Yes and not necessarily. I teach all levels, and all ages – and most styles of music too, ranging from classical to blues and boogie woogie!
It doesn’t matter if you cannot read music, and have never even touched the keys on a piano. I can teach you from scratch to read music, and it won’t take as long as you think.
It can be extremely daunting when you first even consider attempting to learn to read music, but I can assure you it’s not as difficult as it first appears. Learning to read music can be made a lot easier by remembering certain rhymes and reference points. And to learn which keys are what on the piano is even easier, as it only uses the first seven letters of the alphabet – so from A to G.
So there is nothing to fear whatsoever when it comes to learning music. And my teaching approach is the same for beginners as it is for advanced players. It’s all about taking things one step at a time, and at your own pace. You don’t have to learn everything in one lesson, and it’s all about a slow gradual build up each week which gets more and more difficult each time, and remembering something new each week as well.
What about my own instrument?
You will certainly need your own instrument, or access to one for practice. If you are able to purchase a piano, it’s important you consider whether an acoustic or digital is for you. For further information on which one to buy, please read my article – Digital vs. acoustic pianos.
If you are not in a position at the moment to buy a piano, or you would rather wait a few months to see if you or your child decides to make piano lessons a long term activity before you buy; then a keyboard is probably the best way to go. A keyboard doesn’t have weighted keys like a piano does, so it won’t have the same touch and feel, and would typically have around 61 keys (piano has 88). However, if you are a beginner then it doesn’t matter for the short term. A keyboard is still an effective way to learn all of the notes, and how to read music. This should be OK for about 8-12 months maximum, before you then need to purchase a piano.
If you are not a beginner and have been playing for at least a year or more already, then you will definitely need an acoustic or digital piano; as you will need more keys, and the correct weight, as well as the sustain pedal (can be bought for a keyboard also).
As a last resort, if you have daily access to a piano (maybe at your school or university), then this should be fine. It is worth noting however that for the long term you should still look to buy a piano for your home, as you will be more likely to practice because of the convenience. Practicing the piano can not always be done at set times of the day, and you need to be in the mood to play. So having a piano at home allows you to play when you want, rather than being forced to play at a set time on a piano you are borrowing.