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More and more music students in Birmingham take piano lessons each year.
Each Brummie student has their own reasons for learning piano, but these reasons are quite often a variation on a common theme.
An overarching reason for learning piano seems to be the aspiration is to reach that optimal point where can enjoy to play pieces by the composers that you love the most, must like a concert pianist: Debussy (notably Clair de Lune), Chopin, Beethoven, Liszt, Mozart (starting with Turkish March for example), Satie, Schubert, Schumann…
Sometimes it’s about learning film music or other modern music playing constantly on the radio or on TV.
Perhaps the student simple wants to know how to read a piano score, in which case piano lessons might double up as music theory lessons.
Thirdly, and this is often what the Brummie parents have in mind when they sign their offspring up to beginner’s piano lessons, it’s a question of developing cognitive skills through building on their sense of musicality, learning the ability to read a score, mastering rhythms, gaining a knowledge of the history of music and honing their ability to maintain a harmony and tempo. That, and the desire to perfect their musical knowledge by adapting to pieces of all musical styles of course...
Some students just want to stand out from the crown, because to be able to play the piano, or to play even just modern music or jazz harmonies (and that’s before we even get to the great masterpieces) is very well regarded, especially in university and job applications.
Finally, the quest for musical awakening make stem from the desire to master the art of improvisation improvisation (or ‘improv’ to jazz aficionados), so that you can strike up an upbeat boogie woogie at will on any keyboard or piano.
To learn piano, you’ll eventually need to acquire a piano by renting or buying one in a music shop. Fair Deal Music in Birmingham comes highly recommended, offering a range of new electronic and acoustic pianos, as well as a selection of pre-owned and ex-display models at a discounted price. Birmingham Pianos is a specialist piano dealer, offering pre-owned pianos with delivery prices included.
Whether you rent or buy, having a grand piano, upright piano, electronic piano or even a smaller electric keyboard is a smart move when you’re committed to learning to play piano.
Like anywhere else in the world it’s possible to learn piano on your own in Birmingham thanks to the wonderful world wide web. You can even learn piano without music theory by finding online music lessons.
In fact, learning piano online can be as easy listening to or watching free piano lessons on the internet, like Andrew Furmanczyk’s free piano tuition Youtube channel.
The main benefit of online tuition is that it’s usually free, which can be great starting point for beginners who want to test the waters of the instrument.
But it’s clear that learning piano online is not the best method unless you’re happy to spend time surfing the web for decent free sheet music that will give your fingers a good work out.
Many adults and children choose to sign up for individual lessons or music courses in a music school. But you can equally learn music and learn the basics of piano as well as more advanced technique by signing up to private piano lessons in your own home (in which case, buying a piano is necessary if you don’t already have one) or at a piano teacher’s house.
This method pays off for all levels and no matter which musical style or their geographical, so whether you’re based out in Dorridge or just a stone’s throw from Theatreland this could be a good option for you.
Birmingham is home to the prestigious Royal Birmingham Conservatoire where accomplished classical musicians become experts in their instruments, as well as BIMM, a university of modern music that teaches students to navigate the modern-day music world.
But there is a huge offering for beginner and intermediate musicians too, with a huge list of names on the local teaching circuit, each teaching their own specialism: from Debbie Kaye (a church organist based in South Birmingham) to Babak Kazemi (RCM graduate), and David McWilliam (accomplished performer and experienced teacher).
In addition to private teachers, there are music schools scattered across the city to provide tuition for most boroughs in Birmingham. The most well-known amongst the Brummies are probably Solihull Music School (Solihull), Progress Music Academy (Jewellery Quarter), Birmingham Music School (Jewellery Quarter) and Selley Oak Music School (Harborne).
Nearly all these private tutors and institutions offer music theory lessons as well as beginner’s piano for adults and children alike.
You want to learn piano easily in Birmingham and learn to read music whilst you’re at it? Nothing works quite so well as having an experienced teacher to give you private lessons at home.
