Piano or Keyboard?

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Piano or Keyboard?

Postby boringtazz » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:04 pm

Hi all

My son is currently talking Yamaha JYC, he is finishing his 2 years and will be moving on to JXC next year March. I'm now contemplating if I should let him continue with the class or get a private teacher for him. My question now is, should I let him learn Piano or Keyboard? I thought Keyboard would be more interesting for him since he get bored really easily. But for a good grounding, is piano better, is piano cerfication more recognisable? Really need some expert advise on this.

Boringtazz :dancing:

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Re: Piano or Keyboard?

Postby peanut_butter » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:53 pm

No expert here. But here's my 2 cents worth of advice. (I can't help it)

Does he like classical music? Keyboard lessons tend to focus on developing good ears that could pick up a tune and improvise..... End result would be like those teenagers in youtube doing cover songs.

If you are after a recognized piano certificate (I am presuming ABRSM), the exam pieces are usually classical. Those music are not as catchy as YJC tunes. It takes an average student between 6-12 months to drill on 3 pieces. Plus the student will be expected to learn mainly through notation and work in isolation. If you are settled on this role, do start out on the piano for a proper grounding.

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Re: Piano or Keyboard?

Postby cnimed » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:12 pm

Personally I feel piano is better. If you know piano, you can pick up keyboard anytime on your own. If you know keyboard, you will still not be able to play a piano properly. Piano is not about drilling but techniques. If your child is exposed to different classical composers and their styles, he will be better able to create his own music in future on a keyboard. In fact classical music itself is somewhat of a misnomer - there is baroque, classical, romantic, impressionistic, jazz, minimalism etc. Most good improvisers on a keyboard has knowledge of the different musical periods and styles.

But of course, take into consideration your child's inclination. :)
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Re: Piano or Keyboard?

Postby peanut_butter » Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:19 pm

Deminc has some good points. But Piano is not easy to master. Working on technique require effort and time away from the play-station, friends, TV, etc. The reward come much, much later. That does not appeal to children from this millennium.

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Re: Piano or Keyboard?

Postby peanut_butter » Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:23 pm

duplicate
Last edited by peanut_butter on Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Piano or Keyboard?

Postby bezzlay » Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:11 am

I am not an expert here. Just to share my experience. My DS1 is in book 4 of JXC and my DS2 in book 3 of JMC. I see different interest in both of them. My DS1 loves to play around the keyboard and electone trying out different sounds playing with the system but he is rather bored with his daily practice and do not show much motivation in improving his pieces. To him daily practice is like doing homework. We have given him a choice to decide whether to continue after JXC and it is a clear No from him. Whereas our DS2 is very different. He shows interest in music. He will practice his pieces with "feelings" (like closing his eyes and moving his body) and he will always practice on his own. He learned new pieces very fast too. He also likes to peep his brother when he is practising and after that he will start to play a few notes. It may be too early to judge but I would think DS2 has more interest and potential than DS1.

I would think the journey to piano certification is a long one so interest is an important factor. If the child has no interest, the journey is torturous to the young one as well as the parents but if the child shows interest then it is definitely going to be beneficial to him/her. The difference between Yamaha courses and piano lesson is that Yamaha music course focus on musician-ship. They trained the child to listen, sing, play and compose. Whereas piano is more focus on playing solo classical pieces. The focus is different and really depends on what your child needs and interest. However, most parents will choose for their kids. I know a number of parents who still insisted their child to learn piano although they don't like it. According to them, the child cannot decide at their age. :) So parents decide what's good for them.

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Re: Piano or Keyboard?

Postby cnimed » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:23 am

Well, I don't agree that today's kids cannot sit down to learn an instrument like piano or violin etc. As previous poster pointed out, it depends on the individual child's interest. In addition to that, the right teacher and family environment can play a part. It may be common to hear of people saying that music classes were a torture, but if you probe further they will also express regret that they can't master the instrument. And even if the child is a poor player, the classes should not be a torture. If they are, something is wrong either with the teacher, the pacing, or the child needs a different approach with some roadblock. Many children will say maths is a torture but because it is non optional, we are motivated to find different ways to teach them. But with music, we tend to give up too easily because it is considered optional.

Not every child can become a good player, but if your purpose is to give your child a recreational and emotional outlet that he can tap into for the rest of his life, I think music classes are worth pursuing as long as the child likes music. :)

Besides music, there is also pottery and the fine arts. To me, they all serve the same purpose. Mastery is secondary and depends on more factors.
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Re: Piano or Keyboard?

Postby boringtazz » Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:03 am

Thank you all of you for your reply to this super confuse mother. Everytime I ask my boy if he likes to continue with his music class, he says "yes", he will sway along with the music when he practice. But like bezzlay's DS1, he treats practicing session like homework, I have to scream at him to practice. So I'm thinking that for him, he will get super bore with the drilling of piano lesson as he loves to try around with the different tone of keyboard when he practice his songs. I'm might sign him up for keyboard class as I have asked him and he says he prefers keyboard to piano. Anyone knows of any good keyboard teacher?

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Re: Piano or Keyboard?

Postby MummyThreeStreams » Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:12 am

Most children will NOT want to do homework. Practising IS homework, and even keyboard will require practising to progress. So I wouldn't base my decision on whether the child wants to practice. (of course there are children who will volunteer for homework and practise happily, but we know most aren't like that.) As a parent, we make the decision, maybe based on the child's interest, aptitude, or what skills we think important for our child to learn.

Whatever you decide, get a good teacher who can inspire him and show him that practising will allow him to attain mastery, allowing him to play and create more complex and beautiful pieces. (Practice makes perfect applies to all areas of our lives. Good to learn this while young.)

I learnt classical piano for many years. Recently started learning keyboard. My classmates are beginners. I skipped the beginner module, and I am still able to race ahead of my classmates coz I have piano background. But I still need to practice.

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Re: Piano or Keyboard?

Postby Dreamaurora » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:05 am

I will not repeat what previous posters have said as they have already stated very good points, but I would like to explain why a lot of children find it difficult to connect with classical piano.

The problem with classical piano (and also classical any other instrument) is that the road to mastery is a long one and demand a lot of patience. A lot of popular classical pieces also do not immediately appeal to children, like let's say Mahler's Symphonies and Chopin's piano works. To play one of the masterworks like let's say Beethoven's Moonlight's Sonata you need to be well beyond grade 8. Even say simple one like Fur Elise's (the complete version, not the truncated one you find in beginner book) need to be at least grade 4-5. In contrast, the non classical study like pop piano or electone allow students to play catchy and contemporary pieces much earlier, hence the perceived easier learning curves.

This do not mean that classical piano is ill suited for children though. In fact, classical piano has the largest amount of teaching repertoire available. There is a wealth of easier pieces that are actually well written and entertaining. A skillful teacher would be able to choose the right repertoire that children will enjoy playing and let them progress comfortably without causing unnecessary frustration. So yes, it does boil down to the teacher in the end to motivate the students.

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