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I had been playing keyboard for years. But I'm kind of interested to learn and practice in more proper way. As I had been self learning since the beginning. I know the basic of music theory and also know how to translate the notes (but very slow and I'm practicing on it).

So, I went to one of Yamaha Music School branch and requested the teacher to test my skill. The teacher ask me to play a song. So I played a short part of Fur Elise. The teacher said that my fingering is still weak and positioning is not that strong. She suggested me to take grade 1 music theory (just for rehearsal) and Beginning Piano for Adult.

After that, I decided not to sign up for that class. I am not sure if that's what I want/need. But self learning is really not getting me anywhere so far. So I'm planning to go for another try in another school probably. Btw, I'm 22 years old.

My aim is to play piano really well, and be able to sight read.

So, The ultimate question is, should I take piano class?

and few related questions are: - Why would I need to go for exam? - Will I do well without a professional teacher?

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If you're playing keyboard for years already, and still kinda stuck on that level, maybe you really should take piano class. But don't take my word for it, I suck too you know. (I rarely play anything, because my Keyboard isn't that great.) ;) –  Markus Schwalbe Jun 21 '11 at 10:00

5 Answers 5

Yes, you should absolutely take lessons. I don't know if that's what you mean by a "class" but I would definitely recommend individual lessons.

If you get a teacher certified by your country's music conservatory or whatever institution may be in place, their teaching will be invaluable. Unless you're very knowledgable about relevant kinesiology, music theory, music history, technique, etc. you simply will not be able to guide your playing the way a teacher can. You can certainly teach yourself all of those things — but the time (and probably money) involved, and the trial and error, is probably not worth it. There are proven methods that a teacher will already know and can help you apply to your playing and learning.

There's no reason to go for an exam if you're not interested in becoming a piano teacher or receiving school credit for it or something. (My highschool have me a course credit for music when I passed my Grade 8 piano exam). Except perhaps personal challenge.

And can you do well without a professional teacher? Absolutely. There are all kinds of great musicians without formal training. But in my opinion, it's much harder to be good at piano than at guitar, for example (I play both). This is largely due to the structure of the instruments. If your goal is to truly play well, and not to play adequately or just for fun or as a supplement to singing/songwriting, then you will do much better with a good teacher.

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+1 - Individual lessons will almost certainly be more efficient and less frustrating than a large group piano class (though they are probably more expensive). –  NReilingh Jun 22 '11 at 1:02

I took lessons for years and I found that the first few years were helpful in learning the basics and getting positioning right but then lessons and the Piano Lesson Books became increasingly restraining and unproductive. The books are full of shortened and simplified masterpieces, I didn't find them encouraging and I didn't feel that I was getting anywhere.

Should I take piano class? - If you have a really good teacher (which I couldn't find) then continuing lessons regularly may be very useful but if not I think that an occasional checkup (class) is the best way to go.

Why would I need to go for exam? - Exam? Not sure what that is. An occasional class is good because you then get a second opinion. The Teacher can show you what areas you are weakest in and he/she can point out bad posture as well as give advise and suggestions.

Will I do well without a professional teacher? - You can do very well without a professional teacher. Just look at history. Many famous and successful musicians where self taught.

If you want to excel in piano then I suggest taking on a really big piece. something that you can be proud of when its finished.

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Fair advice. At the same time, don't take on too big a piece, as it will simply dishearten you when you find out you're not yet skilled enough for it. Not to mention give ou tendonitis probably! –  Noldorin Jun 21 '11 at 22:22
    
Lessons and books should never be that restraining ... it's unfortunate you didn't have a good teacher! –  Matthew Read Jun 22 '11 at 14:41
    
@Matthew Very true. And a good teacher would know when you've grown out of books thus removing the book restraint. –  Dorothy Jun 28 '11 at 0:28
    
@Noldorin Also very true. Pick one that you like and that you think is accomplished with a bit of work. –  Dorothy Jun 28 '11 at 0:29
    
Yeah, I agree with you. It's always best to stretch yourself "just slightly" for the next piece if possible. :-) –  Noldorin Jun 28 '11 at 16:06

You could take a look at Learn and Master Piano. I find it a structured way to learn the Piano. I'm a complete beginner though, so take the suggestion for what it is. :-)

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I merged your two accounts :) –  Matthew Read Jun 22 '11 at 14:43
    
@Matthew thx :) –  MdaG Jun 22 '11 at 15:40

This answer is just an addition. :) And it should be useful for you Phelios and everybody else who wants to learn Piano.

Check the YT channel of Andrew Furmanczyk out: http://www.youtube.com/user/Lypur

He puts insanely much effort into delivering his online students literally HOURS of piano and music theory lessons, for free! And he isn't a trained amateur, no he is a professional Piano teacher IRL.

Of course a "real" teacher is more useful most times, but it's definitely worth it to check his stuff out. (Especially the theory lessons)

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A music examiner once said to me: I don't care what technique you use. End of day, I just expect the music to be...MUSIC!

To me, that means: there are many way to skin a cat! (Not literally).

What I would personally recommend is that you go look for a collection of music and songs that really require skill (Flight of the Bumble Bee, Mozarts, etc.) and master those techniques to render these songs well. For one who can play by ear, playing those general classical songs which are not generally popular will bore the hell out of me.

Just my 2 cents worth!

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