Learning to Play the Piano
The Easy and Economical Way
By Nikki Willhite
Many people think that learning to play the piano
is too expensive and may be stressful for children. Pianos are costly, they
take up a lot of room, and they are hard to move.
Parents may also concerned that the stress of recitals
may put too much of a burden on their children, and that the piano will be
noisy and disturb the household.
There is a way to get around almost all of these
concerns. If you don't already own a piano, you can buy a digital piano.
They cost less, are lightweight, easy to move, and easy to place for in your
home. They are touching sensitive, and are a very good alternative to a
As an added benefit, they come with earphones- so that
practicing can be done at any time, without disturbing the household.
As for the lessons, they need not be expensive. Anyone
who plays the piano can give piano lessons. The lesson books do all the
work. The teacher only needs to help the child understand the material and
oversee their learning and assignments.
If you go to a professional teacher, with a music
degree, you will pay a lot of money for lessons. However, there are many
stay-at-home moms with this skill. If you ask them to teach your child, most
will be happy to pick up a few extra dollars and the lessons will be very
Having said this, I wouldn't recommend this for a
child who may potentially choose a career in music. If this is the case, you
want to get the best teacher you can afford.
A professional teacher will move a student's skill
level faster with scales, finger exercises, recitals, and lessons on music
However, if your child just wants to learn for fun,
you do not need to go that route. Will your child be hurt? I think not.
Case in point. I know of one very young girl who
wanted to play the piano. She had two older sisters who took piano lessons,
only at the insistence of her mother. There was a lot of contention in the
home, as the older sisters did not want to take the lessons and trying to
get the girls to practice was contentious and draining. In time, the mother
However, this little girl was different. She really
wanted to learn to play. She begged and begged for lessons, but her mother,
weary of the struggle with her older sisters, and sure that things would end
up the same, just wouldn't listen.
Thankfully, she eventually gave in, and sent the
little girl to a neighbor down the street, who gave this little girl lessons
for pocket change. After several months, the neighbor approached the mother
and said that this little girl had talent, and she should get her to a "real
The mother engaged the services of a professional
teacher who was so strict, and the lessons so boring, that the little girl
started losing interest in the piano. The mother quickly changed teachers.
From then on neighbors or friends, unconventional teachers, or just students
who were further advanced in their training taught the lessons.
This little girl never learned a scale or arpeggio.
She never gave a recital. However, she loved to play, and through her
constant playing her fingers became very agile and she became a very good
And how did she fare in later life? By the time she
was a teenager, she was playing the piano in church services, and
accompanying singers and choirs. As a young adult she also learned, by
herself to play the organ.
For the next 30 years, she played for weddings,
funerals, accompanied singers and musical instruments, played solos, and
more- sometimes playing in front of groups of 3,000 or more people.
All this, and she never gave a recital.
I know this little girl well, because I was the little
girl. Music continues to be a big part of my life.
I have taken the time to go back and learn the theory
and skills I missed, but it was my choice, and done in my time frame.
Learning to play the piano can be a fun experience,
for both mother and child, without straining your budget or straining your
playing the piano is something that you or your children really want to
do, think about doing it the fun and frugal way.