Q. What Sort of keyboard should I buy?
A. This depends on your living circumstances, level of skill and what sort of music you want to play. Preferably, no matter what, you should start with at least a good digital, touch sensitive keyboard with at least 5 octaves. This will get you through the basics and also provides the benefit of practicing with headphones.
I would always advise if possible to invest in an upright piano though, as there is nothing like playing using the mechanics of a tuned percussion instrument. This means that on a piano you have strings that are struck by a hammer, and the varied touches that produce different sounds are far more varied than that of a digital instrument. There is also the benefit of producing ‘harmonics’, which lets certain notes resonate when held down while others play.
Q.Why is piano a good first instrument?
A. Firstly the piano presents all the notes laid out before your eyes. You can gratify yourself immediately by striking the keys with relatively simple movements.
Secondly it involves learning both bass and treble clefs. Solo instruments primarily deal in one clef and reading is usually limited. By being able to read both clefs you have a greater knowledge of the range of notes.
Lastly, in a short time you can produce a music that is satisfying to listen to and does not require an accompanist.
Q. When can my child start music lessons?
A. I believe that the sooner you expose your child to music the easier it is for them. I teach musicianship skills from as young as 2 years, but this is not to say that your child will be able to play the piano this young. Each child develops at their own pace and needs individual assessment as to when to introduce more complex skills.
Q. I am an adult and know nothing about music. Is it too late for me?
A. No. It is NEVER too late. I currently teach a 92 year old who finds much pleasure in her new pursuit. The difficulty with being a mature aged student is knowing what you want to produce but having the patience to train your hands/ fingers to move as you wish. Attitude is paramount for older beginners. Come in with realistic expectations and be prepared to practice consistently for satisfying results
Q. My child has a disability. Can he/she benefit from music lessons?
A. Definitely. Often children with disabilities are able to express themselves in a way that they can’t anywhere else. Of course there are many different cases that need to be assessed individually and no approach is the same from one child to the next. See “why the piano is a good first instrument” for other suggestions.