Learning to play the piano is a life giving and life changing experience…for some…
Many students quit too soon, even if they started out enthusiastically.Some could even go on to play the piano professionally, if only they had kept at it.
Why do so many give up if piano is their passion, to begin with?
They become victims of popular piano myths.
Statistics show that a majority of piano students drop out of their lessons within the first few weeks.
One study shows that the reasons why students are likely to drop out of piano lessons are low motivation and achievement. The dropouts achieved less in the first six weeks of lessons than had the other students.
Newbies are typically impatient and have high expectations…a dangerous combination that can undermine their piano journey. Give students an easy piece and there’ll be no sense of achievement…Give them something difficult, they’ll end up frustrated. So they just quit!
Here’s the good news though…
YOU DON’T HAVE TO QUIT.
If learning the piano is your passion, quitting should never be an option. Don’t give up something that you love doing…especially when it gives you a sense of direction and purpose.
I had my share of struggles when I started learning the piano, but I kept pushing through. If I had given up, this poor little boy from South Korea would never have become a Billboard Charting Artist. And more importantly, I wouldn’t be able to use music to pursue God and impact other people’s lives the same way I do today.
Yes, there will be challenges as in anything in life but…
YOU DON’T HAVE TO FACE THEM ALONE.
Learning to play the piano changed my life and I want to help you experience the same confidence, joy, and freedom on the piano.
My goal is to teach you everything I’ve learned so you don’t have to waste years figuring out what works.
So in this four week blog series, I’ll be debunking four popular piano myths that could delay or kill your progress.
Don’t let any of these myths stop you from reaching your dreams. FORGET.THEM.NOW.
Let’s dive into the first one right away…
Myth #1: You must always start with sight-reading music.
The majority of piano students have been taught that the only way to learn piano is to sight-read first. (To sight-read means to be able to play music from a printed sheet while your eyes are reading it.)
Many who had sight reading as their first goal did not see much progress. In fact, they felt intimidated; many even reached a point where they felt learning was hopeless.
Now, if you find sight-reading painful, why force yourself to do it?
The thing is…sight-reading is a difficult skill that takes years to develop.
So let me ask you…
What’s your goal in learning the piano?
Is it to play in concerts? Pass an exam? Play in church? Or just for fun and enjoyment?
Unless your goal is to be the next great classical pianist, most piano players will never become great sight-readers. But you still can play a piece of music excellently, moving your listeners to tears.
You see, the best way to improve at something is to enjoy what you’re doing.
Sight-reading is good, but consider starting with what will help you progress and achieve your piano goals NOW rather than focusing on the distant future.
Start your piano journey the right way, by looking for a good course and teacher that teaches you to rely less on your eyes and more on building your confidence and mastering all your favorite songs.
The secret is to learn to play chords well before you learn to sight read. This helps you rely on your ears more, and on sheet music way less.
Learning to play songs through chords and relying on your ears isn’t something that can be learned overnight. It is a skill that requires time and effort to learn and practice.
But it’s a skill that makes you a Creator, not a Follower!
Here are the simple steps to follow when learning a new song without sheet music:
- Choose a song that you enjoy.
- Listen to the song and internalize the melody. (Hum or sing along if it’s easier for you.)
- Look for patterns.
- Figure out the melody.
- Slow down and practice a few notes at a time. Go over small sections several times before moving on to the next section of the piece.
- Use apps or videos that will help you learn the notes.
Reading sheet music can be a beneficial skill, however, there is no need to combine learning to play piano and learning to read music into a single activity.
So if you feel stuck and disheartened with sight reading, don’t think of it as a necessary obstacle you have to overcome. You’ll just keep getting more and more frustrated, and that’s not a good way to learn learn piano or find motivation to improve.
Instead, use your own curiosity, chords, and your ear, and you will discover that you have a consistent willingness that will take you everywhere you want to go on your piano journey!
Like these students who had genuine fun without having to read sheet music while working on my Signature Beginner Piano Course:
Mai is playing with the orchestra on her 10th day of joining the course:
Alan is playing his favorite song: River Flows In You by Yiruma after only 10 days:
YOU can enjoy the same freedom and fun on the piano.
Myth #1: Busted.
Watch for Myth #2 next week.