At UH Maui College, you can take up to three semesters of piano by starting with MUS121C and eventually ending with MUS216. It does not matter what level you are at, you will learn in a group situation as well as progress at your own individual pace.
The three courses MUS121C, MUS122C, and MUS216 are offered in all class periods in Kupa’a 104. This means that a majority of the students in a class period will be in MUS121C but there will be some in MUS122C and a few in MUS216.
By the time you are taking MUS122C, you are accustomed to self-study and practice at your own pace. Put your headphones on and off you go. At these more advanced levels, you may also be eager to help other students and even accompany another student or the class. By the time you reach MUS216, you are spending more time working on more difficult pieces at your own pace.
Some of the frequently asked questions are answered below.
I’ve never touched the piano before. I’m a complete beginner. Will there be others like me?
You’ll be surprised to know that most students are just like you. You’ll be pleased to know that the piano is an instrument that is easy to learn quickly. Each key (black or white) represents one sound, unlike the ukulele, violin, and guitar which require two fingers to make a sound (one pressing the string on the neck and the other causing the string to vibrate).
As I’m a complete beginner, will I learn enough to play a song by the end of the course?
Absolutely! You will learn more than one song. You will also get to choose a song of your own liking and learn to play it. It’s possible to arrange a piece to make it harder or easier, to fit your level.
I’ve taken lessons long ago but haven’t played in years. Will I be able to catch up? Will I get bored once I do (i.e. being with others who are complete beginners)?
There are many adults who took lessons when they were kids. They get surprised how much comes back. But adults have issues children don’t have. They are more critical and demanding of themselves. They question a lot — why this? why that? They are busy in the head, and often this conflicts with their playing. They are more time-challenged, balancing work, study, and family. Finding the time to practice is one of the greatest challenges usually.
I don’t own a piano, and I’m not sure I’m ready to buy one. Can I still take piano class? How do I get access to a piano to practice?
Previously, when we had less than a dozen working pianos in Kupa’a 104, you had to have your own piano. After many of the existing pianos got fixed and new pianos got installed in Spring 2014, you can now practice on the pianos while another music class is in session (Monday – Thursday) and also access any of the pianos elsewhere on campus: Veterans Resource Center, The Learning Center, Library, Laulima 105, and Lahaina Education Center. See blog post (with link to article).
You can also try borrowing a piano or asking about practicing on the piano at your local church, your neighbor, or other places that have a piano.
I’d like buy my own piano but I have limited budget. What should I do?
Try Craigslist for second-hand acoustic and digital pianos. It’s easy to buy a new piano if you have the money but it is ALWAYS difficult to sell a used piano. You can even advertise that you want a piano. Bounty Music and Costco also carry new digital pianos that are affordable. Here’s an article on choosing a keyboard.
What is the average age of your student? I’m concerned I may be too old and unable to keep up.
There is no age limit to learning to play the piano. The median age of the UHMC student is 27. The majority is enrolled part-time. In the past few years, piano students at the college have ranged from age 17 to 85. Everyone has their own individual challenges and progress at their own pace. No one is too old or too young to learn this instrument.