How to find a good piano teacher

How to find a good piano teacher

The black and white keys of the piano represent the happiness and sorrows of life. When played together, they create the music of life. Some play the piano as a hobby while others play it professionally. If you are looking to learn to play the piano or hone your skills, look for a good piano instructor. This article will help on how to find a piano teacher.

Identify Your Goals and Expectations

Depending on an individual’s background and needs, the definition of a good teacher may vary for each individual.

Consider your goals for playing and expectations for a good teacher. Ask yourself if you are a beginner or someone who wants to polish your skills.

Be clear about the objectives that you aim to achieve with the piano learning experience.

Consider the Learner

Different learners have varied interests and attitudes. A good piano instructor can develop a personalized curriculum depending on the student’s commitment, aptitude, and expectations.

If you or your child is a beginner, find a piano teacher who works with a student of the same level of capability. Such a piano instructor will have creative best practices on how to deal with frustrations through moderately rigorous and engaging lessons.

Considering the music style is very important. Piano teachers specialize in certain types of music, such as jazz, classical, etc. Choose someone who specializes in your music style.

In-Home or Studio Lessons

You will also have to determine whether you want in-home or in-studio lessons as that will change where you might find a piano teacher.

In-home lessons will save you fuel and commute time. Studio environments such as piano lessons Oakville by Mississauga Piano Studio give you an opportunity for group learning and networking with like-minded students.

Look for a Piano Instructor

When you are clear with your goals and expectations, prepare a list of teachers to be interviewed.

Ask for recommendations from family and friends, local music stores, local elementary, or secondary schools. Word of mouth is the best source to find a piano teacher.

The Interview

Ask the right questions in the interview because it helps you make the final call.

Ask questions about the teacher’s qualifications and teaching style. See if that is what you are looking for.

Ask for references of any former or current students to get a sense of the teacher’s qualities. Also, try to gauge the comfort level with the teacher.

Ask for Trial Lessons

Getting to know potential piano teachers by talking with them is not enough. Try to see the teachers in action.

Schedule a few free or paid trial lessons to judge if the instructor and his or her teaching styles match your expectations.

Trial classes are very important before you make a long-term commitment.

Set a Clear Path Forward

After you have finally selected a piano instructor, do not fail to set a clear path forward beforehand. Set realistic goals and timelines to meet them.

This helps both the student and the instructor to meet the overall objective of the learning effort.

Qualities of a Good Piano Instructor

  • Personality – Not only should the personality of the instructor be good but should also fit with the student.
  • Priorities – The instructor should be a good planner of your learning. He or she should be able to help you meet your goals.
  • Flexibility – A teacher should be flexible in all ways, including managing a busy schedule,
  • Location – If the classes are not in – home, try to find a piano teacher nearby.

It helps to associate yourself with an association or an institute that has teachers who follow a specific time-bound, result-oriented, and proven curriculum, just like at Mississauga Piano Studio, which provides piano lessons in Oakville and surrounding areas.

How to find a good piano teacher

How to choose among piano teachers

The first step in finding the best option among piano teachers is to decide what you want your child to get out of music lessons. Some parents consider music to be an essential part of education, like reading or math. Other parents want to help their child find an interest to enjoy, and may try out music lessons for a while but are willing to move on to something else if the child doesn’t seem to like it. There are parents who want their child to have the potential of becoming a concert pianist, while others want their child to study piano as a foundation before moving on to other instruments. Once parents have decided on their goals for their piano student, the next step is to find a teacher that can help the student achieve those goals.

Choosing a Quality Piano Instructor From the Start

As much as possible, parents should get the best piano teacher they can from the beginning. This doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive piano teacher around. Whether a piano teacher has an advanced degree in music or is just a neighbor down the street who teaches a few lessons after school, parents should make sure that the teacher is someone who will:

  • show respect for their child
  • challenge their child to improve and develop as a musician
  • inspire an enduring love of music

It is a common mistake for parents to think that there’s nothing wrong with starting with a mediocre piano instructor and then moving on to a better teacher if their child continues to show interest. In the first year of studying piano, students lay a foundation that will last throughout their music studies. When a student with a mediocre piano instructor transfers to a better piano instructor it can take years for that student to get out of bad habits.

Shop Around When Looking for the Right Piano Instructor

It’s a good idea to shop around a while before deciding on a piano teacher for your child. If you live in the United States, one place to start is the Music Teachers National Association. On the MTNA website, you can see a list of certified piano teachers in your state. You can also ask for advice from the music teachers at your local schools. They will know which students are the best piano players, and can probably tell you who the best private instructors are. You can also find directories of piano teachers in phone books or on the internet. If you want to get recommendations, you can ask friends and neighbors, or even call up piano teachers who live just outside your area and ask if they know any good teachers who live close to you.

Get to Know the Potential Teacher

When choosing a piano teacher for your child it is important to remember that you are hiring someone that may have a huge impact on your child’s life, as it is not unusual for a child to stay with a piano teacher for five to ten years. Before beginning piano lessons, it is best to meet the teacher face to face and have an interview. Treat it like a job interview. Here are some suggestions for questions you might ask potential piano teachers:

  • What are your practice expectations for beginners? For more advanced students?
  • How many students do you currently teach? What ages?
  • What kind of events outside of lessons do your students participate in, such as recitals, competitions, and theory examinations? Are these events optional or required?
  • What is your level of music education and what music teaching experience do you have?
  • Do you belong to any professional organizations?
  • What method do you use for teaching beginners?
  • Describe your teaching approach or philosophy as compared to other teachers.

Where possible, look for a piano teacher who cares enough about teaching to belong to a professional organization. The best piano teachers will almost certainly have a degree in music and be capable themselves of performing at a high level of skill. Students learn a lot by imitation, and the teacher should be able to demonstrate good playing, posture, expression, and musical nuance.

The Trial Lesson with Piano Teachers

Besides getting to know potential piano teachers by talking with them, it is also important to watch teachers in action. Some teachers may allow you to observe a lesson with one of their current students. If that is not possible, ask for a one-time lesson for your child before you make a long-term commitment. Here are some things to watch for when observing a piano teacher:

  • Does the teacher show respect for the child? Does the teacher make eye contact, call the child by name, and show interest and concern? A child should feel respected and valued by their teacher.
  • Is the lesson engaging? Does the student respond with interest? Is there motivation, curiosity, and a love of music involved? It takes a certain amount of charisma, leadership, and likeability for a teacher to inspire a student. Make sure it’s there.
  • Does the teacher challenge the student? Does the teacher pay attention to detail and correct the student as needed? A good teacher will hold a child to a high standard. All children are capable of excellence, they only need a teacher who will ask for it.

Take Time to Find the Right Choice Among Piano Teachers

This is not a quick and easy approach, but it is worth it! Put in the effort to find a piano instructor who will respect, challenge, and inspire a life-long love of music-making in your child.

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So, I’m choosing between two grad schools in Biophysics.

The first is the University of Pennsylvania.

The second is the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Does anyone know any piano faculty at these schools or areas nearby who are excellent teachers and who take on advanced, private students? How good are they? How expensive?

Does anyone know how accessible grand piano practice rooms are at either institution?

This will be a place that I spend between 4 and 8 years, depending on the program I choose and how fast/hard I work, and so I want to be able to do what I love while I am there.

Thank you so much!

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I attended law school at the University of Illinois. Grand piano practice rooms were locked and accessible only to piano majors at the time I was there. Another law student and I tried to get access but didn’t have much luck — however neither of us were taking lessons. Some of the classrooms had decent practice pianos that were usable at least.

The other issue with Champaign-Urbana is that it is rather culturally isolated. Chicago is a 3-hour drive away. I only made it up to see the CSO & Boulez once.

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Hmmm. as a professor who supervises graduate students in another field, my advice is that you should make your decision solely on the basis of the biophysics programs at the two institutions, looking at factors like the reputations of the programs, placement of recent ph.d’s from the program (are they getting the kind of jobs you’re aiming for?), how much funding they’d be offering, how well you like the research of the graduate advisor you’d be working with, and your impression of what he/she’d be like to work with. (I’m sure you’ve done this, but chat with some of the faculty members’ current or former students.)

You should be able to find a good piano teacher at either place, and that’s all that really matters.

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Originally posted by Monica K.:
Hmmm. as a professor who supervises graduate students in another field, my advice is that you should make your decision solely on the basis of the biophysics programs at the two institutions, looking at factors like the reputations of the programs, placement of recent ph.d’s from the program (are they getting the kind of jobs you’re aiming for?), how much funding they’d be offering, how well you like the research of the graduate advisor you’d be working with, and your impression of what he/she’d be like to work with. (I’m sure you’ve done this, but chat with some of the faculty members’ current or former students.)

You should be able to find a good piano teacher at either place, and that’s all that really matters.

That is correct, but I wanted to find out whom to contact at either place, just for reference when I make my final decision. I will not use it to decide between programs.

It’s good to know that at UIUC, the grand pianos are generally not accessible to those who aren’t piano majors.

Currently, I know just have to decide one thing: Do I want to do basic or clinical research?

That is the deciding factor. I’ll tell you how it turns out .

