Piano Lessons Article #2, Day 1: The Three Key Steps to Learning the Piano

By: Hiram LeCedre—March 28, 2009 09:30AM
"Success at the piano boils down to following three key steps..."


Welcome to Article #2: The Three Key Steps to Learning the Piano. What I am going to talk about in today's piano lesson are the three key steps for learning the piano as effectively and quickly as possible while having fun at the same time. Look, if you aren't enjoying what you are learning or doing, you are probably not going to stick with it for very long and you won't give it your all.

If you read my last article, Introduction to Learning and Mastering the Piano, I gave you a brief overview of who I am and how I taught myself to play the piano. I even put a video in that article of myself playing for you so you can see for yourself that I do have some experience in this area so I can help you learn the piano.

I also talked about why traditional piano lessons have a pretty lousy success rate—because they're boring. When you are bored you lose interest. And, when you lose interest, you quit. I'm not saying that piano lessons won't work for everybody, however, If you're like me I'm interested in solutions that work with a high degree of success. I will show you how to keep yourself motivated while learning the piano.

With that said, let's look at what I think are the three key steps for learning the piano.

The Three Key Steps to Learning the Piano

Have you ever wondered why certain people are so brilliant and successful at the piano or the keyboard or any instrument for that matter? Is it talent? Some of it may be due to talent, however, I believe that most of it comes down to those individuals taking certain steps that ensure their success at the piano whether they are consciously aware of it or not. Here they are:


You can't be a true success at anything unless you absolutely love what you do. When you love what you do, you can't wait to begin your day; you're pumped and motivated. Well guess what? The same thing applies to learning the piano too.

If you aren't already motivated to learn the piano, how can you motivate yourself? Find a pianist/keyboard player you wish you could be just as good as. For me I was motivated by composers and pianist, such as, Beethoven, Chopin, David Lanz, John Tesh, Yanni, David Osborne and Jim Brickman—these pianists made me excited to play the piano because I was intrigued by their music and wanted to play and sound just like them. So step one; Motivation.

Role Modeling

The second key step to learning the piano is role modeling. What does this mean? It means seeking out the person who's achieved what you would like to achieve and do what they did to get there. By role modeling you don't have to reinvent the wheel for yourself; your role model already figured out how to do it.

For example, when I was first starting out, I was heavily influenced by Yanni and his Live at the Acropolis concert. That concert not only had some great music it also had some great footage. Throughout his performance I paid close attention to how he maneuvered his hands while playing the piano and, as a result, I learned quite a lot about hand placement and finger techniques from just that one concert.

Another reason role modeling is so important is because your role model helps keep you inspired and motivated while learning—at least a lot more motivated than your piano teacher could ever do! Remember, when you are bored you lose interest and you quit. Notice I didn't say when things got challenging because even when some days will be more challenging than others your inspiration and motivation will keep you going. So choose a pianist that inspires you and you will be well on your way to being a great piano player.


Step three: Action. This is where you push the red button and get the ball rolling. Reading my articles, getting motivated and role modeling alone will not make you a great piano player. You have to dedicate lots of time and effort to learning and practicing the piano to be a great piano player. I don't know of a single musician that can pick up an instrument for the very first time and play it like an expert. It's true that some people are born with a natural talent or affinity for certain subjects, however, even those individuals who you and I would label as geniuses or prodigies spend tremendous amounts of time perfecting and honing their talent.

Taking action will probably be the hardest step you will face because you will need to commit yourself to a goal and for some people that's a big step to take. No one likes committing themselves to something that they might fail at. Failure is scary. The way I look at is you cannot fail if you keep on trying. Some of the most successful people in the world became successful because they failed more times than most others. Real failure is giving up altogether; ensuring that you will fail with a 100% certainty. And I know you don't want that for yourself so make it your goal to learn the piano and be consistent to take action everyday no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.


So in wrapping up today's piano lesson, remember the three key steps to learning the piano. You need to get motivated, find yourself a role model and take action. These three steps are powerful principles that should be practiced daily to ensure your success at the piano or even any goal you may have. Get to know them well and in Article #3, I will walk you through your first hands-on lesson. I hope to see you then.