Keep in mind that if your goal is to be a music therapist, then your approach to playing the piano will be different than those who aim at getting into a piano performance program. As far as your playing skill goes, you just need to have solid basic music theory and decent technique that allows you to play pleasant piano music.
In terms of the lessons being "inexpensive", well, in today's world, you get what you paid for. If we are not talking about some legendary teachers wanting to give back to the society and charge almost nothing for their instruction, then you better find a teacher who has solid education and training in both performing and teaching. The money you save from cheap lessons would most likely be going into finding a better teachers later on and correcting all the mistakes.
If you are planning on being a music therapist, normally the universities that offer this major also have a decent piano program/department. The audition requrirements for music therapy majors will be much more lax and if you didn't have former training, you would be required to take at least one year of piano(piano class where you learn the basics in a group setting). After that, you could choose to continue the study with a private teacher from the university and take credits for the lessons.
Oh, by the way, if you work hard and find a really good teacher who knows how to help you, then I don't see why 3-4 years are too short for you. Only bad teachers and bad students need forever to get things learned.Answer 2
Yes, 3-4 years is actually a very short time, especially if you're older than 12. I've been playing piano for nearly 10 years.
Cheap and efficient piano lessons will be hard to find, since cheap is rarely good.
You could google for piano teachers in your area
And why do you need to play piano as a music therapist? You could simply listen to selections and play them on a CD, etc..Answer 3
Take a poke around ur neighborhood u may find some ppl willing to teach u for free...piano majors sometimes would like to have teaching experience too...so hint hint free lessons...make sure u work hard ok?expanding repertoire is a gd way to play better...it helps ur sightreading skills too... Answer 4
I take it you're in college? Find piano majors who need teaching experience. Some of them may even be required to teach lessons for a class, so that would be some free lessons!