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Today Alexa is joined by the person otherwise known as the Piano Skills for Singers Woman. Brenda Earle Stokes is an internationally recognised pianist, vocalist, and educator who has taught keyboard and musicianship skills to hundreds of singers. She is the creator of The Versatile Musician, a membership that includes the likes of piano training, music theory improvisation, and lots more. Brenda is here to chat about how to build piano skills as a voice teacher and singer.


  • When working with singers, Brenda discovered that despite them all having piano training in the past, it had not worked for them. This is because they have been trained by people who were pianists, not singer-pianists who could help them develop these skills in the way that they needed. 
  • It’s beneficial for singers to have piano skills because piano offers a unique opportunity to maximise the value of your investment in music education. When you learn piano, you not only acquire essential music theory knowledge. You also learn skills that can also be applied in a professional work environment, making it a versatile instrument with multifaceted advantages.
  • It takes about two years to gain the skills you need to play your major and minor chords in all 12 keys, which allows you to play anything you can think of from the world of popular music. You’ll become proficient in reading music to a basic level which is something a songwriter needs. 
  • Brenda’s advice is to get the best keyboard you can get for your budget. Check your local online marketplaces to see if you can pick up a bargain. It does not have to be a major investment, and you can always upgrade later. 

‘I like to say my native language is piano’

‘Piano is the place where you can get the skills you need to be able to function in a work environment’

‘The purpose of this is that it does not happen in a vacuum’

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Brenda Earle Stokes is an internationally recognised pianist, vocalist and educator. Known far and wide as the “Piano Skills for Singers” woman, she has taught hundreds of singers to find success at the keyboard and to fortify their musicianship skills with her unique methods. A longtime private teacher, Brenda is now an online course creator, and her membership The Versatile Musician, which combines piano training with musicianship, theory, jazz, and improvisation, serves students around the globe. Her teaching style is practical, efficient, and filled with humour and enthusiasm.

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