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Good afternoon to you. New to this world and first time to post or seek advice.

In fact this is on behalf of the wife who had lessons as a child. Then life got in the way and now in her 60th year she is keen to revisit a missed opportunity. At last there is the time, the budget and will power to do it.

I have taken some steps after a lot of reading. Good (or bad) I have dropped upon a new Yamaha P515 with the LP1 3 pedal arrangement. It arrives Friday and was an unmissable price. Hopefully I'm in the right ball park...lets see.

I also purchased an adjustable height stool with storage.

We are fairly tied into either Android or PC as a base for learning packages. Either would be fine but wandering which you might recommend? I thought a medium touch screen panel (24" ?) on a small format PC might be a good base that we can wall mount and position over the music support with touch support?

And similar with learning packages. I must have spent two weeks reading comparisons. The names that bounce around are Flowkey, Simply Piano and Playground Sessions and another the name of which I forget this second.

Would one or more of these might be a suitable day 1 tool to kick start things? She is committed to one to one lessons but of course right now this is not practical.

And finally I read pages and pages on Piano World about headphones. Ideally space and clutter elimination, wireless headphones would be the most practical ... we have a spare pair of Sony XH1000M4's that could be available but I am unsure if this is a good or practical way to go and again am open to input and advice.

Apologies if that reads a little like a shopping list. I guess in a sense it is. I'm hoping get all the kit together and have (as near as possible) everything ready to just start without fuss or distraction.

Appreciate any experience and suggestions into the learning plaform, learning software, headphones and indeed anything else I may very likely have over looked. Many thanks in advance for your time.

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Welcome to the forum!

A 24" monitor mounted sounds great! You could also use an iPad or tablet. I believe the programs you mention all work on iOS and Android. I would suggest a book like Piano Adventures Level 1 to start you can even get PDF version and display it on the screen. I tried both and found I learned far more with the Piano Adventure Books than any app. Just my opinion on it.

I would not use bluetooth as there can be latency issues and don't think you can bluetooth two sources at the same time to one set of headphones. If you want to hear the app's audio and your piano audio I would suggest a wired closed back headphone like Audio Technic M50x but you'll need an interface to get all audio to the headphones.

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Originally Posted by Atacama40
She is committed to one to one lessons but of course right now this is not practical.

Welcome! I wouldn't totally rule out private lessons right now. Online lessons have become common over the last year. I am taking them myself. Certainly not ideal, especially when someone is just getting started, but they can still be effective. As long as you have a solid high-speed internet connection, I think it would be worthwhile to investigate.

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Originally Posted by Sebs
Welcome to the forum!

A 24" monitor mounted sounds great! You could also use an iPad or tablet. I believe the programs you mention all work on iOS and Android. I would suggest a book like Piano Adventures Level 1 to start you can even get PDF version and display it on the screen. I tried both and found I learned far more with the Piano Adventure Books than any app. Just my opinion on it.

I would not use bluetooth as there can be latency issues and don't think you can bluetooth two sources at the same time to one set of headphones. If you want to hear the app's audio and your piano audio I would suggest a wired closed back headphone like Audio Technic M50x but you'll need an interface to get all audio to the headphones.

Many thanks for the quick reply and steer Seb.

Yes I felt fairly good about the touch screen. I bought a Dell one for a childrens PC last year and was amazed how solid and good it was. I can either pillar or wall mount such that it makes a perfect natural fit over the music stand of the P515 and add a very small Intel stick PC into the back via HDMI. Very small and powerful.

We do have a new Sony mobile which supports Android 11 but it felt a little small but easily powerful enough. I guess it could be output to the 24" monitor in fact vis the HDMI.

I had not read about the Piano Adventure books. I have to confess to falling into a technology solution. But for certain will read up on this tonight and most likely order. The wife is indeed a book sort of person and it may well be a better fit for her.

On the headphones .... I'm glad I held off on that. Although I read a lot, that aspect of latency had not jumped out at me. I had been looking at HD599's but more on the basis of comfort.

Many thanks for the direction there Seb, is genuinely helpful stuff

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In my opinion, do it the right way.

Take lesson from a program like ABRSM or Trinity (I'm doing RCM).

You always know what you will work on and always play songs at your level.

You don't have to do the exams.

When I started less than a year ago, I went the self taught route and I was all over the place.

Then I got private lessons from a teacher without a program and he was all over the place.

