Learning to play the piano takes a lot of motivation and discipline. Piano is one of the most difficult musical instruments to learn, it’s right up there with the violin and drums.
If you want to learn to play the piano, you’ll have to find an experienced piano teacher who can give you the benefit of all of their musical expertise to teach you how to play.
Do you want to learn how to play Chopin? Move to the next level as a musician? Maybe even begin to write your own pieces? Do a Ryan Gosling in La La Land and learn jazz piano?
Here are our top tips for places to play and learn the piano in major US cities:
Learn to play the piano in New York City
Learn to play the piano in New York - there are endless options for classes and teachers.
In order to play the piano, you need to be motivated and prepared to dedicate substantial amounts of time to practicing your music. It takes time to learn how to play the piano, master chord progressions, and read sheet music. If you’re ready for all that, here are the top places to learn to play the piano in New York City:
- Julliard: one of the top music conservatories in the country, it’s hard to turn down the opportunity to one day play the piano at New York’s Lincoln Center. The focus tends towards more classical music pieces, and also covers music theory, ear training, and performance. Julliard students will receive a liberal arts education as well as preparation for a career as a professional pianist.
There are also several other collegiate level programs to play the piano in New York.
If you aren’t ready for a professional preparation there are still countless other options - kindermusic, classes in jazz or classical piano playing, concert groups…the options are endless:
Community Centers: it seems like every New York Borough has a handful of different community centers offering piano classes along with performing arts workshops
- 92nd Street Y
- Hamilton Madison House
- Harriet and Robert H Heilbrunn Music School
- Greenwich House Music School
Music Schools: there are hundreds of good music schools in New York where you can learn how to play the piano. Here are some of our picks:
- Manhattan School of Music
- Kaufman Music Center
- Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
- NY Jazz Academy
Finally, don’t forget to consider piano classes at home. Private piano lessons give you the chance to design your own personalized curriculum with your teacher, and you’ll have someone with you to oversee your finger placements and posture.
Learn the piano in Seattle
Learning to play the piano is an enriching experience, and whatever your age if you want to become a pianist in the North West, Seattle has plenty of choices for you:
Seattle Youth Orchestra and the Seattle Conservatory of Music
This youth-focussed program offers children preparation for a career as a professional pianist.
The Youth Orchestra is the country’s largest, and the conservatory teaches children the basics of keyboard harmony, piano literature, music theory, and composition.
Studying piano with the Seattle Conservatory of Music is a good way to learn formal techniques, and prepare for a professional piano career à la Beethoven.
Classes take place at Seattle Pacific University and students have the opportunity to perform in the conservatory’s chamber music series even if they aren’t part of the Youth Orchestra.
Music Schools in Seattle
If anyone ever tries to tell you that there aren’t music schools to learn to play the piano in Seattle, you can set them straight right away - there are plenty of schools to choose from!
Here are our top picks of music schools to take piano classes in Seattle:
- Bellevue School of Music
- West Side Music Academy
- Community Music at the University of Puget Sound
- Off the Wall School of Music
- Seattle Piano Academy
Where can you learn to play the piano in Nashville?
You’re in the capitol of country music, in a town with countless live shows and music bars - it’s a great place to learn the piano!
Here are our picks for places to take piano classes in Nashville.
The Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt
The Blair School of Music offers you the opportunity to study keyboard and music education at one of the top universities in the country.
Students work on their performance, piano literature, piano pedagogy, composition and the musical arts, and have the choice of joining a wide range of orchestras and ensembles.
Blair is also home to Nashville’s Youth Orchestra, which offers a range of groupings for children of all levels from grades 3-12.
Music Schools to learn piano in Nashville
You’re in a music city, so your choice of music schools is vast, and as a bonus, they’ll make less of a dent in your budget than the Blair School.
Here are some of our top music schools for piano classes in Nashville:
- Nashville Music Academy
- Green Hills Guitar Studio
- Fanny’s House of Music
- Cedarstone Music School
- Tem’s Music
Taking piano classes online in Nashville
If you have a lot of self discipline and are great at picking things up on your own, there are lots of options for online piano classes.
If you’re dedicated, you’ll be able to learn the basics of piano on your own - music theory, keeping your right and left hands coordinated, reading music, and playing pieces on the piano like Bach’s prelude, Cher Élise, or one of Mozart’s Sonatas.
With online piano classes (like those using the Colin or Bernachon Methods), it is possible to learn to play the piano for free, but you’ll miss out on the benefits of having a teacher for yourself.
