Where to practise when you don’t own a piano?
Practising is a must when learning an instrument. Although the weekly lessons with a teacher are great and you will learn a lot, you also need to practise in between lessons. That will make your learning smoother, faster and more enjoyable. Sometimes, however, students do not have access to an instrument immediately after they start their lessons. This happens for many reasons. For example, some students want to give it a try before they commit to buying an instrument. Others cannot afford an instrument right away, they cannot fit it in their homes, or they need more time finding the right instrument. This article will give you some tips on how and where you can practise without having to buy an instrument.
Note: the following list is for piano learners based in Manchester, UK, although I am sure you can find similar venues wherever you are based. I personally used Manchester Central Library, Cross Street Unitarian Church and St. James and Emmanuel Parish. I cannot guarantee for the quality of the other rehearsal spaces on the list.
1. Manchester Central Library – free
Henry Watson Music Library, located inside Manchester Central Library, offers everyone the possibility to book an electric piano for 1 to 2 hours, depending on availability. You need to call them in advance and request to book an instrument. The service is free, which is amazing.
2. Forsyth Piano Shop – starting £10/hour
Forsyth Piano Shop in Manchester city centre offers the possibility to book an upright or grand piano. Prices depend on the piano being booked and the number of hours.
3. Red Wall Studios £25/4 hours booking
Red Wall Studios has 3 rooms, one with an acoustic upright piano and the other two with electric pianos. The cost of renting a room is £7/hour but they require a minimum of 4 hours to be booked.
4. Z-Arts £35.50/hour (upright free of charge, grand piano £25)
Z-Arts allows you to book their studio for £35.50/hour and use their upright piano free of charge. If you want to book their grand piano, an additional charge of £25 will be added.
5. Local churches
Several local churches have upright or grand pianos. You can check how much they charge per hour, as each church has different prices.
St. James and Emmanuel Parish – grand piano, based in Didsbury (£30/hour at the time of this article).
Cross Street Unitarian Church – grand piano, based in Manchester City Centre (£30/hour at the time of this article).
Hopefully you will find this list useful, and you will be able to find a practice space near you until you manage to get your own instrument. If you need help deciding on what piano to buy, check our articles below.
Buying a piano – A guide for beginners
Acoustic pianos – A guide for beginners
Buying a second-hand piano – A checklist
Electric pianos – A guide for beginners
Silent and hybrid pianos – A guide for beginners