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In general, the best way to learn to play the piano is by taking private piano lessons with a teacher. The piano is a challenging instrument, and a teacher with experience will be able to break it down into more easily digestible pieces of information. In addition, he or she will be able to correct mistakes before they become bad habits. If this is not an option, or an individual is not really interested in becoming a serious pianist and just wants to learn a few songs, there are many books available for students to teach themselves. Videos found online can also be helpful.
Anyone who wants to learn to play the piano will either need to purchase a piano of their own, or a full size keyboard. This is because it is necessary to practice every day in order to truly become a piano player. Most teachers recommend at least 30 minutes of practice each day, or a bit more if possible. This can include things like songs, scales, and chords, or whatever the student is learning that particular week.
For students who really wants to learn to play the piano successfully, as well as receive instruction in music theory and other important aspects of piano playing, taking lessons with a private piano teacher is the best idea. This person will be able to provide specific instructions and lessons each week, building on existing skills, modifying lessons as necessary, and correcting mistakes. Students might also be able to request to learn specific songs or styles of music. A piano teacher will be able to teach students to play the piano in the correct way the first time, even though this is a more expensive avenue for some people, especially those who want to learn to play later in life.
In this case, individuals may want to learn to play the piano by self instruction through books and videos. There are numerous piano instruction books for beginners that teach basic principles, such as how to read music and practice some easy songs. Dedicated students willing to work hard may be able to learn very well this way; publishers often produce book series that provide more advanced instruction as the student moves through the series. Some also feature CDs or online components that allow students to listen to the song being played to better learn the material.