Teaching Piano to Kids Without Expensive Lessons

Piano lessons can be expensive. Many teachers will charge about $30 for a half hour lesson, so that's $120 a month. Music schools like Yamaha Music School will generally charge far less for group lessons but even that can cost about $70 per month. Lessons can really add up if you have more than one child to teach. To learn piano at an advanced level your child probably will need a teacher at some point but you can try self-teaching the basics at home.

Piano programs aimed at children will cover the first one or two years. Even if you don't have any musical background yourself, you should easily be able to pick up the basics. You can also start with a more affordable keyboard but you would have to upgrade to a full 88 key acoustic or digital piano for more advanced training.

After your child has completed one of these courses you can inquire at local colleges to find out if any music students would be willing to give your child lessons for a lower rate. Another option is to find a piano teacher who will allow your child to do two rather than four lessons a month.

You can easily teach your kids basic piano playing
You can easily teach your kids basic piano playing

Alfred's Kid's Piano Course Complete

You can't go wrong with the Alfred series of music books. The complete piano course is for kids ages 5 and up. The book is colorful with cartoon characters "a clever classical dog, one cool jazz cat, and a friendly alligator who loves the blues" that make learning fun. The course teaches notes, melodies, and how to read music. It comes with an MP3 CD, which is very important. It's very helpful to know how a song should sound when played on the piano.

My Piano by eMedia

The My Piano course is for kids ages 6 and up and it has "100+ lessons taught by former Juilliard School of Music instructor." This software has an animated keyboard and videos as well as audio to hear how a song should sound. The animated keyboard shows kids where to put their fingers when they play. The course covers the basics, such as notes, rhythm, chords, and reading music. This software has another great feature. It can be plugged into keyboards to provide interactive feedback.

When used with a MIDI keyboard, kids get instant feedback on notes and rhythms they played wrong and find out what they should have played instead. There's also an overall score to show them how well they did on the song.

Step by Step Piano Course

The Step by Step Piano Course by Hal Leonard is a series of inexpensive piano teaching books. The books can be used with kids ages 5 and up. You can either buy the books alone or buy books that come with a CD. It's always helpful to have a CD, so your child can listen to how a song should sound. One criticism of these books is that they were written in the 1950s and are a bit dated. But the books are praised for their step-by-step approach, short pieces, and gradual increase in difficulty level.

PIANIMALS

PIANIMALS is a first year course that teaches children using finger numbers rather than note reading. This is fine for younger children. My kids do the Yamaha Music School group program and the Yamaha method doesn't put much emphasis on note reading for the first two years for their 4-6 year old classes. They focus more on ear training and use finger numbering to help kids find the correct keys to play. However, Yamaha does teaching note reading from the beginning in their 6-8 year old program. You can visit the PIANIMALS website to buy the books.

More by this Author


Comments 2 comments

Guitar Wizard profile image

Guitar Wizard 2 years ago from Long Beach

A general comment as a music school owner for almost 30 years. 99% of the time this doesn't work. All of the students that have had their non-musician parents try to teach them as well as Yamaha students simply cannot play and have wasted 2 years and more as the professional teacher has to correct the bad habits. I've seen this hundreds of times. I would say no more than 3-6 months, no more than one group class and if money is a problem then a lesson every other week or a music school student.


Learn Things Web profile image

Learn Things Web 2 years ago from California Author

Guitar Wizard,

I agree that lessons are always better but some people simply can't afford them but want to give their children an introduction to an instrument anyway. I think it's better for children to at least get some music training rather than none at all. I self taught myself how to play keyboards as a child. I never became advanced but I did get a good foundation in music theory and could play simple songs. I still enjoy playing even if I can't do anything too advanced. It was also helpful when my kids started Yamaha because I already knew a lot of the basics they had to learn.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working