5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Piano Teacher

If you want to learn piano fast, do this!

Learning piano can be one of the most rewarding experiences imaginable, but it takes time and money to invest in your musical education. You want to maximize your value for the time and money spent. In this article, we will discuss numerous ways to get the most out of your teacher.

#1 Vet your teacher

Taking the time to find the right teacher in the beginning will pay off in the long run, even if you have to try a few out for size at first. Take your time, and do your homework. Talk to fellow pianists, and get recommendations from them. Try to find one who specializes in the kind of music you want to learn but is versatile enough to challenge you.

If you have ever worked in the corporate world, you have seen someone lose their job because they were not a good match for the company or the job. It is the same situation here, only in reverse. You are paying them. They are working for you. If the situation is working well, great! If not, it is ok to “fire” them and move on. Just be sure you are giving them a fair shake.

#2 Ask a lot of questions

This is your time, don’t be shy! Teachers love it when you ask a lot of questions. It means that you are paying attention. Never assume that they are mind readers. And for the love of all things reasonable, don’t assume your questions are dumb! A question asked and answered in a timely fashion can save hours, days, or even months of wasted time and effort.

#3 Be patient with yourself

The importance of this one cannot be overstated. If you were already a virtuoso, you would not need lessons. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE who plays piano, even professionals, occasionally makes mistakes. And when you are starting out, you will make them frequently. Rachmaninoff was not built in a day. Relax and give yourself a break.

#4 Be open to suggestions

A question to ask constantly, in music and in life, is “how coachable am I?” By staying open-minded and being willing to take risks and accept criticism and suggestions, you put yourself on the absolute fast track to success. “Think outside the box” has become a cliché, but only because it is sound advice.

#5 Do your homework!

This cannot be emphasized enough. Set aside a regular time to practice every day, and stick to it no matter what. Whether you can (or, more accurately, will) do this will determine how truly motivated you are to succeed.

If you follow these simple steps, you will be on the fast track to playing like a pro!