Whether you are intending to pick up piano from where you have left when you were young or an adult beginner with no experience with piano or any musical instruments, or is persuing your piano diploma, foundamentals never change.
Are you ready to learn piano?
Just like anything else in life, if you want to do well, you have to commit. This is especially challenging when it comes to adults as compared to children. Most of the time, many parents in Singapore place learning piano as one of the priorities of their children and children stick to the piano learning routine and progress through the ABRSM examinations. For adults, many pick up piano because we want to. This makes us ahead of the learning curve. However, before we celebrate, ask yourself if you are willing to commit. We have many priorities in life. Is piano one of them? Is learning piano a big rock amongst other big rocks, such as work and family? Can you commit to the one lesson per week and practise?
Create a regular piano practice schedule
It takes 90 days to confirm a new habit. Create the new habit and routine to practise piano. Start with short practices of 15 to 20 minutes and increases with time. It helps to choose at a time of the day when there is less distractions and stick with the schedule and not miss too many days of practice consecutively. Learn how to practise effectively
When practising, make sure you are comfortable, not hungry nor tired nor thirsty. Get your posture right to reduce the tension and optimise the techniques.
Have a goal in mind, just like how you would set a mini goal (eg 15min or a certain no of km) to achieve beforse stepping up on a treadmill. How long are you going to practise and what are you going to work on and achieve? Well, set goals that you can achieve and feel good about it after the practice.
For a difficult piece, break it into bite size chunks and spread out into daily assignments. You cannot eat up a whole elephant in one bite. Say, if you do not fancy doing F# major, set yourself a short time like 8 minutes per day and for a consecutive 5 days. It adds up and you can achieve it! Celebrate your success afterwards by rewarding yourself to a chocolate bar or something.
Learn to recognise when it is no longer optimal for you to continue practising and take a break.
Get the fundamentals right It is important to get the piano foundation and basics right in the beginning. Many adults just want to get to the desired level quickly and play the pieces they want to play. However, it is an easier path to correct the mistakes in the begining before it becomes a habit and becomes a hindrance when you advance. The initial learning learning curve can be steep and progress can be slow. But it pays to get the fundamentals of theory and practical basics right.
Learn with a good piano teacher
What defines a good piano teacher?Although this can be subjective, a good piano teacher is often one who could engage and excite and inspire his student and brings out the best in his student.
Professionalism is important. A teacher who is punctual, prepares for lessons, dresses smartly and behaves appropriately is required of a professional teacher.
A good teacher who passionate about piano and generally enjoys teaching piano. Of course, some students may not be easy and teachers may have to deal with children's moods. But he should generally look forward to teaching piano. Enthusiasm and passion is contagious and can inspire and motivate students.
He looks to improve in the method and way of teaching piano and continuously communicate with his student.
A good piano teacher inculcates musical appreciation and enjoyment in his students. Music appreciation is something that will stick with the student his whole life whether or not he continues to pursue learning piano.
The teacher's knowledge and experience is usually more straightforward. In Singapore, piano teachers may start with a minimum of Grade 8 in ABRSM or Trinity. Many teachers in Singapore has ATCL, LTCL, FTCL or DipABRSM, LRSM, FRSM. Teachers who achieve their Degrees in Singapore can greaduate from Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, University of Wales) & LaSalle College of Arts. Many teachers in Singapore graduate from overseas Universities and Conservatories.
Learn pieces that you like
Learning piano can be fun and enjoyable when you can learn pieces that you like that are adjusted to your level of skill. Enjoy the following 15 excerpts!
1. Feather Theme from Forrest Gump
2. He's a Pirate! from Pirates of the Caribbean
3. Cold as Ice - Foreigner
4. Bad Day - that one guy
5. How to Save a Life - The Fray
6. Hammer Bros song from Super Mario Bros 3 (NES)
7. Brick - Ben Folds Five
8. A Thousand miles - Vanessa Carlton
9. 100 Years - Five for Fighting
10. The Simpsons Theme!
11. The Entertainer - Scott Joplin
12. Just Friends - Gavin Degraw
13. Midna's Desperation Hour from Zelda: Twilight Princess
14. Heart and Soul!
And finally the big stumper:
15. End of an Act from Pearl harbor sucks, and I miss you song