Things You'll Need
- Electric or regular piano
- Beginning method book
If you want to play some holiday songs for you family or learn to play your favorite piece, you will have to gain some knowledge of the piano and practice. However, many people can learn to play simple songs on the piano quite quickly, and the information below outlines a method for learning to play the piano in just a few weeks. Consistent practice, good method books and simple variation in your approach are all keys to learning to play the piano quickly.
Sit down at the piano and place your fingers on the keys. You will notice both black and white keys. Begin pressing some keys and notice how doing so makes your hands feel. If you feel any pressure or tension in the wrists or tops of the hands, try curving your fingers a little more. In addition, ensure that your elbows are not pressed against your body and that the keyboard is at the height of your belly button.
Open your method book and begin playing the first lesson (see Resources). Typically, this lesson will involve locating the note referred to as middle C and proper playing technique. Spend your first lesson simply learning your first few notes and how to play them correctly. From your first notes, you can begin to expand your ability to play additional single notes and multiple notes at the same time.
Open your hymnal after you have become comfortable playing multiple notes at once and can locate any note on the keyboard. As notes on a keyboard repeat, you should be able to do this within your first week of practicing. Pick a hymn with which you are familiar and that contains notes that you recognize. Very slowly, check each chord and place your fingers on the corresponding keys. Do not play the chord until all of your fingers are in place, as doing so can lead to bad performance technique. When you've located each note in the chord, play all of the notes at the same time, then move on to the next chord.
Practice both the hymnal piece and the lessons from your method book during each practive session. While the method book will teach you the beginning concepts of locating and playing piano keys, the hymnal will quickly develop chord recognition and playing techniques. At first, you will likely not be able to play any exercise quickly, but taking your time is essential to learning how to play the piano. During your first week of practice, 15 to 20 minutes should be plenty of time to practice. However, you will need to gradually increase your practice time during the following weeks.
Set a practice goal for each week. Your goals should not be too difficult to accomplish, but they should not be so easy that you accomplish them too early. You may even use your first week to get a feeling for your learning speed before setting a goal. Your final goal during your first few weeks should be to play the piece that you originally set out to prepare.
If you are having difficulty matching notes with keys, place pieces of masking tape on each key with the note written on it. Mark the note in your music to match each note with each key.
Avoid moving on to another lesson until you have mastered the previous one. You may be tempted to rush to meet a deadline, but doing so can cause frustration and ineffective practice methods.
- "24 Karat Piano Skills"; Billie Raye Erlings; 1993