Should I Take Classical Or Pop Piano Lesson?

pop piano

It’s a discussion (some might say argument) that often takes place among piano players and teachers: Should piano lessons emphasize pop piano or classical piano? SoCal pianos often hears this discussion in our Ontario & Palm Desert, CA showrooms (appointment only at both locations). This is a decision each person needs to make based on what type of experience they want. If you are a beginner, the decision should be made in conjunction with a piano teacher.


Here is the way the musical people describe the differences. In pop piano lessons students learn to play chords rather than individual notes. It’s similar to how a student might learn to play strumming patterns on an acoustic guitar. Chords are the foundation of pop music hence the name pop piano lessons. In classical piano students usually learn by reading musical notes. This can be tedious for many students but this is the foundation for students who aspire to be concert pianists.


A good piano teacher is certainly able to teach both types. You still need to be able to read music in order to play the chords that are the foundation of most pop music. Pop piano is generally played to accompany a singer. Additionally, in pop piano lessons students learn by listening, feeling, and memorizing hand positions instead of reading the notes. Pop piano does encourage more creativity for the free-spirited player. Being able to improvise is essential when working with a singer.


The best way to wrap up this discussion is by making clear classical and pop piano learning methods both have benefits. Your choice depends largely on what your goals are as a piano player. As indicated, pop piano allows you to improvise more. Classical piano lessons will help your technique and note reading.  It’s important to note many teachers can coach both methods at the same time. The best way to find out what’s best for you is to find a qualified and versatile teacher which you can do by going to the database on our SoCal Pianos website.