learning electone / keyboard

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learning electone / keyboard

Postby RiaDell » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:45 pm

There seem to be so many piano tutors around but no one teaching keyboard / electone. Can anyone recommend a place or a private tutor that can teach /prepare my 7 yo DD for ABRSM exams. :thankyou:

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Re: learning electone / keyboard

Postby jce » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:33 pm

If you want your DD to pursue ABRSM exams, you will need a piano tutor, not an electone or keyboard tutor.

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Re: learning electone / keyboard

Postby radiantmum » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:29 pm

Yamaha teaches electone n provides electone accreditation.

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Re: learning electone / keyboard

Postby RiaDell » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:42 am

radiantmum wrote:Yamaha teaches electone n provides electone accreditation.


thank you radiantmum and jce. Looks like with electone , yamaha it is.
How can you assess a child's aptitude electone or piano?Piano, no doubt, is a great instrument but i think my dd prefers electone.will it be wise to switch to piano? can she learn both? Any pointers for a clueless mom bearing in mind that getting the cert is something to get at her pace and there's no rush.

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Re: learning electone / keyboard

Postby jce » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:09 pm

Electone style of playing is different from piano. There's much more in terms of tone production on the piano. Electone is more on the pop side. Learning both is not impossible but can be confusing. I had a student who came to me after years of electone and she had major problems with tone production and hand position. In the end, she managed to get over these but it did take a while.

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Re: learning electone / keyboard

Postby radiantmum » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:48 pm

RiaDell wrote:
radiantmum wrote:Yamaha teaches electone n provides electone accreditation.


thank you radiantmum and jce. Looks like with electone , yamaha it is.
How can you assess a child's aptitude electone or piano?Piano, no doubt, is a great instrument but i think my dd prefers electone.will it be wise to switch to piano? can she learn both? Any pointers for a clueless mom bearing in mind that getting the cert is something to get at her pace and there's no rush.


yes 'cos electone is yamaha's trademark. it's like orchestra playing by 1 person. go youtube and type electone to get a feel. Yamaha does invite international electone players (of course mostly Japanese) regularly here for concerts - you can check out their website.

most kids prefer electone 'cos of the wide range of sound varierty. electone lessons (from my DS experience) other than your standard piano ABRSM theory, sight reading, focuses a lot on improvisation and music arrangements. if your kid has a good hearing, it helps a great deal 'cos "mixing & matching" music will come more naturally to them.

as jce mentioned, techniques are different. piano focuses on touch. electone requires overall co-ordination ie both hands (play and to control rthymms etc) and legs (control expression pedals, vol etc) and emphasize on musical showmanship/expression. if u r looking at music producer kinda quality, I think electone players will have an edge 'cos of improvisation and arrangements capabilities.

piano is of course more mainstream. my kiasu mentality kept prodding DS to pick up piano concurrently - easier to earn own pocket money than electone :evil: not everyone has electone but piano is common in public places (at least you dont get empty looks when you say you learning electone). alas, he just cant sit still in front of the piano and till now still not keen to pick it up. no choice - can't force a cow to drink water.

I remembered asking the teacher then btw electone and piano, which will be better to start first. Was told piano will be better to pick up when the kids have finger strength later. and looking at the co-ordination level required of electone, if I would to choose again, I would still choose electone first then piano - - personal view of a parent only and not professional so dont stone me.

my ds yamaha teachers are all versatile and teaching in both electone and piano. so it is definitely possible to learn both but i suppose it's like with picking up any new instrument, you need to re-adapt and learn but definitely way easier than someone whom is not musically trained in the first place for sure. teachers are also important to get the fundamentals right ie fingering posture etc be it piano or electone.

I don't know how long the transition from electone to piano though. I thought i remembered his teacher told me 6 months if qualified electone player but pls dont trust my memory - may not do the teacher justice. jce, can advise from your experience?