The memories a lot of people have of piano lessons at school makes it easy to forget that some of the greatest composers also spent considerable amounts of time teaching the instruments to the star pupils of the day. Chopin, Liszt and Schubert are just a few examples.

How to find a good piano teacherImage: peasandcougars.com

Whether or not your piano teacher is famous, the relationship built up with them is important. A growing number of musicians point out that the traditional of an authoritarian style of teaching, with the teacher putting the pupils through their paces, could not be further from the truth. One excellent example for the success of a completely different approach is the superstar pianist Lang Lang and his former teacher Gary Graffman, a first-class pianist in his own right. According to NPR, Lang Lang felt so inspired by Graffman that he persuaded the record label on which they are both signed to release a 24 CD box set of Graffman’s piano performances.

How to find a good piano teacherLang Lang and his mentor Gary Graffman in Taipei. Photo: Lin Tsai-yun

Another one to question the traditional idea of a piano teacher as all-powerful is the British pianist Stephen Hough. While acknowledging that there are certain things in the early stages of learning the instrument that a teacher must communicate to the student, he is in favour of a much more hands-off approach at a higher level. As Hough writes, “a good teacher should probably not even like everything each of her students does. The more talented the pupil the longer the leash of freedom should be. At early pre-college level I am suspicious if there is a large divergence in the quality of students in a studio: necessary technical and musical knowledge is not being transmitted; but at conservatory level I am suspicious if the quality of students in a studio is too uniform: it can suggest that grooming is taking place. A teacher at this advanced level should be a guide and a mentor … and, gradually, eventually, a colleague.”

All this is just to emphasise that you should ideally be able to say quite a lot to your piano teacher without fear of prompting an irritated response. That being said, there are still some things that as a piano teacher you probably would rather not hear. Some things could apply equally to teachers of any subject, but beyond the obvious ones, a considerable number of myths exist about playing the piano which teachers do their best to help their students overcome. This includes convincing pupils that short and regular practice sessions are better than marathon efforts the day before the next lesson, proving that classical music need not be harder to learn than popular genres, and reminding them that not every lesson or practice session has to begin with finger exercises.

If a piano teacher gets the chance to do all of this well, they may never have to come across some of the comments in the list below.

Here are ten things you should never say to the piano teacher.

1. She doesn’t practice because she’s not feeling challenged.

2. What do you do for work, do you have a real job?

3. I don’t get paid until the end of the month. Can I bring the lesson money then?

4. She has never shown much interest in the piano, but can she try it anyway?

5. I never tried to play as a child, so there’s no chance I can learn to do this now.

6. I had a busy week, so I sat down on Saturday afternoon and practiced solidly for three hours to make up for all the days I had missed.

7. I can’t play this piece yet. Why are you trying to teach me something new?

8. I really want to play guitar, but my father told me piano would give me a good musical foundation.

9. I can’t believe how little I have improved in all that time.

10. My friend is getting married next week, and I told her I could learn the Wedding March just in time!

The piano is one of the most seasoned instruments on the planet. The sound of the piano and the tunes one can play can be an amazing technique for loosening up. People play the piano for various reasons including release of stress, a way of relaxation, to win competitions, to prove worthiness, as a career and some to have fun. Pianos are utilized to play various types of tunes in various types of joints. There are numerous tastes in music and this impacts the piano playing. For you to make sense of how to play the piano, you at first need to take piano lessons. These classes, for the most part, should be a piano educator. Taking lessons from the wrong kind of teacher or one who has no experience will make you have deficiencies in the way you play the piano. Discussed are the courses in which you can get a reliable teacher to give you piano lessons.

Building up the correct nature toward the beginning of your lessons is very important. This essentially means that you need to know the kind of teacher you take your lessons from. The person should be able to respect your goal and give you the right foundation for your music playing. You would prefer not to have an educator who will set you in simply any average way and afterward later search for a more experienced one. It will be hard later for you since it will require a ton of investment to stop the negative behavior patterns you were educated at first. Find piano lessons near me!

The other crucial point is the convenience in terms of location and the time for the lesson at www.chatalbashlessons.com. The right teacher will be able to work with the time you have, be it early in the morning during the day or late in the evening. The educator should have the ability to put into thought the measure of time you have and the kind of business you are at working in. In light of this reason, the distance between your instructor’s area and the place you stay ought not to be far. It should not be a place where you have to drive for many hours or to fly. Finding an instructor in your region will be a benefit.

Once you have identified a number of possible teachers, you should now narrow down to the right one. This should be possible by taking a trial lesson. This can enable you to know the identity of the instructor and choose if it’s a person you can learn from.

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We love the creative ideas Diane has in helping the kids to be motivated and to have fun. We appreciate the fun piano recitals Diane has. The kids especially love the Halloween recital!

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I like playing the piano because it is fun. My piano teacher gives me candy. She does games with me and I like her. I love playing it and she’s nice.

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I like learning new things on the piano. I like hearing all the music that I know. I like playing all the games we do every month like basketball shooting. This is why I like piano.

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Diane’s piano teaching truly tailors to each student’s individual level and needs. My child didn’t start piano lessons at an early age as many other kids, but the progress he’s made in the short one and a half years is simply amazing. He finds Diane’s teaching engaging and encouraging. At the speed he is learning and improving, he is catching up quickly to the same level as other students who had started piano lessons years before he did. I can’t be more pleased with what he’s been able to accomplish in Diane’s class.

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  • Souvenir D’enfance by RIchard Clyderman
  • Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven
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Ng Kian Seng, Paul

Paul has been into the piano ever since he was a child. He has over 49 years of fruitful experience in the piano and he is confident in giving the best suitable learning experience to anyone of any ages. During his youth days, Paul practices the piano intensively for hours daily as his passion to one day become a successful passionate pianist.

He passed his Grade 8 Examination by The Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and was also gladly accepted to be a good piano teacher in Yamaha Music School after an audition where the examiner was very impressed by his skills on the piano. Paul is known as one of the Best Piano Teachers Singapore.

Afterwards, Paul has reached another level by completing the Licentiate Teacher’s Diploma awarded by the Trinity College of Music. Paul has received many appreciations from his current and old students. At present, Paul is an experienced piano teacher who leads a serenity life by practicing his Piano and sharing his piano skills to those who are taught by him.

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How to find a good piano teacher

First, the Golden Rule: Amazing musicians don’t necessarily make amazing teachers.

Some incredible pianists make lackluster teachers, while some less-than-amazing pianists make incredible teachers. I have hired for talent and been let down, and I have hired for personality and attitude and been absolutely delighted.

So, if you only remember one piece of advice when choosing a music teacher, remember this: More than degrees, titles, or awards, a teacher’s level of emotional intelligence(EQ) — the awareness of their own emotions and the emotions of others–will determine their effectiveness as a teacher.

Is your candidate responsive to your messages, questions, and input? Are they flexible and spontaneous? Can they balance structure and fun, and do they seem to genuinely love what they do? These are the characteristics that truly matter, and that keep a student engaged, challenged, and committed to music lessons.

You’ll sense the level of a potential teacher’s EQ in a phone or in-person meeting, which I recommend setting up if you’re not working with a studio (like mine) that finds a teacher match for you.

At the initial meeting, here are some important questions to ask:

Do you have recitals? If not, are there goals for myself or my kid to work towards? Without goals — even if music lessons are meant purely for enjoyment — a student won’t reach their full potential.

What is your method of tracking weekly practice? An organized teacher will stay on top of student progress by helping them keep track of their own practicing.

What is your method of presenting an assignment and ensuring it’s carried out? Accountability is massively important for learning in general, so make sure your teacher has a plan.

Do you have experience incorporating student song requests into lessons, whether through arranging the piece yourself or sourcing arrangements through other means? One of the best things a teacher can do to keep their student engaged is to teach them to play songs they love. Before finding a teacher, ask yourself or your kid what type of music or specific songs they want to play.

Do you have experience helping a student develop an original composition? If you don’t consider songwriting an important facet of your or your kid’s music education, here is my plea to reconsider.

How has your teaching style evolved since you started, or, what’s one mistake you made when you started that you’ve learned from? Your candidate’s answer will reveal their capacity for self-reflection and improvement.

What makes this job rewarding for you? It goes without saying that a teacher must have passion for their leadership to be effective.

You’ve asked all the right questions, liked what you’ve heard, and decided to work with a teacher.

Is there a way to test for chemistry before signing on the dotted line?

Many teachers will offer a no-strings-attached “trial lesson” or introductory meeting.

No matter what you call the first session, it should be okay for both parties to walk away afterward. An in-person meeting, incorporating conversation and instruction, will reveal much more than thousands of vetting questions.

If you’re a parent, avoid being in the same room, which could make both teacher and student nervous or disingenuous. Follow along from an adjacent room instead.

Feeling insecure about interviewing a teacher because you have no musical background or experience?

It doesn’t matter.

Everything I’ve listed above requires no musical background to assess.

Your goal in finding a teacher is to understand their pedagogical strategy, learn how they will use it to make their students excited about setting and reaching goals, and determine if that strategy will work for you and your family.

