Do You Need A Teacher To Learn Piano?

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Written By Sarah Barlow

Chief Music Officer

Do You Need A Teacher To Learn Piano?

In determining whether you need a teacher to learn the piano you must first evaluate yourself. Self-evaluation will help you determine whether learning by yourself is manageable or whether it is preferable to get a piano teacher. 

Here is a list of questions that will help you decide on this matter.

What Do I Envision Learning Or Achieving?

This is the primary question you must ask yourself when planning to get a piano teacher. You must evaluate yourself whether you want to learn all major scales or rather just simply play a trending song you just heard. 

Well, if you plan to learn every single major scale on the piano, then getting a piano teacher would be more efficient and effective in achieving your goal. However, if you simply envision yourself just playing current hit songs, then learning by yourself would be more manageable especially since there are numerous videos online to teach you in playing the song you plan to play. 

Is It Practical To Achieve These Goals Alone?

During your musical journey, you must be able to observe from time to time whether or not the goals you have set are practical to take on alone or you need to develop missing steps you lack with the guidance of a teacher in order to proceed to a new goal.

What Resources Do I Have Or Lack?

This is a very essential question to put in mind especially when you are planning to learn how to play the piano individually with the use of online resources. 

There are instances wherein free online tutorial videos will require you to possess specific piano techniques at the keyboard which will more likely be less effective compared to learning with a piano teacher. Playing with a piano teacher’s guidance ensures that you develop every technique you must master before proceeding to the next.

If I Encounter Problems How Am I Gonna Solve Them?

Basically sooner or later when learning how to play the piano, you would somehow encounter difficulties. For instance, not being able to make the metronome sound better and not being able to blend in the right rhythms you need for your pieces. During these struggles, most individuals just give up, making it very crucial to have a prepared strategy for solving these certain problems when learning alone. This ensures that you still give yourself the motivation to proceed with your goals. 

When you have a piano teacher, on the other hand, they are more likely to come up with ideas and tactics to help you overcome your difficulties.

How Do You Know What You Don’t Know?  

This question simply addresses the fact that if you don’t have any piano background then you certainly don’t have an idea of what information you can access, resulting in a lack of self-awareness on whether you’re missing crucial elements or pieces of information that will surely guide you in becoming a better musician and help you play the piano better. 

In summary, if you can critically think through these questions and answer them effortlessly, then you would eventually work great at learning alone. These are the things you need to think about mainly because there wouldn’t be a teacher to guide you through this educational process, making it very essential to think similarly to a teacher and be able to develop strategies in being able to learn and develop certain techniques. 

On the contrary, if you have doubts about the majority of the questions mentioned above, it is more probable that you will benefit from having a piano instructor as part of your musical journey to guarantee that you learn to play the piano properly and efficiently. 

Benefits Of Having A Piano Teacher

Although there are free and excellent online resources you may access to learn the piano, learning it with a teacher comes with various benefits. 

Setting aside time for piano lessons with an in-person piano teacher can help you reach new heights that are impossible to study on your own or through online programs.

Here are some of the benefits of having a piano teacher:


One of the main advantages of hiring a piano teacher is having a person check on you every session. They are held accountable for all aspects of your piano experience and sessions. Your piano teacher will help guide you in remaining on track with continuous and consistent practice. 

In addition, if you feel busy or feel like not practicing, piano teachers will surely provide you motivation to practice and observe your progress from time to time. They are also held accountable for your practice accuracy.

It is easy to let mistakes and bad habits slip in especially when practicing alone. However, with a piano teacher around to notice them, they would be instantly corrected and you are more likely to be mindful of all details during practice sessions. 

Individualized Approach

There are countless approaches to trying to learn how to play the piano. Although there has been no right or wrong method to learning, practicing with a piano teacher with years of teaching experience will ensure that you find the best approach for you in learning the piano. 

Some students prefer auditory learning while others are visual learners, maintaining a solid perception of the written music sheet and patterns of the keys. A few learners prefer a kinesthetic learning approach that follows their muscle memory and relies on the feeling of piano keys under their hands. 

A piano teacher will assist you to become aware of your learning strengths and supply you with sufficient resources to ensure that you progress in your own unique learning style. In spite of all that, piano teachers play a vital role in helping you determine your struggles and assist you in overcoming them without the feeling of intimidation.

Answers Your Questions

Another advantage piano teachers provide their students are answers to specific questions especially if they are dedicated to providing you answers. Yes, you may browse online sites and platforms that may supply you with sufficient information but, these sites don’t know your specific and unique situation. No advice and answer are better than getting it directly from someone who has experienced it firsthand. 

Numerous questions especially with regard to piano are typically situational and having someone in-person to learn from and guide you on-hand on your piano is a luxury to have as a student. Piano teachers bring a lot of value by having a personal discussion about your questions and allowing you to have follow-up questions. 

Troubleshoot Problems

Piano teachers may help you overcome and prevent problems you are experiencing including bad habits, common mistakes, music not sounding right, and unprogressing sessions. They usually have multiple solutions to help you get back on the right track.

