“The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colors in your mind.” – Maria Cristina Mena

In Nigeria, most primary schools offer music classes to their students. This is the reason why most children are familiar with music and playing the piano at an early age.

The piano is one of the most popular musical instruments in the world today. it is usually one of the first instruments taught in music schools, private music lessons and in a group.

The sound of the piano is so pleasing to the senses. Little wonder it is the “King of Musical Instruments”. Another amazing fact about music is that it has been proven to lessen anxiety, reduce stress and even provide comfort. Playing the piano also has the power to do all of this and even more.

How are piano lessons taught in schools?

Superprof is here to help you through the journey of choosing the best school that suits your musical desires.

Acquiring the Piano skills at a public school

Music institutions and public schools offering music courses are core places of learning how to play the piano in Nigeria. They provide good learning grounds on how to play the instrument.

A good number of schools are recognized by the government. Most of the teachers in theses schools are graduates of a musical institute or known music schools.

Their teaching structure is dynamic. The theoretical aspects are taught first before the practical aspect of playing on the piano.

Acquiring the piano skills from a musical institute shows one is ready to have a career in music. Piano professionals usually pass through the four walls of a music institute.

Teachers in a music institute are highly trained in a professional way. Music schools are most reputable and well known to all interested in music. The MUSCON school of music is a highly reputable music school in Lagos, Nigeria.

Students learn the contemporary, ancient and all about well know musical artists such as Beethoven, Richard Strauss, Franz Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in a music school.

Learning the Piano at Private music school

Learn the Piano in a private school
There are various methods used in teaching music. The Orff Schulwerk Method is a way of teaching children about music that engages their mind and body through a mixture of singing, dancing, acting, and the use of percussion instruments. (Source: Unsplash)

Private schools teach classical methods of learning the piano. This is why a theoretical approach to learning is first taught before playing the piano. There are many renowned private schools in Nigeria like Lee Ellie Music school, Harryfield music institute, Masha Music Academy and the list goes on and on.

These schools are always on top of their game when it comes to innovation and technology. They are broad minded and teach both the ancient, classical and newfound methods of learning how to play the piano.

Private schools are usually open to everyone, both children and adults from beginners to an advanced stage.

In private schools, various methods are adopted in their teaching process:

  • The Orff Schulwerk Method is a way of teaching children about music that engages their mind and body through a mixture of singing, dancing, acting, and the use of percussion instruments, such as xylophones, metallophones, and glockenspiels, which are known as the Orff Instrumentarium.
  • The Kodaly Method's philosophy is that music education is most effective when started early and that everyone is capable of musical literacy through the use of folk and composed music of high artistic value. Zoltan Kodaly was a Hungarian composer. Singing is stressed as the foundation for musicianship. Singing is stressed as the foundation for musicianship.
  • The Suzuki Method is an approach to music education that was introduced in Japan and later reached the United States during the 1960s. Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki modeled his method after a child's innate ability to learn their native language. He applied the basic principles of language acquisition to music learning and called his method the mother-tongue approach. Through listening, repetition, memorization, building vocabulary—like language, music becomes part of the child. In this method, parental involvement is helpful to a child's success through motivation, encouragement, and support.
  • The Dalcroze method also known as Dalcroze Eurhythmics, is another approach used by educators to teach musical concepts. Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, a Swiss educator, developed the method to teach rhythm, structure, and musical expression through music and movement. Eurhythmics begins with ear training to develop the inner musical ear. This differs from Kodaly’s use of solfege in that it is always combined with movement.

Processes involved to register at a Piano school

Register to play Piano Lagos
Do you want to play the piano as a career or for fun. This will help determine your growth process. (Source: Unsplash)

A new session in Nigeria is in September. Hence registration is usually between the end of August to the end of October.

There are some schools that registration is based on the available slot especially when the applicants are plenty in number. In such a case there will be a waiting list. However, don't feel discouraged when you find yourself in this situation because students who find out they are no longer interested will drop out. The students on the waiting list will then be contacted if they are still interested in the school.

If you are looking at going to a prestigious piano school, entrance will be dependent on the skills, passion, and motivation you showcase during your interview.

It is important to know that your skills will be evaluated and you will probably be asked if you have a piano at home to ensure practicing at home after classes.

