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Whether it is for recreation, relaxation, or graded exams, piano lessons offer 1-1 guidance for students to achieve their piano-playing hopes and drea

Overview of Piano Lessons

The piano is the largest of all musical instruments but also the most versatile. An upgraded harpsichord that can play soft and loud sounds, the piano carries a large range and variety of expressions. With an average of 88 keys spread over more than seven octaves, the piano’s versatility enables it to play both melody and harmony or to be played as a solo instrument.

Popular from its inception, the piano spanned eras across the centuries from classical music composers Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven to the romantic movement in Chopin, Brahm, and Mendelsohn. Although pianos were typically used at home and in chamber music, they also appeared in music halls and pubs during the 19th century. New musical genres such as ragtime music, jazz, and rock and roll were played on the modern piano.

Today, apart from entertainment and performances, piano playing continues to serve up many cognitive benefits as it involves a wide array of brain regions and cognitive functions. It is known to encourage creativity, prevent hearing and memory loss, improve counting and reading comprehension, and improve one’s discipline among other benefits. Whether it is for recreation, relaxation, or graded exams, piano lessons offer 1-1 guidance for students to achieve their piano-playing hopes and dreams.

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Common problems faced by piano students

Hand Coordination

Theoretical knowledge does not always translate to pressing the right keys with our fingers. While piano students may be able to grasp concepts and read the notes, this does not mean their hands know how to correctly execute the pieces. Hand coordination takes plenty of work. It may take some time before students’ left and right hands can work independently of each other in manipulating different keys or tracks at the same time.

Lack of Patience

Practising basic pieces for children can seem insulting to the intelligence of piano students (especially adult learners) who prefer to cut to the chase by playing more age-appropriate pieces. However, since one must learn to walk before running, starting with basic pieces (or nursery rhymes) initially is important for mastering the fundamentals. Piano students can shortchange themselves by skipping over basic pieces in their eagerness to level up quickly.

Challenging Pieces

Self-taught students can overreach or get ahead of themselves by attempting pieces that are too difficult for their hands to master. They might be able to manage a line or two but give up after that. By overestimating their abilities and falling short, students may get discouraged and give up prematurely. When in fact, they might not be ready to attempt such pieces yet.

What can Piano Tutors offer?

Pacing, Patience, Encouragement

It is better to play a simpler piece perfectly than a difficult but error-ridden one. Piano teachers can advise students not to get ahead of themselves but to be patient with their progress. Piano teachers can accurately appraise students’ abilities by observing individual strengths, attributes, and weaknesses. In doing so, piano teachers can offer music pieces that are suited to their age, level, and ability, while providing the right sort of encouragement along the way.

Correct Posture

Piano teachers can ensure the correct posture of students when playing the piano. This helps them relax their arms and prevent unnecessary strain. Piano teachers can observe the positioning of students’ hands and elbows to detect ergonomic anomalies that would otherwise impede students’ movements and compromise comfort while playing.

Simple Exercises

A piano teacher can offer simple exercises and practices to improve hand-eye coordination, finger movements, and students’ feel of the piano keys amongst other areas. For instance, simple finger exercises can help to increase the dexterity, speed, and movement of students’ fingers. Subtle differences in touch can control the sounds emanating from the piano. In feeling each key, students get a sense of how to manipulate its weight to produce different sounds by lightly caressing keys to striking them.

Benefits of Piano Lessons

Piano lessons require the undivided attention of the student at every session. In focussing on the instructions given by the piano teacher, students learn to translate instructions into action. Through piano lessons, they acquire listening, comprehension, and responsive skills that help them focus, apply knowledge and sustain concentration levels for longer periods.

Piano lessons help boost students’ confidence in several ways. Firstly, confidence in the sense of accomplishment they get with mastering a new chord, tune, or song; and the encouragement they receive from their piano teacher. Secondly, confidence in their ability to learn new skills, and perform in front of family members and friends. And finally, confidence in being able to learn from mistakes, and the resilience to recover from failures.

Piano lessons cultivate important values such as patience, discipline, and perseverance. While being able to read notes, students learn to be patient with themselves in synchronising their hands and correcting mistakes. With discipline, students learn the value of consistent and regular practice. And with perseverance, students learn to push through challenges and difficulties to reap the benefits of hard work.

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Distinction Tutors can help

Receive the recipes for success. Learn the rules and methods to play the piano confidently and masterfully. Distinction Tutors’ piano lessons provide 1-1 coaching support for piano-playing across all levels of expertise (grades 1 to 8) and piano types from grand, to upright, specialised, electronic, and digital pianos.

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