Finally, went for a teacher that teaches a program and I am making so much better progress and I always know what I will be working on that level because it is all in the books of that level.

I know many people had success without going this route. Good for them!!

I will get criticize for this, no matter what I'm sticking to my guns on this.

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I'm a fan of PianoMarvel and that should work fine with a PC and the Yamaha. You can try it for free and see if you like it.

If I got to start all over again I'd want someone to tell me to at least practice 15 minutes every day (which someone did). They would hopefully follow that with advice to not trying to compare myself to people who play better and learn faster. There's no reason to let a hobby (this is me, maybe not everyone) get you down.

I think it's absolutely critical to learn to have fun with it. But maybe others are far more disciplined than I am. I like a lot of simple music and I use lead sheets plenty. Again, it's just a hobby for me.

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Hi Atacama40. Welcome to the forum.

I'm going to say the appropriate recommendation might depend on what your wife wants to achieve. What style of music does your wife want to play and how far does she want to go? How "serious" does she want to take this endeavor? And also, how far did she go as a child? (I'm going to assume she wants to start from the beginning.)

I kicked off my piano journey by signing up for a 1-month free trial of Piano Marvel. I loved it SO much I bought a 1-year subscription. I shouldn't have done that because I ended up only using 1 month of my 1-year subscription. The reason for this was that I realized quickly that I wanted to go in a different direction. Piano Marvel is very fun and many people enjoy it but it just wasn't the right fit for me.

I then purchased Faber's Adult All-In-One Level 1 and did a couple of units by myself. Then, I realized I wanted a teacher, which I got and we finished the Faber book together.

After Faber Level 1, I requested to do the RCM curriculum, purchased an acoustic upright, and went all in. I even do exams. grin

So my recommendation is:
(1) Give Piano Marvel a try with their free trial. No harm in trying it out and your wife might love it. There's a Piano Marvel thread in this subforum.
(2) If your wife wants more, or something different, try the very popular Alfred's All-In-One series or the Faber's All-In-One series. Both of these series have threads here where learners post questions and encouragement for other learners.

Everyone learns differently and are motivated by different things.

BTW, I think the Yamaha P515 is a solid digital piano to get started on.

Just have fun, the both of you!


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I restarted piano after not having played or had lessons since college. Since I was 65, that was a long time. I picked up a couple of adult beginner books and went through them on my own for a couple of months and the reading came back fairly quickly. When I purchased a book and started on the Chopin waltz in a minor, posthumous, I quickly realized I needed a teacher and started taking lessons. They were in person but are now on Zoom. I use an IPad, use original sound and the sound is quite good.
When I tried to just use my laptop, it was terrible. I kept going in and out and my teacher said he could not hear me half the time. I think that can probably be solved by using an external microphone. I have an HO laptop and the microphones on it does not work for music. I just bought an older version of an IPad for about $200 and I am
Very happy with it. It does depend on what type of music your wife wants to play. If she wants to play classical, a teacher is the best option. Zoom is not as good as in person but with the right set up it can be quite
Effective.


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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Hi Atacama40. Welcome to the forum.

I'm going to say the appropriate recommendation might depend on what your wife wants to achieve. What style of music does your wife want to play and how far does she want to go? How "serious" does she want to take this endeavor? And also, how far did she go as a child? (I'm going to assume she wants to start from the beginning.)

I kicked off my piano journey by signing up for a 1-month free trial of Piano Marvel. I loved it SO much I bought a 1-year subscription. I shouldn't have done that because I ended up only using 1 month of my 1-year subscription. The reason for this was that I realized quickly that I wanted to go in a different direction. Piano Marvel is very fun and many people enjoy it but it just wasn't the right fit for me.

I then purchased Faber's Adult All-In-One Level 1 and did a couple of units by myself. Then, I realized I wanted a teacher, which I got and we finished the Faber book together.

After Faber Level 1, I requested to do the RCM curriculum, purchased an acoustic upright, and went all in. I even do exams. grin

So my recommendation is:
(1) Give Piano Marvel a try with their free trial. No harm in trying it out and your wife might love it. There's a Piano Marvel thread in this subforum.
(2) If your wife wants more, or something different, try the very popular Alfred's All-In-One series or the Faber's All-In-One series. Both of these series have threads here where learners post questions and encouragement for other learners.

Everyone learns differently and are motivated by different things.

BTW, I think the Yamaha P515 is a solid digital piano to get started on.

Just have fun, the both of you!

