What Are Piano Lessons For?

Elissa Milne

This is a very personal manifesto about the purpose of piano lessons. You may not agree. You may disagree vehemently. But what you (as a piano teacher or as a parent of a piano student or as a piano student) believe piano lessons are for will affect your level of satisfaction with the piano lessons you are giving, or you or your child is receiving.

This manifesto is written from the perspective of a piano teacher and former piano student, although I also suppose that these days my perspective includes that of prospective parent of a piano student (my son, Tom, is now three and a half years old).

1. Piano lessons are for learning how to do cool stuff on the piano.

Cool stuff starts with things like

  • playing familiar melodies,
  • creating glissandi,
  • using the sustain pedal,

and moves on to more sophisticated cool stuff like

  • creating a balance…

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