Every piano learner dreams of playing their favourite song or piano piece flawlessly with the occasional "classical expressions" and even swaying of the hair when they are simply overwhelmed with emotions.

Hold a minute, that doesn't really happen that frequently (or at least so speedily).

Learning how to play the piano fluently requires an investment of time (practice), a good piano teacher (guidance) as well as a reflection of avoidable mistakes (understanding).

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What Are Some Common Mistakes Made By Beginners/ Self-Taught Piano Learners?

"Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time." - George Bernard Shaw

We are not throwing water at your enthusiasm, but here are some common mistakes that you might encounter when you begin learning piano on your own/with a piano teacher.

a) Wrong fingering for both hands and sitting posture

It is not really about the length of your fingers. It is how you place those fingers on the right notes. This is crucial, especially when you need to play notes that might be apart from one another.

Remember to get the fingering right on both hands and adjust your sitting posture correctly to have a smooth playing session.

b) Using letters to memorize notes instead of recognizing the actual piano notes on the score 

You can get away with C, D, E, F, G, A, B for one song but not the rest of the songs you have to learn as time goes by.

This is why you also need to grasp music theory and the right position of the notes in the score before you actually proceed to learn more challenging pieces.

c) Not grasping the concept of time signature and the accurate tempo for the piano piece

Just as someone's singing can go out of beat, so does a song's tempo too. The tempo of the song is important to bring out the emotions and dynamics of the piece.

You can use a metronome to listen to the accurate beat that is required for the piece you are playing.

learn to play the piano
A metronome is a useful tool to monitor the tempo of your piano playing.
Source: Photo by Florian G from Pexels

How To Play The Piano In the Most Effective Way?

In order to avoid mistakes or reduce their frequency, we have listed a few suggestions for you to learn to play the piano effectively.

a) Get your foundation right with a piano teacher

One of the main reasons you need a piano teacher is to point out what is right and what is wrong as you start from the very beginning.

It is hard to tell whether your fingers are curved correctly or whether you are following the right tempo of the piece if you are learning on your own. You can find your piano teacher from various locations in Malaysia through Superprof!

Through Superprof, you can connect with various private piano tutors from Kuala Lumpur even though you are from other cities.

Let's say you are from Penang. You can choose to learn piano online or join a one-to-one piano class at an affordable rate.

Your piano teacher will guide you systematically and prepare the practical and music theory lesson to match your preference and learning level.

For instance, you may want to learn to play a pop song during a friend's wedding. You can then request your piano teacher to teach you to read and play the chords accurately without having to learn other technical things such as scales and arpeggios to save time.

b) Practice, practice, practice 

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

Even professional pianists and piano teachers need to practice the piano consistently to sharpen their skill. Piano practice and regular lessons are not just for beginners and kids.

You may have learned piano a long time ago and stopped playing for some time.  You would probably want a "refresh" course to get familiar with some basics. You might need to "re-practice" again.

If you have reached an advanced level, you might be looking for a piano duet partner or even get some feedback and pointers before a performance or audition that you are preparing. An experienced piano teacher can monitor how you practice and share some of their experiences and tips to improve your playing. Think of your piano practice as a muscle training session. If you don't use it, you'll lose it.

music theory piano lessons
Music theory will let you know about the significance of major and minor keys.
Source: Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

Where To Learn To Play the Piano in Ipoh?

If you are based in Ipoh, here are some music schools that you can consider to take your piano lessons.

1. Ipoh School of Music

This music school is situated at Taman Ipoh Selatan and was established in 1996. Among the programs available at Ipoh School of Music are Kindermusik (music-based education for young children) and various instrumental music classes (piano, violin, viola, cello, and guitar).

For piano practical lessons, students will be taught individually whereas theory lessons will be taught in a group of five.

This music school also acts as an examination centre for the prestigious ABRSM piano examination, which means students can sit for the examination there itself.

Looking for piano tutors in Seberang Perai?

2. Dee Music Studio

Located at Ipoh Garden and founded in 1991, Dee Music Studio has various piano learning programs that cater to different age levels and preferences.