It is important to ask yourself some vital questions before starting a piano lesson at a professional school:

  • Do you want to play the piano as a career or for fun? Do you see yourself earning a living through your musical desires? Do you see yourself on the stage, theater or television as a pianist?
  • Do you have a piano? The piano is a bit pricey. Do you own a piano, have access to one regularly or plan on buying one. This is a very important question because you need to always practice. This is the only way you can improve your skills
  • Are you willing to commit to years of learning how to play the piano? It takes time to master the piano. You have to be patient and consistent to comfortably become a pro pianist.
  • Are you open-minded? This will go a long way in your learning process. You might have had a picture of what learning will be like and then viola, you are introduced to something you never envisioned in your journey.
  • Are you willing to practice every day? Playing the piano sounds beautiful to the ears. However, without constantly practicing, you can never get better at playing the piano beautifully.

It is wise to spend like 30 minutes daily to practice than spending hours of lessons at school once a week.

In what ways are students taught the piano at a music school

Piano lessons are dependent on the level and age of the student. Beginner classes are usually 30 minutes to one hour which might take place once or twice a week depending on the school.

Advanced classes are usually at least an hour of lesson.

Musical theory or practical classes can be taught for also at least an hour per week.

The relationship each student has with the teacher is very important as this is the only way the student progress and enthusiasm can be monitored. Absolutely no one wants to learn any new skill from a teacher who is grumpy.

It is important to change schools or switch teachers if you are having trouble connecting with the piano teacher.

A good teacher who adapts the best methods to train each student in learning how to play the piano will strongly aid the student's passion and motivation.

What is the price range for classes offered at a Music school?

To be honest Public schools are usually cheaper and more accessible than private music schools.

Prices are affected by a series of factors, for example, your area of residence, the type of school and the courses taught in the school. Some schools have fixed prices regardless of your age or area of interest. However, in Nigeria the price you pay is dependent on the school, the professional level of the piano teacher or its location.

Private music classes at the comfort of your home are considered a luxury and the price is dependent on the tutor. However, On Superprof NG's platform, prices are highly competitive and affordable.  Superprof's list of music tutors can guide your choice when considering a private music tutor.

It is advised to visit as many schools as possible to know their price range and discuss a payment plan if available. Some schools even have a scholarship program to help the less privileged who have a strong passion for learning how to play the piano.

Public schools are more regulated in prices than private schools.

Prices can vary from a few thousand Naira to several hundreds thousands of Naira.

Payment is dependent on the school and its policies. Some offer flexible payment plans while others don't.

The best way to get the most suitable school is to determine the reason why you want to learn the piano, what you want to achieve at the end of your lessons and the budget for the tuition.

Which set of people can take the piano class?

Who can take Piano classes Lagos
Anyone can learn the piano even children from the ages of 6 years once they can read or position themselves rightly on the piano. (Source: Unsplash)

In Nigeria, children often learn about the piano at a tender age mostly because some primary schools offer the subject. These classes help to raise their awareness and arouse interest in the kids who will eventually have a passion and want to have a career from it.

However, piano lessons are offered to people from the ages of 6 years old. It is hard to find schools that teach children lesser than this age. Enroll your child with a professional school if you think they have an interest in it or you want them to learn it as a skill.

It is important that the child is able to read and write, stay focused and able to memorize the piano notes.

There are no small pianos for children like some other musical instruments. so it is very important the child is able to sit properly on the piano bench and to reach the keys.

Learning the piano is of course not just limited to children. Adults too can learn how to play the piano. Some schools have special classes strictly for adults who are interested in learning how to play.

Public schools for adults are usually geared towards people who want to acquire a new skill in playing the piano and not to obtain a degree or diploma in music. The private schools are more open to adults who might want to learn beyond pleasure. They have beginners to advanced classes tailored to the adults' interest in playing the piano.

As an adult, do not worry about yourself if you are refused in some schools. All you need to do is to look for a good private school or join a group that offers piano lessons.

Musical Terms for Piano schools

It is important you learn new words to improve your musical vocabulary.

What is A capella?

It is choral music with no instrumental accompaniment.

What does a Chorale mean?

Originally refers to a German Protestant hymn tune. In composition, it typically means a choral composition for voices or instruments, such as a Bach chorale. The word “Chorale” is also sometimes used as the name of a choir or chorus.

What is an Instrumentation?
This can also be called orchestration when assigned to an orchestra. It is the way a composer or arranger takes musical sounds and assigns them to specific instruments.

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