The benefits of learning on a Digital Piano…

(via Roland)

The piano can excite, move, and inspire; whether you’re playing Chopin’s Scherzos or the intro to “Clocks” by Coldplay. The only obstacles are learning how to play in the first place and practicing enough to play well. Enlisting a qualified piano teacher gives you a strong start in establishing good techniques and avoiding bad habits. Digital pianos can make learning more enjoyable.

The Benefits of Learning on a Digital Piano

The benefits of learning on a digital piano are significant. Below we discuss some of the standout features that make a digital piano the perfect fit for most homes.

Before we begin, note that a modern digital piano is designed to accurately simulate an acoustic piano. Instead of hammers and strings, there are strategically-positioned speakers which produce a convincing and organic piano sound. Weighted keys recreate the feel of an acoustic keyboard for realistic playing experience. Also, the ability to change the sounds keeps learning varied and interesting. Some digital pianos even let you create your sounds to suit your taste.

Practice in Peace with Headphones

Most digital pianos let you plug in headphones. This can benefit both the learner and the people they live with. As well as avoiding distraction, headphones can block noise nuisance leaving you free to concentrate on private practice. Twin headphone sockets allow students and teachers to listen closely, spotting mistakes more accurately.

Develop your Sense of Rhythm with a Metronome

Timing is essential to playing the piano well. This is often an issue for beginners as they are still developing muscle and mental memory. It is useful to slow down or speed up depending on the level of difficulty.

Metronomes help develop your rhythmic and timekeeping skills. For instance, you can flick between settings and tempos on the metronome and slow pieces down to learn and master them. They can also be useful for more advanced time signatures.

Record and Listen to Your Performance

Recording your performance helps analyze exactly what’s going on in your playing. This will help identify your strengths and weaknesses. Digital pianos allow you to play back, perfect, and pick out any problems, nipping bad habits in the bud before they become ingrained.

Listening back to a recording can resolve issues with timing and performance. If you have a good memory, but struggle to read music, you can learn a piece by ear and study the music while listening back to your recording.

A digital piano allows you to transfer your performance to a computer, edit it, and print out a score. This allows others to read and play it too. Sheet music is useful if you’re interested in composition. You can quickly record ideas as they come to you.

Keep Practice interesting with Different Sounds

One of the benefits of learning on a digital piano is the variety of sounds available. For example, there are typically five to 10 types of piano, electric pianos from the ’70s and ’80s, strings, harpsichord, church, and electronic organs. Some even have synth sounds for even greater versatility.

It’s great to be able to learn Scarlatti pieces using a convincing harpsichord sound. A change in tone can inspire you and help recapture the passion if those fingering drills are becoming tiresome. Younger children also love experimenting and mixing sounds to make learning more exciting.

Use Apps to Improve Ability

A key advantage of learning on a digital piano is the access to online apps. Apps can help liven up practice and improve your playing. For example, Apps for sight-reading skills ask the pianist to identify written notes. Flashcard-style apps help with understanding music theory. Aural training apps develop abilities such as listening for particular scales or intervals.

A tablet device is particularly useful here as it allows quick access to electronically stored sheet music. When linked to your digital piano, some apps display a piece of music and listen to you play, before moving to the next page when you reach the last bar. Kids apps include fun games to learn a song, play together or freestyle to make practicing a pleasure rather than a chore.

Set Time Aside to Practice

It’s always difficult to learning something new. So, it’s crucial to put in dedicated time and effort. Just 20 minutes of piano practice a few days a week can help develop your skills and techniques. If you’re struggling with motivation, playing with others—even making mistakes together—is a great way to stay motivated. Digital pianos are packed with features that maximize your practice. You’ll achieve more in a shorter time.

Taking the Next Step

Learning the piano involves dedication and discipline. However, once mastered, the rewards are endless. A digital piano can offer a variety of sounds, useful practice features, and integration with the latest apps. Most importantly, you’ll get all of this without the worry about ongoing tuning and maintenance costs.

Digital Piano Advantages
  • Maintenance-Free: A digital piano doesn’t use hammers and strings to produce a sound so no tuning is required
  • Headphone Support: Practice any time of day, perfect your performance, and keep the neighbors happy
  • Touch and Sound Quality: Speakers are strategically positioned to recreate an acoustic piano sound
  • Record and Edit: A useful way to analyze your performance
  • Built-in Metronome: Helps develop rhythmic ability
  • App Integration: Helps develop ability and performance skills, keep you motivated and make learning fun for kids

Get information about lessons here!

Or, read more here!

See worldwide concert artist Nikita Fitenko perform on the Bösendorfer Appassionata

The Bösendorfer Appassionata Grand Piano is the most unique, handcrafted piano in the world.

