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Learning To Play The Piano

Learn to play the piano the easy and economical way!

PianoMost people think that learning to play the piano is very expensive and quite stressful for children. Pianos take up a lot of room and they're difficult to move. Many parents are also concerned that the stress of recitals may put too great a burden on their children, and that the piano will be very noisy and disturb the entire household.

There is a simple way to get around virtually all of these  concerns: You can purchase a digital piano! Digital pianos are inexpensive, lightweight, easy to move, and easy to place in your home. In short, a digital piano is an excellent alternative to a regular piano, especially while taking piano lessons.

As an added benefit, digital pianos come with earphones, so piano practice can take place at any time without disturbing the rest of the family.

The piano lessons need not be very expensive. Virtually anyone who plays the piano can give piano lessons. The piano lesson books do the bulk of the work. The teacher is only there to help the child understand the material and oversee their learning and assignments. Learning to play the piano is more or less a self-taught exercise.

If you choose to go to a professional piano teacher who holds a music degree, you can expect to pay a lot of money for your piano lessons. But there are many stay-at-home moms with this skill. If you ask them to teach your child how to play the piano, most will be happy to pick up a few extra dollars and the lessons will be extremely economical. Again, anyone who plays the piano can teach others to play the piano!

But I don't recommend this for a child who may potentially choose a career in music. If this is the case, you want to get the best piano teacher you can afford.

A professional piano teacher will build a student's skill level faster with scales, finger exercises, recitals, and lessons on music theory. If your kid just wants to learn to play the piano for fun however, you don't need to go that route. Will your child be hurt? I don't think so.

Here's a case in point. I know of one very young girl who had a burning desire to learn to play the piano. She had two older sisters who took piano lessons, but only at the insistence of their mother. There was a lot of contention in the home, as the older sisters didn't want to take the piano lessons. Trying to get the girls to practice was very contentious and draining. In time, the mother gave up.

But this little girl was different. She really wanted to learn to play the piano. She begged her mother for lessons, but her mom, weary of the struggle with her older sisters, and sure that things would end up the same as before, just refused to listen to her.

Thankfully, mom eventually gave in. She sent the young girl to a neighbor down the street who gave this little girl piano lessons for not much more than pocket change. After several months of the impromptu lessons, the neighbor approached the girl's mother and said that her daughter had talent. She proceeded to advise mom to hire a "real piano teacher" for the girl.

The mother arranged for the services of a professional piano teacher who was so strict, and the lessons so boring, that the little girl started losing interest in learning to play the piano. The mother quickly found another teacher. From that day forward, neighbors, friends, and even other piano students who were further advanced in their training than the young girl taught the lessons.

This little girl never really learned a scale or arpeggio. She never gave a single recital. But she loved to play the piano, and through her constant playing her fingers became very agile and she became a very good pianist.

And how did she fare later in life? By the time the girl was a young teenager, she was playing the piano for church services and accompanying accomplished singers and choirs. And as a young adult, she also taught herself to play the organ.

Over the span of the next 30 years, she played for weddings and funerals. She accompanied singers and other musical instruments and played many solos. She sometimes played before crowds of 3,000+ people.

All this, and she never, ever gave a single recital.

I know this little girl very well. In case you haven't guessed by now, I was that little girl. To this day, music continues to be a big part of my life. I have since taken the time to go back and learn the music theory and piano skills that I had missed growing up. But it was my choice to do it, and I did it within my time frame.

Learning to play the piano can be a very fun and satisfying  experience, for both parent and child. And it can be so without placing a strain on your budget or your nerves. If you or your children really want to learn to play the piano,  consider doing it the fun and frugal way. Learning to play the piano can provide a lifetime of joy and a feeling of personal accomplishment!

Related article: How to learn to play the piano

Nikki Willhite is a mother of three, an Interior Design graduate, and the editor of The Pennypincher E-zine and Tightwad Tidbits Daily. Visit her at www.allthingsfrugal.com.

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