Learning to Play the Piano | How to Make Effective Use of Practice

This content was created for Curtis Music Academy

As a member of this amazing team at Curtis Music Academy, I would like to spend some time discussing just how amazing it is to learn a new skill. When many people are coming to take lessons, they ask how long it might take to learn piano. While there are many different categories and variables that would be required before answering this question, the important thing to note is that it is not necessarily about the amount of time required to learn an instrument, it is simply the fact that it is attainable for anyone.

Now, many people might say, “I would never be able to play the piano” or “I tried, and I just can’t learn to play an instrument”. The truth of the matter is that, here at Curtis Music Academy, we are absolutely convinced that anyone is capable of learning to play the piano. Why, you may ask? Because we have seen it firsthand. In fact, we have never met a person that has been committed to learning an instrument that was unsuccessful in doing so. Therefore, are you ready to start this journey with us? Today, we will be talking about three main points of how you can be successful learning to play the piano.


Imagine with me, if you will, a time back to when you knew nothing about mathematics. When you sat down at home looking at your homework, you may have felt lost. However, by the time you got to the end of the worksheet, you were much more likely to understand the concept. Therefore, many people might sit down at the piano after a lesson and feel hopeless about learning to play the piano.

With enough time and consistency moving forward, you will be able to accomplish the task at hand. Not only will you keep the momentum of learning to play the piano, but you will be able to see your progress firsthand. Students that only practice once a week might not even realize they are progressing because the size of the advancement is spread out each week. Those that practice more consistently will be better prepared for the future of their instrument.

Small Bursts of Practice

Along with consistency, another thing that is incredibly valuable to your practice routine is to practice in small bursts, frequently throughout the day. In other words, rather than sitting down and attempting to practice for thirty minutes or an hour, try practicing three different times in a day for just 10 minutes each. This way, your brain can stay completely focused. As you come back to the piano each time, you are forced to place your hands in the correct position three different times. Rather than sitting down and place your hands in the correct position just once.

Another benefit to practicing in short periods of time is that it allows your fingers to relax a little bit in between your sessions. Some students have a difficult time mastering their finger strength in the first few months of learning to play the piano. Rather than practicing for a longer period of time all at once, your fingers will thank you very much for the opportunity you’re giving them to heal up and get ready for the next session.

Attending Your Weekly Lesson

What else were you expecting? Attending your weekly lesson has many vital reasons to helping you accomplish your goal in the quickest possible way. Not only is your instructor going to be there to help you learn the next concept for learning to play the piano, but you will also receive important feedback on what you have been working on. During your previous week of practice, you may have accidentally picked up some bad habits with your posture or your hand placement. These are all important things to continue to work through during your lessons.

Not only will you be receiving the next concept, but you will actually be practicing for an additional thirty minutes! This may seem strange, but even if you haven’t practiced the piano one single time in the week, you will still benefit greatly from attending your lesson. Through the years, we have had many students want to cancel a lesson simply due to lack of practice. However, this is the exact opposite response that you should have when learning to play the piano. Why is that, you ask? I am very glad that you asked that question.

When you skip a lesson due to lack of practice, there is an underlying desire to make up for the lost practice. Therefore, if you typically practice three hours a week, but you didn’t practice at all, it is easy to want to practice six hours the following week. This results in a snowball effect of unmatching your goals. When you skip a lesson, you already feel like you have let yourself down, but that should not be the case at all. When you show up to your lesson at Curtis Music Academy after a week of zero practice, your instructor will help you get back onto your feet towards learning to play the piano.

After you have consistently accomplished these three categories discussed in this article, you will be well on your way to master the piano. And don’t forget, practice does not help you reach your goals in and of itself. It is vital to utilize all the resources available to you during this time. Watch videos, read the beginning piano book, and make sure to keep focused on the consistency of learning a new instrument. After just a short time, you will begin to notice many different ways that you have improved. Not to mention, your neighbors will be impressed when your windows are open in the spring and they hear your amazing musical melodies.

Until next time, I hope you enjoyed this article. If you have any questions about getting started with music lessons, feel free to give us a call at (918) 361-7641 to schedule your very first lesson for just one dollar. You will learn all about the basics of the instrument, as well as how you can be successful practicing your instrument throughout the week.