Electronic Pianos: Are They Useful for Learning to Play Piano?

Is your child interested in learning how to play piano?

There are many electronic pianos to choose from. Should you purchase a Yamaha, Casio, or some other brand? Should you invest in a traditional acoustic piano?

Electronic pianos are excellent instruments for learning and for performance. Whether you choose a Yamaha, Casio, or some other brand, they all provide the student with a wealth of instrumental sounds and a variety of rhythms.

These are excellent features. It gives your child the opportunity to learn different instruments. It gives your child the opportunity to explore different rhythms. Here are some examples.

Your son or daughter learns a song. Encourage them to explore what this song sounds like if it were played on a clarinet? How about a flute? Guitar? Tuba?

You listen to your child practice. You notice that your child consistently plays songs using the sound of an oboe. You enter “oboe” into one of the many search engines to teach your child about this instrument.

Your child is fascinated with the oboe. You rent an one and sign your child up for oboe lessons. Your child is on the way to becoming an oboe virtuoso.

Encourage your child to explore the plethora of rhythms. What does Mary Had a Little Lamb sound like when played as a merengue? Maybe the same song has more character played with a blues rhythm. Tango anyone?

Exploration makes learning music fun. That is the key. Too often music lessons take on a serious tone.

Practice your scales! Practice those arpeggios!

Let your child have fun. Let them explore the many musical possibilities. Let music become their best friend!

I have a B.A. in Music Theory from Boston University. Scales, arpeggios, etudes, etc. are important. Enjoying learning how to play piano is more important. If you child becomes serious about learning to play piano, their desire to learn will easily accept practicing scales and the other mechanics that are important to quality musicianship.

Electronic pianos have a headphone connection. I live in an apartment. Headphones are my best friend. (O.K. They are really my neighbors’ best friend.) Headphones give me the privacy to practice late at night.

Headphones allow your child to practice in privacy. Learning to play piano is like speaking in public. You are nervous until you develop a level of confidence. Let your child use headphones to develop their level of confidence.

Electronic pianos include a feature that makes learning harmony easy. They all have a one-finger chord method. You press one key and the instrument automatically plays a chord. This is a nice way for your child’s playing a to sound complete while learning.

As your child learns, encourage them to learn how to actually play chords. If your child has a desire to learn music then this won’t be a problem. Don’t force them just encourage them.

Electronic pianos have only sixty-six keys; a real piano has eight-eight keys. The electronic piano’s keys are also not weighted keys.

Weighted piano keys offer some resistance when you press them. If you press them lightly they play softly. If you press them with some force they play loudly.

If your child shows interest in learning to play classical piano, eventually these two limitations will present a problem. The twenty-two missing keys limit the bass and treble range in many classical piano pieces. Weighted keys allow your child to develop the mechanics of playing different dynamics. However, as a beginner, you can use an electronic keyboard and learn classical piano.

Encourage your child to practice an hour a day. This task may take time. At the beginning practicing can be discouraging. It’s not fun making mistakes. Teach your child that it is o.k. to make mistakes. It is part of learning.

You may start with having your child practicing for thirty minutes a day. Then increase the time to forty-five minutes, and then to an hour. This also teaches them about making a commitment and dedicating him or herself to a task.

Have your child give a mini-performance each week. Your child may practice during the week and then play their lesson for you on Sunday afternoons.

Make your child’s learning a family event. Many parents attend their child’s sporting events on a regular basis. Make learning and playing piano an event. Give your child a chance to shine.

Electronic pianos are an excellent tool for learning how to play piano. If they make music your child’s best friend, you have spent your money well.

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