PIANO LESSONS - GUIDE

Can anyone guarantee that a child will learn to play the piano?  Let’s face it, a piano is a
significant investment…or not, depending upon your personal financial state. There is no
guarantee for success in any musical instrument course of study.   Piano, brass, strings, organ and
other instruments require WORK and PRACTICE.  The idea that music is an iPod experience with
glitz and “coolness” is about as far from the truth as is possible to be.  Granted, it CAN be a cool
experience with lots of fun, but the requisites for piano study are:

1. A good acoustic piano, fully functional and tuned to A=440hz, standard pitch.
2. An accomplished, intuitive teacher, with a college level degree in the instrument that is taught and
3. Involved parents that will monitor progress and set the rules for consistent practice.  

There is always a tendency in families to permit children to make important decisions that will
affect the rest of their lives.  It is all too common to hear, “well, we don’t want to force her to
practice” or “we want him to be rounded out with experiences and think piano lessons would be
good”.   What this can lead to is to allow children to dabble in everything and become master of
nothing.  In looking back on my experience in this field, I find that the best musicians are those
where parents and teachers do not have a laissez faire attitude about music study.  These students
excel and grow up to be the world’s finest musicians.   

Piano lessons for the young:  Whether you select an acoustic piano, or a digital piano to use for
a short term, parental guidance, practice ethics, feedback between teacher-student-parent are all
necessary.  Piano lessons can be the element that brings family and friends together, and musical
skills become a heritage that continues through the life and family for generations.

Play Piano Perfectly in 30 minutes?:  You see this type of teaching promoted in order to suggest
that a “quick fix” without real work will put your child over the top in piano playing in short order!  
Well, once again it is a merchandising technique that pushes you to purchase electronic
instruments rather than acoustic for the most part.  Apparently there is a popular attitude that
implies electronic devices can somehow make music skills easier to acquire.  We admit that some
success can obtain form this type of teaching, but why waste valuable time in a child’s life when
what they really need is.....

A.  To be learning MUSIC & TECHNIQUE, not software
B.  To have the opportunity to experience REAL pianos and qualified Teachers.  
C.  To have a sound musical education through High School that will prepare them to enter college
level music IF they choose, with firm piano skills that are acceptable by college music departments.  

There is nothing more devastating than for young students who have fallen under the spell of the
cutesy keyboards and have been allowed to teach themselves to play the piano and fiddle with
electronics, to finally decide they want to study piano in college, only to find out that their lack of core technical
and musical abilities prevent entrance as a music or piano major in a college environment.  At that
point it is too late to learn necessary skills to attempt make-up work that should have been done 10 years ago.  
The student will be years behind their peers sorry to say and the result is,
"the saddest words of tounge or pen,
are those that might have been."  
Now, who is to blame for that?  The student?  Probably not.

KeyArtsHouston & Anthony can provide appropriate acoustic pianos for the student.   We
recommend that IF you wish to use an electronic piano for beginning lessons, you should ask your
teacher and be aware when your child begins to outgrow it musically.  

Another valid use of the electronic piano is as a second piano in the home to use if there are
several children taking piano lessons.  Consider a fine acoustic piano as soon as possible.

THANK YOU FOR READING OUR GUIDE.

C. Anthony Pessarra, Instructor