This is a difficult question. A lot of people think you need to learn the piano in two years. That’s not true. Some studies have shown a piano player can learn the piano within one year, but what I’ve seen in many professional pianists is that most start playing at age sixteen. It takes a lot of time to know a piece like “Kiss Me” or “You Are My Sunshine” or even better, one of the classics “Til It Happens to You,” that has the longest notes on it, over an entire lifetime of practice. One of the great things about playing the piano is you can change your technique over time.
Another thing to keep in mind is that learning the piano is a lifelong process. One of the most important things you should do is have a plan in place. You don’t have to learn something immediately, you can have a long-term memory bank to get ready for a difficult piece if necessary. This allows you to practice it without worrying what the piece might be like.
How do you practice piano?
I play everything on the piano on a piano that I bought at an electronics shop in the town where I live. I play most of the songs by Michael Jackson with an upright. When I go to my home country he has a guitar and an acoustic and I play on both together. I am a pretty good guitarist, but I play only on the piano because it makes playing on the guitar way more fun. At home, I practice on the computer or my phone.
I don’t spend enough time studying, so I always learn something new, and this has made my piano playing amazing. The new piece I learned in my 20s was called “Dance of the Sugar Plum fairies,” and it’s one of the classics of rock piano. I played the song over and over again to keep my hands moving. It’s one of my songs now just because it fits the piano very well.
What are your favorite songs to play when you’re making up tunes?
I love to make up songs whenever my band gets inspired. It’s one of my favorite things to do. There’s another song called “The Love Saver” and if you play it back a number of times it really fills you up. Playing those kind of songs is great. One of my favorite things to do with my husband and daughter is go down to the beach every Saturday night where we get to play our music over a really nice dinner