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by Michael Lane

How to stick to your New Year’s Resolution to learn piano

The start of a New Year can be a time to reflect on life and start on new adventures. New Year’s Resolutions can be a wonderful way to set out on a new path, and every year we see plenty of people decide that learning piano is the perfect addition to life. It’s true. But starting anything new can be tricky, and sticking with it even more so.

In this article, we’ll go over why you should start learning, why it should be now, how to get started, and how to stay at it until you’re proud to call yourself a pianist.

Why learn?

If you’re reading this then you’re at least thinking about learning. That’s a good start. You’ve probably heard how wonderful it is to create music, the satisfaction you get from mastering a piece that you couldn’t play last week, or the pure joy you can bring to those around you with a simple melody.

But if you need more persuasion, there are also plenty of other benefits that learning piano can bring. It improves concentration, perseverance, and time management. Playing has also been shown to raise emotional intelligence and increase memory capacity. On top of that, it’s been linked to success in other areas of life.

Take a look at other pianists for inspiration. Don’t fool yourself that they are “naturally talented”. That’s a myth. It comes with practice, and it could be you.

Why now?

Let’s assume for a second that you would like to learn. One of two thoughts will probably pop into your head that block you from doing it:

“I’ll do it someday.” Too busy? Not in the right mindset to start? In reality, these thoughts come from a low-level fear of failure. You can do it. Trust us, or the thousands of people we have seen start with flowkey and go on to play amazing things. Start now and you avoid the second thought that can put you off...

“It’s too late, I should have started earlier.” It’s not! Just look at Alan Rusbridger, a journalist who started playing at 56 and mastered a Chopin piece in concert within a year. Think of yourself five years from now, an excellent player, thanking yourself for starting as a simple New Year’s resolution.

The time to begin is now. So...

picture of piano

How to get started

In our piano guide for beginners, we go over everything you need to know to get started. There are chapters on everything from choosing a keyboard and a learning method, to accelerating your progress through proper practice and how to stay motivated. But if you’re starting as a New Year’s Resolution, let’s start a little differently...

Begin with a goal. Make it specific, avoiding anything vague like “play more”, instead choose a specific song or piece to master by a certain date. It should be personal to you, so make it something you’d love to play. And while you should think big, and you can do a lot in a year, it should be realistic, so you don’t get demotivated.

A lot of people lose focus because they don’t have a proper goal, so click here for more on how to set your goal and incorporating feedback and rewards. Because you’ll deserve a reward when you see progress.

Choose a learning method. Traditional lessons, video tutorials or app learning. Faced with the choices, what would you prefer? The best way is to fit learning into your lifestyle. What worked for your best friend may not work for you.

Take a look at this chapter to help you decide. It breaks down each option based on price, expertise level, flexibility, teaching approach and how much time it takes. We’re biased, of course. While we kept it as impartial and balanced as possible, we’re proud of the flowkey app and see it help thousands to learn piano with their favorite songs.

How to keep yourself on track

There will be days where you think it’s not worth it. Other days you might simply forget to play. It’s all about staying motivated and building a habit. You’d be amazed by how the two go together, as you play more, you begin to love it more. Again, all this and a lot more in the piano guide for beginners. But here are a few tips to give you an idea…

Take it one day at a time. More specifically, one 20 minute practice session at a time. That might not sound like much, but read this guide to the best way to set up your practice lessons. If you follow the advice, you can be sure to see progress.

Make it as easy as possible. Harvard Happiness researcher Shawn Achor calls it the “20 Second Rule”. By removing 20 seconds of effort from something you want to do, you’re far more likely to do it. So set up your home so you can simply sit down at your keyboard or piano and start playing in seconds. The same goes for distractions while you are playing. Put your phone in another room, so if you drift off and look for something to distract yourself with, it’s too much effort to go and get it.

Play what you love. This is the best way to stop yourself from losing faith or getting bored. Make your New Year’s Resolution to play something you adore. Then, when you can, pick something else that you love and aim for that. There are thousands of options in the flowkey app, and we know you’ll find something to suit your tastes.

Let this New Year be the start of something amazing. Good luck. We’re here for you.

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