What kind of piano should a beginner buy?
This is a question that has been asked by every parent looking to give their children an instrument to practice on while taking piano lessons. Most professionals believe pianos that have real weighted keys, touch sensitive actions, and 88 keys are minimal requirements. The Yamaha Clavinova Digital Pianos are accepted by many Universities and Piano Labs for Piano majors to practice on and so would be an excellent choice for parents in many cases.
Can I buy an inexpensive piano for their lessons at first?
If you buy a bad piano, and your child gets good, can you really tell? This is a funny line, but the truth is it is probably worse. The student with an inferior instrument is going to be discouraged if what he or she hears is not that good. Also, If you have a quality piano teacher and your child takes lessons for 4 or more years, the cost is something like this: $150 times 12 equals $1,800 per year and this times 4 years equals $7,200. Why would you not get the best piano you can to take advantage of these years making both student and teacher happy.
Should we purchase an Acoustic Piano or Digital?
Until recently the best answer was acoustic because of multiple factors; However, the better Digital Pianos like the Yamaha Clavinova have gotten so good, and don’t ever need tuning, and students can practice with headphones. But I strongly recommend listening to your teacher for advise about this. Yamaha has wonderful acoustic and digital pianos for this very situation and is one of the most respected pianos in the world.
Should I buy new or used?
When you purchase a new instrument, you will get a warranty. Good quality pianos will look, feel, and play well. When you purchase used you may not have the experience to even know it is playing like it should or not. Each used instrument is a unique set of circumstances and actually may help teach bad habits, and incorrect hearing. I went to college with a man who had perfect pitch, but had learned incorrectly on an out of tune old upright.
What are the Benefits of achieving Piano level 2?
- Substantial increase in neural connectivity
- Significantly higher SAT scores
- Greatly reduced risk of drug/alcohol abuse
- Notable reduction of anti-social behaviors
- Increased self esteem
- Enhanced ability to concentrate/focus
- Development of personal discipline
- Superior working memory, auditory skills, and cognitive flexibility
Children who are allowed to quit music lessons usually quit early. When parents insist on helping their children to get to a level where they can play well, they’re not as likely to quit! Your goal should be to help your child get to Level 2. Once they’re at Level 2, they will almost always never stop playing the piano!
Here’s how we define Level 2:
The ability to read an intermediate piece of music; play using both hands; use the expression pedals; and sound musical.
In other words, kids who get to Level 2 become smarter, happier and more well-rounded!
Helping your child reach Level 2 on piano is the single most effective way you can give them a leg up in life!
What Piano Level Am I
Primer (Level pre-1):
- Knows finger numbers
- Knows musical alphabet
- Basic staff awareness
- Basic keyboard awareness
- Can play one hand at at time
- Has proper hand placement and form
- Developing rhythm and steady beat
- Generally music from method books
- Generally practices 10-15 mins/day
Beginner (Levels 1-2):
- Bass and Treble Clef
- Plays both hands together
- Play rhythms more comfortably
- Keeps steady beat
- Left hand plays mainly basic chords
- Dynamics and articulations
- Can play C, G, and F key signatures
- Generally practices 15-20 mins/day
Late Beginner (Level 3):
- Major and minor chords, scales, and arpeggios
- Left hand becomes more complex
- More complex rhythms introduced
- Can play songs with 2 flats/sharps
- Technique developing
- Sight reading developing
- Musicality developing
- Generally practices 20-30 mins/day
Often people ask “What piano level am I, and why does it matter?”Many educators rank piano levels as the above:
Selecting a Piano Teacher
The piano is a complicated instrument with many aspects to think about from the beginning. A good teacher can help guide the student during these formative years, but unfortunately many parents don’t often take the time to select the right piano teacher; many seem to sign up for lessons with the first person they find. This doesn’t always make for success.
Many basic technical aspects of piano playing are the same for all students during the first few lessons; these include basic posture at the piano, hand and finger positions, and general movement around the keyboard. If these aspects are not addressed from the outset then piano playing can eventually become uncomfortable and difficult.
Basic rhythem needs to be understood from the beginning. A student can be guided to count while learning to keep time or even better, use a metronome (or both!), this is fundamental to good playing and is much easier when taught from the beginning.
Note reading needs to be guided correctly from the beginning too, especially with regard to the left hand. Many students aren’t taught to read the Bass and Treble Clefs (left and right hand lines of music) at the same time. If both lines of music are not taught from the beginning many never learn to read the left hand/bass clef correctly.
The quicker a pupil learns how to play both hands at the same time the better. It needs to be done carefully and slowly from the beginning.
Good Teachers will encourage correct hand movements and proper use of the arm to enable excellent tone production and finger movement. If this element isn’t addressed the pupil could potentially experience pain or repetitive strain injury too.
Most importantly, a good teacher will not only spark a real interest and love of music, but they will also be able to show how to interpretate a piece of music (the way a work is played.) This is a vital aspect of piano playing and all pupils need to master how to play musically or expressively.
The above are reasons why you need a good piano teacher. Patience and kindness are not enough (although they are important too!). Your teacher needs to know how to get you or your child to make good progress. Take time and select a well qualified, experienced piano teacher. Some of the best teachers can be found by word of mouth, or call the closest Piano Distributors for a list of local teachers known to have a record of success with students.