Decision: Piano lessons?

| analysis, decision

My last piano lesson is on Thursday, so I’m thinking about whether or not to sign up for more lessons, take lessons elsewhere, or do something else.

Benefits from the past three lessons:

  • Motivated to practise daily because of accountability and because I was paying for lessons
  • Picked up new exercises (two-octave scales, triads)
  • Paid more attention to dynamics, timing, and staccato
  • Got through pieces at a faster rate than I might have on my own
  • Worked on to playing staccato with one hand and legato with the other – shifted to listening to the music and imagining what I want it to be
  • Dealt with some more nervousness


  • CAD 20-25 per 30-minute lesson
  • Time for actual session (30 minutes + 20 minutes of walking total)
  • Practice time (30-60 minutes each day, or 3-6 hours)


  • I’m only interested in playing casually, so I don’t mind not doing dynamics or a lot of other things. I just want enough music to relax my brain and nudge my imagination.
  • I might focus on learning chords and favourite songs instead. The things I’ve been learning in class didn’t really get me closer to playing Still Alive, but I can learn that by patience and careful practice.
  • I’m actually not that keen on my goal to finish all the exercises in this piano book. It would probably feel good, but I don’t mind putting this on hold and focusing on other interests such as writing and drawing


A. Finish this set of lessons, then switch to learning on my own. I can find Youtube videos of the pieces in my piano book, which will help me with timing. I may also try different pieces. I might continue my experiment with regular practice times and see how far that gets me.

B. Give the lessons another month. Possibly talk to the teacher to see if I can refocus the lesson on the parts that motivate me more.

C. Shop around – try different teachers. Can do this, but I’m less inclined to do so.

D. Dial down piano and dial up a different interest. Writing. Drawing. Latin. Volunteering. There’s a lot I can do with time and a little money set aside for learning.

I’m leaning towards D with a touch of A, maybe practising every other day and working on other interests the rest of the time. Blogging it here to remember my reasons for decisions. =)

2011-08-09 Tue 20:25

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