Not everyone has the initiative to learn how to play an instrument on his own, so it is really amazing to know that some are still interested and they take time to research on this matter. I used to take piano lessons before but due to budget and time constraints, I only finished two levels and I started to learn the advanced levels on my own. A friend of mine once asked, “How can I teach myself to play the piano?” I listed down some pointers, handed them down to her, and I’m glad those worked for her because after a month, she visited me at home and showed me what she has learned. And so, you might be on the same dilemma as her before so I’d like to share with you my thoughts and some tested tips on how to learn to play the piano independently.
But first, let me tell you that this is not an easy task, especially if you are starting from scratch. You have to ask yourself if you are really ready for this because it takes a lot of courage and patience to learn. Do not be too hard on yourself. Instead, take this a challenge and always remember to have fun.
So, let’s begin. There are three elements you need to master in playing the piano: how to read piano sheets, how to play by ear, and how to coalesce them in an actual piano instrument. If you have a music class in your curriculum, use it to your advantage. Study the basic music notes (do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, hi-do), music scales, and piano keys. For beginners, music notes are easier to learn than the chords (C-D-E-F-G-A-B) and most self-help instructional books use notes.
Next, find a well-tuned piano or keyboard to use. Familiarize yourself and ear with the notes you’ve learn by playing them. The easiest way to do this is by playing simple nursery rhymes, like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Happy Birthday, Old McDonald, Mary Had a Little Lamb until you can identify the notes without looking on the piano sheets.
When you’re confident enough on your basic piano knowledge and listening skills, work on combining the two by learning a new simple piano piece. An example is O Holy Night.
The rule of thumb is, never stop studying and learning. Do not give up because no matter how challenging a piano piece may be, once you’ve managed to play the song on your own, the feeling is ecstatic and very rewarding. Today’s generation is very fortunately because there are plenty free online piano tutorials available on YouTube and other independent sites, so self educating yourself on how to play the piano, or any kind of instrument, is well-supported and achievable.