Don’t worry about sounding like you know anything about music. Any teacher who devalues your opinion because you don’t know musical terminology isn’t a good fit for you, and certainly won’t be a good match for your kid.

If you’ve had past lesson experience.

In this situation, tell the new teacher all about your last teacher, the progress you did or didn’t make, what worked and didn’t work for you. Listen closely to their response. Do you believe they could genuinely correct the course, or will they offer more of the same?

Trust your instincts!

When it’s time to find a new teacher.

Students who stick with music lessons over the course of many years change in more ways than just their age. When I was in seventh grade, I quit the piano lessons I’d been taking since first grade. Not because I didn’t love playing, but because I needed to find a new perspective as musician.

I really liked my teacher, but she was traditional. She couldn’t relate to my request to learn the pop and rock songs I loved. It took a year of musical soul-searching, and finding a new teacher– who not only played in a gigging jazz band, but knew I needed to learn jazz piano to reach my performing and songwriting goals– before I found my stride.

The journey of music education is full of equal parts challenge and reward. Teachers are guideposts. Spending some time thinking about what kind of teacher you want and need– and asking lots of well-thought-out questions– makes all the difference in finding the right one.

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I understand that some teachers resist to teach the method because they were not exposed, did not attend Suzuki workshops held internationally and not well-read about the Suzuki Piano method of teaching. However, as parents, we can always suggest them to read about the method. They perceive it as a method where note-reading is not practised and children play from following all the time. They are VERY WRONG about this • we emphasize on note-reading from day one of lessons. We also emphasize on correct sound/tone production with proper finger technique. We teach various aspects of piano-playing brick by brick, to strengthen technique, sound production and note-reading seperately.

We also aim to achieve that every lesson is rewarding for every student, where children can play at the highest level the simplest pieces from Suzuki Piano book 1 from memory. Every lesson has a routine – like learning our mother-tongue – our motto is to “LEARN, REPEAT, and REVIEW. Then, MEMORIZE.” At an early stage, we enhance the child’s brain capacity of memorizing music through simple music forms and patterns. It is good for the child’s brain development and focus.When they reach perfection and smoothness, they feel confident. Ability breeds ability. Having the ability is a huge success and success breeds confidence to tackle more piano pieces. We encourage them perform for the family every month.

It is a teaching method which believes that everyone is talented. We nurture talent.

It is hard to find Suzuki Piano teachers because there are only a few of them. However, I do suggest that you find a teacher who has a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano. I support this because they have excellent understanding of the music. They can explain well to children what makes a piece interesting.

Please ask her/him to use the Suzuki piano books (7 levels/books). The children should start from book 1. Get the book with the CD because listening to recordings of the pieces attracts the children to play as beautifully like the recording. He/she can teach it their way accordingly. I encourage video recording your child once she perfects a piece – she will feel good too.

Start your musical journey. Use our search engine below to find music teachers in your area. You can find music teachers to help you learn your first instrument, develop your vocal repertoire, prepare for a Grade exam or just play for the joy of music itself. We have music teachers for practically all instruments and all levels, for all music tuition needs, and cover the entirety of the UK.

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First Tutors offers a very quick and simple process to get you started. Begin by searching our vast database of music teachers; from where they live and what they studied to how much experience they have and how they can best cater for your needs. Then use our secure platform to share diaries with private tutors, discuss music plans and syllabi and arrange the best location for your private tuition; be it at home, your music teacher’s home or online! Pay our one-off fee of 50% of the tutors hourly rate to connect and begin your lessons. There are no fixed term commitments and no hourly commission; just private tuition! And we are always on-hand to help along your musical journey should you need any help or advice.

Why Private Music Tuition?

“Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination. ” as Plato said. To learn music is to access something greater than oneself, to experience one of the most profound aspects of the human experience. For children, music lessons with skilled music teachers can increase their confidence and furnish them with a life interest, as well as giving them an appreciation of one of education’s most rich and rewarding disciplines. Visit our tutees and parents section to learn more about music tuition.

Alternatively, if you are an adult seeking music lessons, it may be that you’ve always wanted to pick up a guitar, have a passion for Spanish or classical music or want to stretch yourself and learn something new. Our music teachers can help you develop a new talent as well as continuing to help those musicians looking to polish and prepare for music exams, concerts and recitals.

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Register with us for free to start expanding your client base. You can showcase your qualifications and experience, specify which instruments you wish to teach and to which level, choose whether to work from home or to travel (or both!) and let prospective clients know when you’re available. Our site works on an open marketplace system, where tutees choose music teachers based on their experience and suitability and then contact them for music tuition through our forums. Have a look at our music teachers section to learn more about our approach to music tuition.

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How to find a good piano teacher

At the ripe old age of four, I determined to be a pianist. In church, I “played” on the hymnal rack of the pew in front of me during the hymns. I dreamed of someday stroking the keys of a grand piano in front of an enraptured audience.

Mom and dad shelled out the moolah when I turned eight. Oh rapturous delight – I would be the talk of the town with my skills.

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Not too many months after beginning lessons, I decided this whole deal wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. I hadn’t secured any concert engagements, not to mention I found piano practice a bit dull.

Something was clearly wrong with either my piano instructor or my lesson books.

My mom let me know real quick that quitting wasn’t an option.

Being somewhat of a pleaser, I went along with it for a couple years before going on strike again and quit right during my daily practice. This time, mom and dad got firm. They walked me back over to the piano bench and sat me back down.

I cried. I whined. I might have screamed.

No budging.

Sixth grade. The (adult) church pianist went on a hiatus and guess who got nominated to sit in her stead? The pastor’s daughter. Which would be me.

That was rough. You don’t just learn piano from scratch and then after four years become the church pianist.

Actually, yes – yes you do.

Trial and error became the norm during the song service at our little country church in those early years, but the congregation remained patient with me, bless their hearts. As time passed, I improved, and before we all knew it, I graduated college with a BA in music and piano.

They went on strike, too. (Not all, but I’d say the majority).

This dilemma begs the parent’s discernment as to whether or not the fights are worth their time (and money). My parents knew in their hearts my desire to play the piano. Therefore, they did not let me give up on my dream, and I’m so glad they didn’t.

How to find a good piano teacher

This post is part of a two-part series. Part one is called, Five reasons why you shouldn’t let your child quit piano lessons . If you’re struggling with a revolting child who was formerly enraptured with the thought of taking lessons and you feel you shouldn’t give up on her, please, click on that post first.

Then, skip over to this side and weigh your options.
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Why you should let your child quit piano lessons

Truth is, I – the college music grad and parent – let every single one of my four children quit piano lessons.

It wasn’t for lack of trying. I believe every parent should stick to their guns about piano lessons for an extended period of time – say 2-4 years. Here are my pointers for letting little Susie off the hook.

1. She’s not practicing.

No matter how much you’ve threatened, the kid won’t practice. Or perhaps she does practice, but her heart isn’t in it and her brain is out to lunch (this happens a lot). Do not make the mistake of thinking that just because she attends a lesson each week, she is going to become a concert pianist. One does not become a concert pianist by osmosis.

Ya gotta do the work.

She’s just putting in her time to get it over with and go outside to play. Which brings us to number two.

2. She’s not learning.

A frank talk with her piano teacher will confirm this suspicion. If she’s stayed in book two for two years and the only song she can play is *ROY G. BIV, you might want to call it a day.

3. She doesn’t seem to have a knack for it.

Ok. This can be a bit of a hard pill to swallow for a parent – but there comes a time when you’ve got to face the facts. Not all children are designed to be musicians. If your child can’t carry a tune in a bucket or match tones with the piano, she may not have the capability to accelerate in this field.

Take heart, parent. This only means piano is not her niche – it just means she will excel at something else – such as sports or art.

3. You are her piano teacher.

This was my problem. As the teacher and the mom, I was always on my kid’s case.

Not much fun for little Harpo.

I had to learn to pick my battles, and piano wasn’t one of them. I could have hired a piano teacher for them.

Instead, I opted for other instruments (and teachers) – and that was the trick!

How to find a good piano teacher

4. She needs a different instrument.

I get it. You already spent money on a keyboard and piano books and now I’m telling you to forget that and invest in a clarinet.

Hear me well: NONE of that time spent in piano lessons is wasted, especially if little Susie moves on to another instrument.

It becomes that much easier for her to learn, because she already began reading music!

In our home, we ended up with:

  • a guitarist
  • a drummer
  • a bass player
  • a violinist
  • two vocalists
  • a flautist (that’s a flute player in lay terms)
  • a banjo picker
  • a mandolin player
  • and four kids who could all play piano at different levels, some of which returned to it of their own free will and later excelled!

5. You are persecuting the piano teacher

If your child comes to her lesson each week with a bad attitude, this is no fun for Mrs. Gray (her real name). If the kid just sits on the piano bench and refuses to play, “forgets” his books each week, or complains the entire time, believe me. Mrs. Gray would rather lose that pay check.

She can always pick up another student. There are thousands of potential students out there.

So go ahead. Make little Susie’s day. But not before giving it a good, old fashioned college try. Sometimes it takes a while for the kid to get into a rhythm. And if you’re convinced your child has musical talent, please hang in there!

