There is an automatic assumption if you start piano lessons, you want to learn how to play the piano nicely, so you can produce (and control) a beautiful sound and progress to become a better pianist. There are three common issues that can stop this happening:
You practise on a non-weighted keyboard at home
On the surface, a keyboard without weighted action keys will allow you to learn what keys are what notes, but nothing more. There is no capacity for dynamics, articulation or any level of nuance. That is, every single note sounds exactly the same. Every time. No soft or loud or crescendo. No staccato, no slurs. Deeper down, these keyboards create very bad technical habits, tension that can cause injuries, and will hinder the student developing good listening and music appreciation skills and becoming a well-rounded musician.
You ignore technical work
Athletes warm up before a game. They train with lots of repetitious drills so their body learns those actions and they can incorporate them into their game. Dancers work through lots of exercises to develop their physical skill. They also warm up before they dance. This is accepted as normal. Playing the piano incorporates a large portion of physical skill. It requires a strong technical foundation. Trying to play pieces of increasing difficulty without gradually building the physical skills required is like running a marathon because you understand the mechanics of running but haven’t trained. The result will be frustration.
You don’t practise between lessons
This is a no-brainer and has been covered in many previous blog posts. Lessons are generally as short as 30 minutes, and are when new concepts and material are taught, not where practise happens. Those concepts then need to be consolidated with practise at home, or at the next lesson you will still be in exactly the same place you were the week before. Practise is about feeling accomplished; setting a goal (even a small one) and achieving it.
Your teacher will plant all the seeds, but you need to water the garden. Believe me, when that garden begins to flower, it will be incredibly rewarding!
If you are considering music lessons for your child or for yourself, please contact me to discuss the options. Piano lessons are conducted at my studio in Wallsend, NSW.