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Thread: Piano lessons

  1. #1
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    Default Piano lessons

    My daughter is 6 years old and we are planning on starting piano lessons here in a few weeks. We have a neighbor that is teaching them on the side, so it is really convenient for us.

    My question is in regards to the piano - we don't own a real piano and I was wondering if a full-size 88 key digital piano would suffice. I'm not ready to plunk down $2k on a piano when she's never had a lesson. We could rent, but the first month with delivery, etc. is $250, and then $50 a month after that. There's a Casio Digital piano at Costco for $489 that seems like it would work. Do you think it be okay to have a piano like that to practice on?
    Steph
    DD 8/03
    DS 4/06

  2. #2
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    Talk to your instructor. Most would really, really prefer you have a cheap piano rather than a weighted keyboard. Every teacher I've spoken to said even with the weighted kind the kids just don't get the same finger strength with the keyboards.
    We too are watching Craigslist closely to get a cheaper starter piano. If any one of the kids takes to it we'll upgrade later.
    Alaina
    DS1 12 , DS2 7.5 and DS3 5

  3. #3
    schrocat is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    I started practising on a keyboard when I first started learning to play the piano and didn't like it. My parents got me a piano a few months later, It was really a huge improvement. We still have that piano in my parents' home to this day.

  4. #4
    MMEand1 is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Have you talked to her teacher about it. I know that some piano teachers refuse to take on a student if they do not have a real piano. Have you been watching CL? Good luck!

  5. #5
    maestramommy's Avatar
    maestramommy is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    A full sized digital piano is a great option. They have the weighted keys, so for a beginner or even an intermediate student it doesn't make any difference. One likable feature is that you can use headphones to practice. This is particularly good if you live in an apt, or you don't want to disturb someone sleeping.

    I am an advanced player, and I have a digital. I think it's great! Of course it's not like playing an acoustic grand, but for practice purposes it's hard to beat. I can put on the headphones, or just turn down the volume, and pound the [email protected] out of it while the kids are napping. No problems!

    And just wanted to add that a digital piano is not in the same class as a keyboard. As a former piano teacher, I detested keyboards, but I would definitely recommend a digital piano as a starter. You never have to tune or do any other maintenance. Which is fantastic if you live in a region where the climate changes dramatically through the course of a year.
    Melinda
    Mommy to
    The Gift 10/01/05
    Elfgirl 5/25/07
    Sparky 6/27/09

    "Sunset to Twilight, Our Family's Journey with Alzheimer's." http://maestramommi.blogspot.com/




  6. #6
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    I teach piano lessons out of my home and use a digital piano. Sure, I'd love to have a baby grand, but we move often and it's just not an option right now. So for the meantime, this is the best compromise.

    I require that my students have a full-size keyboard with weighted keys (at least for beginners.) Once they've played for a year or more I would recommend that they move to a real piano or a digital piano.

    But...check with the teachers in your area. I'm sure there are plenty that will require a real piano.
    Mom to DD - my thriving preemie - Jan 2009

  7. #7
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    My dd has been taking lessons over a year and her teacher required that we have a piano before she started. We bought a wonderful used one for $500.00, which is less than the cost of a nice keyboard. Just something you might want to check out.

    Ann

  8. #8
    giavila is offline Silver level (200+ posts)
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    we have a full sized Casio Privia Digital Piano with weighted keys and DD1 has been taking lesson for more than a year and it has worked great for us. Her teacher has an upright ("real") piano and DD has no problem transitioning during her lessons.

  9. #9
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    Check out the digitals and also watch the paper. My sister got a beautiful piano free. She had to arrange to move it for the owners out of their house to hers though.
    All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.
    ~Abraham Lincoln~


  10. #10
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    I'm primarily a voice teacher, but I taught beginning piano in the past as a courtesy. I also worked for a time for one of the largest piano dealers on the East coast. Digital pianos with weighted keys and (at least) a damper pedal are a great choice. They're light weight, and they never need tuning. They also tend to keep the attention of young players more than an acoustic. (Some of them are AMAZING. Hundreds of different sounds, screens that scroll thru sheet music, digital lesson plans, recording features that are almost akin to having a home recording studio. All yours for $8000. ) I like Roland and Kawai the best for digitals. Yamaha is good too, but I'm just not a Yamaha person.

    If you go the CL route, take the teacher, or better yet, a piano technician/tuner with you. Just like grands, uprights come in several different sizes. Get the tallest upright that you can afford/have room for. (52'' is the tallest they come) On short pianos, the strings that produce the low notes have to be wrapped a zillion times to get the right pitch. They're too thick to vibrate properly, and are hard to tune. They just don't sound good next to a taller piano. The teacher or technician can help you decide if the piano is a nice piano. A lot can go wrong on the insides that isn't always apparent. They'll also check to make sure that all the keys work and seem to be tunable relative to each other. That sounds obvious, but I had several students that had pianos that had problems that made them difficult and frustrating to play, and couldn't be fixed.

    Try to get into a situation where you get to hear several comparable pianos next to each other. You will be able to hear the difference, even with an untrained ear. Funny story: We happened to have the most inexpensive "nice" Roland digital piano next to the entry-level acoustic piano in our showroom. They were roughly the same price. The little acoustic was nice for the size and price range, but Roland samples (aka records) the sounds off of a 9' Steinway concert grand - a $100K piano. I can't tell you how many clients who swore that they would never buy a digital bought the digital after hearing the two pianos next to each other. I think that I sold more of that model of digital than anyone else in the company that year, and I wasn't a great salesperson by any stretch of the imagination.

    Anyway, that's my two cents. I'm not a spectacular player like some of the previous posters, but I got to play a zillion different pianos when I worked for the dealer.
    Catherine

    Mom to:
    DD#1 3/07
    DD#2 10/08

    and "Bonus Mom" to:
    DSD
    DSS#1
    DSS #2

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