reason 2: It can increase cognitive development

Numerous scientific studies have shown that playing an instrument stimulates the brain in a unique way. When playing the piano, neurological pathways are connected. These pathways can even help you in other disciplines – such as maths, science, and engineering!

This will have a very positive effect on your career by helping you to become a more disciplined and structured individual. (Professional musicians often become great traders for example as they understand the importance of practice!)

You will raise your IQ by a few points and improve your ability to reason!

Reason 3: It will help you through difficult times

It is a proven fact that music has healing qualties as can be seen in the article Music as medicine by the American Psychological Association

According to the article on the vibration of musical notes has a healing effect on numerous symptoms.

Depression is often treated with musical vibration.

The truth is, music goes beyond the realm of everyday life and reaches into the very fibre of human life, existence and questions.

By learning to play the piano, you will benefit from this incredible healing powers of the vibrations and sounds of the notes.

It can help you get through difficult times and help you to find strength in times of trouble.

It can be an escape from stress and help resolve tension.

Music is simply divine!

Reason 4: It can decrease loneliness

Playing the piano can be a social activity, particularly if you take up group lessons. These are a fantastic way to learn which give you a supportive network of friendly fellow piano lovers – it means you’ll never be without someone to chat to, and can help keep feelings of loneliness at bay.

Reason 5: It raises aural awareness

Those who don’t play an instrument may never be able to identify pitches, but if you take up the piano your aural awareness will increase threefold. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll even be able to identify tones, intervals, and chords by ear.

You will also be more attentive and able to listen to important meetings, speeches and work related communications giving you an extra edge in your career!

Reason 6: It will help you live longer and stronger!

Believe it or not, learning to play the piano later in life can actually slow down the aging process! Studies have found that those who take up the piano in their adult and senior years have increased levels of Human Growth Hormone, which slows the effects of aging.

Another very pertinent reason to start taking piano lessons!

If you want to start playing the piano to experience these incredible health benefits, please do contact us or view some of our piano courses online now.

Learning to play the piano has MANY benefits and will make you a much more productive individual!

Gear wheels

Finding the time to pursue any hobby can be a challenge, especially when you’re juggling a demanding career and the daily pressures of a home life. But that doesn’t mean you should give up learning a new skill or stop taking part in something you enjoy. In fact, taking up piano lessons could give your productivity a boost and help you achieve more when working.

Many people already know that simply listening to music can help you focus and concentrate in a work environment. Melodies can encourage the release of dopamine, which can give you a boost if you’re lacking motivation or feeling fatigued. Research has found that those listening to music complete tasks quicker and are more likely to come up with creative ideas. The increase in productivity was linked to music improving the overall mood and, as a result, having a positive impact on output. However, learning to play a musical instrument can give your productivity an even great boost!

Increase your ability to learn

Picking up new skills is always useful regardless of your current age or position. Taking up an instrument has a positive impact on brain connectivity and spatial intelligence and research even suggests that it can give your IQ a small boost. These benefits can make it easier for you to pick up new skills and improve your workplace productivity.

Boost your creativity

If you work in a creative industry learning to play the piano can give you another creative outlet that can benefit your career.

Creative thinking can be a positive in any career and help you plan new, effective ways of tackling problems.

Every time you practice the piano you will have to use your creative side! The great thing about learning to play the piano is that both sides of your brain gets a super workout!

Improve your concentration and multitasking abilities

Learning to play the piano requires a lot of concentration and your ability to focus will increase as you get better at playing this beautiful instrument!

Also, by playing with both hands, your multitasking abilities will skyrocket in time!

Becoming better at multitasking is a definite asset in any demanding professional career!

So, by learning to play the piano you can kill several birds with one stone!

On the one hand you will increase your IQ, become more productive and learn how to multitask better! On the other hand, you will have lots of fun whilst learning and reduce your work related stress!

You can only benefit from learning to play the piano!

Learning the piano will make you relax!

In this modern world we are often required to be switched on at all times!

We have hundreds of emails, texts and other things screaming for our attention! (Isn’t it a little ridiculous!)

One of the greatest gifts of learning to play the piano as that you will forget everything at work and discover a wonderful world of music!

You will leave your stress behind and discover the world’s best relaxation technique: “learning to play the piano!”

Now more than ever, Londoners are discovering the joys and benefit of joining a piano class!

You deserve something for you – just for you and learning to play the piano may be just what you have been looking for!

For more details on our courses please visit the following pages:

Stress can kill you! That is why you need to learn to play the piano and get rid of work related stress!

Young man playing the piano to relieve stress

We all feel stressed at times as we go about our daily lives and try to juggle different aspects, whether it’s the pressure of a demanding job or a hectic home life that’s causing stress levels to rise. However, stress can have a negative effect on our health and it’s vital that we take some time to relax and unwind, and turning to the piano could help.

Business man stressed at work

Did you know that stress accounts for over a third of all work related ill health cases? During 2014/15 UK workers took 9.9 million days off work due to stress, with workload pressures, including tight deadlines and too much responsibility, and a lack of managerial support being the biggest reasons Brits are stressed at work. If stress isn’t tackled it can lead to people feeling burnt out, unmotivated and simply exhausted. Studies show that playing the piano is one of the most effective ways of helping to reduce stress levels.

In fact, simply listening to classical music has been found to have a whole range of stress relieving benefits. A study from the Royal College of Music’s Centre for Performance Science found that it physically reduced stress, with audience members of a classical show experiencing a reduction in levels of stress hormones cortisol and cortisone after the performance. Research from Oxford University further backed up these findings. A study suggested that some pieces of classical music, including Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Nessun Dorma by Puccini, could even lower blood pressure. The findings indicated that musical therapy to help calm people can be effective and doesn’t need to be tailored to each individual.

