In the old days many years ago, I used to play organs (pictured left) such as Lowrey, Roland, Yamaha, Kimball, Hammond, etc, and those instruments were very popular with people of all age groups both young and old. That was a time when nearly every big Mall in America had at least one organ store with someone playing out in front. I loved playing songs on those organs and in fact performed for large groups of people including senior retirement centers which we have plenty of in my home state of Arizona. I got pretty good at playing those complex electric/digital organs like the one one pictured on the left and I can still play them to this day. Pianos (digital & acoustic) along pro keyboards & guitars are my instruments of choice now and I have become an expert on them not only in my playing skills but also my understanding of the intricacies and complexities of digital pianos both old and new. The digital organ is in a decline nationally and has been for a number of years and are typically purchased now by older seniors in retirement areas like Arizona, Florida, etc.
Older seniors citizens typically do like various styles of organ music such as jazz, blues, Latin, swing, big band, Broadway, rock, country, boogie, etc because many of them they grew up with it, especially seniors who are in their later 70's, 80's, and 90's. It is well known that playing music makes a person feel better, for both the player & listener. This is because actively playing music stimulates the brain in so many positive ways and helps keep an "older person" feeling young and living longer (that's a good thing). By the way, I think that being old is mostly all in the mind as long as your body and brain continues to function well. I believe very strongly that you are as young as you feel and think. So with that in "mind," it is important to take care of yourself. Eat right, exercise frequently, and PLAY MUSIC. I am a music teacher & musician (piano, keyboard, organ, guitar) and can tell you by experience that seniors who play music normally stay mentally younger and are more alert. It's funny for me to think that even surviving "younger" musicians from bands like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, and other popular bands of the 60's are all seniors themselves as are so many other popular musicians worldwide. Many younger seniors these days still listen to the music of their youth which includes the music of the 60's and 70's such as the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Chicago, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Elton John, Glen Campbell, Billy Joel, along with classical music, etc, so wanting to play this kind of music comes naturally for many people...as long as you are willing to try. If you don't play piano now...YOU REALLY CAN DO IT. You just have to like music, want to express yourself in a positive way, and are willing to work at it using the available digital piano technology that can make it all of happen!
I have a good friend by the name of Bobby Freeman (pictured left) who happens to be the organist for the Arizona Diamondbacks professional baseball team. He has played at the games for many years and is a great musician and entertainer. Bobby plays keyboards, piano, and other instruments and enjoys music very much. I've worked with Bobby for a number of years and he especially enjoys entertaining kids & seniors, playing at various music events and concerts throughout the greater Phoenix, AZ USA area. If you asked Bobby about seniors playing music, he would agree with me 100% in what I'm saying here...that seniors who play good music, make good music, sing good music, and think good music are more apt to be more productive and more grounded as they age and will have something (playing music) that offers the ability to express yourself in ways like nothing else can.
*By the way, there has been in-depth studies done of seniors "playing music" and the results of the study suggest that "making music may significantly improve an older person's quality of life and feelings of well-being. On top of that, making music helps them relax, feel better and deal positively with stress. It also may help the immune system in its fight against disease which in turn may help you live longer!"
These days an "older person" who wants to get into playing music on a keyboard type instrument and is at a beginner level, can purchase either an organ, acoustic piano, digital piano, or small keyboard. My recommendation is the purchase of a full size digital piano and there are many reasons for this recommendation. Generally speaking, new organs are a bit too expensive for what they do although they are still great fun to play. Even though I enjoy playing an organ (with some of the newer electronic features), I prefer a new digital piano because I really like the beauty of the piano sound and digital pianos are significantly less money than acoustic pianos or organs but can sound like an organ if necessary along with having all the "bells & whistles" of other instrument sounds, recording features, and educational features. A digital piano also has a key touch which has more weight (is a bit heavier) than an organ key touch which helps improve finger dexterity, motion, and strength. The digital piano key movement is also "touch sensitive" so the note gets louder or softer depending on how hard you push down on the key as opposed to an organ with no "touch sensitivity." And finally, a digital piano has just one keyboard as opposed to two in an organ which in my opinion makes a piano easier to play.
|Kawai CP2 ensemble digital piano|
I believe that seniors who play music at any skill level are generally happier and healthier people in body, mind, and soul, and that has always been my personal experience. Playing music WILL relieve stress, WILL make you feel better, WILL stimulate your mind, your eyes, and your ears, and WILL give a person a sense of "WELL BEING" that is unlike most anything else as I mentioned earlier. The instrument is in your home, always accessible any time, and will be around probably for more years than we will be. The fact is YOU CAN PLAY even if you're a senior with little or no piano playing experience. With the right piano teacher, learning curriculum (including self teaching on iPad or laptop educational program), & the right instrument, you CAN achieve your musical goals because I see it happen all the time. You just have to get started and DO IT. It is NOT rocket science and there are even short-cuts you can take to make satisfying music in less time than you think.
As far as getting started on the "right digital piano," in the higher price range from about $2000-$5000 the Kawai ES8 is a very good example along with the Roland digital pianos such as the DP90Se, Samick Ebony-NEO, Casio AP650, and others. In the lower price range under $1000 I recommend the Casio PX780 (left pic $899US internet price), Kawai ES100, and a few others.The Casio PX780 instrument has many of the things that seniors need which includes lots of fun educational features & sounds, realistic piano tone & touch, and all in a lower price range. I have reviewed this model here on my blog so if you want to know more, please take a look: Casio PX780 review. There really are quite a few good brands and models of new digital pianos out there in various price ranges which could be very satisfying to play so just ask me about them and I'll give you some personal advice.
|Piano Maestro for iPad|
*Check out these fun music videos below to see seniors involved in some great piano music!
For more info on the subject of seniors playing piano or if you want to purchase one of these recommended pianos (or other brands and models) at lower than internet or store prices, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call direct at 602-571-1864.