Where to sign up for piano classes in Boston
With so many schools in Boston, you’re spoiled for choice, but our top recommendation, is, of course, the Boston Conservatory.
Have you just moved to Boston? What could be better than learning to play the piano in the city of Howard Shore and Keith Jarrett?
You should know that learning to play the piano brings with it numerous benefits - the younger you are when you stat classes, the more piano lessons will help expand your cognitive horizons.
Taking courses on music theory, learning how to read music, mastering the major and minor chords, learning how to sight read…all of this will take time.
Berklee College of Music
Located in the stretch between Fenway and the Prudential Center, near Northeastern, Berklee is one of the top music schools in the country. It’s graduated some of the best pianists, including Cyrus Chestnut, Bruce Hornsby, Bob James, and Rob Mounsey.
Admission to the school is a rigorous process, but once accepted piano students will receive a true preparation for professional career as a pianist. Courses cover a wide range of techniques, including scales, and arpeggios, exercises such as Hanon, Czerny, and Pishna, and styles including classical, rock, pop, and jazz. The piano department also oversees more than 270 instrumental groups.
Other Piano schools and conservatories in Boston
Just like it does for other academic subjects, Boston punches far above its weight for music education. In addition to Berklee, there's the Boston Conservatory and New England Conservatory, and there are also several well regarded music schools where you can learn to play the piano:
- Yamaha Music School
- Musicians’ Playground
- Page Music Lessons
Music schools will teach you how to read music, master solfege and music theory, learn the chords, and practice your rhythm and improvisation at the piano.
Places in San Francisco to take piano classes
If you live in San Francisco and have had the chance to hear one of the great pianists from the local conservatory, why not try your chances and apply to the keyboard department at San Francisco Conservatory of Music for the chance to play music professionally.
The San Francisco Conservatory of Music
This small and rigorous conservatory has a total student body of just 400, and focuses on preparing students for a professional career playing the piano.
The keyboard department offers a choice of specialization in collaborative piano, harpsichord, organ, and piano.
If you aren't quite looking for a professional piano career but still want to learn from the best, it’s worth looking at the conservatory’s Adult Extension program which offers piano classes during the school year as well as summer intensives. Classes generally focus on classical music, and students will learn rhythm, scales, sight reading, and transposition. Repertory and ensemble classes are also available.
Not quite ready to apply to the conservatory? Don’t lose heart, there are plenty of other options to learn to play the piano in San Francisco.
How? By going to a music school!
Piano schools in San Francisco:
- Blue Bear School of Music
- Little Mission Studio
- The Music Room
- The Community Music Center
Finally, like in all the other major US cities, Superprof can also offer a full roster of private piano teachers available to teach you how to play in the comfort of your home if you don’t want to sign up for piano classes in a music school.
It’s nice to have a good teacher without having to commute across the city, and you’ll develop a great relationship with your teacher that will help you develop your playing throughout the year.
Another option are online piano classes. Certain websites offer free or subscription piano classes, but it can be a challenge to learn this way as you are sat on your own in front of a keyboard.
If you’re careful and don’t choose too difficult a piece of music to play, you won’t become too discouraged and stop learning to play the piano!
Where can you learn to play piano in LA?
If you’re in the hustle and bustle of LA trying to find the time and make the trek to music lessons might seem daunting, so don’t fear! Here are our top choices:
In the city of stars, it’s nice to have your own artistic and performing arts hobby to have something in common with all of your fellow Los Angelans. So why not start learning the piano?
Here are the places where you can take piano classes in LA:
The Colburn School
This revered music school is located in downtown LA, just across from the famed Disney Hall. If you’re lucky enough to be accepted, you’ll be receiving the same formative education as David Fung and Eric Reed - and it’s free!
The school focuses on more classical rather than modern music styles, but gives students lots of performing opportunities with professionals and gigs around the city.
Piano classes in LA
In LA, piano classes from a music school will give you the benefit of learning to play the piano in a structured way, with a teacher that is able to adapt their style to their students’ levels. Courses might be in groups or as individuals.
In order to find the right music school for you, it’s a good idea to consider your goals and budget for piano classes, and then look at a map of LA.
Superprof recommends these music schools in LA:
- Tiffany Piano Studio
- Rhodes School of Music
- The Music Junction
To your piano keyboards, you don’t have any excuse not to become a piano player!