Why is piano a difficult instrument to learn?

According to a recent BBC report, over 1 million people in the UK decided to learn an instrument during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, it’s hardly surprising that 

music retailers have reported a huge surge in sales over the past year. However, despite the idea of learning to play an instrument rising in popularity, the piano is widely considered to be one of the most difficult instruments to master completely. Here’s why. 

It requires a lot of time and patience. 

When you are first starting out learning to play the piano, you’ll find that you pick up some of the skills you need quickly. For example, you may begin by learning to play the melody of the song, using only one hand as opposed to two hands. As you develop these skills quickly, pianos are often considered to be a good introduction to music for beginners. However, as you move forward, you may find that the rate at which you learn plateaus as you have to begin using both hands or learning to read music. To put it simply, learning to master the piano takes hours and hours of practice. It’s a precise instrument, and you must truly dedicate yourself to practising outside of your private lessons if you want to succeed. 

Multitasking is necessary. 

When playing the piano, especially as you move onto more complex songs or compositions, requires you to be able to multitask. You have to be able to play with both hands, control the pedal, and pay attention to your sheet music. In addition to this, you have to ensure that you maintain a good posture and hold your hands in the correct manner. For example, your wrists should remain elevated at all times. Carrying out all of these steps at once can be a little overwhelming and contributes significantly to the reasons why learning the piano is considered to be so difficult. 

Excellent focus is required. 

To be able to multitask effectively when behind the piano, you must have a razor-sharp focus. This is because you cannot allow yourself to get too distracted or lost in the music, as an errant finger can easily play the wrong note and hinder your performance. While playing the piano can be a great stress relief, it’s difficult as you must ensure you are in the right mindset before you start playing. As a result, you must also not allow yourself to become too stressed if you are finding a certain song or skill set difficult to master, as this will make mistakes more likely and will interrupt your focus even further. 

In short, there are various different factors that contribute to the idea that the piano is one of the most difficult instruments to learn. With 88 keys on a typical piano, it’s clear that you have to set aside a certain amount of time if you want to play perfectly – however, the fact that learning is challenging doesn’t make it any less fun! 

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