Your First Piano Lesson

One of the oldest and most beloved instruments in the world is the piano. A significant portion of the music you hear today is based around the piano, so it’s no wonder that so many people want to learn how to play it. The best way to learn is to take piano lessons. What goes on in these lessons and what will you learn? Read on.


The first thing you will learn is how to place yourself on the piano bench. You will work on relaxing your body enough to be comfortable, while still sitting up straight and maintaining good posture. You want to position yourself in such a way that you may easily reach the entire keyboard and pedals. You will learn some five finger exercises for the right and left hand. Once you are comfortable, you will begin to learn the notes on the keyboard.

Music theory

Beginning piano players play a lot of scales. There is simply no better way to learn the notes, where they are placed on the keyboard, and how they sound together. The piano is easier than other instruments in a significant way because it is set up with the notes in ascending order, from C to B – the white keys being naturals and the black keys filling in the sharps and flats. You will first learn where to find “Middle C” and how to do a C scale from there. When that becomes second nature, you will learn different scales and fingering for each one.

While you are learning the names and placement of notes on the piano, you will be learning how to read sheet music, too. You will most likely start with the treble clef and learn how to read notes on the staff and other notations that determine tempo, volume, and style. As you progress, you will learn to read the bass clef and take on more complicated concepts such as arpeggios, chromatic vs. pentatonic scales, and other musical terms. If you have taken guitar lessons or learned another instrument, many of these will be familiar.

Soon, you will begin to learn how to make chords and move on to more complicated playing that involves right and left hand coordination.


With a good amount of knowledge of notes under your belt, you will begin to take on all the major and minor chords, which hands to use, and how to best move from one to another. Normally, you use your right hand to play the melody and higher notes in the treble line, while the left hand fills in the lower notes and bass line.

Once you get your hands to work together, you will also begin to concentrate on timing and rhythm.


Your piano instructor will most likely give you homework that involves a lot of practice, particularly scales. If you want to truly excel in your piano playing, set aside at least two hours a day for practice.

Most exercises, outside of scales, are specifically designed to boost your left and right hand coordination. Don’t skimp on these! The more adept you are at playing the two different clefs together, the more music will be open to you.


As you learn to play, you will find your ear becoming more discerning. Music will become richer and more meaningful as you recognize certain techniques and sounds that you may not have known existed before. The more you listen to other piano players, the more you will learn new techniques, styles, and aspects of music itself. You will catch on to the basics of melody and harmony and possibly even figure out some musical pieces on your own.

Keep listening practicing, and growing!