How to Play Classical Piano

Things You'll Need

  • Piano
  • Piano teacher
  • Scales and Chord book

Learning how to play classical music on the piano will enable adults as well as children to play any type of music from Bach to ragtime, from Mozart to jazz. Most of our great composers and songwriters, like Billy Joel and Barry Manilow, have incorporated classical music into their own compositions.

Learning to play classical music takes patience, practice and dedication but the end result is well worth the time spent.

Learn piano tones and chords

Buy or rent a piano that has a keyboard of 88 keys. Learning to play the classics entails using the notes and chords on the entire keyboard.

Classical piano also entails using the highest or lowest flats or sharps with fingers moving at a rapid pace up or down the keyboard.

Hand position on the keys

Take piano lessons by a certified piano teacher who only teaches classical music. Playing the classics takes more than just learning the keys of the keyboard. It is important to learn proper hand positions on each chord and scale and variations of each.

Dedicate yourself to practicing scales and chords. This is one of the most important lessons that must be learned by all classical music pianists. All classical compositions are made up of scales in one form or another and can be tedious and demanding and must be practiced to perfection daily. It is almost impossible to play the classics without fully learning all the scales along with their parts and counterparts.

Learn to practice all classical music by repeating no more than two lines at a time. Play slowly, absorbing the notations and timing and notes. Repeat the same chords a few times, breaking them up into separate notes, then combining them a few times, before going to the next section. Allow your fingers to eventually learn without thinking what notes it is going to play and how it should sound.

Get into the habit of practicing the scales and music piece each and every day for at least a half-hour. After a day or two, practice the next few measures of the piece first, then add them to the previous measures. Using this method, you will eventually be able to play the entire piece at the same tempo and speed.

Be patient. Playing fast will come naturally once you learn the piece in terms of form and chords. Practice a few lines at a time or at a lesson so you can also add feelings and emotions into each piece and moving to proper timing. Never rush when playing or practicing as speed will come with repetitive practicing of the same notes and chords for weeks on end.


  • Play slowly and deliberately so your fingers automatically know what notes to play.

    Learning to play the piano is similar to learning how to use a computer keyboard slowly until the brain and fingers know what to play.

    It is never too late for adults to learn how to play classical piano.

    When practicing, always start with the new lesson or few lines first, then go back and add it to the previous lesson. Repeat this method until the entire piece is learned.


About the Author

Brooklyn-born Sondra Crane started writing at an early age and never stopped. She wrote Along Life's Path, her blog and a poetic glimpse into her life. She is a college graduate, piano teacher, classical pianist, copy editor, columnist and now a freelance writer. She has been interviewed in "The New York Times," [Orlando Sentinel," "Maclean's" magazine and in a radio interview by "Growing Bolder."

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