January 4, 2017

About the Author: Stefan Joubert

Stefan Joubert manages the London Piano Institute, a premier destination for adult piano learners seeking individualised instruction and progress towards their musical goals. He believes anyone can learn to play regardless of age or ability!

Learn what you can expect during your first year of piano playing!

Yes, It can be daunting attending your first piano lesson but you’re not the only one that’s been in that position and your teacher will understand. Whether you choose to have private or group lessons you’re likely to want to know how quickly you’ll progress and develop your new skills.

Of course, everybody is different and how your progress will depend on a whole range of factors, from your natural aptitude for musical instruments to how much time you spend practising outside of lessons.

At times, it can be frustrating if you feel like you’re not picking up playing the piano as fast as you’d like but it’s important to remember that patience is needed and often you’ll find the more you relax and enjoy it the better your playing becomes over time!

Your first few lessons

Your first piano lesson is likely to be a gentle introduction; We won’t expect you to be playing anything instantly at this stage!

The basics, such as sitting at the piano correctly, positioning your hands and how to touch the keyboard properly, are often the first steps taken and are important for building on later in lessons.

If you’re entirely new to music we will also explain how musical notes are written and what each one means in relation to the piano keys. Of course, some actual playing will be involved too and a scale or simple melody is likely to be where you start out.

The first steps towards success are always laying a strong and solid foundation and that is what we aim to do in the first steps of your piano journey!

After six months of piano lessons

Many people taking up piano overestimate how much progress they’ll make in a short period. Learning the piano is a challenge, though a rewarding one. For many people, after 6 months of piano lessons, they find that they can read most of the notes on the staff and play several scales pretty well!

You should be able to play simple musical compositions with both hands and your co-ordination should improve a lot at this stage.

If you are working through Carol Barratt’s book ‘The Classic Piano Course Book 1’ (you view it here), you should be about halfway through or perhaps a little further on!

The first 6 months is really all about laying a strong foundation to build upon for the future.

At the London Piano Institute we have a policy to make sure that all our students learn how to play the piano properly even if it means more time, effort and focus!

We may take a little longer to get you to play exciting pieces of music but in the process, we make absolutely sure that you learn how to play using the correct technique. (From the first lesson!)

We are also very serious about note reading and we want you to be very comfortable when it comes to reading a musical score as well as understanding the markings on the musical score!

After one year of piano lessons

After a full year of lessons, you should feel comfortable sitting at the piano and hopefully you’ll find playing more relaxing, fun and rewarding.

Playing the piano means you’ll be able to develop and work on the skills you’ve gained during the first year to further develop your playing abilities and the work certainly isn’t over after a year of lessons.

However, some of the foundational building blocks are now in place for you to grow from.

Please note that it can take many people several years of piano lessons before they become competent pianists!

You should by this stage (depending upon several factors) move unto the graded examinations if that is your cup of tea or work on more complex compositions of a relatively easy standard. (Around grade one)

If you had previous experience as a child, you may move unto higher grades such as grade two or three depending upon your level of playing after one year of lessons.

Of course, if you are studying jazz piano with us, you should start to be very comfortable with the basic triads and seventh chords and start to feel a bit better about improvisation and how to improvise over easy chord changes.

It is always very difficult to predict where you will be within one year of lessons, as it really depends upon the amount of time you practice, how many lessons you take per week and your dedication/passion in thinking about the piano outside of the lessons!

A student who takes four lessons of one hour on a weekly basis who practice for two hours daily will most definitely see a far better result than the same student who attends a 30 minute class per week with 10 minutes of daily practice.

It is therefore imperative to practise diligently and apply yourself faithfully in your piano journey!

If you do not have too much time, then be willing to take more years to learn!

The piano will always be around for you to play on and you will achieve your musical goals as long as you stick to it and practice daily!

Time will do the rest…

The best advice is to just get started an immerse yourself in music! Do not be overly concerned about your progress within the first three years and follow your teacher’s advice to a tee!

If you do that and practice daily, success will most definitely come!

Course options with the London Piano Institute

If you are just starting out and you are wondering which course options to choose from, please visit our dedicated piano course page here.

We will be delighted to help you on your journey to learning and mastering the piano!

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