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Re: learning electone / keyboard

Postby RiaDell » Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:11 pm

radiantmum wrote:
RiaDell wrote:
radiantmum wrote:Yamaha teaches electone n provides electone accreditation.


thank you radiantmum and jce. Looks like with electone , yamaha it is.
How can you assess a child's aptitude electone or piano?Piano, no doubt, is a great instrument but i think my dd prefers electone.will it be wise to switch to piano? can she learn both? Any pointers for a clueless mom bearing in mind that getting the cert is something to get at her pace and there's no rush.


yes 'cos electone is yamaha's trademark. it's like orchestra playing by 1 person. go youtube and type electone to get a feel. Yamaha does invite international electone players (of course mostly Japanese) regularly here for concerts - you can check out their website.

most kids prefer electone 'cos of the wide range of sound varierty. electone lessons (from my DS experience) other than your standard piano ABRSM theory, sight reading, focuses a lot on improvisation and music arrangements. if your kid has a good hearing, it helps a great deal 'cos "mixing & matching" music will come more naturally to them.

as jce mentioned, techniques are different. piano focuses on touch. electone requires overall co-ordination ie both hands (play and to control rthymms etc) and legs (control expression pedals, vol etc) and emphasize on musical showmanship/expression. if u r looking at music producer kinda quality, I think electone players will have an edge 'cos of improvisation and arrangements capabilities.

piano is of course more mainstream. my kiasu mentality kept prodding DS to pick up piano concurrently - easier to earn own pocket money than electone :evil: not everyone has electone but piano is common in public places (at least you dont get empty looks when you say you learning electone). alas, he just cant sit still in front of the piano and till now still not keen to pick it up. no choice - can't force a cow to drink water.

I remembered asking the teacher then btw electone and piano, which will be better to start first. Was told piano will be better to pick up when the kids have finger strength later. and looking at the co-ordination level required of electone, if I would to choose again, I would still choose electone first then piano - - personal view of a parent only and not professional so dont stone me.

my ds yamaha teachers are all versatile and teaching in both electone and piano. so it is definitely possible to learn both but i suppose it's like with picking up any new instrument, you need to re-adapt and learn but definitely way easier than someone whom is not musically trained in the first place for sure. teachers are also important to get the fundamentals right ie fingering posture etc be it piano or electone.

I don't know how long the transition from electone to piano though. I thought i remembered his teacher told me 6 months if qualified electone player but pls dont trust my memory - may not do the teacher justice. jce, can advise from your experience?


thanks much for your insights radiantmum. I wanted a parent's perspective :=)) my dd is more like your son in terms of temperament. I think i must stick to electone. What level and age is your ds at? Is he doing a 1 to 1 or group lesson?

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Re: learning electone / keyboard

Postby RiaDell » Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:15 pm

jce wrote:Electone style of playing is different from piano. There's much more in terms of tone production on the piano. Electone is more on the pop side. Learning both is not impossible but can be confusing. I had a student who came to me after years of electone and she had major problems with tone production and hand position. In the end, she managed to get over these but it did take a while.


Thanks jce. very useful to know this.

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Re: learning electone / keyboard

Postby radiantmum » Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:30 pm

All the best to the music learning journey for your dd!

Dont worry about levels and grades. As long as they enjoy it, it will not be a chore to practice or prepare well for exams - biggest relief to parents! But still need reminders to practice of course 'cos they are still kids after all.

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Re: learning electone / keyboard

Postby Audacity » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:05 pm

Topic is kinda old. :P But posting to share some info with parents who are still curious about what on earth an Electone is.

Firstly, there is no such instrument as an Electone. That is Yamaha's product line. What it is, is a modern-age Electronic organ. It is an amalgamation of the pipe organ (from medieval Europe), the theatre organ, and the early modern tonewheel jazz organ. Any Electone will have all these sounds nowadays. It will also have hundreds of other sounds.

An Electone, i.e. electronic organ, is not a synthesizer, not a keyboard, not an arranger etc. The course for those are different. The style of playing and even control for these are also different. More on this later.