Playing the piano can bring even more benefits. A Japanese study measured the positive effects of different creative activities – playing the piano, moulding clay and calligraphy. While all activities were found to help reduce levels of stress, playing the piano was the most effective.

Aside from the stress reducing benefits backed up by research, simply doing something that you enjoy can act as a stress relief. Taking some time each week to attend a piano lesson means you have something extra to look forward to even at the end of a busy day. In order to improve your skills and develop as a pianist you’ll also need to fully focus during lessons, helping to push stresses out of your mind while you concentrate on playing correctly.

It’s time to bust the myths surrounding playing the piano

Guy playing a grand piano

There are many myths surrounding playing the piano and if one of them is holding you back from taking up the instrument it’s time to put your fear and apprehension to one side and try a lesson for yourself.

While learning a new skill can be a daunting prospect, learning to play the piano for pleasure can be fulfilling and has some health benefits, such as helping to relieve stress, too. Here we debunk 6 common piano lesson myths.

My teacher will get angry at me if I make a mistake

Everyone is going to make mistakes when they first start out and even occasionally when they’ve played for years. Any good piano teacher won’t get angry or criticise you for making mistakes, instead they’ll help you overcome obstacles by teaching proper techniques with good structure.

At the London Piano Institute, you can be assured that we will never get angry at you in your piano lessons. We are here to help you learn in a comfortable and encouraging manner.

You can be assured of receiving piano instruction from world-class musicians who genuinely care for your piano progress and who always have your best interests at heart!

We will do our utmost to make your lessons enjoyable!

I have to study classical music

The best way to improve at something is to really enjoy what you’re doing. If classical music isn’t your thing you certainly don’t have to study it before moving on to jazz or popular music.

It is however generally a good idea to lay a strong foundation prior to moving to more advanced material. At the London Piano Institute we teach you the style you want to learn but without compromising on essential foundations of music!

I don’t have time to take piano lessons

There are plenty of options for learning to play the piano amid busy schedules and hectic work life. An hour long lesson can fit perfectly into the evening, a lunch break or over the weekend without ruining other plans. The London Piano Institute can even offer Skype lessons to suit you.

If an hour a week is too long, you can even attend for 30 minutes at a time.

We also do not push you to practice too much when you have a very busy schedule.

It is, however, important to do some practice if you want to become better at playing the piano.

I can’t start lessons because I don’t own a piano

The truth is you don’t need a piano to start leaning. In fact, it can be an advantage to start before you own your own instrument as this will allow you to try out different options and receive advice from your instructors. Another common myth is that you’ll need to pay a lot to get a good piano but there are many affordable options on the market – here are our recommendations.

Of course, if you can afford a top-notch upright or grand piano, we will be very happy to help you find a model that is suitable for you!

It is a fact a better quality instrument makes playing more enjoyable!

I need to practice everyday

Of course, practising daily means you’ll improve quicker but sometimes life does get in the way. Even if you can’t commit to playing every single day you’ll still be able to improve and enjoy playing the piano for pleasure.

There’s no point in learning when I’m an adult

Even if you don’t take up piano lessons until you’re an adult you can still become an accomplished amateur pianist. Besides it’s not all about how well you play but also what you get out of it! (Please also see our other article: 5 Reasons why it’s never too late)

As Lao Tzu wisely said: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!”

We are here to make that journey a big success with you!

Piano with a Chopin score

Top 5 reasons why it’s never too late to learn the piano

Never think that you are too old to learn the piano!

It’s a proven fact that adults have successfully learned to play the piano to a very proficient standard even when starting at an older age!

In fact, playing an instrument has plenty of benefits for adults, whether they’re in their 20s or are enjoying their retirement. If you love music and dream of sitting at a piano playing your favourite classical tune or jazz song, it’s time to stop making excuses and book your first piano lesson.

There are so many reasons to take up the piano but here are our top 5:

  1. You will reduce stress – As we become adults our day to day lives can be filled with pressure, whether it’s from a stressful job or a busy family life. Listening to and playing music has been proven to help reduce stress levels. Taking up piano lessons can give you some much needed time to switch off and relax for a while, letting you recharge so you’re ready to tackle another day.
  2. You will increase your cognitive abilities – Studies have shown that playing the piano can help boost memory and build patterns that are important to learning. Keeping your memory and cognitive abilities tip-top is essential and learning the piano will do just that! If you’re starting to learn the piano later in life it can help to build your memory while doing something that you love.
  3. You will enjoy a much richer (musical) life! – Gaining a new skill is fulfilling and mastering a beautiful piece of music is no different. While it can be a challenge to learn to play the piano later in life the feeling of pride when you accomplish a new melody or tune means that it’s well worth it. You’ll certainly appreciate all of the hard work you’ve put in.
  4. You will meet new people – If you’ve found your social circle has dwindled or simply want to meet new people, taking up group piano lessons is a great way to meet some like-minded people. You’ll have lots of opportunity to forge friendships with people who you already have something in common with.
  5. The joy of playing – Simply playing the piano is a joy and one that can be appreciated at any age. You’re never too old to take up the piano and spend some ‘me’ time doing something that you love.

 

The biggest secret to becoming a successful pianist at an older age is to just get started! The second secret is to select the right place to learn the piano. Without excellent education it will be very difficult to reach your goals!

At the London Piano Institute, we genuinely believe that you are a talented individual and that you CAN LEARN how to play the piano.

Regardless of whether you’ve had any prior experience, take a leap of faith and get started today to make your piano dreams a reality!

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