“I’m able to sometimes express things even more articulately on the piano than I am with singing.” -Harry Connick Jr.

A recent survey in Nigeria conducted showed 75% of the general population were reported to have been experiencing some level of stress on a daily basis.

One of the conclusions from the survey was that people should be taught stress management.

The question now is …. what are the ways to reduce stress and anxiety?

The 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.

The sound of the piano is so pleasing to the senses. Little wonder it is the “King of Musical Instruments”. Because of the complexity of the instrument, learning to play the piano requires passion, persistence, and dedication.

At the end of the day acquiring the knowledge to play the piano is worth the shot. It is a skill that is relaxing and beneficial to health.

Hence where can I learn to play such a beneficial instrument like the piano?

Acquire the knowledge to play the piano with a group

Play Piano with a group in Abuja
Your desire for the piano will be stronger than ever after learning to play in a group (Source: Unsplash)

Learning to play the piano with a group of people is a great way to start. The ambiance helps progress and aids the learning process.

The group headed by a teacher is somewhat different from learning in a music institute. They are more practical than theory oriented. They focus more on the tune and the rhythm the instrument produces. The interesting thing about learning in a group is that it is open to all whether or not you have a musical background or knowledge.

The upper hand in learning in a group is their lack of restriction and accessibility.

The instructors who teach piano in a group do not necessarily have the same training by those who teach in music schools. However, they are focused on checking and observing the progress of each of the members of the group.

It is strongly advised to attend trial classes to know the number of students and training methods adopted by the teacher before registering with the group.

This will give you an idea of what to expect once you register. It is very important as a beginner to attend a trial class to boost your confidence level by making you mentally prepared and excited about learning to play the piano. Additionally, the fewer the students the better accessibility you have to the teacher.

Another good reason to learn the piano with a group is the price range it offers. The price is more affordable than private music institutions.

Music schools are also cost effective however, the method adopted in teaching is a bit more complex and few adult beginners can keep up with it.

Always be sensitive to your learning progress and if you feel you need to take a break or change group, do not hesitate in order not to lose interest and relapse.

Master the art in piano by attending a school

Learn Piano in a school in Nigeria
Private lessons from a qualified trainer break down the complexity in a musical sheet after a series of theoretical explanations ( source: Unsplash)

The basics in learning the piano must be well taught and understood before you are able to master the works of the like of Beethoven, Richard Strauss, Franz Joseph Haydn, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Your sitting position, familiarity with your notes, connecting the musical notes, the piano keys, right, and left-hand placement are part of what forms the foundation for beginners.

The training you get from attending a music school will form a strong foundation that will aid the complexity in learning the advanced stage of piano and also help to avert bad habits that might be hard to correct in the future.

Constant practice without relenting will make you a guru in playing the piano.

The method of learning the piano in a school is far more different from learning in a group. The methods are a bit stricter and more concentrated on the theoretical aspect before actually practicing on the piano and learning new songs.

The teachers in a piano school are very skilled with a lot of musical knowledge. They train beginners in a more professional way focusing on the basics. The students learning to play the piano will learn the same way students are being taught in a music institution.

Private music schools are open to all and follow a different concept in their training. Admission is not based on past experience or music background since their goal is to make learning the piano easily accessible to all.

Public music schools are way cheaper than private music schools. They receive some funds from the local, state or federal government which contributes to them having a cheaper fee.

It is no doubt that children are given more attention whether it is a private or public music school. However, most of these schools also offer lessons to adults with or no background in music. You just have to take your time to do some research and find a school that best suits you.

Learning Piano at Universities in Nigeria

Graduate Pianist Lagos
Becoming a musical graduate in Piano (Source: unsplash)

We have Nigerian universities offering degrees in Music today. Attending a university offering course in music is mostly for people who want to specialize in playing musical instruments and master their skills.

The students most likely aspire to have a career in music and are taught all that is needed in the theoretical and practical aspects.  Music Graduates also tend to become music teachers or professors in the future.

How long is their training?

It is the same as the number of most other degree years - 4 years like most undergraduate learning a course in a university. For masters, it is also the same eighteen months required like other masters degree courses.

Secondary school graduates interested in having a degree in music are the ones who go-ahead to study music at the university level. The tuition fees are often the same as any other undergraduate or masters course.

It is very important you do intensive research before enrolling in a university that teaches learning how to play the piano.

Can you tutor yourself to learn the piano?

Learn the piano yourself
Getting a trained music coach will be a great idea to get yourself motivated again if you are feeling discouraged (Source: unsplash)

The answer is yes. However, some still believe the easiest way to learn well and fast is from an instructor.

The Piano may seem complicated as you need to learn to coordinate both hands at once. Oh well, it is still listed as one of the easiest musical instruments adults can learn how to play.

To be very frank, which musical instrument isn’t difficult to master as a beginner?

Here a few things you need to know as a beginner teaching yourself to play the piano:

  • Find yourself a piano or keyboard to use, sit down and familiarize yourself with it.
  • Learn how to play with the right hand and left hand. You must also learn how to play with both.
  • You will also have to focus on learning the major keys if you want to be able to identify the sounds that you hear while playing the piano.
  • Since most songs are composed of variations of chord, you will have to learn the notes that comprise the chords by familiarizing yourself with their sounds.
  • Most importantly, you need to be determined and consistent with your practice.

Additionally, you need to understand that there may be times you may feel discouraged and if you ever get to that point, getting a trained music coach will be a great idea to get yourself motivated again. The coach will successfully put you in the right direction again.

Researchers have found that learning to play a musical instrument is fun, relaxing and makes you creative. So enjoy the process and happy learning.

Understanding the piano vocabularies

Learning the piano is solely not just about some of the great works of the likes of Beethoven, Richard Strauss, Franz Joseph Haydn, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Here are some music vocabularies that are not limited to these that you should learn:

What is an interval?

It is the distance between two notes.

What is the Enharmonic Interval?

They are two notes that differ in name but sound the same. For example C sharp and D flat.

What is classical music?

It is a synonym for Western art music from the ninth century to the present and especially from the sixteenth to the nineteenth.

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