What to Expect in Your Piano Lessons
If you are thinking about starting piano lessons in the Los Angeles area, you might find the following questions and answers insightful.
HOW LONG WILL EACH PIANO LESSON BE?
This can vary depending upon the student and the teacher. Most teachers offer 30 minute piano lessons for beginning piano students and others offer 45 minute piano lessons. Intermediate and advanced piano students can expect to have 60-90 minute piano lessons.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN DURING EACH PIANO LESSON?
The primary “areas” of study in piano and keyboard lessons include: reading musical notation, developing appropriate piano playing technique (the physical mechanics of playing the piano), and learning about music analysis (theory – the “grammar” of how the music is put together). Many piano teachers will have other topics that they wish to discuss, but the topics described above are the most fundamental. Some piano teachers promote themselves at being especially adept at teaching music theory lessons. Usually each piano lesson will consist of some time spent in most of those areas. If a student is preparing for a public piano recital, then more time might be spent on learning a specific piece of piano music. Most piano teachers use “method books” with beginning piano students. These “method books” offer elementary piano music in carefully sequenced order so that each piece is only slightly more difficult than the previous one. LosAngelesPianoLessons.net offers links to the most commonly used piano music to help you find the best piano music for your piano lessons!
PRACTICING FOR YOUR PIANO LESSONS.
What should you do in between your piano lessons? Most people know that if you take any sort of music lessons, you must practice. The same is true for piano lessons. The amount of time that should be devoted to practicing for piano lessons, can vary depending upon the age of the student, the difficulty level of the piano music being studied, the goals the student wants to achieve through taking music lessons, and the requirements the piano teacher places on each piano lesson. Most piano teachers expect beginning piano students to practice 15-30 minutes each day (5-7 days a week).
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT TO PAY FOR PIANO LESSONS?
This varies, but expect to pay anywhere from $25 an hour to $50 an hour for most piano teachers. If a piano teacher happens to be one of the best piano teachers in your part of the country, you could pay closer to $100 an hour (or even more!). Keep in mind that if you select a piano teacher that charges $35 an hour over a piano teacher that charges $45 an hour simply because he/she is cheaper, you may be getting a bad deal anyway if that piano teacher does not have the qualifications necessary to make your piano lessons successful. The main factors in determining pricing are:
Location – a piano teacher living in New York will most likely charge more than a piano teacher with identical qualifications living in rural Missouri. After making a few phone calls and figuring out the average education and level of experience for piano teachers in your area, you should start to get a good idea of what is the “average rate” for your general location.
Qualifications – Generally, more qualified piano teachers should charge more than piano teachers that have less education, experience, and professional success. For more detailed information about the various qualifications of a piano teacher, see the page “Education” and “Experience” sections on the page “Questions to ask”.
Reputation – If a piano teacher has a reputation for producing excellent piano students, then that reputation will put that piano teacher in higher demand, which should encourage them to charge more for piano lessons.
DO I NEED TO OWN A PIANO OR KEYBOARD BEFORE STARTING PIANO LESSONS OR KEYBOARD LESSONS?
You must have your own instrument so you can practice at home. You might wait and buy your instrument (if you haven’t already) when you meet your piano teacher so he/she can offer guidance in the selection of that instrument. also offers guidance in selecting a keyboard or a piano. Some piano teachers will require you to own an “acoustic piano” while others will have specific requirements for what kind of keyboard you should own. See the section on selecting pianos and keyboards for more information on what to expect in these areas.
ARE PIANO LESSONS DIFFERENT FROM KEYBOARD LESSONS?
The short answer is “usually not”. Often times, initial piano lessons start with a keyboard so that the student does not have to make the more substantial investment of buying a piano. offers guidance in selecting your keyboard or piano. Sometimes, when someone does make the distinction between piano lessons and keyboard lessons, they mean for keyboard lessons to consist of popular piano music more than classical piano music. In this sense keyboard lessons are designed more to help you learn how to play the keyboard in a band or other ensemble that performs primarily popular music.
HOW MANY PIANO LESSONS DOES IT TAKE BEFORE I CAN PLAY SOMETHING THAT SOUNDS REALLY GOOD?
Learning to play the piano is one of the most complicated and challenging endeavors anyone could attempt. However, ANYONE can develop some degree of proficiency at the piano with a good piano teacher and some hard work. Most piano students (children and adults) can learn to play simple songs with a basic melody and two to three other notes sounding simultaneously within the first year of piano lessons. Taking two or three piano lessons rarely gets anyone very far. With several months of piano lessons, you might have most of the basic notational principles down, and you might have an elementary understanding of how to operate the arms, hands, and fingers in a way that is appropriate for playing the piano.
CAN I JUST TRY ONE OF THE “TEACH YOURSELF” APPROACHES I FOUND ONLINE? I LIKE THE SOUND OF “FREE PIANO LESSONS”!
The “teach yourself” approach is usually not very successful. Online keyboard lessons and piano lessons are never as effective as finding a piano teacher that can give you customized, hands on, one-on-one guidance that is tailored to fit your specific needs and goals. If you are serious about learning to play the piano, then you must recruit the help of an expert that has been trained to help you learn to play the piano. “Free” online adult piano lessons are often a waste of time since they cannot respond to your specific needs. Technical issues can never be adequately handled with free piano lessons. Many people are amazed to discover that injuries such as various kinds of tendonitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Ganglion cysts, and other serious physical ailments can result from improper technique at the piano. Ask any professional musician and they can tell you about many people that have had serious health problems as a result of poor technique.