Exposure To New Musical Ideas

There is a great possibility that practicing with a piano teacher will lead to exposure to all kinds of music, music styles, and music ideas. As mentioned before, you may search for all of these things online. However, piano teachers supply this exposure and learning with years of their personal experiences. 

Most piano teachers have a library of piano music that contains tons of new music they can introduce to you that you didn’t even know existed. They know how to set you up for success and help you discover your new favorite piece of music.

Keeps You Motivated In The Long Run

Learning and studying the piano with a teacher will help you stay motivated and committed in the long run. The process of learning the piano does not happen overnight but rather takes years and even a lifetime to master. In the course of this process, it is normal to experience ups and downs. Your learning progression may be altered by different seasons. Sometimes you may feel as if you’re becoming better, while other times you may also feel like you’re not making any progress at all. 

Nonetheless, these experiences are all part of the process of learning the piano. Having someone like a piano teacher to follow you throughout your musical journey will always provide you with a boost of motivation to never give up. Even though you are losing progress, tired, or struggling in learning the piano, your piano teachers will always remind you of your goals and why you even decided to learn in the first place. Never giving up in the years to come will surely make you experience the rewards and satisfaction that come with playing the piano.

Benefits Of Not Having A Piano Teacher

Although having a piano teacher is very effective and efficient, learning how to play the piano on your own still has its own benefits. These include:

Enhances Self-Discipline

The main benefit of learning without a piano teacher is that you teach yourself the value of self-discipline. Without someone to track your progress, you must be able to be disciplined enough to assess your own progress. 

Helps You Develop Good Personal Time-Management

The primary key to becoming successful in learning the piano is continuous practice. Without a piano teacher to track your practice sessions, you should be responsible enough to allow time for your own personal practice sessions. This helps you develop good time management as well as enables you to progress in your piano playing skills and techniques. 

Helps You Develop Self-Motivation

Learning and studying the piano isn’t an easy task to accomplish. It’s not something you learn in a day. As years go by, you may encounter difficult challenges in your practices that may lead to discouragement and, at times, the desire to give up. It is up to you to keep yourself motivated to persevere and overcome these obstacles by reminding yourself of the goals you set for yourself before embarking on this musical journey.

Helps You Develop And Create Your Own Plan

In self-learning, you are able to develop and create your own plan. You can set goals you want to achieve as well as determine the routines you should practice regularly. This shows you that you can be the teacher of your own practice sessions.

How To Learn Piano Without Piano Teacher

Because we now live in a modern era where technology is an integral part of our daily lives, learning the piano without an instructor has become a very practical option. There are now free online resources accessible for you to browse through. 

However, in order to have a good self-learning piano journey, you must first establish a few things. The most important thing you can do at the start of your journey is to write down the long-term goals you want to achieve. These objectives will keep you motivated to keep going forward. Proper time management is another ability you’ll need to master if you want to have a good self-taught piano session. This ensures that you allot time for practice no matter how busy your day is especially since the key to progression is constant practice. 

You must also be disciplined enough to challenge yourself during practices in order to improve your skills as well as monitor your own progression during sessions. The next step is to create your own practice plan which should focus on the fundamentals of playing any instrument including reading, rhythm, and technique.


When learning to play the piano alone, it is essential to have at least minimal background on how to read a note. This skill will certainly benefit you during practice and in planning to collaborate with other players.


Rhythm is a vital component of all music and gives music life. Learning to play with the rhythm isn’t something we learn instantly, but it becomes muscle memory through constant practice.


Technique is a factor you need to master when playing any instrument. It enables you to have control over the piano’s keys and hear the sounds that you want the piano to produce. 

In enhancing your piano technique, it is important to utilize exercises that help increase your muscle sensitivity and dexterity. Once you have mastered a technique, it will surely boost your confidence in playing as well as make the sounds you produce more precise. 

Do Online Piano Lessons Work?

Yes, online piano lessons work. Similar to having an in-person piano teacher, it is also an effective option due to the feedback element you receive. 

Online piano lessons are a great choice in learning the piano especially when there is no piano teacher available in your local place. Students are still able to consult a teacher regarding concerns and questions as much as they can and be able to still have someone to monitor their playing progress. 

Is It Worth It To Get A Piano Teacher?

Yes, in the majority of situations, getting a piano teacher is worth it. This is mainly because of the variety of benefits they provide with regard to the development of skills and techniques. 

Nowadays, you may hire a piano teacher online and still receive the same treatment and experience as an in-person teacher. Due to this virtual solution, it has been cheaper and more attainable to have a piano teacher. There is not much to lose for anyone who wants to pursue their instrument passion. 

The goals you want to accomplish play an important role in determining whether it is worth it to hire a piano teacher. If you plan to play all major scales of the piano or play very difficult musical pieces then getting a piano teacher or piano lesson is worth it. But, if your only goal is to learn and play simple or trending music alone, then it would also be a good choice to learn alone through the use of online resources. Nonetheless, it wouldn’t hurt to try and experience having a piano teacher.