Don't have anything else to add but I wanted to second point number 2) (no pun intended ha). I found them excellent when I started and had a teacher too.


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More recently, I passed Grade 6 with distinction and plan to take Grade 7 in late 2021.

I am documenting my progress, recitals and experiences of learning how to play the piano as an adult on my YouTube channel.
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I'm just curious - after having had so much input regarding research and purchases, will you be joining your wife on her piano-learning journey, or will she be going it alone?


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Originally Posted by JB_PW
Originally Posted by Atacama40
She is committed to one to one lessons but of course right now this is not practical.

Welcome! I wouldn't totally rule out private lessons right now. Online lessons have become common over the last year. I am taking them myself. Certainly not ideal, especially when someone is just getting started, but they can still be effective. As long as you have a solid high-speed internet connection, I think it would be worthwhile to investigate.

Hi there JB, I have to confess that aspect of 'on-line private lessons' had not for a second crossed my mind. What an excellent idea.

We do have first class internet here as it goes. We were fortunately enough to be in an area of the UK that deployed proper fiber nearly 20 years back and they recently turned it up to 500mb (for a price of course) and that may work very well.

Will be looking into that for sure JB. Many thanks

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Originally Posted by Snowstorm
In my opinion, do it the right way.

Take lesson from a program like ABRSM or Trinity (I'm doing RCM).

You always know what you will work on and always play songs at your level.

You don't have to do the exams.

When I started less than a year ago, I went the self taught route and I was all over the place.

Then I got private lessons from a teacher without a program and he was all over the place.

Finally, went for a teacher that teaches a program and I am making so much better progress and I always know what I will be working on that level because it is all in the books of that level.

I know many people had success without going this route. Good for them!!

I will get criticize for this, no matter what I'm sticking to my guns on this.

Morning Snowstorm.

No I hear what you are saying, we are entirely open minded to the way forward. And indeed learning from those that have either gone the distance or gone through the 'learning of the learning' as it were.

And honestly speaking I don't know or have preference for the tool set .... tech, paper, hands on etc.

I am probably guilty of warming towards a tech solution as that's my day job .... IT Director. But more keen to get it right than indulge myself so I appreciate the steer.

I will be taking a proper read of those programs this morning for sure.

Many thanks

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Originally Posted by TomInCinci
I'm a fan of PianoMarvel and that should work fine with a PC and the Yamaha. You can try it for free and see if you like it.

If I got to start all over again I'd want someone to tell me to at least practice 15 minutes every day (which someone did). They would hopefully follow that with advice to not trying to compare myself to people who play better and learn faster. There's no reason to let a hobby (this is me, maybe not everyone) get you down.

I think it's absolutely critical to learn to have fun with it. But maybe others are far more disciplined than I am. I like a lot of simple music and I use lead sheets plenty. Again, it's just a hobby for me.

I had not come across PianoMarvel Tom but for sure will take a read up on that as well.

She has in mind to dedicate time each day and I believe she will. It's not just a mad 60th year jump to mind, she has been discussing it for a good 10 years plus but the funds or other projects/family member rescue missions never really allowed progress. This time the issue has been forced by a purchase :-)

Many thanks for the suggestion and experience

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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Hi Atacama40. Welcome to the forum.

I'm going to say the appropriate recommendation might depend on what your wife wants to achieve. What style of music does your wife want to play and how far does she want to go? How "serious" does she want to take this endeavor? And also, how far did she go as a child? (I'm going to assume she wants to start from the beginning.)

I kicked off my piano journey by signing up for a 1-month free trial of Piano Marvel. I loved it SO much I bought a 1-year subscription. I shouldn't have done that because I ended up only using 1 month of my 1-year subscription. The reason for this was that I realized quickly that I wanted to go in a different direction. Piano Marvel is very fun and many people enjoy it but it just wasn't the right fit for me.

I then purchased Faber's Adult All-In-One Level 1 and did a couple of units by myself. Then, I realized I wanted a teacher, which I got and we finished the Faber book together.

After Faber Level 1, I requested to do the RCM curriculum, purchased an acoustic upright, and went all in. I even do exams. grin

So my recommendation is:
(1) Give Piano Marvel a try with their free trial. No harm in trying it out and your wife might love it. There's a Piano Marvel thread in this subforum.
(2) If your wife wants more, or something different, try the very popular Alfred's All-In-One series or the Faber's All-In-One series. Both of these series have threads here where learners post questions and encouragement for other learners.