It won’t be fun and it won’t be pretty at times, but they will be so thankful later that you made them practice and didn’t give up on them.

I know. I said this was a post about letting it go. No guilt here.

Only you know your kid and your situation. What other reasons would you add for dropping piano lessons?

*”Roy G. Biv” is a beginner song about the colors of the rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. See? Your kid is learning more than you thought from those lessons!

Sometimes quitting is better than fighting.

My 10-year-old has been studying piano for five years now, and for five years, we have been struggling to get her to practice. Bribes, threats, and bargains are the currency of necessity. I think there was one time in the five years, after a recital, that my daughter seemed to be genuinely happy about playing piano. She was proud of herself after that performance, and it seemed that she could see how her hard work had amounted to something that mattered to her. But that was short-lived and the next day, the same resistance returned.

“Try another instrument,” friends and teachers cheerfully suggested. And we have. I can say that I now know the sound of many different kinds of instruments, from woodwinds to strings, hitting the tile floor. I suppose it hasn’t all been dreadful, though. Sometimes, when my daughter’s friends come over, she likes to show them what she can do on the piano and that seems to bring her a sense of satisfaction. By and large, however, the piano has been five years of one big cacophonous yelling match, with a whole lot of “nooooo” and a sprinkling of slamming doors thrown in for harmony.

Challenge and discipline are good for children (and adults). Learning a difficult skill teaches us to push through frustration, and it strengthens the link between hard work and the joy of being able to do something well. True joy rarely comes without hard work, and we come to know this experientially when we do something hard on a regular basis. Taking on a challenge also teaches us to tolerate delayed gratification, to stay with something even when it is not fun, because of what will come later. We learn that there can be value in an experience, even when it is not pleasurable. Being willing (and tough enough) to keep practicing something hard gives us a sense of pride and inner strength. It connects us to ourselves in a very profound way.

When our practicing starts to deliver results, it is gratifying to know that we alone have put in the hours and offered up the blood, sweat, and tears that now result in our competence (and excellence). This process results in a deep sense of self-worth that is not transitory or grandiose but rather firmly grounded in the connection between hard work and ability.

Furthermore, there are periods in every life when one has to do very hard things for sustained periods of time, with or without a payoff at the end. Life is a challenge. Practicing a difficult skill is like practicing life itself. It helps develop the ability to be able to make it through these hard periods, without going numb or going mad. In this way, activities that require discipline and challenge teach children critical skills that they will undoubtedly need at some point in their lives. The benefits of sustaining a practice in something that requires us to stretch to our outermost limits, to stay in it through fear, frustration, anger, boredom, all the mind plagues—to journey through a place where we don’t think we will come out the other side, has profound benefits that are too numerous to mention here.

So, that brings me to the question at hand . for how long? For how long do we, as parents, keep pushing a child through their resistance? At what point do we stop forcing them to do something (that they say they don’t want to do) for the sake of building important life skills and learning important life lessons? What is the tipping point when pushing through their resistance is no longer teaching them the importance of sticking with something hard, but rather becomes a lesson in ignoring their personal sonar, that inner voice which tells them what they really want to do? When does the forcing of a challenging skill stop being something that helps connect our children to themselves and become something that actually disconnects them from themselves and their truth?

I have reached my tipping point personally, in part because I think we are working against the truth of what is, and on a more basic level, because I do not want the disruption in our family life to continue. Also, I wonder if at this point, since our daughter is 10, if we are not just banging our heads against a wall. It is quite possible that she may not take anything important from all this struggle. If she never learns to play piano well, which she won’t if she doesn’t practice or practices haphazardly (so as not to lose TV time), then all of this battling, this disruption in our home, will have been for what? She will not earn the sense of accomplishment and self-worth, the link between hard work and joy that we were hoping for. I am beginning to believe that giving her the right to say “no,” at this stage, may be more powerful in terms of teaching her a sense of her own value and strength.

I have asked my daughter if there is anything else that she would be interested in learning, something that would be a challenge and that she could practice at home on a daily basis. As of yet, we have not discovered another possible discipline, but that may change. Some people believe that we should stick with the plan, and that she should learn piano whether she wants to or not. To this mind, the ongoing conflict and familial dissonance contains a purpose that trumps the lived experience of it. Even if it’s 18 years of fighting, she will get her vocal chords’ worth of benefits from the experience. I, however, am not so sure and I wonder if we, like many families, are now just fighting over a concept, over an idea of what is good for children in general.

Here’s what I know:

1. After five years of taking weekly lessons, my daughter consistently does not want to practice the piano.

2. When my daughter plays well, she feels happy and proud of herself.

3. After any improvement/success, she immediately returns to not wanting to play.

4. My daughter does not want to do the work that is required for her to play the piano well.

As far as I understand it, these are what is. I am not interested in proving a concept, being right or winning the war. I am interested in giving my daughter the chance to build a deep, unquestionable, and very personal sense of her own ability, strength, and toughness. Perhaps for her, these teachings will come from being so fierce as to have her “no” finally heeded by her two equally fierce parents?

Coincidentally (or not), as I write this just now, I am listening as my younger daughter bangs around on the same piano that my older daughter drops her clothes on. Without prompting, my 2-year-old often climbs up on the bench to sing a song and play a melody that she creates. The truth is I love the way my older daughter hangs her clothes on the keys just as much as the lovely sounds wafting into my office right now. Perhaps after all the trying to give something that is not wanted, there comes a time to fall in love with what is. Perhaps that time is now.

Our Piano Teachers offer jazz piano lessons that are as flexible as the definition of jazz, itself. Our jazz piano teachers are fluent in ragtime, blues, swing, bebop, hard bop, straight-ahead jazz, modal jazz, free jazz, third-stream, jazz-rock fusion, funk, and all other contemporary styles of music.

How to find a good piano teacher

The Process of Learning Jazz Piano

What skills are required to play jazz piano? What should you expect to learn from jazz piano teachers?

How to find a good piano teacher

Our Approach to Jazz Piano Lessons

Our Piano Teachers offers jazz piano lessons that focus on enjoyment and creativity above all, with a thorough, well-rounded, and fun approach.

How to find a good piano teacher

Who Are the Ideal Jazz Piano Teachers?

The best jazz piano teachers are gigging jazz musicians, improvisers who play by ear, adaptable, and passionate about teaching.

How to find a good piano teacher

Preparing for Jazz Piano Exams

Preparing for jazz piano exams adds an extra element of structure and concrete goals to your jazz piano lessons, and our jazz piano teachers can make sure that you pass with high marks!

How to find a good piano teacher

Jazz Piano Improvisation And Creativity

Often cited as being the defining feature of jazz piano, improvisation is the practise of creating new, never before heard music, in the moment. Our Piano Teachers can show you how!

How to find a good piano teacher

Playing Jazz Piano in a Band

Our Piano Teachers offers jazz piano lessons that will arm you with the jazz piano skills necessary for playing in a group. Our jazz piano teachers have played in some of the best bands, and with some of the best jazz musicians.

How to find a good piano teacher

Learning the Jazz Piano Repertoire

Jazz piano teachers teach you the most important songs in the jazz piano repertoire, and show you the tricks to developing a large repertoire.

How to find a good piano teacher

Reading Jazz Piano Lead Sheets

Our Piano Teachers’ jazz piano lessons will teach you to identify the flaws in a lead sheet, and interpret it with intelligence and style.

How to find a good piano teacher

Jazz Piano Theory

Jazz piano theory is useful for improvising, reading lead sheets, composing, arranging, analyzing jazz music, and communicating with other musicians.

How to find a good piano teacher

Jazz Piano Aural Training

Anyone can learn to play by ear, and our jazz piano teachers can show you the tricks to opening your ears, and progressing from the general listening that we all do all the time, to developing focus and refined listening skills.

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For beginning students ages 5 to 6

Use My First Piano Adventure®. My First Piano Adventure® captures the child’s playful spirit. Fun-filled songs, rhythm games and technique activities develop beginning keyboard skills. My First’s three levels, A, B, and C, each have a Lesson Book with CD and a Writing Book. Book C of this young beginner course leads into Level 1 of basic Piano Adventures®.

For beginning students ages 7 to 9

Use the basic edition of Piano Adventures®, starting at the Primer level. All students need the Lesson Book and Theory Book, and most should also be given the Performance Book and Technique & Artistry Book. If you only teach a 30-minute lesson, however, you may need to choose between the latter two books. As the student finishes the pre-reading units, add a PreTime® Piano book of the student’s choice. (“PreTime®” = Primer level) Young students enjoy PreTime® Kids’ Songs; PreTime® Favorites is a staple in many studios; older students appreciate PreTime® Popular or PreTime® Classics. For fun and work on rhythm, use PreTime® Rock ‘n Roll or PreTime® Jazz & Blues.

For older beginners ages 10 and up

Use Accelerated Piano Adventures® for the Older Beginner. This course begins with Book One, eliminating the use of a primer. The pieces and illustrations are appropriate for an older age. The repertoire is sufficiently different from the basic course to allow two siblings to both use Piano Adventures®. The Lesson Book is essential. It is ideally supported by the Theory Book, Performance Book, and Technique & Artistry Book. A proficient student in the Accelerated edition may go directly into a PlayTime® Piano book midway through the Lesson Book. (“PlayTime®” = Level 1) The older beginner progresses from Book 1 to Book 2 of the Accelerated course, then into Level 3A of the basic course.

