Are There Any Self-Taught Pianist? Self Teaching Piano, Is it Possible?

Are There Any Self-Taught Pianist

Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to become a self-taught pianist? With the rise of online resources and the availability of digital keyboards, many people are now opting to learn how to play the piano on their own.

But is it really possible to master this beautiful instrument without formal lessons? We will explore the list of self-taught pianists and share tips on how you, too, can embark on this journey.

15 Famous Musicians Who Are Totally Self-Taught Piano

Aspiring musicians often turn to formal education and training programs to hone their craft, but some incredibly successful artists have achieved their musical abilities entirely on their own.

These self-taught musicians have overcome challenges and proven that raw talent and determination can lead to remarkable success in the music industry.

Here are 15 famous musicians who are completely self-taught in piano.

1. Stevie Wonder – This legendary musician, known for hits such as “Superstition” and “Isn’t She Lovely,” is completely self-taught on the piano.

2. Elton John – With a career spanning over five decades, Elton John has become one of the most influential musicians in the world.

3. Jimi Hendrix – While primarily known for his guitar skills, Hendrix was also a self-taught pianist who incorporated elements of piano into his music.

4. Alicia Keys – The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter learned to play the piano at a young age by ear and has been wowing audiences ever since.

5. Billy Joel – The “Piano Man” himself started playing by ear as a child and went on to become one of the best-selling musicians of all time.

6. Prince – This multi-talented artist not only taught himself to play multiple instruments, but he also mastered the piano without any formal training.

7. Paul McCartney – As a member of one of the most iconic bands in history, McCartney showed off his natural talent for piano playing on hits like “Let It Be” and “Hey Jude.”

8. Joni Mitchell – This folk icon honed her musical skills by teaching herself how to play various instruments, including the piano.

9. Ray Charles – Despite becoming blind at a young age, Ray Charles taught himself to play various instruments, including the piano, and went on to become a pioneer in soul music.

10. John Lennon – Alongside bandmate Paul McCartney, John Lennon taught himself how to write songs on the piano without any formal training.

11. Bruce Springsteen – Known for his powerful live performances and storytelling lyrics, Springsteen is entirely self-taught on both guitar and piano.

12. Tori Amos– The alternative rock singer-songwriter started playing classical music by ear as a child and has since become renowned for her piano skills.

13. Harry Connick Jr. – This jazz musician and actor began playing piano at the age of three and continued to teach himself throughout his career.

14. Bruce Hornsby – Best known for hits like “The Way It Is” and “Mandolin Rain,” Hornsby is entirely self-taught on both piano and accordion.

15. Sarah McLachlan – This Canadian singer-songwriter taught herself how to play guitar, but also plays piano with great skill, showcasing her natural musical abilities.

What is Self Teaching Piano?

Self teaching piano is the process of learning and mastering the fundamentals of playing the piano without formal instruction from a teacher. It requires discipline, dedication, and a strong motivation to improve one’s skills.

The foundation of self teaching piano lies in developing a solid understanding of music theory, including scales, chords, and basic notation. This knowledge serves as the backbone for building technique and musicality on the instrument.

One advantage of self teaching piano is the ability to tailor the learning experience to one’s individual needs and goals. As there is no set curriculum or lesson plan to follow, individuals can choose which techniques and pieces they want to focus on, making it a more customizable approach compared to traditional lessons.

However, self teaching also requires a high level of self-motivation and discipline. Without a teacher present to provide guidance and accountability, it can be easy to fall into bad habits or lose focus. Therefore, setting clear goals and creating a structured practice schedule are important for success in self teaching.

Additionally, seeking out resources such as instructional books, online tutorials, or joining online communities can provide valuable support and feedback for self taught pianists.

Although challenging at times, self teaching piano can be a highly rewarding journey that allows individuals to have full control over their learning process while developing a deep understanding and appreciation for music.

Are There Any Self-Taught Pianist?

Yes, there are many self-taught pianists who have achieved great success in the music industry. While formal training and education can be beneficial for developing technical skills and understanding music theory, becoming a successful pianist is not a requirement.

Famous musicians such as Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, and Alicia Keys are all self-taught pianists who have left a lasting impact on the music world. These individuals taught themselves how to play the piano through experimentation and dedication to their craft.

Some argue that being self-taught can bring a unique style and creativity to one’s playing, as traditional methods or techniques do not restrict them.

