Have you always wanted to learn to play the piano, or are you looking to enroll your child in piano lessons so that they can enjoy music all their lives? The piano is a versatile instrument, and learning to play it can open many doors, from performance opportunities to songwriting, teaching, and more.

Whether you’re ready to take that big step in enrolling in music lessons or are still tossing around the idea of learning the piano, we’ve prepared some information about what to expect and what you should know before your first lesson.

What to Expect of Your First Piano Lesson

At Sage Music, we take a unique approach to our lessons, and we’re different from the other music schools out there. From how we train our teachers to how we help you to learn and grow as a musician, we work hard to make sure that your lessons are as productive and enjoyable as possible. Here are a few things we’d like you to think about before your first piano lesson.

What are your goals?

Before you enroll in piano lessons, you should think about what is driving you to learn the piano and what you hope to accomplish. Do you want to learn the piano so you can play at family gatherings? Do you want to join an ensemble at your school? Or do you have hopes of a performance career, being able to write songs, or any other goal?

When you take the time to really hone in on what you want to accomplish, that helps us to make sure that your lessons are more productive and are structured to help you meet those goals. You’ll talk about your goals with your piano teacher during that first lesson, and then your teacher will create a customized study plan based on those goals.

It’s okay if you don’t have all of the details of your goals ready, too. The great thing about music is that as you learn, your interests and goals will evolve. The more that you learn about and understand music, the more opportunities you’ll be aware of. Plus, your teacher will be able to ask you some questions to get to know you and your interests, and they can help to guide you as you outline your specific goals, too. Remember that your teacher will always be happy to revisit your goals in the future, and as you achieve your goals, they’ll help you to define new ones so that you’re always making progress.

how often should i practice the pianoWhat materials do you need?

Our website page on “Getting Started with Music Lessons” gives you some specific information on the materials that you’ll need for lessons at Sage Music.

Be prepared to purchase a few supplies for your lessons. You’ll need music, an etude or method book, and a metronome to help you get started. These supplies require minimal investment on your part, but they’re essential in learning music well.

One of the largest investments you’ll need to make is in a piano of your own. Having the right instrument is important to your success as a musician. Pianos are available as digital and as acoustic models; each has its own benefits. Digital pianos are inexpensive and easy to transport, and they take up minimal space when compared to an acoustic piano. These digital pianos are always in tune, and you can use headphones to prevent noise as you practice. Unfortunately, digital pianos don’t replicate the feeling of playing an acoustic piano, which is important in developing your finger strength and dexterity. Pedals also work differently on a digital piano. While there are some downsides to a digital piano, they’re still suitable options for beginner and low intermediate musicians.

In time, you might want to upgrade to an acoustic piano. Acoustic models are best for serious musicians, since they are more responsive and help you to develop your wrist and hand technique. However, there are some drawbacks. Acoustic pianos are large and loud, two downfalls if you live in a smaller apartment. They can also be quite expensive and will require regular tuning by a piano tuner to keep them playing well. If you want to improve as a musician, then an acoustic piano is a great tool that can help you, but you and your teacher can talk about that down the line.

To get you started practicing immediately, you will need access to at least a digital piano. If you don’t already have one, don’t buy an instrument before your first lesson. Instead, talk to your teacher about your goals and budget, and your teacher can suggest some digital piano models that might be appropriate for you.

Consider Your Schedule

Becoming a musician takes time, and if you’re going to start piano lessons, you’ll need to make sure that you’re able to dedicate the time required for practicing and lessons. If you’re serious about your piano lessons, you’ll need to identify a lesson schedule that works for you. At Sage Music, you can start with lesson packages that include 4 private lessons per month for just $207. We’ve found that our students who take weekly lessons make great progress, and by committing to a weekly lesson schedule, music becomes a routine in your life.

If you’re worried about finding time to get to lessons, Sage Music has multiple locations to help with scheduling convenience. Our first location is in Long Island City, Queens, and you’ll find our second location in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. We also offer a flexible lesson schedule; you can take lessons from Mondays through Thursdays from 10 am to 9 pm. On Fridays we offer lessons from 10 am to 7 pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays lessons are available from 9 am to 7 pm. We find that this flexibility works well with most students’ schedules.

In addition to budgeting time for lessons, think about when and how much you’ll be able to practice. Your teacher will explain their practice expectations during the first lesson, but plan to practice most days of the week. As you become more advanced and start working toward goals like upcoming performances or auditions, your practice time may need to increase. The more effort you put into practicing, the more quickly you’ll develop your skills and be able to advance, so make sure that you can commit to both lessons and to practicing, too.

piano-pedalsBe ready to learn

No musical experience or background is necessary to become a student at Sage Music. You can be a complete beginner and may have never touched a piano before – that’s okay! Our teachers receive specialized training so that they understand how to work with students at all different levels, and our teachers will patiently introduce you to music and the piano so that the introduction is a positive experience.

During your first lesson, your teacher will introduce you to the piano, talk about how to identify the different notes and keys, and introduce you to proper posture when playing. Then, you’ll get started right away with some exercises and the beginning of your first piece of music. Expect to talk about how to read piano music, too, and the differences between the treble and bass clef.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

When you start piano lessons, you’ll be learning all sorts of new information, and you’ll be playing an instrument that you may have never touched before. It’s natural to have questions, and your music teacher is there to ask them.

Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything immediately, and please don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your teacher wants you to ask questions, because that’s how they’ll be able to monitor what you’re understanding and what you’re not. We train all of our teachers to be able to adjust their teaching style to match the way that you learn, since everyone learns differently. When you ask questions, you’re helping your teacher to adjust how they’re explaining and presenting ideas during the lessons. This means that you’ll be able to better understand the information, getting more out of your lessons and progressing more quickly.

The first lesson is just the beginning of a great journey

Your first piano lesson is just the first step, and your journey as a musician can be an exciting and fulfilling one. As you learn your instrument, many more opportunities will be available to you. At Sage Music, we offer many student recitals. You might also pursue ensemble opportunities, try composing music, or decide that you want to play in a band. Whatever route you take, learning the piano can give you a chance to have all sorts of adventures and experiences.

Ready to take that first step in this journey? Learn more about piano lessons at Sage Music today.