For adult beginners

Use Adult Piano Adventures® comprehensive, “All-In-One” books. Book 1 introduces the concepts of music notation, chord playing, rhythm, harmony, and musical form—all through engaging music. Book 2 applies the basics of music theory using “lead sheets” with chord accompaniment patterns. Each unit includes a “3-Minute Technique” page to develop finger dexterity and a “Music Theory” page to develop understanding of rhythm and harmony.

All Students

Every student should be given an assignment book. Piano Adventures® PracticeTime® is fun, effective, and provides correlated listings for the PreTime® to BigTime® Piano Supplementary Library. Older or advancing students may use the Practice and Progress Assignment Notebook to ensure effective practicing.

At level 2A or 2B, students may be introduced to the traditional piano literature with Preparatory Piano Literature of the Developing Artist® Library. The Developing Artist® Library presents authentic keyboard repertoire compiled and edited by Faber & Faber. The Piano Literature series continues with Books 1 and up. The Developing Artist® Piano Sonatinas (Books 1-4) take the student progressively through this important repertoire to the easier sonatas of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

For additional recital repertoire, see the Achievement Solo Sheets. This sheet music series by the Fabers is correlated to the method by level. For creative exploration (and group activities), see Discover Beginning Improvisation and Discover Blues Improvisation.

As a piano teacher, I buy a lot of sheet music! I try to keep a lot of books on hand for students who are ready for new music. And of course, we’re always on the search for new music to learn. With all of the sheet music that we purchase around here, these are my top sheet music sources.
How to find a good piano teacher

I try to support my local music store as much as I can. A brick and mortar music store is the only way to browse sheet music and have contact with real people that can help you find music. If we want to have this option, it’s important to shop at these stores.

With 2 small kids, I don’t have many opportunities to drop in to our local store just to browse, but I try to go several times a year to search for new music and stock up on books that I know my students will need.

Our local music store has a great selection of sheet music, so it’s a lot of fun to check out what’s new and I almost always leave with some exciting new finds.

Amazon is one of my top choices for buying printed sheet music, primarily because it’s just so convenient. Thanks to my Amazon Prime membership with free 2-day shipping, I can get books delivered to my front door within a couple of days. This is super handy when students are ready for new books. Often times, as they are finishing up a book, I’ll pull up the Amazon app on my phone and scan the next book that they’ll need and order it on the spot. Then, it’s here well before their next lesson.

Amazon is really dependable for most sheet music basics like current method books, collections of piano solos and classics. Sometimes if I’m looking for something very specific or out of date, I have to look elsewhere, but otherwise Amazon has an excellent selection of print music.

Some of my regular Amazon sheet music purchases include The Piano Adventures series and all of the corresponding supplemental books, Phillip Keveren piano arrangements, the In Recital series, and Returning To The Piano (which is my favorite recommendation for adults who know a little piano already).

My family uses Amazon Prime for pretty much everything – household items, shoes, clothes, gifts, office supplies for my studio, books, games, baby gear and kids’ items. If you’re not on the Amazon Prime bandwagon yet, you can get a free 1-month trial here. I highly recommend it!

Sheet Music Plus is great because I can find almost any book or piece of music that I’m searching for. Compared to Amazon, the free shipping is a bit slow, so I don’t tend to order from Sheet Music Plus if I need something promptly, or I’m prepared to fork over more money for the faster shipping.

However, a great feature of Sheet Music Plus is that many songs are available for instant download. I use this feature all the time for students who request a song. We can buy it, print it and start learning it within minutes.

Sheet Music Plus is a really great alternative if you can’t get to a physical store. Most songs have the option to view at least a couple of the pages, hear a part of or all of the piece and sometimes there is even a video demonstrating the music.

I think of the collection of music at Sheet Music Plus to be very pedagogically sound, meaning it’s very much geared towards teachers and piano learners. This means that they have a huge and very reliable selection of supplemental piano repertoire in print form, and you’ll also find a great variety of downloadable arrangements of songs, especially by current pedagogical arrangers and composers.

Another feature that’s great about Sheet Music Plus is their Easy Rebate Program. Teachers who sign up automatically earn an 8% rebate on all orders. This really adds up when you’re buying a lot of sheet music!

Music Notes

Music Notes, or musicnotes.com is another regular stop on my circuit when I’m searching for sheet music. All of the sheet music on musicnotes.com is available for instant download. This means it’s not the place I would go to for piano method books or collections of piano solos for me or my students. On the other hand, if you want to be able to access your sheet music immediately, Music Notes has plenty to offer.

I most often use Music Notes when I’m looking for a very specific song or piece of music.

You can find classics, hymns, and all other genres of piano music on musicnotes.com. However, I have found it to be the most useful for finding true-to-the-original versions of popular songs. Whenever I have a student who wants to play the piano part of a song they love, Music Notes is my go-to. A lot of times, you’ll find a transcription of the original song that isn’t watered down, simplified or made into a pedagogical arrangement.

(But, it’s important to note that Music Notes does have it’s own team of arrangers so, they do have a great collection of simplified music if that’s what you’re looking for; it’s just that you’re also more likely to find the original from their website, too.)

So there are my top 4 spots to find all the piano sheet music. Leave a comment below and let me know about other great sheet music resources!

My favorite resources for adults who want to learn piano at home:

Beginning Piano For Adults: This an 8 week online course for busy adults. It’s easy to incorporate into busy schedules and gives you access to a real piano teacher and a supportive online community.

Flowkey: Is an excellent piano tutorial app. It has over 1000 songs of all levels and styles. It includes beginners courses for adults starting from scratch.

Returning To The Piano: This is my favorite book for adults who already know a little piano and would like to continue learning more.

How To Sight Read Piano Music: A lot of people thing playing the piano is kind of magical, but the reality is that anyone who can just sit down in play has put in a lot of work. This post explains how you can practice this important piano skill.

As with anything, teaching group piano lessons has its advantages and its disadvantages. With group lessons, you can teach more students at one time. This is a definite advantage.

Here are some of the things I have learned about teaching group piano lessons for you to consider.

How to find a good piano teacher

Things You Need for Teaching Groups

Space:

To teach group lessons, you need to haveВ a studio or areaВ prepared for such a thing. It needs to be large enough for the class size you have in mind.

You’ll also need enough space for activities related to learning music or piano. So keep in mind standing in groups or lines, having the group sit down to learn something together and things like that.В

Another thing to consider is parents. Will they need to wait outside or do you want to have a space for them to be inside picking up students.

How Many Pianos Do You Need?

Try to have at least one real piano. Other students can play on keyboards. Be sure your keyboards are touch sensitive and have a pedal. Hopefully you’ll have enough wall sockets / power points for them all!

When setting up the studio, keep in mind how you will teach different techniques and how all of the students will see you while at the piano.В

Materials:

You may also want to get some things to make your studio more like a classroom. By this I mean getting things like aВ whiteboard and rhythm sticks. Things you will need to teach the students as a group.

Resources to Consider:

  • rhythm sticks, bells, triangles or rhythm instruments
  • a whiteboard (plus markers or erasers)
  • your computer with a projector (depends on your teaching style)
  • pencils, erasers, markers, crayons
  • paper
  • piano learning printouts
  • laminator (so you only need to make supplies once)
  • craft supplies – depends on your teaching style
  • fluffy balls, ropes (for lines), discs (for notes), etc

When planning lessons, it’s good to have an idea of what you’re going to do. At the same time, it’s great to have a few backup resources ready in case things go awry or you have some extra time to fill.В

Logistics For Group Lessons

How will the group of students start?

You may want toВ have terms or starting times. This way, you can begin a book together and end it together. It also allows for new students to enter the class.

How To Stay Organized:

Organization!

If you’re teaching many students, I’d highly recommend a program to help with billing, scheduling, taxes and all the other little details.

The one I like the best is theВ Music Teachers HelperВ . It does all that and provides you with a place to post photos, videos, a website and other things. If you’re serious about running a studio, definitely take a look.В

Class Size

If you are teaching children, you need to keep the class size small. I would recommendВ less than 5 studentsВ in a class. If parents come to the class, there can be more. Keep in mind the noise level and potential rowdiness of students.В

In teaching group piano lessons to adults, I would also recommend a small group. This is more because adults may want more individual attention and probably they’ll want to hear their keyboard above all others.

Advantages of Groups

In teaching group piano lessons, you can do some things that you can’t do in individual lessons. You can haveВ duets. You can also doВ fun rhythm activities. You can learn some things more in a classroom style.В

If you have an even number of students, they can drill each other on things like notes. Flashcards would work well in this area. Take advantage of the number and play some fun games you can’t play with only one student.

Group Lesson Preparation

In teaching group piano lessons, you need to be more structured than in private lessons. It’s a must to prepare ahead of time what you will be teaching in that lesson. This way, things will go smoothly and you can have any supplies you need ready.В

When I taught group lessons, I prepared an outline for each lesson. It does take a bit of work but it’s worth it during the lesson.

