By Jenny Leigh Hodgins
Are you an adult who’s looking forward to finally learn piano? Do you have a teenager eager to explore music? Are you a parent looking to start your child’s first piano lesson? Having a quality instrument is critical for successful piano learning.
There are many ways to learn piano. From note-reading to aural training, from digital exploration and beyond. Regardless, the quality of a keyboard instrument is essential to successful music progress.
Some of the most important points to consider are:
WHAT’S YOUR COMMITMENT?
If you have always wanted to learn piano, and now have the time and energy to devote to it, a piano may be a great investment. For adults, buying a quality piano is a beautiful addition to decor, adding value to your home. Practicing on a quality-crafted piano inspires hours of dedicated musical progress. Making a strong commitment to your love of piano music is a great reason to buy a good piano.
If you have a young child, or a teenager with sudden interest in piano, your child's attention span may not be clear. How long will your child stay motivated for the long haul of musical study? For these cases, consider an electronic keyboard.
A digital piano may be an inexpensive investment to explore your child's interest. An electronic keyboard is usually less expensive than a piano. A 61-key, light-action digital keyboard would be acceptable as a smaller investment for initial music exploration.
After a year of piano study, I recommend investing in either a piano or an 88-key, weighted-action keyboard. Over time, a student’s repertoire grows. This will encourage accurate, physical technique, and the full piano range.
CHECK YOUR SPACE & SURROUNDINGS
A beautiful grand piano brings artistic flair to a large room. Piano playing brings lively fun to the entertainment of guests. Playing piano in the home adds festivity with holiday music. It also fills the home with beloved musical expression year-round.
If you’ve got the space and the budget, no investment brings as much enjoyment to a home. If you don’t have a large space, consider a smaller baby grand, or an upright piano. Playing a real piano offers authenticity. The action of a real piano (how the wooden keys respond to the touch of your fingers) lets the player achieve healthy piano technique. An acoustic piano sends an organic, gorgeous, sound reverberating throughout your home.
For even tighter spaces and budgets, consider an electronic keyboard. An extra advantage of having a digital piano is the use of headphones. This feature allows music practice at any hour without disrupting others.
WHAT’S YOUR STYLE
Consider your personal preferences when choosing the right keyboard. If the touch of a real piano is inspirational for you, buying a piano may be infinitely more satisfying. Traditional classical and jazz repertoire is often preferred played on a real piano.
The popularity of modern music is another point in favor of buying an electronic keyboard. Teens and adults may be more inclined toward digital music production. Digital keyboards open the door to computer-made music.
Using a digital piano and a computer allows you to create music with virtual instruments. In our technology-driven world, much of the future's music-making will be digital-based. This offers opportunities for electronic music-production. Music technology offers opportunities in composing for video games, commercials, film and TV.
HOW BIG IS YOUR BUDGET
When selecting a keyboard, consider your budget now. Weigh that budget against the longevity of the instrument’s life and use. One of the best investments you can make is buying a piano. This is because craftsmanship and longevity add to the value of a piano. The piano's beauty as an aspect of your home decor adds artistic value, too.
If you’re tight on funds or space, start with a smaller digital piano or upright acoustic piano. Consider upgrading a necessity when your music skills progress. Get an instrument that suits your current needs, to last as long as possible, based on what you can afford.
WRAP IT UP
Are you looking to explore contemporary music with a digital piano? Delve into the vast musical repertoire from the traditional masters? Or tread lightly into the first moments of piano learning? Whatever your interest, there is a perfect instrument for you. You will make the best piano keyboard choice for you when you consider your commitment, style, available space, and budget.
How to Find A Good Piano Teacher
Piano Method Books I recommend:
For the Adult
For the Older Beginner
For Young Children
For Very Young Children
CLICK HERE for a list of piano and music-making resources I use and recommend.
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In my PIANO blogs, you'll find ways to overcome boredom, get past musical and mental blocks, explore the creative process with piano, and improve musical progress through piano teacher recommended best practices and effective piano practice tips.