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How to Prepare for Your First Piano Lesson

Learning a few notes and basics will make you more comfortable

Part of the Vitality Arts Special Report

Are you one of those people who say “I’ve always wanted to play the piano” or “I’d love to cross piano lessons off my bucket list?” Take heart. It isn’t too late. Options abound, from self-instruction books to group lessons to a good old-fashioned one-on-one lesson with a piano teacher.

However, adult students sometimes feel worried about starting something new so late in life. We wondered if there were a few tips — some baseline knowledge — that might make a first piano lesson experience less intimidating. We turned to Timothy DePrey, a pianist who has taught since 1981 and is the director of Individual Piano Instruction at MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis since 1997, for advice on getting started.


By Alex Stahlmann
Alex received his bachelor’s degree in English literature and composition from Saint John’s University in 2008. Since then, he has pursued careers in both management and education, and also turned his local music blog into a small business. His most recent tenure was spent as an integrated marketer at Fast Horse as well as the managing editor of Modern Midwest. Alex can be reached by email at [email protected].
Shayla Stern
Shayla leads the editorial team and content strategy as the Director of Editorial and Content for Next Avenue at Twin Cities PBS. She has spent a career in digital media journalism and digital strategy at organizations including washingtonpost.comEdmunds.comCars.com and Fast Horse, and worked as a consultant for several years. She also was a media professor at the University of Minnesota and DePaul University and  has a Ph.D. in Mass Communication. She can be reached at [email protected].@shayla_stern

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