3 Things You Need to Succeed at Piano

Originally published on Medium

The benefits of learning piano are numerous, studied, and well documented. Anyone can start and benefit at every skill level and amount of commitment, so why don’t most people play? The answer is that we have over-complicated getting started.

There are only 3 things you need to succeed at piano:

  1. Ambition
  2. The Right Teacher
  3. A Good Piano
Gorgeous Piano to realize your music dreams

Most people who start learning piano began with a bit of ambition — maybe it was a parent’s ambition for their child to learn, nonetheless it was ambition. The ambition one starts with is either going to grow or diminish based on the other two things you need to succeed at piano.

The right teacher for you may not be the right teacher for someone else but, for the most part, you will recognize your needs as a student. Personally, I learn well through failure and trying to figure out how I can fix my own mistakes, another person likes the encouragement and direction from a cheerleader type of environment, while others require a coach to really push them to achieve more. Hopefully, your teacher will also recognize a good fit and best teaching style for you!

Having a good piano is often the linchpin. Of the 3 things you need to succeed at piano, this is the one that everything could fall apart and leave someone feeling like a failure or just plain frustrated. A good piano will allow you to make music more easily because the keys are easier to control. Each key should play the same as the next and allow you to produce dynamic contrasts, provide a palette of varying articulations, and ultimately not creating barriers to musical expression.

A bad piano will bankrupt ambition. Imagine practicing for hours and not making any progress — you push the keys but it doesn’t sound like music. What happens after a few weeks of trying hard and making no progress? Less effort is invested because there is less ambition seeing such a paltry return on the time invested. After a couple weeks, maybe a month or so, even the right teacher will become frustrated with the lack of practice and progress.

Starting off with all three ingredients is important. There will be times when ambition wanes but having a good piano will call you back like a Siren’s song. The right teacher will help steer you towards challenges that keep you engaged and ambitious. The right piano rewards your ambition and the teacher for all the time invested and challenges overcome.

How to Learn Piano

Learning new skills and developing your talent can be rather daunting, especially playing piano music if you don’t know how to learn piano. Most people don’t realize the things they need and get started without all three of the essential pieces in place. In truth, there are only 3 things you need:

  1. Ambition
  2. The Right Teacher
  3. A Good Piano

Most people who start learning have the ambition it takes to learn how to play piano. A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step – Ambition is just before taking the step. Finding the right teacher is a logical next step – they provide the map for your journey. But if you don’t have the right equipment to complete the journey you will not make it very far. That is why you need a good piano in order to learn how to play piano.

Without a good piano to practice on, musicians will invest countless hours of effort without rewarding results. This is a surefire way to bankrupt their ambition which leads to less practicing. One thing leads to another, less practicing for the right teacher is a frustrating experience for the teacher and student. Anyone who wants to learn how to play piano needs all three parts to succeed.

Fuel your ambition with an inspiring piano

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Update on disinfecting and appointment protocol during coronavirus

Here’s what I’m doing to help stop the spread of coronavirus and because I can’t get to everyone’s piano, let this be a guide for you to sanitize your piano.

I would work from home if I could but the piano service industry really wasn’t built for that lifestyle. By washing and using hand sanitizer, I can prevent myself from spreading the disease and I don’t want to pick it up from anywhere which is why I have been spending extra time on every Piano this week to ensure I am not the reason anyone gets sick.

Materials needed:
Clean cloths (paper towels)
Hydrogen peroxide 3% or stronger
Gloves (optional)

At the keys, Wear the gloves if you have them:

1. Soak the cloth with hydrogen peroxide
2. Gently wipe the keys, leaving them damp for 5-10 minutes.
3. Use a second cloth to repeat the process but dry the keys this time.

Hydrogen peroxide has been a sterilizing agent used by doctors since 1818 and had been tested and is known to disinfect against coronavirus as well as much more difficult to kill pathogens such as rhinovirus.

Find out more and ask questions on The Piano Talk

Disinfect Your Keys

Click the button above for our updated and improved guide.

The big news of the last month is all about keeping yourself healthy and safe from the Coronavirus, Covid 19. It’s wonderful that everyone is on board with improving hygiene and health but a shame that it’s taking a global pandemic to motivate this necessary trend.

Below is a video about how you can take extra steps with your own piano and how to handle yourself so you can stay healthy and not be part of spreading the disease.

As for the technicians from C.J.’s Pianos – we will wash our hands or use hand sanitizer prior to providing service to ensure we are not delivering any viruses to your keys.

Be sure to book service before you are quarantined, nobody wants to be stuck at home with an under-performing piano!

Fuel your ambition with an inspiring piano

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Would you like more tips for succeeding at piano? Head on over to The Piano Talk where we believe you only need 3 things to succeed at piano: ambition, the right teacher, and a good piano. http://www.thepianotalk.com


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PETROF developed the P122 H1 in answer to customer requests. With the design of its cabinet, and especially its distinctive keybed, it proudly harks back to the roots of the piano-maker’s art in Europe. While at first sight the cabinet appears minimalistic, it boasts some precisely elaborate and detailed features. The final shape of the instrument was the inspiration of specialists at our Technological centre, and we are sure that this piano will find many happy customers.

Technical Specifications

Length (mm)   570
Width (mm)1470
Height (mm)1220
Weight (kg)224
Sound board materialResonance spruce wood
Active area (m²)1,1513
Ribs (number, shape)10, asymetric
Soundboard constructionwedgewise tapered   9 mm in upper section – 7 mm in lower section
Cast iron plateWet sand casting
Surfacing of iron plate nitrocellulose paint with bronze dust added
Pin block – materialMultiplex beech plywood, density 800 – 850 kg/m3
Wooden frame postsspruce wood, 3+2 posts
Cut off bar (corner cross rib)beech, 2
Bridge – treblebeech wood
Bridge – bassbeech wood
Bridge pinssteel – round tips
Agraffes material – numberbrass, 88
Strings – materialsteel wire Röslau Germany, copper winding Degen Germany
Hitching of plain stringsdouble
Dampers – number1 – 70
Black keysAcrylate plastic
Pedalsleft – Piano pedal, midle – Muffler (moderator) pedal, right – Forte pedal
Felts colourred
Hydraulic slow close fallboard mech.yes