The piano keys are black and white, but they sound like a million colours in your mind.
~ Maria Cristina Mena ~
It would come as no surprise to most people that, vying for first place with the guitar, the piano is considered the best instrument to learn when you're just starting out. While the piano can actually be tricky to truly master, students can elicit a recognisable tune fairly quickly, with minimal experience. It's also one of the most versatile instruments, in terms of music styles and the vast range in piano and keyboard types — anything from a portable digital keyboard to a full size grand piano.
The other attractions are: the well-known benefits of playing piano; the fact that people of all ages can learn to play piano; and that piano lessons, classes and teachers are the easiest to source of all music and instrument tutors.
Whether your dream is to reach great heights as a classical pianist, enjoy a bit of smooth jazz playing or you just want to 'tickle the ivories' for a bit of fun and jam in private with your mates — the piano is there for the long haul. It will serve you well and bring you joy for many years.
If you're still reading, you probably wondering 'where can I find piano lessons near me'? Before you rush off and Google 'piano lessons vic' or 'piano teachers nsw', or even 'piano lessons near me in Coober Pedy' — it's probably a good idea to narrow down your preferences a little by having a think about the styles of music you want to learn and the types of lessons that will suit you.
Types of Piano Lessons in Australia
Back when some of us (ahem ... me) were much younger, a piano lesson meant going to the house or studio of your teacher, playing scales and classical pieces of music and going home to practise and study theory. Piano lessons also meant exams. These days, it's not quite so strict and you'll be hard pushed not to find something, no matter where you are in Australia, to meet your needs.
Different Musical Styles
As mentioned previously, the piano is one of the most versatile instruments when it comes to musical styles, particularly these days with the advent of the digital keyboard.
The most common, and popularly sought after styles would be classical, jazz and pop/rock. However, if you particularly love blues, electronic, baroque, chamber music, improvisation or if you want to combine a love of singing with playing the piano — it helps if you can narrow down your search and look for teachers, tutors or a music studio that specialises in your favourites. You can also look for a teacher who has a breadth of experience in a range of styles, or even musical theory and composition.
Engaging a private tutor, whether one who works independently or through a music school or studio, can be pricey but also very worthwhile, particularly for a beginner, a student who is preparing for exams or an audition, or any student who is looking for a change in style or a bit more motivation. In most cases, students are expected to travel to their tutor — particularly if they're learning a larger, less transportable piano or keyboard. However, some tutors will also come to you. Private lessons will generally set you back at least $30 to $60 for a half or three-quarter hour lesson.
Small group classes are generally cheaper per student but, of course, you get less individual attention and assistance. Group classes are particularly useful for digital keyboards (as you can fit more in a small space) and for students with a few years of experience, so less reliant on one-on-one teaching. These types of lessons may incorporate different styles and different instruments or singing as they are perfect to build up performance skills.
Online Piano Lessons
If there's one thing a global pandemic has taught us, it's how to be adaptable. Who would have thought, in 2019, that we'd be doing so much online now? Previously, teachers and students would have drawn the line at conducting piano lessons online but these days, it's becoming the norm. The great thing about the online lesson is that, because there is no travel involved, you and your tutor no longer have to live in the same area or the same state, or even the same country.
You can learn to play piano with Superprof tutors via any of these modes. The individual tutor profile will tell you everything you need to know — hourly rate, experience, musical styles, student ages and whether they offer face-to-face, group or online lessons. Plus, the first lesson is usually free.
Teach Yourself Piano
Ask any teenager and they will probably tell you the best teachers are online on YouTube — it's where they seem to go to learn everything.
While it is certainly possible to learn piano through YouTube clips, online videos and apps, it does require a certain amount of motivation and probably prior experience learning and playing another instrument. At some point, you may wish to pursue another option with some professional lessons. At the outset though, there is certainly nothing wrong with a little free, self-guided tuition.
What You Need to Learn to Play Piano
The Right Equipment
It is not necessary to go out and buy all the best accessories and the most expensive piano or keyboard at the start but beginning with a few basics will help: piano with weighted keys, if possible; comfortable piano stool; metronome (readily available on your phone or device); piano books or folders to hold your music; and headphones (particularly if you're playing digital keyboard).
A Good Teacher
Obviously, a teacher or tutor with some experience is essential but they don't necessarily need to be a concert pianist, or to even have played in an orchestra or ensemble. When we say a 'good' teacher, we mean a teacher or tutor with whom you click. Tutors can know all the music theory inside out and be whizzes at composition or playing, but if you don't get on with them, or you have different musical preferences, you will not learn a thing.
If you've decided to go it alone online for a bit, your 'good teacher' will be replaced by a 'good program'.
Even the best teacher will not ensure you progress beyond 'Hot Cross Buns' if you don't practise. A commitment to practising — daily — is essential. Just bear in mind, though, when it stops becoming fun, you've probably gone too far.
Finding Piano Lessons in Your State or Territory
Now you have all the information to help you make an informed decision, where do you start looking?
As mentioned, Superprof is a great place to start but you might also want to check out other options as well — and we're here to help.
Learn to Play Piano in Canberra, ACT
The capital of Australia has a number of outstanding music schools, including the Canberra Music Education School and the ACT Academy of Music, and a host of private tutors. For younger students, there are also often opportunities to take private lessons offered by your school. Find out more about piano lessons in Canberra in our dedicated article.
Keyboard Lessons in Sydney, NSW
If you're after piano lessons in and around Sydney, you won't have to look too far. If your goal is to audition and win a place in the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, starting early with piano lessons from places like Mezzo or the Master Piano Institute could be a good idea.
Aim High in Brisbane, Qld
Queensland and its capital, Brisbane, seems to be an absolute dream for the music lover. You can learn piano in Brisbane with your pick of excellent tutors and then go on to study music at one of Queensland's world-class universities.
Piano Lessons in Melbourne, Vic
From the Melbourne School of Music to the Melbourne Piano School and everything in between, there is something for everyone — beginners to professionals, kids, teens and adults — who wants to learn piano in Melbourne.
Playing Piano in Perth, WA
We can't forget our far western state capital, Perth. Home of the prestigious Perth Music Academy, every budding piano enthusiast is sure to find a music school, private tutor or online classes where they can refine their piano prowess in Perth.
What are you waiting for? Get on board with the musical instrument that has stood the test of time - no matter where you are in Australia.
The important thing is to feel your music, really feel it and believe it.
~ Ray Charles ~