Is it difficult to learn how to play piano?

August 23, 2021

Music Lessons in NYC - Piano Lessons NYC

If you love the sound of the piano and are wondering if it is difficult to learn how to play piano, we have some great news for you.  The piano is actually the easiest musical instrument to begin playing!

The first part of learning how to play piano may seem intimidating, but it’s really quite simple: you press a key down and sound comes out. Learning other instruments musical instruments doesn’t work this way;  it’s necessary to have some complex and coordinated body movement to produce a single sound. 

For example, when playing a violin, there are a number of things that have to go right in order to make a good sound:

  1.  Holding the bow in a very specific way with your right hand
  2. Holding the violin between your chin and shoulder
  3. Be able to move your left hand to press the strings with your fingers with the correct amount of pressure
  4. Hold the bow properly and move it at a certain and angle and speed applying specific pressure on the strings

All of these things must happen in milliseconds in order to avoid the dreaded squeaking sounds a violin can make when played improperly.

This is not to say that other instruments are harder than piano, in general. Each instrument has its own challenges. When we talk about the very first step in learning to make music, piano is the most instantly gratifying instrument. 

Anyone can press a key down and make a sound. You may be asking yourself if your hands are suitable in general to become good at playing the piano.

  • Are my fingers long enough?
  • Are my hands too small?
  • Are my fingers too fat to fit on the keyboard?

These are all valid questions for someone beginning piano lessons to ask! They have a simple and straightforward answer: the piano keyboard is universal for all types of hands and even body types in general. The ingenious size and design of the piano keyboard has been perfected over many centuries and allows for literally anyone over the age of 3.5 years old to play on it. There are many top tier pianists today with a variety of hand shapes: tiny hands like Mitsuko Uchida or gigantic hands with fat sausages for fingers (sorry!) like Gregory Sokolov. Your fingers and hands have very little to do with having incredible piano technique. 

In your very first piano lesson, you or your child will quickly learn how to play a simple song or two – given you have a great piano teacher (like we do on our staff!)  At every next lesson you can learn new short pieces, eventually leading to playing with hands together. Bottom line – when you take beginning piano lessons, you can start making music right away.

Understanding note reading and the basics of music theory is also easier with piano. The keys go to the right side the pitch goes higher, to the left – lower. It almost never works as simply as that on other musical instruments. Professional music students almost always learn music theory at the piano in addition to their main instrument. They even have to pass piano proficiency to receive their degrees!

Another aspect of playing the piano that is much simpler than most other instruments is that the pianist doesn’t have to worry about playing “in tune.” If an acoustic piano is properly tuned by a professional- electric keyboards don’t need to be tuned at all – everything you play will automatically be in tune. This would not be true if you were learning to play any other instrument!

So, what is the hard part about playing the piano you may ask? It is the fact that it is necessary to play several notes at the same time with both hands pressing the piano keys independently. No other non-keyboard instrument is capable of producing so many notes simultaneously. Harp would be the closest contender and it is actually the hardest musical instrument to learn to play.

A good piano teacher will guide you towards using the hand coordination needed to play the piano. Great piano technique can be achieved by any pianist over age 4 and doesn’t require  supernatural abilities. In the end, the sound of the piano is comparable to several other instruments playing at the same time. Piano lessons are  extremely rewarding as they allow you to be able to produce the rich and complex sound in any musical style from classical to jazz to pop!

To sign up for music lessons in NYC or to contact us with any questions using the form below:

(212) 247-4900
Riverside Music Studios - Midtown
1727 Broadway, Suite 2
New York, New York 10019

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Riverside Music Studios - Downtown
160 Broadway, Suite 900EB
New York, New York 10038