Keyboard skills.
Do you need to be able to play a keyboard instrument to learn to sing properly?

Definitely not!
I can always make detailed recordings for you to help you learn your notes.

But there is no doubt that being out to play the piano a little bit can be helpful.
Even if it is just "one finger style" Being able to go over to a piano or some other alternative
(I'll talk about that later) can be a useful way to quickly learn that "difficult bit".

It is not very difficult at all to learn the basic names of notes, even if you can only play them very slowly. (In fact that's usually the best way anyhow; playing a difficult bit really slowly is the best way to learn the notes!) I can give you a few self teaching manuals that will help you with this,
or recommend others.
  This PDF will help!

What are you going to play the notes on?

A 'real' piano is not necessary. Electronic ones will do the job perfectly well to help you learn your notes, especially if they have pitch change / transpose settings. (What does pitch change / transpose mean?)

Some options: small keyboards - rollup pianos - online 'virtual pianos'

Small electric keyboards

In many ways it is better to have an electronic piano rather than a full size 'real' piano. Because many singers need to sing songs in keys other than the published sheet music, it is important that the electronic piano you use has transposition settings. This means that you can play the notes straight off the sheet music, but the piano itself changes the key of the song to suit your range. Talk to me more about that if you don't understand what this means.

Some of the small portable keyboards that children use for learning the piano will do a perfectly good job for a singer to play a few notes on when they need extra help. The piano doesn't need to be big. (When on tour with an a cappella singing group years ago, to get our notes when we were rehearsing together we used a very small portable battery-operated keyboard that could fit in my coat pocket with just 2 octaves of notes. I still have it as museum piece. It sits on the small cabinet near the door of my studio. Check it out.

By the way, if you're looking to buy a small keyboard to use, it doesn't have to be freestanding like the one in my studio. It can be one of those small keyboards that sits on a table. Just check that it can transpose, if possible
I have checked out a few suitable simple tabletop pianos >> HERE.

Roll-up pianos - an unusual option!

Now, if you're on the road a lot, or you want to have a quick bit of practice during your lunch break at work, or you just don't have a lot of room at home, consider getting a 'rollup piano'! These rollup pianos are simply thick sheets of rubber with the impression of a piano keyboard on them, and electronic touch sensors on each "note" connected to a small amplifying device. It can be rolled up to save space. You simply unroll the piano, turn it on and away you go. They usually have a headphone socket as well so you don't disturb the people in the next room. You can choose a variety of sounds, piano, organ, guitar etc. Now they don't sound fabulous of course, but they do the trick to just help you get a difficult melody right. They are very cheap, often about 50-100 bucks online. Do a search and you'll see what I mean. (Check that they can transpose-a useful feature) I have a demonstration model in my studio. Just ask to see it if it isn't already lying around somewhere. See pics:

Want to know more
about Digital pianos?
(how they work, history etc)


Online Virtual Keyboards
"When all you have is a computer or a smart phone!