'Can I have a keyboard for Christmas? Pleeeeease?'
If you’re not a musician, knowing your child would like to start learning a musical instrument can feel a little overwhelming. Investing in an instrument is a big commitment - what if they don’t enjoy it, or don’t want to practise?
Thankfully, you don’t need to splash out on a Steinway grand piano! A basic keyboard is absolutely fine at the start. And it is always possible to rent a wind, brass or string instrument before buying one of your own.
However, if you are in a position to do so, there are a couple of items that are worth purchasing from the start which often get forgotten about, or are considered to not be that important. But having these pieces of kit will make the learning experience more enjoyable, and more effective.
So, what are they?!
1. Piano Stool
Have you ever tried riding a bike without adjusting the seat so that it’s the correct height for you? If you have, you will know that you’re unlikely to ride in that position for any length of time because it’s uncomfortable! It’s the same when it comes to playing the piano. Sitting on a chair/stool/sofa arm(!) that is too low or too high will make playing feel unnatural, your arms and wrists will most likely start to ache and it will be difficult to develop good technique.
It may be that you have a chair that is the correct height, in which case great! But if you don’t, investing in an adjustable piano stool means that you can choose the height that is right for you and most importantly develop good technique from the start. And whilst talking about technique can sound a little boring and stuffy, developing a good hand position straight away will most likely enable faster progress and a more enjoyable experience!
Your teacher will be able to help you by demonstrating the correct position, and by taking a little time to make sure you have a suitable set up at home you will be able to establish good technique right from the start. Click here to browse adjustable piano stools.
2. Music Stand
If you or your child are learning an instrument other than the piano, then having a music stand is the equivalent to a piano stool! Balancing your music on a windowsill, or against a pile of books on the dining room table, may seem like an adequate solution, but it again comes down to developing good technique. The height of your music will affect how you hold your instrument - if you are having to lower your head or stand on your toes to read your music, this is going to affect the position of your instrument and make it difficult to establish good technique. This can result in problems with sound production, or cause aches and pains in the hands and neck.
There’s no need to spend a fortune on an expensive stand, and there are often lots of different colours to choose from! Click here to browse colourful music stands.
Establishing good habits early on makes all the difference, and will lead to an enjoyable and rewarding musical experience!