Top Tools for Learning an Instrument

At The Piano Place, we believe that every student, no matter their age or experience level, can get success out of music lessons. Whether you play piano, guitar, violin or are interested in voice lessons, we can give you the tools it takes to succeed.

Across several different instruments, many of the same themes tend to apply. Let’s look at some of the keys to a successful time learning an instrument.


Maybe the single best indicator of a young person’s chances of success with a given instrument? Their commitment to a practice routine throughout the week. This should almost always include daily practice sessions, at a minimum of 20 or 30 minutes per session – and the more the better.

It’s important to also define “practice” in this setting: Practice refers to working on any material that challenges your ability and forces you to learn new things. Simply playing for your own enjoyment or songs you already know is great, and you should absolutely do it as often as you like, but truly progressing with an instrument means taking things a bit further.

Teachers and Repertoire

Another top requirement for a great music experience is a great teacher. This means someone who has realistic expectations for students, expectations that vary from student to student. Teachers should have a clear and time-tested methodology that helps students without overloading them.

Another big factor for teachers is giving students the proper repertoire. Students need to develop basic technique, but they also want to enjoy the music they’re playing – a great teacher combines these factors to help them learn while also enjoying themselves.

Proper Tools

In some situations, such as with the piano, replacement tools can be used – think of a keyboard in place of a piano if you can’t afford the real thing. Just shoot for as much realism as possible if this is a necessity; consider weighted keys that make a keyboard feel like a real piano, for instance, so that real piano keys won’t feel too heavy when you get to an actual grand piano.

Active Listening

Over the years, we’ve found that most of our best students possess “active listening” skills – those that allow them to think critically about the music being played or studied. These students will attempt to isolate parts of the music as they hear it, from tempo and rhythms to dynamics and articulations.

For more on the tools that help make a music student successful, or to learn about our piano lessons or any other music lessonscontact the pros at The Piano Place today.

“Music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.”
- Billy Joel
©The Piano Place 2018

The Piano Place