How to Stick With Piano When It Gets Tough

7 ways to stick with piano

Piano is fun, and it’s rewarding!

However, there isn’t a piano player out there who hasn’t considered throwing in the towel when the going gets tough.

But what if I told you that there are ways to keep yourself engaged in your piano lessons?

So don’t throw out that keyboard yet.

I’ve outlined 7 great techniques for sticking with piano lessons, plus a few programs that are pretty much guaranteed to keep you engaged.

Want to reignite your passion for piano? Read on!

1. Choose an Online Program to Stay Engaged

Not everyone wants to be committed to a live teacher. Not everyone can go to piano lessons.

Guess what:

That’s okay.

For some people, a teacher is what keeps them practicing. My main motivation for flossing is to tell the dentist I did it. I get it.

Maybe your main motivation for practicing is to see your teacher’s nod of approval.

Here’s the good news:

There are actually online piano lesson programs out there that use real, live teachers! Yes!

online piano lessons at artistworks

You can stay at home and do piano lessons on your time, and still have a live teacher.

Here’s what I recommend:

ArtistWorks is an online music lesson program where you exchange personalized lesson videos with your teacher.

So you can do your piano lesson at 2:00 am, if you want.

You get the best of both worlds. Win-win.

2. Do Your Music Program With a Friend for Accountability

gym buddy90% of the time, you stick with a workout program longer when you do it with friends.

Why not do the same thing with piano?

Instead of starting a program alone, convince a friend to do it with you. Or, have a friend with a similar skill level join up with you.

Then, when the going gets tough and you don’t want to practice, you’ll be inspired when you hear your friend play the next song.

Maybe you’ll end up being the motivator. Either way:

You’ll be sticking with it.

3. Give Yourself Rewards as a Self-Bribe

Remember when you were a kid and you got stickers or ice cream for practicing piano?

You still love ice cream. You know you do.

So why not bribe yourself? Here’s how:

Commit to practicing piano five days a week. Make yourself a sticker chart, if you need to.

After all, you still love stickers, too.

Every time you meet your practice goal, go out for ice cream! Easy as that.

If you’re one of those intrinsically motivated people, here’s another goal-setting technique that might help you stick with piano practice:

4. Set Specific Goals as Growth Markers

If you know what you want to do in life, you’re more likely to achieve greatness.

Or get to the next level in piano, which is pretty much the same thing. So, here’s what you need to do:

checklistSit down and write out some goals.

Like any goals, these need to be tangible, and they need to have a deadline.

Do you need to live and die by them? Of course not.

But you do need to work toward them! For example:

  • Tomorrow, I will practice for a full session
  • This month, I will learn Pachelbel’s Canon in C by memory
  • This year, I will learn to play in the key of G

If you write out these goals and work toward them, you’ll feel much more motivated!

In fact, you’ll also feel accomplished.

When you meet those goals, you’ll realize how quickly you’re improving. And it’s hard to beat that kind of motivation.

Which brings me to my next point:

5. Keep Track of Your Progress so You Can See How Far You’ve Come

If you set those goals and record them, you’ll have rock-solid evidence that you’re moving forward.

As Sherlock Holmes would say, “There’s nothing like firsthand evidence.”

So keep building that evidence, and you’ll keep improving.

6. Get a Routine and Playing Will Become a Habit

Your whole life is probably scheduled, so your piano practice should be, too.

Even if your online piano lessons can be done at any time of the day, you should still pick a specific time to practice and do your lessons.

Here are some ideas:

  • Write it on your calendar, if you’re old-school
  • Set an alarm on your phone
  • Do it first thing in the morning

By the way, “routine” includes scheduled breaks.

You know how diets inevitably fail when you totally restrict yourself from eating cake?

Piano is kind of like that.

Take your break and your cake now and then, and you’ll be far more likely to stick with your goals in the long-term.

7. Buy the Program Ahead of Time to Make a Financial Commitment

If you’ve ever tried learning, say, the harmonica using Youtube, you probably remember only one thing:

You stopped playing.

Why? Because you weren’t all that invested in the program.

A good way to kick start your piano practice commitment is to actually buy a program and pre-pay your lessons.

If that describes you, a monthly subscription website like Playground Sessions might be the key to keeping you motivated.

Sometimes, though, “sticking through it” is just a euphemism for “hating your life.” Piano should be fun….

Right?

So if you find that you’re not having any fun, sometimes you need to try something else in order to keep going.

Sound good to you? Read on:

Bonus: Find a New Program So You Will Enjoy Paying

playground sessions software

Piano should be fun! It won’t be fun all the time—show me someone who loves practicing chord inversions, and I’ll show you a liar.

But it should still be a good experience. So if you hate your current program or lessons, here’s what you should do:

Quit piano.

No!

Don’t quit piano. That’s a terrible idea!

Just find a new piano lesson program that you enjoy!

I guarantee there’s a program out there for you.

For example, Playground Sessions has a lot of fun songs, and even the usually-boring theory stuff is integrated into songs you enjoy.

There are a lot of great programs out there, but not all online piano lessons are created equal. If you need a change, make sure you go with something good!

You can find full reviews on some of my favourites here.

When it comes down to it, the key to sticking with piano is to learn to love it, despite the rough days.

If you find a program you enjoy, you’ll be able to keep playing for the long haul! And I promise:

You’ll be so glad you stuck with piano.

About The Author

Breana Johnson

I’m Breana, long-time piano player and casual guitar strummer. I grew up on Moezart and the Beach Boys, and I love all types of music! My day job is writing, but I moonlight as a piano teacher and occasionally play for events.