With access to online resources, instructional books, and countless hours of practice, anyone passionate about piano can become proficient without formal lessons. However, discipline and determination are required to improve continuously without a teacher’s guidance.

In recent years, more individuals have turned to self-teaching due to its convenience and cost-effectiveness compared to traditional lessons.

Self-Teaching Piano, Is it Possible?

Some argue that formal lessons with a trained instructor are essential for proper technique and skill development, while others believe self-learning can be just as effective.

First and foremost, it is important to recognize that learning any instrument requires dedication and discipline. Progress will be difficult to achieve without a structured lesson plan and regular practice regimen. Therefore, those considering self-teaching must be motivated and committed to their musical journey.

Furthermore, having access to quality resources is crucial when learning the piano independently. With advancements in technology, numerous online platforms now offer tutorials, sheet music, and even virtual lessons. However, it is essential to carefully evaluate the credibility and effectiveness of these resources before relying on them for your learning.

Another factor that determines self-teaching success is one’s prior experience with music theory or other instruments. Those with a background in music may find it easier to pick up piano skills independently than beginners. Nevertheless, anyone willing to put in the effort can learn at their own pace with consistent practice.

In terms of technical foundations such as hand positioning and posture, an experienced teacher provides invaluable guidance. However, many instructional videos are available online that can aid in developing proper techniques if one does not have access to an instructor.

Additionally, self-teaching allows for more flexibility in choosing what songs or styles one wishes to learn. This approach can be liberating for individuals who have specific musical preferences or goals they want to achieve through playing the piano.

However, without external feedback from an instructor or peers, there is a risk of developing bad habits or neglecting certain technical aspects that could hinder progress in the long run. Therefore, seeking occasional guidance from a professional can be beneficial to ensure proper development and address any issues early on.

The Best and Worst of Self-Teaching

Self-teaching, also known as self-directed learning, is the process of acquiring knowledge and skills without the guidance or oversight of a formal teacher.

While self-teaching can be a valuable tool for personal growth and development, it also comes with its own set of challenges.

We will explores the best and worst aspects of self-teaching.

The Best:

1. Flexibility: One of the greatest advantages of self-teaching is the flexibility it offers. You are able to learn at your own pace and on your own schedule, allowing you to balance other responsibilities such as work or family commitments.

2. Personalized Learning: With self-teaching, you have the freedom to choose what topics or subjects you want to focus on. This allows for a personalized learning experience that caters to your specific interests and needs.

3. Self-Motivation: Self-teaching requires a high level of motivation and discipline. By taking control of your own learning, you are forced to be accountable for your progress and push yourself to stay motivated.

4. Cost-effective: Traditional education can often come with hefty price tags, making it inaccessible for many individuals. Self-teaching eliminates these financial barriers as there are no tuition fees or textbook costs involved.

5. Develops Critical Thinking Skills: Without a teacher’s direction, self-learners must rely on their critical thinking skills to solve problems and find solutions independently. This promotes creative thinking and problem-solving abilities that are essential in today’s fast-paced world.

The Worst:

1. Lack of Structure: Unlike traditional education programs that provide a well-defined structure, self-teaching can lack organization and structure, making it easy to become overwhelmed or lose track of progress.

2. Limited Resources: Depending on what you’re trying to learn, certain resources may not be readily available for independent study. This can make it difficult to access quality materials or get answers to complex questions.

3. Lack of Feedback: In a traditional classroom setting, teachers provide timely feedback to students on their progress and areas for improvement. However, this can be lacking in self-teaching, leaving the learner unsure if they comprehend the material correctly.

4. Time Management Challenges: Self-teaching requires strong time management skills staying focused, and avoiding distractions. Without proper time management, falling behind or losing motivation can be easy.

5. Limited Interaction: Learning is a social activity, and self-teaching can sometimes be isolating. Without interaction with peers or an instructor, you may miss valuable discussions and perspectives contributing to a well-rounded education.


There are definitely self-taught pianists out there who have successfully learned how to play the piano on their own. With dedication, patience, and consistent practice, self-teaching the piano is absolutely possible.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that seeking guidance from a professional instructor can greatly enhance your learning experience and ensure proper technique and progress.

Whether you choose to learn on your own or with the help of a teacher, the key is to never give up and always strive for continuous improvement.

Leave a Comment