In the outline make note of:

  • what songs or pieces you’ll be teaching or reviewingВ
  • new concepts to teach (and how)В
  • concepts to review
  • whichВ activities you’ll use to teach and review

Who Are Group Lessons Good For?

I would recommend teachingВ group piano lessons only for beginners.

Once students start playing more classical pieces, group lessons won’t really work well for them. Instead, at this stage, you can have master classes.

Master Classes:
An Alternative for More Advanced Students

A master class is where students come and play for each other. In the master class, students are encouraged to offer input to help the other students.В

There is one or two teachers there to listen to each piece of music and record notes on how the students can improve.

For master classes, you can also get a teacher visit your area who is either really excellent or an expert in a style of playing. This is a great way to share knowledge around and provide your students with topics you are less comfortable with.

Useful Videos About Teaching Group Piano Lessons

Seeing group lessons can be also very helpful! I’ve pulled together a few videos (not all with good audio – sorry), to help give you further ideas of what your lessons could look like.В

Beginning Group Piano Class Presentation:

Group Piano Class (Part 1):

Another Group Piano Lesson Example:

Those are the essentials to teaching group lessons. Happy teaching! I hope it goes well for you!

Do you love playing the piano? Have you considered turning your musical hobby into a career?

A lot of people don’t consider careers in music because it might seem like a competitive field with a lot of instability. That can be true, but many pianists are able to find full-time work to support themselves and their families.

If you’re someone who enjoys the consistency of managing a single responsibility at your job, working as a musician might not be for you.

It is unlikely that someone who plays the piano for a living operates on a 9-5 schedule. Most musicians wear many hats. They are involved in many different musical endeavors and hold a number of responsibilities.

Many musicians thrive with this type of work because they enjoy the variety of tasks, music and people they encounter. This lifestyle is usually life giving rather than draining for musicians.

There are many different types of jobs that pianists can do, but we’ll just explore a handful of them today. Accompanying, teaching and performing are the 3 most common routes pianists tend to go.

Accompanying

There are many different ways to use your piano skills as an accompanist. Here are a few of the different applications:

  • Churches
  • Schools
  • Ballet schools
  • Community choirs
  • Vocal and instrumental lessons
  • Rehearsals for musicals and other productions
  • Vocal and instrumental competitions and festivals

Accompanying requires you to have excellent sight-reading skills. You also have to be able to adapt quickly and think on the spot.

It’s unlikely that you’d have much control over your schedule since many of the groups listed above have pre-determined practice times. However, between all of the types of groups, there is a lot of variety in rehearsal times, so you’d likely be able to secure more than one accompanying gig and choose collaborations that appeal to you most. For example, you could fill day-time hours accompanying high school choir classes, evening hours as a ballet rehearsal accompanist or weekends as a church accompanist.

Some of these jobs are ongoing and others are seasonal. For example, churches and schools almost always have year-round rehearsals, or at least follow an academic year calendar. These jobs usually have a pre-determined pay that is hourly or salaried.

Accompanying for competitions and festivals would be more inconsistent. Many states and school districts hold music competitions for band, orchestra and vocal students. The students usually need an accompanist the day of the competition, but they may also need to rehearse with the accompanist for several weeks leading up to their competition. For these types of situations, you may be able to set your own rates.

Teaching

Teaching is a really common way to use your piano skills. There are a number of settings where you could teach:

  • Local piano studio
  • In your own home
  • Traveling to students’ homes
  • High school piano lab
  • University piano lab or private lessons

Teaching piano is a very accessible job. Although you don’t need any specific degrees or certifications to teach private piano lessons independently, you do need to be qualified to teach in a school or university setting.

Piano teachers need to have excellent interpersonal skills, a creative approach to piano and good business sense.

Schools and universities will probably offer you a pre-determined salary; however, studio teaching can have more variance.

If you’re teaching for someone else’s studio, you will likely earn a portion of what students are paying for lessons. If you offer lessons independently, you have complete control over how much to charge.

Performing

Performing is probably the most competitive of these jobs. Concert pianists perform at a very high level. They are talented and put in many years of work to earn the privilege of performing in large concert venues.

On a smaller scale, there are many opportunities to perform in local communities. Some restaurants or malls may have pianists or small musical ensembles who perform for their guests.

Churches will occasionally hire professional musicians to make guest appearances for special church services, especially around Christmas or Easter. Pianists are also often needed for special events such as weddings, receptions and parties.

Piano performers need to play with exceptional artistry and skill. They need to create a name for themselves and have the reputation of being an excellent performer.

There is a huge range of pay for piano performers depending on experience, the type of venue and the nature of the performance.

Of these three career paths, most pianists probably do some combination of all three of these jobs in some capacity.

Other Careers For Pianists

While these are the main ways pianists can earn a living, there are a number of other directions you could go.

Piano Technician
This is a special skill that may not be suitable for many musicians. However, if you are a musician who happens to have an excellent ear and a knack for the mechanics of a piano, this job might be for you. There is definitely a demand for qualified people to repair, tune and maintain pianos.

Composer
If you love creating your own music, there may be opportunities to compose music for a living. Video game music, soundtracks, commissioned work, and pedagogical music are some types of music that current composers are creating.

Music Therapist
If you love using your music to help others, music therapy might be a good direction for you.

Piano is a really versatile and provides many opportunities for income. However, it’s always a good idea to expand your skill set to broaden your options even more.

For example, if you have some conducting skills, you could be an accompanist and leader of a choral group.

Or, if your teaching interests include early childhood, you could teach music classes in daycares or elementary schools.

Another nice aspect of the jobs we discussed is that many of the can be part-time or side hustles that fit well with busy seasons of life or other career endeavors.

Piano jobs can be challenging, satisfying and interesting. If you love playing the piano or are studying the piano, there are a lot of different options for you!

This post was written by Megan, piano teacher and author of Pianissimo: A Very Piano Blog. Visit her website for more piano related blogs for teachers, parents, students, and all things piano.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and make a purchase, Musicnotes will receive an affiliate commission. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

How to find a good piano teacher

Buying a Used or Restored Piano:
What to Buy

A Historical Overview

Though in each decade both good and bad pianos have been produced, and each piano must be judged on its own merits, this brief historical overview may give you some idea of what to expect to see as you shop for a used piano.

How to find a good piano teacher

Buying a Used or Restored Piano:
How to Find a Used Piano

Finding a used piano essentially involves networking, a concept very much in vogue these days. Some networking can be done by computer, and some with old-fashioned phone calls and shoe leather. Here are some of your options — you may be able to think of others.

How to find a good piano teacher

Buying a Used or Restored Piano:
Buying a Restored Piano

Three terms are often used in discussions of piano restoration work: repair, reconditioning, and rebuilding. There are no precise definitions of these terms, so it’s very important, when considering restoration work, to find out exactly what has been, or will be, carried out.

How to find a good piano teacher

Buying a Used or Restored Piano:
How Much Is It Worth?

The valuation of used pianos is difficult. In this article, I’ve tried to assemble some information and tools to help buyers and sellers understand the appraisal process and determine the value of a piano within a reasonable range.

How to find a good piano teacher

Advice About Used Pianos

For Parents of Young Beginning Piano Students

There are many common misconceptions about buying pianos for young students, and one of them is that a suitable piano can be had for only a few hundred dollars. The truth is that, to progress, young students need better pianos, not worse.

How to find a good piano teacher

Buying a Used Steinway

As an aid to those buying a used Steinway, I have listed all models of Steinway piano made in New York City since the firm’s inception in 1853, serial numbers and corresponding years of manufacture, and a discussion of two issues that frequently arise in connection with used Steinways.

Excerpted from The Piano Book, Fourth Edition, by Larry Fine

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Piano Buyer Classifieds

Browse thousands of listings of pianos for sale, or post one of your own. Both are free. You pay a small commission only when you sell your piano through the ad.

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Piano Purgatory: The Donated Piano

How Institutions Can Avoid Donations of Inappropriate Instruments

SALLY PHILLIPS (Fall 2013)

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Gray-Market Pianos and Cracked Soundboards

Myth and Reality

Excerpted from the article “Buying a Used or Restored Piano,” by Larry Fine

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How to Locate the Serial Number of a Piano and Checklist For Inspecting a Used Piano Before Buying

Excerpted from The Piano Book, Fourth Edition, by Larry Fine

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How to Inspect a Used Piano Before Buying

Excerpted from The Piano Book, Fourth Edition, by Larry Fine

How to find a good piano teacher

Rebuilding Spotlight:

Everything Old is New Again

STUART ISACOFF (Spring 2010)

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Should I Have My Piano Rebuilt?

