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How to get started with online Piano Lessons

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Mika, Staff Writer

Monday, 15 February 2021

How to get started with online Piano Lessons

Always wanted to know how to tickle the ivories? Whether you’re looking to become an advanced piano player or if you’re just starting out, piano lessons can be hugely enjoyable at any age. 

While piano lessons are traditionally carried out in person, it’s possible to have lessons conducted remotely too. In fact, remote piano lessons have surged in popularity in recent years. Online learning is also convenient if you live some distance from your tutor. 

What you’ll need

A piano or keyboard 

A piano is preferred due to the touch sensitivity of the keys, which you can help to control using the pedals. However, some digital keyboards also come with pedals, and the advantage with digital keyboards is that you can practice with headphones, making them much more suited to those with neighbours. 

Digital keyboards can also connect to your computer to record tracks with, and it may be possible to link the sound up with your tutor’s audio too. Just be aware that keyboards don’t always offer the full octaves that a piano would, which may compromise your learning if it’s piano specifically (and not keyboard) that you wish to learn. 

A webcam with audio 

Your teacher is going to want to see your playing technique as well as hear it. If you have a laptop, be sure to position the camera over the keys so they can see both hands. Test the audio before your lesson so that it’s clear and working properly. 

Sheet music 

If you’re just starting out your teacher may leave sheet music for the time being. Though usually, they’ll give you some form of visual materials to print out.

A metronome 

This will help you keep to the beat and play in time. You don't have to buy a physical one as there's plenty of metronome apps these days. 

Key stickers 

Each key corresponds to a single note. If you are unfamiliar with where each key is, stickers can be extremely helpful until you memorise the order of the piano. 

What do online Piano Lessons involve?

Piano lessons are tailored to the learner’s age and ability. There are different styles of piano from classical to jazz, musical theatre and even pop-rock. What’s great is that the majority of piano teachers will teach all styles and abilities, making sure the student not only gets a lot out of each lesson, but enjoys it too. 

Online piano lessons work much the same as if they were held in person. Though, the teacher cannot stand over you to direct you in the same way. As long as they can see and hear you clearly, they can still give advice to ensure you're progressing as effectively as possible.

Tips for success

Take your time to find the right piano teacher. Some may specialise in examinations whereas others teach for enjoyment. It’s important your personalities and learning styles gel so that you get the most out of each lesson. 

Your piano teacher will usually give you homework to learn before the next session - make sure you take it seriously! It will help you excel much quicker, especially as the exercises will develop your muscle memory. 

Always warm up your hands with some scales. As a beginner, scales are an excellent way of getting your fingers used to crossing over techniques, whereby you pass your thumb under your 3rd finger to continue the rest of the scale.

Finally, if you’re right-handed, don’t give up on the left hand! It’s going to take some getting used to, as the left carries all of your base notes. Be sure to do some extra exercises if either hand is a little weak so that it doesn’t hamper your progress. 

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