Piano

Piano Terms- The Terminology & Lingo You Should Know   
Piano - Technique

Piano Terms: The Terminology & Lingo You Should Know   

When wanting to learn a new instrument, the piano is by far one of the best instruments to begin with. But keep in mind that you can’t become Beethoven in a day!

There is still a lot of music theory that goes into learning any instrument, which can seem very overwhelming and difficult to learn, but is a building block in your music education.

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Piano Chords Explained
Instruments - Piano - Technique

Piano Chords Explained

Looking at the piano and its notes, the first thing even the most amateur musician will notice is an array of keys – some black and some white – that make different sounds or notes when struck.

A combination of those notes, known as the chord on a piano is a minimum of 3 notes played together, sometimes more in some cases.

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10 Types & Sizes of Pianos Explained
Instruments - Piano

10 Types & Sizes of Pianos Explained

The piano is noted as one of the best instruments to begin learning how to play from, mainly due to the ease of locating notes and identifying chords.

Most students tend to practice on a keyboard, which sounds and plays vastly different than the piano, due to its size and sound. The keys aren’t weighted and there aren’t usually any pedals, so it would better benefit you to practice on an actual piano if given the opportunity.

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How To Clean Your Piano Keys Without Damage
Instruments - Piano

How To Clean Your Piano Keys Without Damage

If you play the piano, you know that an important step in keeping your piano in great shape for a long time is through regular maintenance and repair when necessary.

Proper maintenance is key (no pun intended), and one of those tasks includes cleaning your piano keys without damaging them. Oils from your skin (as well as whatever other grime your skin picks up), dust, and dirt can collect on your keys making them look very dingy.

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The 5 First & Easiest Songs You Should Learn on Piano
Lessons - Piano

The 5 First & Easiest Songs You Should Learn on Piano


Whether it’s for enjoyment or a career choice, playing the piano can be very rewarding — not just for you — but for your audience as well– if you’re good, that is.

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5 Ways Playing A Musical Instrument Can Benefit Your Health
Inspiration - Instruments - Lessons - Perfomance - Piano

5 Ways Playing A Musical Instrument Can Benefit Your Health

 

Besides being fun, learning and playing a musical instrument can have many positive effects on your health and mental wellness. Research shows that these benefits can occur at any age and come from playing any instrument. Keep reading to see why people are playing instruments to improve their general health.

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3 Reasons Why Your Child Must Take Piano Lessons
Instruments - Lessons - Perfomance - Piano

3 Reasons Why Your Child Must Take Piano Lessons

Between baseball, soccer, karate, and cell phones, our children’s schedules are packed with fun activities. If you were on the fence about adding piano lessons into the weekly grind, here are a few reasons why piano lessons might be an important activity for your child to be involved in.

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What is the best age to start music lessons
Instruments - Lessons - Piano

What is the best age to start music lessons?

Many people ask us “what is the best age to start learning music?” Honestly? The answer varies from person to person.

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Picking the Right Small Piano For Your NYC Home
Inspiration - Instruments - Piano

Picking the Right Small Piano For Your NYC Home

id-100249788With many of our piano students living in NYC, I thought it would be useful to talk about finding the right instrument for your city apartment or home. For many of our clients finding enough space for a full-size piano can be a real challenge. Here are our recommendations for pianos that will fit in tight spaces.

