A big part of taking piano lessons or classes is the try what the teacher suggests, and then add other things that you try on top of that, but not instead of the teacher’s recommendations.

I’ve recently learned this again as a student myself, by taking a few drawing lessons. I haven’t done visual art since I was about 7 years old, and it’s fun being a beginner again! Maybe because I’m a teacher myself, I enjoy “not knowing” how the drawing will come out as I explore new techniques and try the art teacher’s suggestions. This particular art teacher wants me to experiment by drawing lots of shapes and seeing what they lead to. Of course part of me wants to say “Please just show me how to draw a cat!” but I know that she wants me to discover a style that’s unique to me, and then apply those natural shapes to my cat drawing. She’s right, and I’ve learned to trust the process. Two nights ago I was laying in bed, sketching, and I came up with a cat’s tail that was totally unique and inspired. The class loved it when I showed it to them the next day.
(Hopefully you’ll see my new drawing in a couple of weeks!)

The big lesson here is the same whether you're studying piano, art, or whatever else interests you. Once you’ve found a teacher you like and respect, do what they suggest and you’ll go far!

Take your left hand playing to a new level with my free ebook: Left Hand Techniques for Jazz Piano
You'll also get my weekly jazz newsletter with practice tips and inspiration