Advice for Choosing an Electronic Keyboard

Electric piano close up

An electronic keyboard is often the perfect choice for a beginning piano student.  Compared with upright or grand pianos, keyboards are more affordable, take up less space, and have technology applications that are appealing to students of all ages.  Below are tips for purchasing a keyboard provided by music educator and pianist Theresa Gigante:

  1. A keyboard that has weighted keys mimics the feel of a real piano and allows students to play loud or soft based on the amount of force they put onto the keys.
  2. An 88 key full-size keyboard is the best; however, it is completely acceptable for a beginning student to use a keyboard with around 66 keys.
  3. The ideal setup for a keyboard is to have a proper stand, music rack and seat for the student.  Having this arrangement will foster correct technique and facilitate practice at home.
  4. A sustain pedal can often be purchased as an optional accessory for an electronic keyboard.  Having the sustain pedal will enhance the sound of the student’s playing, even at the beginning level.

For information about music lessons at the Altadena Academy of Music, please call    (626) 296-0799 or use our email contact form.

Why is Piano a Popular Instrument for Beginning Students to Learn?

little girl in yellow dress plays pianoMusicians of all instruments will often say that their first experience with musical education was taking piano lessons as a child.  What are some of the reasons that the piano is such a popular instrument for beginning students to learn?

  1. It’s easy to start playing right away.  Any student at any age can push a key on the piano and the note will sound.  Other instruments require more complicated finger, arm, or breathing patterns to make a sound.  Since the piano is easier to physically play, beginning students of piano will learn the fundamentals of music at a quicker pace than other instruments.
  2. It’s a fulfilling instrument for beginning students to learn.  Because you can play more than one note on the piano, the music that a student will practice on piano is satisfying even at the beginning level.  In addition, many pop and rock songs can be played on the piano.
  3. Musical concepts are visually apparent on a piano. The majority of fundamental concepts of music theory such half steps, scales, and chords are much easier understood on a piano than any other instrument.
  4. Piano students can successfully transition to any other instrument.  Music students who begin their studies on piano can transition to any other musical instrument that they would like to learn.  Since piano students will have learned how to read music in both bass clef and treble clef, the fundamentals of rhythm, as well as many other music basics, the transition will be smooth to learning the new instrument.

For information about piano lessons at the Altadena Academy of Music, please call (626) 296-0799 or use our email contact form.

Top Ten Solo Piano Pieces Requested by our Students

Top 10 Solo Piano Pieces Requested to Learn by our Piano Students:

10. Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven)

09. Someone Like You (Adele song)

08. The Entertainer (Scott Joplin)

07. Happy Birthday

06. Harry Potter Theme Song

05. Imagine (John Lennon)

04. Yankee Doodle

03. Ode to Joy

02. Jingle Bells

01. Für Elise (Beethoven)

For information about music lessons at the Altadena Academy of Music, please call    (626) 296-0799 or use our email contact form.