14. Piano is the Foundation for Music Education
Piano is the universal, fundamental, and most accessible multi-octave instrument for learning the music language. The keys’ layout presents an obvious representation of the Grand Staff, making it much easier for a beginner to understand music grammar.
Being a melodic and percussive instrument at the same time, the EK is the ideal training device for the development of hearing and rhythm. Playing doesn’t require any special physical exertion, like stringed and wind instruments do. While playing, a child can simultaneously sing, developing his voice and mastering proper intonation.
The EK can’t be played out of tune; when a key is pressed, a clean, even note is sounded, allowing the hearing to develop without obstacle. While playing, the student receives the melody, harmony, and rhythm all at once. Reproduction of both the melody and accompaniment develops the melodic and harmonious ear. When we teach our fingers to ‘walk’ smoothly (legato) or stomp (staccato), we are developing everything at once – the depth of hearing, control of the voice, and the subtle nuances of motor movement.
Devotees of violins, accordions, flutes and harps, will of course object to this. They will say that other instruments are much more ‘articulate,’ better convey emotions and the subtle interrelations of tones, that furthermore diversity is important, and an instrument should be a matter of one’s taste. Undoubtedly, this is true. But we’re talking about the ability to teach at an elementary stage of music development. In this, the piano has no competitors. Moreover, the EK is even more effective than ordinary pianos!