As a pianist and a former piano teacher at that, I can tell you that there is no substitute for in-person lessons.
That being said, I only wish that I had all the online resources that are available today back then when I was learning how to play the piano. Piano students typically take a one hour lesson once a week, and of course the rest of the time, they are left to themselves to practice.
What is the best approach for taking piano lessons in 2018?
I had no problem staying busy and on task, practicing piano daily when I was a kid. However, think about all of the tools and resources now available to you as you learn to play the piano. There are so many instructional videos, articles and even piano teachers that make themselves available through online piano lessons. At the very least, you also have easier access to piano teachers in general these days, with social media, texting, etc.
The way I’m setting the table here might make me sound old, but I’m not old. I am just making a point. I began learning piano when I was 7 years old, and my teacher was also very old-fashioned. I happen to be just old enough to really have lived in two separate eras long enough to really see all of these differences. In my honest opinion, it is always best to primarily rely on in person piano lessons and physical sheet music and course books to help you learn to play the instrument.
However, I would certainly recommend supplementing your experience with as many other tools and resources as you can find. Just don’t allow technology to hinder your learning, only help. Learning solely how to play the piano online, especially if teaching yourself, can make the process very disjointed. You don’t want that type of experience. If you are going to learn how to play the piano, you want to be successful with your venture, and you want it to be enjoyable.
Are you playing by ear? If so, that is great and is a talent and gift. I can play the piano by ear. However, I also recommend that you don’t solely rely on developing your talent that way and instead accentuate the learning experience with lessons. You want to learn those notes, as you need the formal education behind learning to play the piano, too. That is actually how it all started for me. You are going to want to know how to read music.
Learning to read music helps you in your efforts to play by ear, too. You are going to have a great experience learning to play the piano in 2018. There are so many available resources. Just make sure you learn from a teacher that can help you get the complete experience and one that has respect for the traditions, too. Nothing can be substituted for those in person lessons as you learn to play the piano and perhaps one day even write your own music.