If you want an effective musical awakening and to follow a progression path without picking up bad habits, learning the piano with an experienced teacher is essential. In the universe of music lessons at home, the Superprof concept gives you a head start when it comes to learning your new instrument, presenting you with dedicated profile at your disposal to give you a feel for each private tutor and compare what they offer.
This profile consists of a title and tag line, a presentation of the tutor, the instruments they use (electronic or acoustic piano), who their classes are aimed at (eg. beginner level or lessons for children), where the lessons are (at the teacher’s house or how far they’ll travel to teach), prospective grades and diplomas you might work towards, feedback from students, payment methods accepted, and the hourly rate.
The profile also indicates when the introductory course or lesson is free; this is worth looking out for as it’s always a plus to have a trial lesson with a music teacher before you commit to more lessons.
A lot of these independent teachers are instrumentalists and former students from prestigious music institutions: The Royal Northern, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, the Royal College of Music or another school of piano. Most of them also offer you the opportunity to follow the ABRSM grade progression pathway, from your prep-test all the way to Diploma!
The hourly rates for piano lessons in Birmingham ranges from £20 - £45 (averaging at £28), with a choice of almost 30 tutors. Take a look through the profiles and bear in mind your personal goals; could Shi Ling, Naomi, Meghan, Katherine or even Benedict be your new piano teacher?
With an estimated population of 1,140,000 in Birmingham city, and a staggering 4,332,629 in the wider metropolitan, Birmingham is the cultural, social, financial and commercial of the Midlands, earning itself the title of the UK’s ‘second city’.
Classical music has a long and rich history in Birmingham. In 1784 the city hosted the first Birmingham Triennial Music Festival. This would go on to become the longest running classical music festival of its kind featuring composers such as Mendelssohn, Gounod, Sullivan, Dvorak, Bantock and Edward Elgar, who conducted, performed or composed pieces for the occasion. (In fact, Edward Elgar even wrote four of his most famous choral pieces for Birmingham).
The last of these festivals was in 1912, but music in Birmingham has continued to flourish. Alongside the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, you’ll find the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, and Ex Cathedra performing regularly in the city.
Having the finest acoustics in the UK (according to expert Leo Beranek), The Symphony Hall is the venue of choice for many of these orchestras, but Birmingham was also the birthplace of heavy metal music and many contemporary musicians are often happier on the stages of the Arena Birmingham, the O2 Academy (Bristol Street) or the CBSO centre.
When it comes to jazz, the Birmingham Palais was one of the pioneers in UK jazz, hosting bands from the states who would go on to inspire local musicians. As a result, we now have the Harmonic Festival, Mostly Jazz Festival and annual International Jazz Festival to showcase the best jazz musicians on both the local and international stages in Birmingham city.
So Brummie residents are by no means running short of inspiration for their musical exploits!
There it is, a few lessons in and you feel confident to say ‘I play piano’. Ace, that means your piano lessons have been effective!
Why not reinforce your introduction to the piano by finding a teacher and taking lessons in other instruments? In any case, learning music theory (so that you can read any key without the slightest problems) is highly recommended by the experts.
For starters, in Birmingham you can learn string instruments characteristic of chamber music: the harp (which has, like many other instruments, the merit of working both of your hands), or violin, viola, cello or double bass (to name a few). Others might want take a more modern direction, and you can find lessons for bass, electric guitar, acoustic, classical or even flamenco or even classical guitar with a tutor in Birmingham.
When it comes to wind instruments, there’s a wealth of trombone, trumpet, clarinet, flute, saxophone, or recorder lessons to choose from; folklore enthusiast might turn their hands to the accordion or harmonica, whereas budding percussionists may try out drum lessons.
Good vocal technique always comes in handy for musicians, why not sign up to a choir or take choral lessons with a singing teacher in Birmingham.
Don’t worry, far from preventing you from playing piano and practising and polishing your piano pieces, these new activities will complement your new skill and make you a well-rounded musician. You might even find yourself offering your piano tuition services in the Birmingham area in the not-to-distant future!
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