Now, the question of learning piano or organ. Back in the 80s, there were lots more students learning the organ, not only at Yamaha, but places like Elka and Kawai. There were also loads theories of which is better, which is more beneficial etc etc. Not going to comment on these. So as not to insult the different types of pianists too, I'm not going to say which areas pianists are better than organists at, or vice versa. I'll just list down what are the things an Electone student at Yamaha can expect to benefit from:

1) Musical co-ordination. Which is actually the very first, and most straightforward benefit. Once you get it, you wouldn't lose it. Just like a bicycle.

2) Style. Style NOT as it being classy. But musical styles. I wish to emphasize that it is a complete misconception that the Electone course is only about pops. We play a lot of different types of music, easily more than any other instrument. Be it classical, retro, gospel, folk, rock, pop, jazz, latin, fusion etc. In the higher grades, a student is expected to be familiar with a myriad of styles, just to pass the examination. For eg, a student is given a simple score, and must play it in the style stipulated by the examiner.

3) What's the benefit of (2) i.e. style? Most obvious is arrangement of music. Any commercial music production you hear, on CDs etc, is arranged. With a solid knowledge of how different music types should sound like, an Electone student will be most ideal for arrangement work. (Arranging songs is part of the exams, btw)

4) Articulation, which refers to understanding how different instruments sound like, should sound like, and how they are played. It's NEVER just about selecting a sound, and pressing the key to voice it. It's about the little nuances that gives the sound the character of the instrument it is mimicking. Again, very useful for studio, arrangement work. Why? Because plenty of times, those orchestra backgrounds, wind solos etc are produced in these places by a keyboard. (Which is not an Electone, but easy to cross over to)

5) Improvisation. Which is the ability to vary on a song. Heavily used in Jazz and at least in some degree in other songs. One might ask, what if my kid hates Jazz? Well, "impro" forces the musician to think on the spot. To really know one's basics and theories, and apply them outrageously. IMO, there are few better methods to train up anyone's creativity and boldness.

6) Crossover. Those keyboards you see on stages are not organs or Electones. They are synths, arrangers, stage pianos etc. Electone players have a disadvantage here because the style of playing in many bands are closer to that of the pianist. (Organists take over the bass part, and even the drums if necessary. We boss over too many things! :) ). However, familiarity with electronic sound production and especially different styles of instruments and sound will compensate heavily for this.

Now for more practical infos:

A) Yamaha's system is not ABRSM. It is this...truly queer system that goes backwards from 13 to 3 or 10 to 3 or something. Grade 5-3 are the higher grades. During then, it is split into two courses, the new one being Fundamentals of Music. FOM trains on theory, singing, accompaniment, and believe it or not, you have to play on the piano. So Electone students do learn to play on the piano ultimately.

B) The entry level Electone is around 2.9K. The standard is around 10K. The exam model is 15K. So arguably, it is more pricey to learn. Not so however, when you consider the price of grand pianos, or higher end upright pianos, which easily go beyond 15K.

C) There are other electronic organ models. But to use another brand while learning from Yamaha, is going to be very, very awkward. You see one main problem with the Electone is that it is very reliant on programming. To get the really awesome drums and sounds, you need hours of programming. Most players thus use readily made programmes sold from Japan. You guess it too. These programmes can only be used on the Electone.

D) Reference to (D), you COULD just sit down, press a preset, and perform. But you have to be very, very good.

E) For myself, one of the best thing about the Electone is simply that it needs minimal maintenance. Remember you do need to heat a piano 24 hours. And tune it regularly.

F) Of MAJOR concern, the Electone grade is recognized by MOE for employment. Check: http://www.moe.gov.sg/careers/teach/car ... level-dip/

G) Of another concern, it should also be good enough for the Music Elective Programme, since MEP states ABRSM or equivalent. Yamaha is an established exam board.

But all the above aside, I think the crux should be what the child prefers. Music is something very affective. I think no matter how much the benefits attract you, you will never master it if you don't love it. The choice between piano or organ or any instrument has to be one of real love. Disregard this and it will truly be a waste of money over many years.

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