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Some beginner keyboards like Casio LK-240 or Yamaha EZ-220 feature light indicators on the each key that (I suppose) light up on the keys that currently must be pressed down. Is this technology efficient, and would it be a good idea to use such models as the first keyboard to learn?

From one side, this would probably help to understand faster which keys must be pressed.

From the other side, instead of developing skills required for normal playing, such device may just develop and perfect skills of following the lights.

Does anybody has a knowledge or experience with this lights-aided learning?

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3 Answers

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This might be helpful for the first couple of weeks, rather like putting numbered stickers on the keys (or colored stripes on the fingerboard of a violin). But, as you pointed out, following the lights will not help you learn either to read music or to articulate, or for that matter, to learn phrasing. Nor will it help you learn fingering patterns, i.e. when to shift position.
Painful as it is (for all of us on all instruments), you've got to train yourself to know what notes, i.e. pitches, come from which keys -- rather than looking for the "A" key and hitting it because the sheet music says "A" -- without so much as looking at the keyboard.

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If you are 6 or younger, and like games, it MAY help. Trouble is by the time you've played the lit note, you've got out of the rhythm of the tune.To me, the only advantage is that it shows which OCTAVE the particular D, G or F# is in. A great theory, like so many, that doesn't work in practice.

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When I was ~9-10 I found my cousin's keyboard that had a small screen on it with a virtual keyboard and it showed which notes to press to play a song. Kinda like what you mentioned.

I remember it being fun, but I don't think it really helps you with music. It might help you with your reflexes though --

It's just like having a person helping you solve you math problems. If he constantly says which type to use and how to use it and then does all the calculations for you, and you just write all these stuff down, you won't learn. It's the same with the keyboards you mentioned. If you don't think/learn what notes you are playing, it won't help you at all.

The only advantage might be that you could learn a song by heart if you keep playing it. But it wouldn't be really learning, cos you won't understand what you are playing, you'll only be playing it because some screen told you to -- Kinda like Pavlov's dog.

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