I'm almost 53. I'm taking voice lessons as a beginner and I love the idea that I can improve my voice and enjoy singing. I asked my voice teacher if she thought I would benefit from playing an instrument as well and she said yes. She recommended the piano (electronic keyboard) as the note placement is linear (hope I'm making sense) and I don't have to deal with getting the notes to sound right as I would with a string or wood instrument. My voice teacher refers to herself as a "piano hack" and doesn't have any advice on how I might learn to play the keyboard.

I'm taking two hour-long voice lessons a week and I don't want to commit to regular piano lessons. And, I have no desire to excel at piano. I want to be able to play notes, sequences, scales, and someday some songs to help me to hear notes and match pitch. I was a math major in college so I have no doubt that I can learn the music theory I need from a book, course or website.

Given my story and goals how would you recommend I learn piano? I've read cautions on the web about the importance of piano lessons but my interest in learning to play is fairly limited.

1 Answer 1


There are different levels of "learning piano".

Truly learning piano will take a solid hour out of EVERY day of your life. At minimum. And will be helped along CONSIDERABLY by piano lessons from a piano teacher that you "click" with.

That's a lot of time and effort that will probably WAY overshadow your voice lessons and practice.

So I'd say "dink around" on piano. No teacher, watch some videos, buy a digital piano (88 weighted keys or it's a toy). and just play really easy melodies really slowly. Sound out some simple melodies in your ear - NO CHORDS (unless you want to start diving in).

A word of warning - you may find piano is way cooler than singing. And, in any case, they complement each other perfectly.

Jump in! But stay in the shallow end :) ...FOR NOW

  • Thanks for your advice. Would you say more on how piano and singing can complement one another? How can I use a piano (keyboard) to accelerate my voice work?
    – Sol
    Nov 29, 2016 at 21:42
  • iiiiii'm an ok singer, but never studied it. the singing, I just wing. it's trickier to go the other way round cuz piano is a pretty deep instrument. voice is wayyy more expressive with it's different timbre capabilities and smoothly variable pitch. But a piano can do bass, chords, melody, even a good stab at percussion. But maybe nevermind what I said about melody. Learn the C, F, and G chords. Find simple pop that uses em. Play the chord, sing the melody on top. chords change slowly so it's pretty doable. Good luck :) Nov 29, 2016 at 21:53
  • I agree that an hour a day is a good amount to learn an instrument but I don't agree that that's a lot of time to take away from other things. If one watches zero TV shows then perhaps an hour is a lot, but it's only about 6% of waking hours. Nov 30, 2016 at 4:16
  • aaaare you a working parent with aging parents of your own? cuz that 6% of your life can be mighty precious when your responsibilities get "up there" in life. Nov 30, 2016 at 5:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.