SALLY PHILLIPS (Fall 2016)

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Three Approaches to Piano Restoration:

Conservative, Modern, Innovative

BILL SHULL, DAVID G. HUGHES, and DELWIN D. FANDRICH (Fall 2010, updated August 2018)

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Upright Cabinet Styles in American Piano Manufacturing, 1880–1930

MARTHA TAYLOR (Spring 2012)

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Rebuilder spotlight:

David Andersen: A Reliable Catalyst

STEVE BRADY (Fall 2009)

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Rebuilder Spotlight: Cunningham Piano Company

TIM OLIVER and RICH GALASSINI (Spring 2011)

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Rebuilding the New York Way

SALLY PHILLIPS (Spring 2015)

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Piano Buyer Interview:

Joe Ross, Owner of PianoMart.com

PIANO BUYER (Spring 2018)

How to find a good piano teacher

The Private and Public Sides of Celebrity Pianos

KAREN E. LILE (Spring 2018)

The Steinway Hunter

Burned Out in Buffalo

Robert Friedman with Ronnie Rosenberg-Friedman (Fall 2020)

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Note: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.

Whether you are a music teacher searching for fresh material to work into your curriculum, a parent looking for a specific piece your child might like, or a musician yourself on the hunt for something new to play, you’ll be happy to find that there are many resources online that will satisfy your need for piano sheet music. Better yet, some are even free!

Read on as we share some of the best places online to find piano sheet music.

Paid Sites

While you once had to visit a specialty music shop to get sheet music— if you could even find the specific music you were looking for— now, you can simply search online to get access to thousands of pieces from the comfort of your own home. Here are some of the top paid sites to find the music you seek.

Music Notes – Music Notes has an extensive library of digital sheet music available for piano (and other instruments). This easy to navigate site offers over 300,000 sheet music arrangements that can be downloaded for printing instantly, as well as for use anywhere with their multi-platform app. Music is categorized by “styles” – genre, holiday, occasion, and decade, and is also easily searchable if you know the name of the piece or artist you are specifically looking for. Music Notes has a wide variety of styles available from classical staples to current pop and country, movie and TV scores, musicals, and more. Most popular pieces are available for about $5.50, with major credit cards and PayPal accepted.

Sheet Music Plus – Sheet Music Plus will be a familiar name to teachers. This site claims the world’s largest selection of sheet music, with plenty of digital downloads available. Sheet Music Plus has been a reliable, go-to for music teachers and enthusiasts alike since 1997. Their website looks dated in comparison to Music Notes, but easy to find what you are looking for.

Sheet Music Plus offers both individual songs and full books of music in digital format. Like Music Notes, they offer a wide variety of styles from current pop and country favorites, holiday tunes, classical and classical, as well as children’s, world music, and Latin. Prices range from $1.99 for some individual songs to $19.95 for full songbooks of multiple pieces, with major credit cards and PayPal accepted.

Sheet Music Now – Another long-standing site for sheet music is Online Sheet Music, now known as Sheet Music Now. Just like the other paid sites, they offer a wide variety of genres from current popular music like Calvin Harris and Coldplay to Broadway show tunes from Cats and Jesus Christ Superstar to classical pieces. They even offer the basics of 5 finger playing like Chopsticks. Individual songs are available for around $3-4.99, available for purchase through PayPal or major credit card.

Noviscore – Noviscore is a unique resource that offers sheet music for piano, in that each piece has been adapted for up to four levels of playing ability. Some of the scores even offer a “reading aid” to help in learning music theory. Music is searchable by style, playing level, and instrument.

They offer a large selection of different styles, just as other sites do – current popular favorites like Despacito or Pink’s What About Us, to classical like Mendelssohn and Beethoven, as well as a selection of Noviscore monthly exclusives. Each song is around $4.99 per level with a small additional fee for the reading aid if you choose to add that on. Sheet music is available for download as well as for use in their Noviscore app. Payments by PayPal, credit card and bank transfer are accepted.

Free Sites

In addition to the many sites that you can find sheet music for sale, you can even find sheet music for free. While you might not find exactly what you seek, the price can’t be beat!

Musescore – Musescore is an expansive site that offers free, user-uploaded sheet music. This resource offers sheet music for multiple genres, Adele to Chopin, Mozart to Twenty One Pilots, and everything in between, however, there seems to be a much greater selection for popular music than classical.

This site’s browse function isn’t terribly intuitive, so be prepared to browse by artist, by instrument, or search for specifically what you are looking for. That said, Musescore offers adaptations of harder to find pieces and original music that you will likely not find anywhere else. Musescore also offers a completely free, open source music notation program under the same name, so you can create your own sheet music to contribute.

Of course, nothing is 100% free – Musescore offers a Pro level membership that offers more tools and features for playback and printing, as well as more space for saving your own work.

8notes – 8notes.com offers free sheet music for a variety of genres. This site allows you to view the sheet music on screen and print a passable version for free – with more extensive features like saving to PDF, high-resolution printing, and unlimited midi preview available with a $20/year membership.

IMSLP – The International Music Score Library Project is a vast collection of public domain sheet music. With over 400,000 scores, if it is classical, traditional folk, or maybe some jazz music you are after, this site is a gold mine. The sheet music varies in quality, however, as much of it is scanned from physical copies.

With these resources, you should never find yourself in a musical rut. Take some time to visit each of these sites, as each offer something a little different.

Music is more enjoyable when it’s played on a piano that’s tuned and receiving regularly-scheduled maintenance. Whether you’re looking for support services or shopping for a new piano, Moore Piano is ready to help! Click here to contact us today!

Have you grown frustrated with trying to learn from books, software, or cheap introductory videos with little useful content?

Now is your chance to master the keys of this beautiful instrument.

Are you ready to really learn the piano? Perhaps you had lessons as a child. You may have taught yourself a few songs here and there. Or maybe you’ve never played a single note. The point is, you’ve never really learned to play. Are you ready?

Learn & Master Piano is by far the world’s most complete video instruction course for learning piano. Designed to walk you through from start to finish, Learn & Master Piano is the only instructional tool you’ll need as you strive to finally learn this wonderful instrument – even if you’re sitting down to it for the very first time.

Learn & Master Piano is designed primarily for adults. Unlike the lessons many of us had as children, you will begin playing popular songs right away and then develop your skills using a simple step-by-step progression.

The course consists of 20 DVDs, 5 play-along CDs and a 100+ page lesson book, all crammed with step-by-step instruction, clear demonstrations, and popular songs you already know, such as “Let it Be,” “Blueberry Hill,” and “Moondance,” just to name a few.

You also get full access to our online student support site where you can question our instructors, post your profile, track your progress, chat with other students, and join in the fun as we all learn piano together.

The DVD’s

The twenty DVDs contained in Learn & Master Piano are really the heart of this course. Each lesson is clearly explained and demonstrated, so you know exactly what and how to practice. And because it’s from Legacy Learning Systems, you know the training quality is of the highest caliber.

Topics Covered

Learn and Master Piano covers everything from the very basics through the most advanced techniques. There’s no way we could list everything here, but here are a few of the things you will learn—and master!

Styles Covered

One of the first things people want to know is “What style of piano will I learn to play?” We all have our favorite styles of music, so it’s only natural that you’d be most interested in playing what you like. Unlike most piano courses, Learn & Master Piano is complete enough to offer training in all of the most popular styles. You can study them all or just the ones that interest you most.

Play-Along CD’s

This is where the fun comes in! These five CDs allow you to play along with an actual band, using the very same songs you’ll be learning in your lessons. There’s no better way to learn than by playing, and there’s no way to play that’s more fun than jamming with a band. You’ll be amazed at how much fun this makes your practice time! Your friends and family will be impressed, too, at how soon you are playing such beautiful music.

More Experienced Piano Players

If you are an intermediate player, chances are you’ve learned by picking things up here and there on your own. You may have taken a few lessons. You may have read a few books or watched a few videos. You may or may not have learned to read music. You’ve enjoyed being able to play the basics, but now you’re ready to move beyond that. Learn & Master Piano is your answer.

by Jenny Simaile
Goonellabah, New South Wales, Australia

L

earning to play the piano isn’t easy, but well worth the effort, especially when you know what personal qualities are most likely to help you succeed. Below you’ll find a listing of those qualities which I think help make piano students successful. If you have them already, that’s great. If you don’t, think about working on them. You’ll enjoy your lessons more and your teacher will thank you.

2. Patience. Learning the piano is difficult. You must be patient with yourself – your brain and your body, and don’t forget to be patient with your teacher. All good things come to those with patience!

3. Reasonableness. You cannot expect to learn a Chopin nocturne in five minutes! Nor is it advisable to compare yourself to your piano teacher or anyone else who has been playing for many years, when you have only had a hand full of lessons!

4. Dedication. You must devote time and effort to learning the piano. This takes prioritizing life’s events. Where you put piano on your list of priorities is one reflection of how well you will progress.

5. Humility. Learning the piano is recognizing and accepting limitations. Like all art forms, it is imperfect. Mistakes, memory losses and nerves are all a part of the piano experience. We need humility if we are to accept advice and suggestions from others with more experience than ourselves.

6. Enthusiasm. It is very difficult to do anything unless we have a desire and a positive outlook on it. A sincere love and enjoyment of music and the actual instrument will be your impetus for progress.

7. Inquisitiveness. If we do not want to know what andante means, we won’t be bothered learning it, let alone remembering it. Our knowledge and experience will therefore be limited.

8. Endurance. Playing the piano is not something that will be mastered overnight. In fact, we must realize and accept that we probably have a good eight years ahead of us before we become truly competent. When we’ve reached that stage, we then realize that our journey will no doubt last a lifetime; an endurance test, but not a drudgery!

