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9 Proven Tips for a Fantastic First Piano Lesson! Step 1, Day 1, Part 1.

Updated: May 1

Why did the student bring a map to their first piano lesson? They heard middle C could be "treble" to find!

You've found a piano teacher, booked your trial lesson, and now you can't wait for your first lesson. This is totally understandable since you've probably been wanting to learn to play piano for some time now. So what can you expect from your first lesson, and is there anything you can do to prepare for it?

A lady and a little girl are sitting at and playing the piano together and smiling
First Piano Lesson

Here are 9 Proven Tips for a Fantastic First Piano Lesson:

1) Arrive 10 mins early for your first piano lessons, but wait until your lesson time

Prepare to arrive at least 10 mins early for your first piano lesson. Factor in the time it takes to find a new place, and remember you may need to search a little before arriving at the teacher's studio. Be sure to park in a considerate place - avoid restricting access to driveways in residential areas. You'll be keen to get started, but don't ring the doorbell until the time of your lesson. Your instructor may have another student in the class. Instead, take this time to relax and look forward to your lesson!

When learning online at home, make sure your device and video software are setup with your teacher added. Set this up at least a day before your first lesson. Take 10 mins before the lesson to connect your charger to your device, start your video app, and set up the screen so that the teacher can see your face and keys.

2) Take a seat at the piano

After you've met your teacher in person and said hello, your teacher will usually guide you to take a seat at the piano. Take a moment to smile, relax, and engage with your teacher and your surroundings - it will feel a little new at first, but you'll soon get comfortable with the setup. It's OK to feel a bit nervous!

3) Share what interests you about learning the piano

Share a few things on what interests you about learning piano and what you'd like to get from your lessons. This will help your teacher get to know you. For example, you may love listening to jazz or classical music, piano music in a certain movie, or listening to a family member play piano.

4) Suggest a piece of music you'd really like to learn

This may be a piece of music for piano or a song you like. Your teacher will show you the best steps to learn part of it in your lesson, or they may suggest it's best to return to it after you've established some easy basics. If you go ahead with the song, remember that it will be more advanced. Either way, it's great fun to play pieces you recognize!

What would you like to learn in your first piano lesson?

  • a) The basics

  • b) A song

  • c) Other

5) Prepare something to play, if you have it (and don't worry if you don't!)

Play something you've been working on yourself at the piano or keyboard, if you have it. This will help your teacher understand how to get you started. Don't focus on mistakes - learning the piano is about progress, and your teacher will know how to best support you in your first lesson. They may suggest some things to help you improve the piece, so be prepared to listen and try out their suggestions.

6) Prepare some questions for the end of the lesson

Some of your questions may have been answered on your teacher's website, though you may have other questions for your teacher. Prepare these questions for the last 10 minutes of the allotted lesson time. Don't ask questions after the lesson since the teacher may have another student then.

7) Thank your teacher for the lesson

This may seem obvious, but thanking your teacher at the end of the lesson is a great way to establish rapport. Most piano teachers do what they do because they have a deep connection with music that they want to share with others. Sometimes piano learners confuse lessons with purely transactional services, but musicians tend to see learning as a way of fostering rich musical connections that develop over time. This awareness will help build a great working relationship between you and your teacher.

8) Book your lessons

After your first lesson you'll know pretty much right away if you and your teacher are a good fit. This is usually true if your teacher is professional and personable, communicates a genuine and interactive love for music, and asks questions that enables them to better help you. If you feel you have found the right teacher, book your lessons no later than the day after your first lesson. This will secure your space and get you started!

9) Order your books ASAP and bring them to your next lesson

Your teacher will usually recommend method books during your first lesson. The books will be specific for your needs. Order these books as soon as possible so that they arrive in good time for your next lesson. Add a folder to your order to keep your books in good condition, alongside a dark pencil and quality eraser. Pack your books and stationary in your folder on the day of your lesson and place the folder in your car (if you travel to your lessons). This will get your next lesson off to a great start!

Final Thoughts

Now that you've considered these 9 Tips for a Fantastic First Piano Lesson, do you feel more confident about your first piano lesson? What else might you anticipate in the lesson?

Overall, you may feel a little apprehensive about your first piano lesson, but take confidence that your teacher is an experienced professional who will guide you and make sure you have a great first piano lesson experience!

Book your first piano lesson with a CanKnowPiano™ teacher today:


A headshot of Rory in front of a brick wall with his arms crossed smiling
Rory's Headshot

Rory Dowse is a Content Developer for CanKnowPiano™ and a contributor and former trustee for the European Piano Teacher's Association, Piano Journal, and Piano Professional Magazine. He is a self-professed lover of all things piano, and can often be found playing Gershwin, eating ice-cream with his kids, and optimizing SEO.


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