Now you can watch Dr. Nikita Fitenko, International Performing Artist & Artistic Director of the Washington International Piano Competition, put this one-of-a-kind piano through its paces during a unique performance event held at the Jordan Kitt’s Music Premium Piano Salon.

For more information about the Appassionata piano, visit here!

Tips for singer songwriters

Piano Self-accompaniment Tips for Singer-Songwriters

Backing yourself up as a singer can be a daunting task. Here are a few strategies to help improve self-accompaniment skills. Photos of Jordan West by Oscar Genel

Accompanying yourself as a singer can be a daunting task. The main challenge is dividing your focus between playing and singing. The secondary challenge is to keep the performance interesting and engaging for the listener. In this article, I’m going to share a few strategies that helped me improve my self-accompaniment skills.  

Practice Scales in All Keys

Running through major and natural minor scales is a great place to start. At the beginning of each practice session, play major and natural minor scales in every key. For added benefit, try practicing with a metronome in different tempos.   

This is a great exercise to warm up your fingers, boost your muscle memory, and improve ear training. It will also help you pay attention to rhythmic flow. Once you feel comfortable doing so, try practicing without looking at the piano.   

It’s worth noting here that apps like the Roland Piano Partner 2, which you can use with your Roland digital piano, make this particular task extremely easy.  

Start with Simple Grooves

A great place to begin is with simple grooves using the left hand. There are so many grooves you can play. But simple whole note, half note, and quarter note variations are standard in most accompaniments—especially ballads.   

As you get used to playing standard rhythmic patterns in time, start incorporating different combinations into your routine. For example, you can play quarter notes with your left hand, while you’re playing whole notes with your right hand.  

Roots, Power Chords, and Octaves

Try using your left hand to play root notes, power chords, and octaves. In most cases, you’ll feel inclined to play the root and the fifth degree of each chord more than anything else. This is especially common in genres such as pop and folk. But even for jazz and R&B pianists, it’s a solid starting point.

“By changing the order of notes, you can express different colors and emotions.”

Inverted Chords

You can also add variations by playing inverted chords with your right hand. Most piano players who are self-taught learn chords online and assume that there’s only one way to play them. But by simply changing the order of the notes, you can express different colors and emotions.   

For instance, there are three ways you can play a C major chord: root position, first inversion, and second inversion. Likewise, there are four ways you can play a C major seventh chord, with the added third inversion option.   

The more you practice playing inverted chords, the better. In situations where you want to improvise on the spot, you can rely on inversions to avoid panicking about playing the wrong note.  

Incorporating Arpeggios 

Arpeggios can save a performance from becoming stagnant. In fact, well-placed arpeggios will bring rhythmic excitement to almost any piece of music. Instead of playing the chord tones altogether, play them one by one, in the order and rhythm of your choosing.  

Read the full article here

Or find out more about Roland solutions for Singer-Songwriters here!

The world premiere of the Bösendorfer Beethoven Appassionata player grand piano!

Jordan Kitt’s Music was the proud recipient of the one-of-a-kind Beethoven Appassionata grand, handcrafted by Bösendorfer in Vienna, Austria.

The piano was recently unboxed at the Jordan Kitt’s Music Warehouse and Distribution Center in Rockville, Maryland, and was just delivered to the Premium Piano Salon in Fairfax, Virginia while a crowd of customers, students and teachers looked on and were treated to a premiere performance by Yamaha Artist Nikita Fitenko.

This unique instrument will be involved in some unique upcoming performances at major area institutions (to be announced soon) but will reside in the meantime as the centerpiece of the Jordan Kitt’s Premium Piano Salon, a unique room dedicated exclusively to concert grade pianos from around the world.

To learn more about this piano, or for more information if you’re interested in acquiring this one-of-a-kind melding of music and art, visit here today!

A behind-the-scenes look at the arrival and unboxing of the Bösendorfer Appassionata Piano!

The Bösendorfer Appassionata has arrived from Vienna, Austria, and here is a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the unboxing of this unique combination of instrument & art.

This grand piano is the one-of-a-kind, and is designated as “#23” in reference to Beethoven’s beloved Sonata. It also features the high resolution Disklavier player/recording system. Find out more about the details of the piano here.

Or join us on Friday as we bring this amazing instrument to the Premium Piano Salon at Jordan Kitt’s Music in Fairfax (RSVP Here!).

Bosendorfer Beethoven 250

“Appassionata”

Jordan Kitt’s Music is proud to offer a one-of-a-kind world exclusive, coming soon to Jordan Kitt’s Music: The Bosendorfer “Appassionata”.

This unique instrument celebrates the 250th Anniversary of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s birth, designated number 23 for his 23rd Sonata, the famous “Appassionata”.

Hand crafted in Vienna, Austria using the platform of Bosendorfer’s famous model 214VC piano, this amazing combination of instrument & art offers shimmering mother-of-pearl adornments of the famous composer, chrome fittings, inlaid musical scoring on the inner lid and a silver frame.

