DS will turn 3 in a couple of weeks. He's interested in getting a keyboard. We've been searching online for them. I've looked at the little toddler ones, then thought that we might get better value (and more longevity) from a more grown-up type of thing. We've ended up thinking that maybe this one is a good idea. The reasoning is this: a small one would be fun for them now, but (knowing them) they might get bored of it quickly. For not that much more money, the big one I've just linked to has loads more sounds, built-in lessons, and generally more features - plus, it could be used later if DS or DD (who is nearly 5) take an interest in music lessons (highly likely given their musical father). The drawback of getting the bigger one is that the keys might be too big ... but then, at age 3, DS will probably be more interested in experimenting with the sounds than actually playing it anyway. What do you think? Anyone else gone down the same route?
Often parents think a little child needs a little 'toy' keyboard, but when our DS was born, mum and I were both learning to play a two manual Yamaha organ. To him, growing up, it was a great big 'toy', and by age five he was starting to read music, and also copy many tunes he heard.
So Yes, I think it is an excellent idea! (As it has MIDI it will also connect to a computer, for recording, multi tracking etc.)
I've just looked on the Yamaha site, and it looks like it may NOT have aux connections, to connect to an external amplifier, (which is rather strange). You will also need a power adaptor (if it doesn't come with one) and a stand, ideally robust and adjustable. (Maybe Dad can check out that aspect.)
Personally, I am not keen on the 'teaching' systems, but you don't have to use them, and I guess they will help motivate children.
[PS: I have done several other replies on keyboards and music, if you want to 'search' for them.]
Thanks all! Neither me nor DH play the piano very well. I had a keyboard as a child (a bit older than my DS though) and I loved it - after having given up on piano lessons a few years earlier (in large part because we didn't have a piano at home so I could never practise), I taught myself a lot of tunes on my keyboard. I think that all the different voices would be entertaining for DS and DD at the moment, and as they grow older we can teach them a few tunes.
Ferguson, thanks for this detailed advice! Yes, it comes with a power adaptor ... actually, this is one of the reasons for going for a bigger and more expensive thing: many of the little ones run on batteries (not environmentally friendly enough for my liking) or you have to spend an extra £10 on the adaptor.
I don't think you need to be great at the piano to be able to help your DS get something from a keyboard, you just need to be able to pick out a tune. It might actually be better not to be great, as your DS will be able to follow the process you use to work out a tune.
Thanks Ferguson! We do indeed have the keyboard now. The kids love it, although the main thing they like doing with it is playing the demo tunes and the metronome :D Am slowly trying to encourage them to invent their own tunes. They're not that interested in doing that at the moment, but since it's (hopefully) an instrument that they can continue to enjoy for years, I guess there's no rush ...
Monster - we have always had a nice piano. When my daughter could hold her head up on her own I would often sit her in her high chair with the tray off at the piano.
She bashed and dribbled away and we encouraged her (and cleaned the keys). She is now 8 and playing grade 2 pieces - she loves our piano, sees it as hers, plays for 40 mins most days and we never have to ask her to play although I do have to remind her about her scales these days.
I think it is lovely to have a relaxed approach and to let them play whatever and whenever they want to. My mum was a music teacher but there was never any pressure and it worked a treat.