A keyboard instrument is a musical instrument played using a keyboard, a row of levers which are pressed by the fingers. The most common of these are the piano, organ, and various electronic keyboards, including synthesizers and digital pianos. Other keyboard instruments include celestas, which are struck idiophones operated by a keyboard, and carillons, which are usually housed in bell towers or belfries of churches or municipal buildings.
Today, the term keyboard often refers to keyboard-style synthesizers. Under the fingers of a sensitive performer, the keyboard may also be used to control dynamics, phrasing, shading, articulation, and other elements of expression—depending on the design and inherent capabilities of the instrument. Another important use of the word keyboard is in historical musicology, where it means an instrument whose identity cannot be firmly established. Particularly in the 18th century, the harpsichord, the clavichord, and the early piano were in competition, and the same piece might be played on more than one. Hence in a phrase like "Mozart excelled as a keyboard player" the word keyboard is usefully noncommittal.
Keyboard and Piano exams from ABRSM
Piano exams consist of three pieces, scales and arpeggios, sight-reading, and aural tests.
Total marks in all individual Practical exams are 150. You need 100 marks to achieve Pass, 120 marks to pass with Merit and 130 marks to pass with Distinction.
There are eight grades of assessment.
Tips for learning a new instrument
• Regular (if possible frequent) practise. One of the things that can help is using 5-10 minutes of spare time to fit a quick practise session in. If this is done often you will be surprised at the progress you make.
• Make sure that your instrument is always accessible. Always have it in the place (apart from work or school) where you spend the most time.
• if you do have longer sessions (anything over 30 minutes) try and have a break every 5-10 minutes for beginners or every 20 minutes for more experienced players. A break can be a 5-minute change of exercise or song or an actual break. The reason for the break is to make sure that you can remain focused on your technique and form. The sooner you can play music by employing the correct technique the easier it will become to play and you will improve a lot faster.
• Working on a mixture of exercises to help build correct technique. Also, students that use these shorter periods to work on technical exercises tend to improve faster than the students that work on pieces or songs.
• Learning versions of the songs you want to play that are at your level of ability.
• Have a goal for every time you are on your instrument it will contribute to faster improvement.
• Get a Love2Teach tutor to help guide you through technique and song choice
Fun Facts about playing the keyboard
- The development of electronic instruments in the 20th century has brought about many different types of electronic keyboard instruments. These include the ondes martenot and the synthesizer.
- Yamaha has now made the most successful keyboards, selling over 770,000 a year.
Famous Quotes about playing the keyboard
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"The keyboard is my journal." Pharrell Williams
"If I can sit down at my keyboard and have a melody that says something that I can't with words, that's a really beautiful thing. Mary Lambert"
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11th September 2018Read more
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