How to teach yourself to play piano during the lockdown
The UK went into lockdown in late March, which meant people have to spend a lot of time indoors, except to shop for essentials or go out in certain circumstances. However, the lockdown can be a blessing in disguise for some people, as this is the perfect and rare opportunity to revive their forgotten hobbies and passions.
Many people have considered learning a new skill from baking to painting, so why not try teaching yourself how to play the piano and make life more fun during this lockdown? This is probably the perfect time for you to start using the piano that’s been lying somewhere in the corner of your house for ages.
Music is one of the best ways to lift spirits, with many studies demonstrating that playing a musical instrument improves mental health, increases self-esteem, lowers blood pressure and makes you generally feel more positive.
Here we talk you through the basic steps when learning to play the piano while in isolation.
Steps to Learn the Piano
The first step is to start learning basic piano knowledge:
- A piano has 88 keys; the white ones called naturals, create a natural-sounding note while black keys known as accidentals produce a sharp or flat sound
- Every keyboard has seven naturals: C-D-E-F-G-A-B
- It also has five accidentals per octave, which can either be sharp or flat
- Make sure that you learn the names of the left and right-hand staff, bass clef and treble clef
The next stage is to find an online instruction manual or YouTube video to guide you.
Using a beginner’s tool, you progress methodically by learning to read and play basic scales, chord progression and simple songs.
Once you start to understand the fundamentals of playing the piano, you will remember where the different notes are located.
Many starters choose to use flashcards or stickers on the keys to help them recall the most common chords note placements.
The next step is just as important, that is to understand finger placement.
This is a skill that requires time and practice, and without mastering it you will struggle later to play up and down the scales.
Once you feel confident with finger placement techniques, you can begin to practice playing scales.
This helps you familiarise yourself with notes and the distinct sound they each make.
After you’ve completed each of these steps, and feel like you are ready to move on, you can start to learn some basic songs.
Master the piano chords
If you are following a YouTube video or instruction manual, there will be a point when they teach you to play a simple song which helps you to master the chords and finger placement.
This is also a great way to help you memorise where the notes are located, and will aid you down the line with sight reading.
Finally, the most important part of learning to play the piano; practice, practice, practice.
It is a skill that takes time to hone, some suggest that pianists should spend anywhere between 30 minutes to four hours each day attempting to improve.
Try to do so as often as you can during the lockdown, and soon you should be able to confidently play your favourite song on the piano!