9. Sensitiveness. Music is passion and tenderness. Our mind, heart and bodies must be ‘in tune’ with expression. We must ponder, become absorbed and feel music. There will be many who believe this is the ultimate quality for a successful student.

10. Creativeness. Notes on a staff do not in themselves equate to music. It is the way these notes are brought into a living experience that brings about music. Music is art. A piano player’s entire purpose is to create. If you’re not creative, you probably won’t be drawn to the piano in the first place.

The Piano Education Page, Op. 10, No. 1, http://pianoeducation.org
© Copyright 1995-2020 John M. Zeigler. All rights reserved.

Scales source and guide for musicians

How to find a good piano teacherPiano scales are valuable knowledge for every person playing the piano. It is the theory behind that will help you understand chords and other concepts in music. Playing scales is a great way for improving your technique and can serve as building blocks for creating melodies.

Because of the relationship of notes in specific scales, they will always sound well played together. This make scales a primary foundation for everyone who wants to improvise on the instrument. It can be done just by playing the white keys as in the C Major Scale, or it can be more advanced by, for example, using modus for jazz improvisation. Therefore, you shouldn’t consider scales as some boring and dull stuff – it can be your step up to a new level of playing. In addition, training at scales will make your fingers stronger. This in combination with your increasing knowledge about how the tones relates will make you capable to play faster.

On this site you can learn lots of piano scales and receive tips explaining how to use them. It is boring just to memorize if you don’t understand the use of it … Therefore, the idea is to always provide the musical context for the scale and not just hand over the notes.

In the menu, you will find different categories of piano scales as well as resources including printable scales and explanations of correct fingering. There are more areas to explore, including exercises and an introduction to the theory of piano scales.

New scale with pictures and theory: Dorian Add 5
The Dorian mode expanded with a blue note.

New content: Musical notes and their names – quiz
Learn the musical notes on the keyboard.

Become a member
Pianoscales.org offers exclusive material requested by visitors such as sheet music and other kind of material. Hopefully some of you piano learners will support the site and do it possible to create more quality-focused educational material.

As a member you get:

  • Piano backing tracks.
  • Sheet music in different versions plus sound.
  • Scales in musical notes (pdf).
  • Lessons and interactive ear training.
  • Access to new exclusive material that is produced.
  • Being a very appreciated supporter of this site.

The material is accessible from your member page … More details

How to define scales

Scales are collections of notes that belong together. They can also belong to a certain key. This relationship is also true about chords – but the difference between chords and scales is that a scale normally consists of more notes, which are not played simultaneously as often is the case with chords.

A scale consists of notes that have a musical connection and are building blocks for chords and schemes for improvisation. By knowing and recognizing scales, you will be able to place a song in a musical context and as a result be able to play it with less effort. Knowing scales on the piano can, of course, also assist you in composing your own music.

Attitudes toward scales

As mentioned above, this part of your piano education is sometimes given negative connotations: scales are intruding on your freedom of creativity and things like that. The truth is that scales aren’t about strict rules, but more like a background in your practice. (As a footnote, atonal music can be mentioned here, that is a reaction against the tonal music).

Exactly which scales you should focus upon will depend on the musical styles that interest you. But generally, a good advice is to learn the Major Scale considering how common it is in piano music. Important to study is also the Minor Scale which exist in three different versions – the natural, the harmonic and the melodic. Don’t worry, they are almost similar but the distinctions will give you new possibilities. The Pentatonic scales are also common, and in some styles the modal scales are frequently used.

The keyboard

The piano has 88 keys that are put together on a keyboard. As shown in the picture below the keyboard on a piano is symmetrical arranged in twelve – seven white and five black – keys that are repeated (some exceptions are shown in the left and right ends). These keys are also ordered in octaves that makes eight notes. Every interval between two notes of the same tone, as a C to a higher C, is an octave.

The notes

Playing piano is often done by reading notes. Below you can see an illustration of notes on a staff – here as the scale of D major.

On this site you can find exercises with scales written in notes.

Copyright

This topic comes up a few times a year on the various forums that I belong to. It’s time for me to write a fairly “permanent” piece on it that I can point people to. I have had good success with teaching people to match pitch, and the principles are not difficult. The problem seems to be that experienced singers make too many assumptions about how a nonsinger hears and processes pitch.

  1. Progress will be faster if you have the student make a sound first, which you then find on the piano and in your voice, then expand from there.
  2. People match to other singers more easily than to a piano.
  3. Stay away from register breaks at first.
  4. Many people will have an easier time starting with a pitch near their speaking range.
  5. Some people don’t know what up and down feels like in a voice, and must be drilled in that.

A typical first lesson in pitch matching would be to have the student say a simple sentence such as “The sky is blue.” Then I may have them stretch certain words while I poke around on the piano to see where their speaking voice is. Then I find the pitch of a certain word and we start going stepwise from that. Stay in a diatonic key. So, if their speaking pitch on the word “sky” or “blue” is Bb3, stay in the key of Bb for now. Going chromatically or in whole tones or skipping around will lead to chaos. They are used to hearing tonal music, and working within that environment will be most constructive at first. Sing the note with them after you have identified it.

Now we are ready to move away from the first note, always making it singer-centered and not piano-centered. Let’s make their first pitch the tonic for these exercises. (It doesn’t really matter to the student as long as the first note fits in a diatonic scale that you then use for the following exercises.) From there I would try patterns like do-ti, do-ti-la, do-ti-la-so, with me singing at their pitch and then us singing together, while playing the notes on the piano at the same time. You may not be able to go as low as “so” because many people speak near the bottom of their range.

Then I go up in patterns like do-re, do-re-mi, do-re-mi-fa. All these patterns start with do. I do not use solfege syllables with students! I’m just using them here for ease of communication to you musicians. Use the word they originally spoke or a very easy syllable like “mum” or “buh”. No all-vowel vocalises yet; they are harder for new singers.

I also have them do sirens. These are important for all voices. They need to know what sliding up and sliding down feels like so they can make adjustments as they find new pitches. They will also learn where their breaks are, if they have them. Some beginners do not have breaks! If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Generally you should do these exercises so that they do not cross register breaks. Often they can handle making sounds in both low and high parts of their voice right away. Many men are better at matching pitch in their falsetto than in their chest voice at first.

Having the singer get their pitch directly from the piano is a more advanced skill. This is because the piano has very clangy overtones of octaves and fifths that do not line up with the sound of a voice. It can make which octave to sing with unclear until the student is used to listening to, and matching, the fundamental when a piano key is played. Playing a chord with the pedal down can be especially overwhelming to the new singer. You then have many overtones reinforcing each other and competing for the singer’s attention. As humans we are programmed from birth to respond most readily to other human voices.

If you want to teach pitch-matching you will need to be prepared to demonstrate a lot vocally, in their octave, at first.

I have not failed to help a student match pitches better with this approach, and improvement usually occurs immediately. There are very few truly tone deaf people out there. The big challenge is creating a connection among ear, mind, and voice.

If you enjoy this blog, consider grabbing a copy of Sane Singing: A Guide to Vocal Progress, available in print and ebook!

How to find a good piano teacher

How to Sell or Donate Your Piano

Selling a used piano can be a challenge: Since the Recession, used pianos at all price levels have plummeted in value. In his article, Cohen, with the help of other Piano Buyer staff, advises how to make the most of a difficult market.

STEVE COHEN and Piano Buyer staff

How to find a good piano teacher

Donating, Converting, or Recycling Your Piano

In this article I outline some of the options available to those who have a piano they don’t want to keep or sell, but who would like to see it go somewhere other than the dump or local landfill.

KAREN LILE (Fall 2013)

How to find a good piano teacher

Buying a Used or Restored Piano:
How Much Is It Worth?

The valuation of used pianos is difficult. In this article, I’ve tried to assemble some information and tools to help buyers and sellers understand the appraisal process and determine the value of a piano within a reasonable range.

How to find a good piano teacher

Seller Advisory Service

We offer a fee-based service to estimate your piano’s value, and advise you on the best ways to sell the piano, or how to donate it if that option is appropriate.

How to find a good piano teacher

Piano Buyer Classifieds

Browse thousands of listings of pianos for sale, or post one of your own. Both are free. You pay a small commission only when you sell your piano through the ad.

How to find a good piano teacher

Piano Buyer Network

In a hurry to sell? Don’t want to open your home to strangers? The Piano Buyer Network is a group of piano dealers and restorers who have expressed interest in buying good-quality used pianos from consumers. You can advertise to them for free through this service.

How to find a good piano teacher

Piano Purgatory: The Donated Piano

How Institutions Can Avoid Donations of Inappropriate Instruments

This article helps institutions develop a plan for fulfilling their piano-related needs, including valuable guidelines for the donation of used pianos, so they will not be sitting ducks for well-intended but inappropriate donations.

SALLY PHILLIPS (Fall 2013)

How to find a good piano teacher

Taking a Tax Deduction When Donating a Piano

This article is an overview of IRS rules regarding taking a tax deduction when donating a piano valued at more than $5,000.