Also, it is the only special edition piano to include the extraordinary Disklavier high-resolution player and recording system. Numerous other exclusive features and artistic elements combine to make this instrument completely unique.

If you are interested in acquiring this one-of-a-kind piano, there will only be one opportunity in a lifetime. Register here for more information and updates on its imminent arrival at our Premium Piano Showroom…

Find out more here…

Roland LX 708

A great performance by Justin Timberlake and Ant Clemons with a Roland LX-708 digital piano…

Roland was chosen to provide an LX-708 digital piano for Justin Timberlakes’ performance with Ant Clemons as part of the Inauguration Performance series!

Jordan Kitt’s Music is proud to represent Roland in Virginia, Maryland & DC, and have this model in stock today for you to see, hear and play for yourself.

Visit here to see the Roland LX-708 in action…

Believe in Music!

Believe in Music Week is the global gathering to unify and support the people who bring music to the world.

The online celebration, to be held over the week of January 18, 2021, will feature a mix of comprehensive programming and professional education at BelieveinMusic.tv, as well as an interactive marketplace to connect buyers and sellers – all designed to elevate the innovation and inspiration found across the industry while offering support for those most deeply affected by COVID. The event will also offer live music, content and product discovery for all who believe in music, helping connect music makers and enthusiasts across the world.

Look at the schedule here!

Richmond School District Yamaha

Jordan Kitt’s selected by Richmond School district to provide Yamaha pianos for music classrooms.

Five new pianos delivered to RPS East End schools
via wcric.com by Emma North / Jan 12, 2021

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Five new Yamaha studio upright pianos were delivered Tuesday to elementary schools in the East End community of the Richmond Public School (RPS) system, made possible by donations from the annual RVA East End Festival.

Although the 2020 festival could not be held amid the coronavirus pandemic, companies and individuals continued to make donations to support music and arts programs in the schools, according to a release.

“Elementary school, specifically, is where their life-long love of music starts, and so it is so important that we instill that in students very early,” Henry L. Marsh, III Elementary School Principal Kimberly Cook said. “My child, specifically, learned to play the violin in fourth grade and continued to play it all the way up through college. Music is super important to students and the lives of everyone.”

Henry L. Marsh, III Elementary is just one of the East End schools receiving a new piano. Chimborazo Elementary, Fairfield Court Elementary, Binford Middle, and Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School also had new pianos delivered Tuesday.

“The opportunity to dance and to sing and to play instruments, to paint, to draw, to color, to mold, to model — all that enhances our brain skills to be better readers and thinkers, and critical thinking skills are enhanced,” RPS School Board Chair Cheryl L. Burke said. “So this is an opportunity to have fun, but also to learn.”

Tuesday morning, Burke became the first person to play the new piano at Henry L. Marsh, III Elementary, recalling a song she learned back when she was still a student.

“I played a song that I learned while being in the seventh grade and I played for our moving on from junior high to high school, and the song just came back to mind,” Burke said. “Some things you never forget.”

“I played a song that I learned while being in the seventh grade and I played for our moving on from junior high to high school, and the song just came back to mind,” Burke said. “Some things you never forget.”

This is one five new Yamaha studio upright pianos delivered to schools in the East End communities of the RPS system. (Photo: Olivia Jaquith)

Likewise, Cook is hopeful that the elementary school students will never forget the experience of being surrounded by music in school.

“Our students deserve the best, and so this is a really good gift for them when they return to the building,” she said. “I cannot wait to hear all the songs that they’ll create and all the music that we will hear in our music room as a result of the East End Festival proceeds being donated to buy these wonderful pianos.”

Since 2016, the festival has raised over $300,000 to support music, visual arts, and performing arts programs at eight elementary, middle, and high schools in the East End communities of the RPS system, according to a release. RPS’ next financial goal of $100,000 through donations will be used primarily for new classroom sets of stringed instruments, so that students will have their own instruments to play during the year.

“Because of the partnerships that we have, and also knowing the importance of the arts, we’re not cutting in Richmond Public Schools that department. We are taking away too much from our children when that’s done, so we’re not cutting that,” Burke said. “We want our children to be the best and brightest that they choose to be and beyond, so it’s important that we, as community members and those persons who are making decisions, make them in the best interest of every child.”

The piano at Henry L. Marsh, III Elementary was delivered to the music room, where school officials say it will be used daily.

“Instruments aren’t models to be set in the corner,” Burke said. “So the music teachers, guest performers — it will be used every day.”

RPS Instructional Specialist for Fine Arts Christie-Jo Adams had the opportunity to play the new piano, as well. She tells 8News that she’s hopeful more music teachers at RPS will soon have a chance to try out the new instrument.

Read more here!