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Can Just A Keyboard Develop My Child’s Musical Talent?


“I want my child to be musical.  I will buy a keyboard for him”

 Have you ever thought of the number of households that have a piano as part of their furniture? How many of them have produced an outstanding musical prodigy? Not many, and the reason is very simple: just having a piano or a keyboard will not develop the child’s musical ability even if he keeps banging on the keyboard.

Playing an instrument, even at a very basic level, demands an essential understanding of the language of music. We hear melodies all the time. We even enjoy them, but for most people it is near impossible to reproduce them with an instrument. We know that the melody is composed of a succession of notes, that they move somehow, but we don’t know whether they are going up or down or even repeating sometimes. And we are only talking about the main melody of a piece of music, not even thinking about working out the background or accompaniment, the bass or a secondary melody!

 You see, this is not a simple task. A child will use his intuition rather than reasoning to play a melody by heart, although it is very unlikely that he will discover the melody, and its accompaniment, by himself. It takes someone to teach him, somebody to guide his hands. A child that has mastered the skill of reproducing a melody after hearing it, is said to have developed a  relative pitch. (It is important to remember that melodies also have a rhythm embedded in them so rhythmical training will also benefit a child when the time comes to play melodies).

 But, is it really crucial for a child to learn to play the melodies that he hears?

If a child carries on with traditional music education, he will eventually play something that is on a music sheet for sure. But developing the relative pitch and the sense of rhythm will bring the following advantages:

 -         It will take less time to learn a piece as he will rely less on the part and more on his intuition and musicality.

 -         Whatever he plays will sound more musical, in the same way that a human will sound more charming than a parrot when saying a simple phrase.

 -         He will be able to make additions to the pieces he plays, if needed.

-         He will be more prepared to play the pieces from memory.

-         He will take less time to learn the pieces as it will be easier for him to reproduce the effect that the composer tried to imprint in the sheet music.

 -         He will eventually be able to play something that hears without play something without using the sheet music.

 -         He will be able to play something that comes purely from his mind and therefore be able to compose music.

 Some advanced pianists are said to be unable to reproduce a melody that they’ve heard, although I find it pretty unlikely that they have pursued a musical carrier if they haven’t mastered this skill.

 A person with no relative pitch or without a good sense of rhythm will hardly be able to pass on any music ability to a child. So that’s why a programme like Stringnote’s Talent Development is important, as it is able to support many families to develop their children’s natural musical abilities. 

 So to the question, ‘Can just a keyboard develop my child’s musical talent?’ The answer is that, although a keyboard or piano is an important element to supporting the learning process, the activity of the child needs the guidance and professional support of an experienced learning method.

 Because if we use the keyboard or piano simply as a toy, then satisfaction is easy to obtain. But if we want our child to use the keyboard or piano as a proper musical instrument, the intervention of an experienced teacher will make all the difference.

Marcello Palace

Director of Stringnote Music Academy

Additional Research by Sylvia Corona

  • Marcello Palace

    Director of Stringnote Music Academy