Piano Lessons Or Keyboard Lessons – What is the difference?

30 May 2012

Piano Lesson Online - Musiah Inventor Brendan Hogan considers the difference between piano lessons and keyboard lessons, especially piano and keyboard lessons onlinePeople often ask “What is the difference between piano and keyboard?”


But this is really two questions in one.

  1. What is the difference between piano lessons and keyboard lessons? and;
  2. What is the difference between a piano and a keyboard (i.e. what are the differences between each instrument)?


The main differences between a piano and a keyboard are:

A piano is an acoustic instrument with weighted keys whereas a keyboard is an electric instrument (requiring a power source) with un-weighted (lighter) keys than a piano. Each instrument has its own unique benefits and features. For example, the weighted keys on the piano are good for building up finger strength, which enhances your playing technique; and when you play a note or notes on a piano, the enharmonics (where the neighboring piano strings vibrate in harmony with the notes/s you have just played) give a richness to the sound that is unique to the piano. But pianos need to be tuned regularly, which can be expensive.

By contrast, keyboards never need to be tuned, and on a keyboard, you can change the sounds and instruments, which adds great variety to your practice (many keyboards have hundreds of sounds you can choose from).


Also, on a keyboard you can play along with backing tracks. Playing the keyboard is also good for encouraging very precise playing. For example, clipping an occasional incorrect note while playing the piano is less noticeable than if you make the same mistake on a keyboard. Plus playing with backing tracks is very good for developing your ability to play precisely in time. And, of course, MIDI keyboards can be connected to a computer, which opens up a host of music-making opportunities.

So now that you know the main differences between a piano and a keyboard, should you be having piano lessons or keyboard lessons?

The term “keyboard lessons” often refers to lessons or courses in which the student is only taught to read the Right Hand (melody) notes while the Left Hand plays 1-finger chords or simple block chords.


By contrast, the term “piano lessons” (especially “traditional piano lessons”) usually refers to lessons in which the student is taught to read and play the notes properly in each hand, which is vastly better than what is often taught in “keyboard” lessons.

So it could be said that Musiah teaches piano lessons but the students learn on keyboards for obvious practical reasons — such as the ability to connect a keyboard to a computer.


As you would expect from piano lessons, Musiah teaches students how to read the notes properly in each hand, and through the use of backing tracks (a feature normally associated with keyboard lessons) and performance challenges, students are encouraged to learn to play piano pieces to a high standard.

I hope you found this information helpful.


If you would like to learn how to play the piano, simply take our FREE Online Piano Lessons 14 Day Trial.


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Thanks for reading, and please feel free to comment.

Til next time,

Brendan Hogan
Piano Teacher & Musiah Inventor


P.S. If you found the information in this article helpful, please share it with others by putting a link to it on your facebook page, blog or website.


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I look forward each night when I prepare to practice keyboard with Musiah to following the story and its background clues as I advance through lessons. I am finding it is like a replacement to watching a drama serial. It makes it a lot of fun. I receive an email every week telling me about my progress. I feel like Musiah is engaged in motivating me to keep learning at the keyboard. I appreciate that it's possible to re-sit any lesson that has been done to move on from it with more confidence, or just to enjoy the experience again. I use the practice area also for this purpose. I had been doing just a bit of keyboard practice before starting with Musiah, and every after just a little while of practising each day with Musiah I am finding that my reading and playing at the keyboard is significantly improved at faster tempos. Musiah is a patient and caring teacher, who wants his students his students to learn well. I have answered some questions incorrectly and played when I shouldn’t just to see how it goes over with Musiah. Very amusing. I often lose myself when immersed in his classroom.




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