Everyone learns differently and are motivated by different things.

BTW, I think the Yamaha P515 is a solid digital piano to get started on.

Just have fun, the both of you!

Hi there and thanks for taking the time.

Oh yes there is serious there .... not just a mid life crisis. :-)

She did two years as a child and it included scales, notation, sheet reading etc. She is doubtful how much is retained but I suspect we will find out this weekend. There will be a revisit for sure but there is a base knowledge there.

I have ordered the Faber book you kindly mentioned and the Abrsm one mentioned earlier in the thread. I think those are an important layer to add to the packages that I had not properly considered.

Piano Marvel I'm definitely going to take a look at. That name has come up a time or two now.

This is brilliant data and angles I'd quite simply not considered. I fell the tool set is coming together now.

Thanks for shining a light forward. I will come back to the thread and give an 'end of week' one as to what went well and what didn't. It's going to be interesting.

Many thanks

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Originally Posted by Atacama40
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Hi Atacama40. Welcome to the forum.

I'm going to say the appropriate recommendation might depend on what your wife wants to achieve. What style of music does your wife want to play and how far does she want to go? How "serious" does she want to take this endeavor? And also, how far did she go as a child? (I'm going to assume she wants to start from the beginning.)

I kicked off my piano journey by signing up for a 1-month free trial of Piano Marvel. I loved it SO much I bought a 1-year subscription. I shouldn't have done that because I ended up only using 1 month of my 1-year subscription. The reason for this was that I realized quickly that I wanted to go in a different direction. Piano Marvel is very fun and many people enjoy it but it just wasn't the right fit for me.

I then purchased Faber's Adult All-In-One Level 1 and did a couple of units by myself. Then, I realized I wanted a teacher, which I got and we finished the Faber book together.

After Faber Level 1, I requested to do the RCM curriculum, purchased an acoustic upright, and went all in. I even do exams. grin

So my recommendation is:
(1) Give Piano Marvel a try with their free trial. No harm in trying it out and your wife might love it. There's a Piano Marvel thread in this subforum.
(2) If your wife wants more, or something different, try the very popular Alfred's All-In-One series or the Faber's All-In-One series. Both of these series have threads here where learners post questions and encouragement for other learners.

Everyone learns differently and are motivated by different things.

BTW, I think the Yamaha P515 is a solid digital piano to get started on.

Just have fun, the both of you!

Hi there and thanks for taking the time.

Oh yes there is serious there .... not just a mid life crisis. :-)

She did two years as a child and it included scales, notation, sheet reading etc. She is doubtful how much is retained but I suspect we will find out this weekend. There will be a revisit for sure but there is a base knowledge there.

I have ordered the Faber book you kindly mentioned and the Abrsm one mentioned earlier in the thread. I think those are an important layer to add to the packages that I had not properly considered.

Piano Marvel I'm definitely going to take a look at. That name has come up a time or two now.

This is brilliant data and angles I'd quite simply not considered. I fell the tool set is coming together now.

Thanks for shining a light forward. I will come back to the thread and give an 'end of week' one as to what went well and what didn't. It's going to be interesting.

Many thanks



Many People have started with Faber and then once they get a good basic foundation go the ABRSM, RCM, Trinity, etc.. route.

I think you are making a good decision and you are on the right track in my opinion.

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I started lessons with a teacher about 3 years ago. The current teacher for 2 through the local conservatory. Originally the classes were group sessions for adults held once a week at the conservatory. Since the lockdown in March, everybody who would take classes during the week were told to connect with the teacher through Zoom.

The course is for adults having a hobby during the week. Nobody is into taking piano exams at the moment. I've been playing for a decade and haven't taken an exam yet. I'm not too keen on signing up for an online learning program. There are a few you haven't mentioned including Udemy Piano, Piano Marvel & Musiah. Some people prefer to learn on their own without a teacher. The flip side is that people learn to play the notes but there are things like posture, hand position that may be awkward and hands that look stiff & mechanical a teacher would be able to pick up that a computer program wouldn't.

I don't use headphones regularly although I live in a building with neighbors around. I had complaint from an elderly gentleman downstairs about the noise coming from the toilet but never from my keyboard playing. Even when practicing late at night, my volume would stay half way up. Headphones are a bit awkward for me. I prefer to use earbuds with a long extension cable. They are not noticeable when I'm playing. It's more natural to play without headphones like I'm performing on stage.

