Birmingham is, debatably, the UK’s second city and, as such, it boasts a huge range of opportunities for music education. And if you want to play the piano – the UK’s favourite musical instrument – you won’t struggle to find the instruction that you are after.
People play the piano for a whole range of different reasons. This might be to play along with their mates in a jazz band, to perform on stage in front of global audiences, to sing along with their own accompaniment, to develop their music theory, to practise their ear training, or to learn composition – or they might just be learning because their parents have told them to. (The last motivation is probably the only one that isn’t so legitimate!)
However, regardless of what you want to get out of the instrument, there are teachers available to give you the music lessons that you need to achieve these goals. So, whether you are beginner who has never before played a chord, an intermediate player hoping to build their repertoire or develop their overall musicianship, or already a genius performer who just needs a bit of guidance on how to conquer the music world, Birmingham offers what you need.
Here, we have put together a broad list of fantastic options for learning piano in the city – from private lessons to group classes, for the new student or for those ready to become a professional musician. We hope it’s helpful!
The Birmingham Music School is located in the city’s Jewellery Quarter, where it has been offering lessons in singing, the guitar and the bass, the drum kit, and the piano for over ten years. It boasts nearly three hundred students and claims to have helped over fifteen hundred past students pass their musical exams. It’s a pretty good record and, with their music instruction, you may well find yourself passing those exams too.
Keyboard and piano lessons are taught in groups of up to eight students, and each lesson lasts for an hour. They have specific classes for students over the age of six, and another for those over nine. There is, however, no age limit for the students.
The students will be encouraged to take music exams. However, this is not compulsory. Rather, the School’s professional teachers are happy to teach any musical style – from jazz and classical to folk, rock, and reggae.
The keyboard can be a good option to have in your home – as it tends to be a little smaller than the piano.
Like the Birmingham Music School, the Solihull Music School is an accredited Yamaha Music Point, meaning that the equipment they use and the teaching they provide is endorsed by this manufacturer of world-class instruments. This school claims to be the largest independent music school in the area – and the teaching studios are well-equipped, comfortable, and generally enjoyable places to be.
Beyond lessons for the very young (or ‘mini-maestros’, as they say) and lessons in the ukulele and the most popular musical instruments, the School offers lessons in the piano. For the younger students, the ‘Play for Keeps’ course takes learners from beginner right up to Grade 8 and it teaches both keyboard and piano styles – as well as the ability to learn songwriting, reading music, and improvising.
Lessons are available for adults too.
For those who live in a different part of the city, the Selly Oak Music School might be more convenient. This is a school for violin and viola, music theory, and piano, run by the super-qualified music educator Heng-Ching Fang. She has written – among her other achievements – a fairly formidable book about the history of twentieth-century string playing.
The Selly Oak school provides dedicated training in aural skills too – ideal for those taking the ABRSM exams – and works with children from the age of three (with the encouraged supervision of parents). Otherwise, all teachers are academically excellent and well-qualified, and the school’s record of student achievement is very impressive.
By learning the piano, you can both solo, play the songs you love, and accompany other instruments.
The Ladywood Community School of Music is a bit of a different kind of music school – focusing its attention on jazz, blues, and music from Latin America. They offer classes on saxophone, guitar, violin, and piano – and they are a local practitioner of that wonderful initiative, band workshops. These get you working, learning, and playing together.
Hour sessions, which all take place at 18:30 on a Thursday, are £3.50 and for concessions it’s even less: £2.50. It goes without saying that you aren’t going to find a cheaper music lesson anywhere in the city.
All tutors are associated with Andy Hamilton, a jazz saxophonist and the school’s patron. The emphasis is on performance, and students are encouraged to play with Hamilton’s own jazz band.
The North Birmingham Suzuki School runs music education following the Suzuki method, a music pedagogy, formulated by Shinichi Suzuki, that stresses the innate ability of children to learn with the help of a supportive and encouraging environment. He was a violinist, and so the emphasis of the method has always been on the violin. However, Birmingham’s school now teaches piano too.
The method is based on an analogy to learning language – in which listening, repetition, and starting early in life are all crucial educational factors. As such, the Suzuki School focuses on music education for young children. It requires parents to attend the lessons too and its innovative method encourages creativity and self-expression rather than technical exercises.
If you would prefer piano lessons with a private tutor, Superprof provides the best opportunity to find tuition in Birmingham. In the city, the site – a platform connecting students to professional and experienced tutors – hosts twenty-three piano tutors, charging an average of £27 an hour. The piano tutors are mostly music degree students or alumni, and are flexible and knowledgeable about their subject.
So, if you’d rather not have to leave the house to learn your instrument, your tutor can come to your own home. Or, if you would prefer, you can take piano lessons online, with hundreds of tutors available for video tuition.
And once you’ve nailed the piano, move on to something else. The platform offers tuition in over a thousand subjects across the planet.
Maestro’s Piano Lessons is run by Babak Kazemi, a graduate of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and now a professional pianist and conductor. He’s been teaching piano for over a decade and he is incredibly experienced in teaching students of all ages. Whilst he prefers to come to your own house, it’s possible to take lessons in his home studio too.
He offers teaching to kids – suggesting lessons of half an hour to children from the age of five – and to adults too. He’s also pretty hot on music theory, so, if you need to sit an exam, he could be someone helpful to ask!
The Midlands Art Centre is an arts complex that has been working to bring art, music, dance, and drama to the lives of people since 1962. It offers classes in everything from jewellery-making to sculpture and film-making, and it is now located in Cannon Hill Park, a couple of miles south of the centre.
Piano lessons are available from the age of four and you will be required to buy twelve weekly lessons before you begin. The lessons are one-to-one, and people of any level of experience and competence are welcome. Regardless, you’ll learn everything from finger exercises to sight reading.
This is a great option at a very prestigious institution.
A good music teacher will have you playing concertos on the piano.
You may have reached the point in your piano-playing career at which you want to take your skills to the next level, or at which you want to become a professional musician. Conservatoires up and down the country are designed for people like you – and they offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in music.
The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is the city’s own higher education music institution, and it has produced a lot of brilliant musicians, from teachers to performers to session players.
Pianists are welcome to study a degree in Keyboard – which includes the piano, the organ, or the harpsichord – and will receive, after three years, a degree (BMus) in Music. Postgraduate courses are also available in composition, jazz, and music technology – as well as research opportunities in the history and theory of music.
If you are not from Birmingham but want to learn the piano, check out our guides to piano lessons in Leeds, piano tuition in London, Glasgow’s piano teachers, and Manchester’s opportunities for learning the piano. There’s also a guide to the UK’s best piano opportunities too!