If you have a sudden wish to learn to play the piano, it’s a great idea.
And whether you live in Seattle itself or a bit outside in the suburbs, learning piano can be a particularly enriching experience.
Playing the piano brings numerous benefits to your life. It’s an instrument that can provide an escape or a way to relax. It can help you concentrate, stir your memories, and improve your coordination, all while learning a whole new language. Learning to play the piano, in short, will give you a new passion that’s good for your health and something to share with your loved ones.
Seattle is one of the major cities on the West Coast, and it’s totally possible to find somewhere to play the piano no matter what neighborhood you live in. Wherever you are, there’ll be someone to help you learn the basics of this popular instrument.
Where should I learn to play the piano in Seattle?
As soon as your child voices an interest in the piano, it’s best not to hesitate to sign them up for classes on this instrument.
There are many different ways to learn how to play the piano. For small children there are workshops and playgroups that will introduce them to the world of music gently through play. For adolescents and adults there are structured lessons you can sign up for, where you’ll learn things like music theory.
For those who are playing at a professional level, and more than discovering the piano, desire enriching their musical horizons, a conservatory is an excellent option.
And for those who want to learn about music theory and how to play the piano, music schools will be the perfect place.
If you want to avoid music theory and just learn how to play the piano for fun, rec centre classes and music groups might be the perfect place to delve into music.
There are also many good resources and tutorials on the internet, including videos from professional teachers and players who want to share their passion for the piano. Other supplementary materials like ebooks, DVDs, and tabs might also be helpful as you begin your quest to learn to play the piano.
You also have the choice of learning to play the piano at home with a private teacher - you can find a teacher who’ll come to your home once a week and adapt their classes to your level at the piano. Working with your teacher, you'll benefit from their advice and expertise as they create a piano class custom designed for you.
It’s a great option, one that you can also find further South to learn the piano in LA, for example.
Why learn the piano in Seattle?
In any case, whichever route you go, before you sign up for piano lessons, it is important to ask yourself one question - why?
Do you want to learn to play just for fun? Are you hoping to become a professional pianist? Do you want to play in concerts? Depending on your goals, one method of instruction might be more appropriate than the others.
Different options to learn to play the piano in Seattle
Seattle is a large city, and you won’t lack options as you decide where to sign up for piano classes.
If your child looks set to pursue a career at the piano, you’re in great luck with the country’s largest youth orchestra at your doorstep as well as its accompanying conservatory. For the more casual piano students, there are also a wide variety of music schools and classes available to choose from. Just like the choices you’d have if you were trying to become a pianist in San Francisco!
Seattle Youth Orchestra and the Seattle Conservatory
Now in its 26th year, the Seattle Conservatory of Music works alongside the Seattle Youth Orchestra to train the North West’s budding musicians and provide them with a more in depth musical foundation than simply playing their instrument to a high standard.
With a professional staff with degrees from Julliard and the New England Conservatory, children are offered classes like Keyboard Harmony, Piano Literature, music theory, and music composition.
The conservatory aims to prepare children to study music at the collegiate level, or to audition for performance groups. Since 2016, the conservatory has sat under the supervision of the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, and offers a great opportunity for non-orchestra members to take advantage of the local musical expertise.
Classes take place at Seattle Pacific University on Saturday afternoons, and the conservatory offers several performance opportunities to students each year, including its Chamber Music Series.
Music schools in Seattle
Music schools are perfect for budding pianists who want to learn the technique and theory of their instrument, but who also just want to have fun and play their instrument with other students.
A good teacher with a background in piano pedagogy will often teach piano and music theory according to one of the popular methods. It’s worth keeping in mind that the method of one particular teacher might not be right for every student.
A good teacher will adapt their lessons to their student’s level at the piano.
In Seattle, there are music schools throughout the sound. Here are a few of our top picks:
- Bellevue School of Music: located out in Bellevue, the director has over 25 years of experience teaching children and adults alike. Piano classes include plenty of theory and technique, covering areas such as “proper finger technique, note reading, music theory and rhythm while introducing standard piano repertoire.” The school also organizes regular performance opportunities for its students, including taking part in the Seattle Young Artist Music Festival, and the Performing Arts Festival of the Eastside.
- West Side Music Academy - growing out of a home based venture, this husband and wife venture in West Seattle has now been offering music lessons for the Seattle area for almost two decades. They have a full roster of piano teachers and offer classes on styles including rock, pop, classical, and jazz. The Academy also offers combined piano/voice lessons for those who want to be the next Elton John or Billy Joel.
- Community Music at the University of Puget Sound - located in Tacoma, this local university offers a range of community music classes for non-academic credit to all ages and levels. The piano lessons follow the Suzuki method, a well regarded Japanese curriculum that requires parents and children to attend classes together. The Music Center also offers a kinder music program to introduce children as young as 18 months to the joy of music.
- Seattle Piano Academy is located in Ravenna, near the University of Washington campus, and has been teaching piano to students in the area for 14 years. Students receive one on one tuition once or twice a week and classes last for anything from 30 minutes to an hour. If you don’t have your own piano or keyboard at home, you can also pay a small extra fee to come to the school and practice during the week. They organize one annual recital, and often take part in other local events too.
- Off the Wall School of Music - one of the most popular music schools in Seattle, and for good reason, Off the Wall aims to make music lessons fun and immersing for students, and cover a wide range of music styles, as well as sight reading, improvisation, performance and singing, too. If you aren’t sure your child will really like piano, it might be worth testing out the waters with their free introductory lessons. You can also sign up for paid practice time on one of the school’s pianos to practice in between classes. If you live near Wallingford, it’s a great opportunity.
Music schools are a great friendly option for a place to learn the piano efficiently. If you live in California further South, don’t hesitate to check out our recommendations for music schools where you can learn to play the piano in LA or San Francisco.
Piano classes in Seattle
In Seattle and the surrounding suburbs, there are also many private piano teachers who can provide high quality music lessons and help you in your quest to become a musician.
From hobbyists themselves to professional teachers, there’s a wide range of piano teachers available. We’d recommend contacting several teachers to see if their piano lessons are a good fit for you in terms of level, stye and methodology.
You might want to consider what ‘extra’ things you’re interested in learning - for instance, improvising at the piano.
There are many different people on the internet, offering a wide range of prices for piano classes. Anyone can advertise as a piano teacher since there’s no regulations for it. It’s a problem in Seattle, but also everywhere in the US (do you want to learn to play the piano in New York City?).
In any case, piano teachers are often great instructors - competent, and willing to listen as they share their expertise. They can give private piano classes in their homes, or go to the home of their student.
If you still aren’t sure how to find piano lessons, visit your local music store or ask the local rec center or school for the names of music professionals who offer piano classes.
Just make sure to choose your new piano teacher carefully, and you’ll be off playing the piano in no time.