Have you ever marvelled at performers who were able to play the piano AND sing at the same time? It is a rather impressive ability, and at SVA we are particularly passionate about singers having basic piano skills. We believe that piano skills for singers are of great value to singers for a multitude of reasons:
It makes it easier to find an accompanist
For singers who happen to play the piano, it is much easier to find an accompanist simply because you can be your own accompanist! This minimises the stress (and expense) of having to find someone to accompany you, often without much notice. It also makes it much easier to rehearse at home. You can accompany yourself and do not have to wait for rehearsals to understand what the accompaniment should sound like.
It develops music reading skills
Singers tend to find it easier to learn songs by ear – by listening to the recording. However, there are times that music reading skills make life much easier for singers, and we believe that being able to read music is important for all musicians, and not just instrumentalists. Learning the piano helps students to become proficient at music reading, which in turn carries over to vocal music.
It is great to develop aural skills
Having aural (listening) skills is very important for all musicians as it allows you to easily move from the written to the aural form of a note, and vice versa. Aural skills are also critical in developing pitch accuracy in singers. Piano can assist in refining these aural skills, giving singers who play the piano an advantage in understanding pitch.
It makes songwriting more enjoyable and convenient
Learning the piano means that musicians can not only read, but also write and compose music much easier. In addition, most composing software features a keyboard input option in order for the musician to compose, so it makes much more sense for singers to compose music on pianos/keyboards. The piano is an important instrument to compose contemporary popular music with because you can test and play chords to accompany your own vocals. Why not learn the piano? Clearly knowing how to play the piano also makes composition much easier!
So there you go, it would seem two instruments are better than one in this case. We hope this has inspired some singers to consider learning a new skill this term!