If you're going the traditional route, you'd start with a few repertoire books like the Faber or Alfred's series. The teacher got the class into playing Czerny Etudes (for warmup), Palette of Touches (exercises) and books with Classical & Jazz pieces arranged for easy piano. I download sheet music regularly. After playing the first line I can tell if the piece is at my level and I'd continue learning the whole piece. The goal is to be comfortable playing any piece you find at your level. The last piece I worked on with the teacher was "Song of India" by Rimsky-Korsakov. And I got into playing John Lennon "Imagine" from a recent download.

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Originally Posted by Atacama40
Good afternoon to you. New to this world and first time to post or seek advice.

In fact this is on behalf of the wife who had lessons as a child. Then life got in the way and now in her 60th year she is keen to revisit a missed opportunity. At last there is the time, the budget and will power to do it.

I have taken some steps after a lot of reading. Good (or bad) I have dropped upon a new Yamaha P515 with the LP1 3 pedal arrangement. It arrives Friday and was an unmissable price. Hopefully I'm in the right ball park...lets see.

I also purchased an adjustable height stool with storage.

We are fairly tied into either Android or PC as a base for learning packages. Either would be fine but wandering which you might recommend? I thought a medium touch screen panel (24" ?) on a small format PC might be a good base that we can wall mount and position over the music support with touch support?

And similar with learning packages. I must have spent two weeks reading comparisons. The names that bounce around are Flowkey, Simply Piano and Playground Sessions and another the name of which I forget this second.

Would one or more of these might be a suitable day 1 tool to kick start things? She is committed to one to one lessons but of course right now this is not practical.

And finally I read pages and pages on Piano World about headphones. Ideally space and clutter elimination, wireless headphones would be the most practical ... we have a spare pair of Sony XH1000M4's that could be available but I am unsure if this is a good or practical way to go and again am open to input and advice.

Apologies if that reads a little like a shopping list. I guess in a sense it is. I'm hoping get all the kit together and have (as near as possible) everything ready to just start without fuss or distraction.

Appreciate any experience and suggestions into the learning plaform, learning software, headphones and indeed anything else I may very likely have over looked. Many thanks in advance for your time.
Hi Atacama 40 I like the AKG K240's. They can be had for around $70. You might want to search a few reviews on them.

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Whatever you decide on, make sure to develop a practice habit. All of the planning and purchasing will be wasted if you do not sit down and practice every day. Start out with 15 minutes if that is all you can do, with the goal of at least an hour a day after you get used to it. Have fun - if practicing becomes a chore you will not make time for it.

Sam


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Originally Posted by zillybug
I restarted piano after not having played or had lessons since college. Since I was 65, that was a long time. I picked up a couple of adult beginner books and went through them on my own for a couple of months and the reading came back fairly quickly. When I purchased a book and started on the Chopin waltz in a minor, posthumous, I quickly realized I needed a teacher and started taking lessons. They were in person but are now on Zoom. I use an IPad, use original sound and the sound is quite good.
When I tried to just use my laptop, it was terrible. I kept going in and out and my teacher said he could not hear me half the time. I think that can probably be solved by using an external microphone. I have an HO laptop and the microphones on it does not work for music. I just bought an older version of an IPad for about $200 and I am
Very happy with it. It does depend on what type of music your wife wants to play. If she wants to play classical, a teacher is the best option. Zoom is not as good as in person but with the right set up it can be quite
Effective.

Positive advice zillybug. And indeed this is the way she will be going. We picked the piano up yesterday and the gentleman selling it echoed your advice 100%. It does indeed seem a mix of book based, some software and a proper tutor is the way to go.

I've bought a small Intel Compute Stick, a blue-tooth keyboard and touchpad and a touch monitor and web cam to use for the lessons until the world returns to some sort of normality and face to face lessons can start.

For the learning app I've installed Flowkey (and will probably try a couple others) on a little Google Pixelbook. Is working very nicely.

Many thanks for the direction

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Originally Posted by MarieJ
I'm just curious - after having had so much input regarding research and purchases, will you be joining your wife on her piano-learning journey, or will she be going it alone?

Interesting point. And indeed has been discussed ... at length :-)

I'm keen not to swamp her return the piano and said that. You may imagine that met with some scorn and I am thinking about maybe doing some parallel learning.

Have to confess it does appeal. I'm not great at disciplining time but it does appeal.

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