  • The Williams Allegro Hammer Action Digital Piano: This is a great piano for extremely small spaces. It’s a digital piano so it’s lightweight and easy to move. It can also be put away whenever extra space is needed. I have played this piano and can say that for an entry-level keyboard its sounds are very rich and the hammer action of the keys is excellent for an entry-level digital piano. Make sure you buy a keyboard stand and have a stool of appropriate height for practice time. The other advantage is that you can plug headphones into it for late-night practice sessions.
  • Essex EUP-108C: Let’s talk about acoustic pianos… Whether you are a professional pianist or a child taking piano lessons for the first time, there is nothing like playing on a real acoustic piano. This Essex model piano is one of the most compact and well-made instruments I have seen. The piano is affordable, well designed, plays well, and sounds excellent. I had the pleasure of playing one recently and for such a small piano the sound is very big. This piano can fit into very small spaces and as far as pianos go, its super lightweight so it’s easy to move around if you have to. The piano also has a very stylish look that will fit well into any Upper East Side or Tribeca apartment. The best part about this piano is that it’s made by Steinway and Sons so it has all the latest engineering enhancements from their amazing development team at a fraction of the cost of an actual Steinway. This is definitely a great instrument for beginner online piano lessons.
  • Boston UP-118E PE: Here’s another great little piano. This one is slightly larger than the Essex but still small enough to fit into almost any room. The design of this instrument is definitely more traditional but the sound and performance is just as good – if not better than the Essex. Also made by Steinway, you are getting the same standards that have made that company famous for many years. Although this piano has a small footprint it is definitely a little heavier than the Essex so moving it around is slightly trickier. Any beginner student or professional would be very happy to own one of these instruments even if space was not an issue.
  • Yamaha M560: This is a really nice piano. It’s definitely compact, so for apartments or small rooms, it’s a great instrument. It’s really well made, sounds excellent and in my experience, Yamaha pianos are real workhorses and can take a lot of abuse. It has a different sound than Essex and Boston but all 3 are great when it comes to that experience. The design is very traditional and somewhat ornate. It’s not my favorite piano ascetically but a great instrument nonetheless. The Yamaha is close in size to Boston but will still fit nicely where space is limited.
  • Steinway 4510 Sheraton: This is my personal favorite of the small pianos. It’s actually smaller than the Yamaha but in my opinion, has a bigger sound. It’s also super cool looking and will basically match any décor your home or apartment has. You can use this for beginner piano lessons in your home or it can be used professionally in the world’s best recording studios. It’s compact but maintains that authentic Steinway and Sons sound. The action on this piano is super quick for an upright as well. It’s also handcrafted in the same factory that Steinway grand pianos are made using the same process and craftsmanship. When you sit down and play this you can see it’s solid, sturdy, and well-built but extremely artistic and visually appealing at the same time. You can tell something extra went into this design. If I were learning how to play the piano this instrument would definitely keep me motivated to practice and constantly create.

If you’re someone who is looking for a piano in NYC or anywhere else and have limited space these are my top choices. Choosing the right piano can absolutely make a difference in how you play, practice, learn, and create music. These are all winners in my opinion.

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Inspiration - Instruments - Piano

8 Questions About Piano Lessons Answered by One of Our Experts

13873140_1191854087501350_5915102465032288443_nOne of our favorite NYC piano teachers, Rita R. answered some often asked and important questions about piano lessons, her teaching philosohpy and favorite musical moments.
1) What advice would you give to parents who are considering getting piano lessons for their children?
Rita: Piano lessons are a great way to introduce children to music and deeper understandings of history, culture, and expression in a way that is fun and interactive. Their appreciation for music will stay with them for the rest of their lives and they will grow in every way!
2) Why do you think the piano is such a popular instrument for very young students?
Rita: The piano is a very visual and tactile instrument. Because of the many different ways to play, very young children can develop their fine motor skills as well as their ear. They can distinguish different sounds, high and low, patterns and string it all together to make music.
3) What are some obstacles that piano students face when learning how to play and how can they be overcome?
Rita: Many students struggle with not understanding right away, or having a harder time multitasking (thinking about finger patterns, hand shape, rhythm and notes all at the same time), but we work on those things all the time by taking each component and working on it separately, and going at the pace of the student. I tailor every lesson to the student’s interests so that they can progress and enjoy musicmaking.
4) How much daily practice time does a beginner need to realize steady progress and become a proficient player?
Rita: Daily practice is very important, but the amount is less important than the point of practice. Every practice session should have a goal, even if it’s tackling only one tricky measure. If it takes 5 minutes or 30, it’s still an accomplishment. Practice goals are more important than setting a time.
5) What benefits can come from learning the piano?
Rita: Piano gives an understanding of music, history, and art. It helps students in multitasking, working in an intelligent and time-efficient way, and handling projects easily. Music helps in recognizing patterns, fine motor skills, work ethic, and most importantly gives students an outlet for expression.
6) What do you love about teaching piano and being a performer?
Rita: I tailor my lessons to my students, and the more I teach the more I learn about my own approach. I also really enjoy working with students of all ages – every student brings their own interests and personalities, and we end up learning from each other. It is also a privilege to pass on what I have learned from my own teachers and mentors. As a performer, I enjoy sharing my connection to the music with my audience, and it’s an amazing experience.
7) What was your most memorable teaching experience?
Rita: The moment when a student realizes that they can do what the music is asking is always memorable!
8) When and where was your most memorable performance?
Rita: My senior recital and my Masters recital were both big events because they signified a culmination of my own understanding of music and style, helped by my wonderful teachers. They were also jumping off points for my future performances.
To study with Rita, contact Music to Your Home today! 646-606-2515 or visit our piano lessons page
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