  • Hobby Program
    For students who are learning to play the piano as a hobby. Students will be taught to read basic music notes and also how to play basic piano chords through short courses.
  • Basic Program
    This program is for those total beginners who intend to learn piano formally.  
  • Yearly Program
    Students will begin to learn pieces and songs according to their piano grades (Grade 1 to Grade 8). They will then sit for an official examination conducted by the London College of Music. 
  • Professional Program
    This program is for students and teachers who intend to pursue a Diploma program and also participate in local or international piano competitions.

Take a look to the piano teachers that are teaching at Petaling Jaya.

3. Music Life Ipoh

At Music Life Ipoh, there are many music lessons for you to explore. There are also interesting and engaging elementary piano classes for kids such as the Child Basic Course (CBC), especially for children aged between 3 to 5 years old.

In this course, they get to learn to identify musical notes such as semibreve, minim, crotchet, quiver and many more. If you are a parent of a young kid, do not miss the opportunity to let your child try out a free trial class for the Child Basic Course!

practice how to play piano
Young kids can learn about different piano notes before advancing to play a whole piece during their piano classes.
Source: Photo by Charles Parker from Pexels

4. Benezetti Music Academy

This music school provides extensive piano and other music instrument lessons and is located at Bandar Meru Merah. It is a place where young kids and adult piano learners can thrive together!

The classes can be personalised to suit your preference and current learning level. If you are interested to sit for a piano examination, the piano teachers are also well versed with both the ABRSM and Trinity examination format. Apart from that, you can also choose between pop piano lessons or classical piano lessons!

Take piano lessons in Georgetown!

Why Should You Take The ABRSM Piano Exam?

While taking formal piano lessons, you may be advised by your piano teacher to register for the ABRSM Piano Exam.

The ABRSM is the biggest music education organization in the United Kingdom and acts as a global provider of music examinations.

So why should you do the exams?

a) Consists of comprehensive practical and theoretical components for every grade 

For the Practical Section of Grade 1 to Grade 8, you will be tested on these components:

  • 3 pieces of songs [30 marks each]
  • Scales and arpeggios [21 marks]
  • Sight-reading [21 marks]
  • Aural test [18 marks]

You can refer to the below table to see how you will be graded based on your total marks (Full mark is 150).

Total MarksGrade
100Pass
120 Merit
130 Distinction

For the Music Theory Component, there is a slight difference in mark allocation between Grade 1 to Grade 5 as well as Grade 6 to Grade 8.

For Grade 1 to Grade 3 [Total marks: 75 marks]

  • Rhythm [15 marks]
  • Pitch [15 marks]
  • Keys and Scales [15 marks]
  • Intervals [10 marks]
  • Tonic Triads [10 marks]
  • Terms and Signs [5 marks]
  • Music In Context [5 marks]

From Grade 4 and Grade 5 [ Total marks: 75 marks]

  • Rhythm [10 marks]
  • Pitch [10 marks]
  • Keys and Scales [15 marks]
  • Intervals [10 marks]
  • Triads/Chords [10 marks]
  • Terms, Signs and Instruments [10 marks]
  • Music In Context [10marks]

Total MarksGrade
50Pass
60Merit
65Distinction


For Grade 6 to Grade 8 [Total marks: 100 marks] 

  • Each exam will consist of 5 questions.
  • Candidates will be tested on 3 questions on Creativity in Harmony and Melody and 2 questions related to Music in Context.

Total MarksGrade
66Pass
80Merit
90Distinction


b) Acts as an accurate measure of progress and milestone in your piano learning journey 

As you can see from the above components, you will be able to objectively view your progress, strengths and weaknesses as you progress from every grade.

As the difficulty level of each grade increases, you will find yourself learning and applying more new knowledge in both the practical and music theory piano learning process.

piano lessons for kids
Having a good grasp of music theory will help you to be a better piano player.
Source: Photo by Anastasia Kolchina from Pexels

c) Serves as a recognition of your music ability for your future music career (should you intend to pursue one) 

If you are passionate about playing the piano and thinking of becoming a pianist or music teacher one day, your ABRSM certificates will certainly come in handy, especially during interviews or auditions!

It is viewed as one of the most reputable qualifications if you want to become a piano teacher as you are familiar with the piano learning syllabus and what it takes for every learning level.

We hope you are convinced to start taking a piano lesson today. It is only with the right guidance, then you can progress steadily with time.

If you are staying in the Klang Valley, you can also check out the list  piano tutors from Shah Alam.

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