Information for Parents and Students
My question-and-answer file has many questions from parents and students and my answers. Please read the list of questions before you submit a question, as I receive the same ones multiple times and the answer may be there already. I have tendinitis, so I'd appreciate it if you'd read first. This lets me "save the day's keystrokes" for new questions. Thanks for your understanding. To submit a question: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put piano in the subject line, as my e-mail program is set to reject as spam anything without it.
Practice and Helping Children At Home
Home Learning Tools
Hints for Practicing
Nuts and Bolts of Playing
- Should I Rent or Buy a Piano?
- Should I Buy a New or Used Piano?
- Where to Find Information on Specific Piano Brands, along with prices
- Information and My Suggestions on Specific Piano Brands, including the fascinating stories of which piano companies were sold (and re-sold) to which other companies and how this usually affected quality. This has a bearing on when - - and sometimes where - - the piano you are considering was made. Also included is information on sizes, serial numbers, stencil pianos, etc., etc. I also discuss harpsichords and give a review of the Roland digital harpsichord. I update this file constantly.
- Indications That Your Piano Needs Regulation and/or Voicing
- Reconditioning and Rebuilding Your Piano
- Changes You Can Make Yourself Which Affect Your Piano's Tone
- Cleaning Your Piano Yourself
- Tuning Your Piano, including why pianos go out of tune, how to talk to your technician and the difference between tuners, tuner/technicians, and Registered Piano Technicians
About Electronic Keyboards
- Is it Damaging to Start Lessons with an Electronic Keyboard Instead of Real Piano?
- Whether to Buy a "Real" Piano for a Beginner or Whether an Electronic Instrument is Ok
- A used piano is an excellent option when you can't afford to buy a new piano. You can buy used instruments from piano dealers, piano technicians, and private parties.
- Be careful buying a piano from a private party, especially craigslist.
- Renting is an affordable option, too.
- Another solution, but less helpful to the student's development, is to go with an electronic keyboard. Although your ultimate goal doubtless will be a real piano, it is better to practice on an electronic than to delay lessons until an acoustic piano is available for home practice. As I have noted in the QA responses (see below), you will want to trade in the electronic for an acoustic piano in fairly shorter order, but an electronic is better than not starting to play.
- If you're buying an electronic keyboard for something other than goofing around with the various sounds, you want a decent one. Here are features to look for and avoid in an electronic keyboard. I include my recommendation for a brand and model at the end of the file.
- In my questions-and-answers file , with queries from parents and students, there are a number concerning buying an electronic instrument vs. an acoustic ("real") one. This question addresses buying an electronic instrument for a beginner. This one is from an adult, wondering if a digital is the right choice.
Question and Answer File
There is also a file of questions put to me by parents and students concerning piano study (along with my answers), which might be of interest to you. This file is growing in length, so please be patient with the load. I decided to do it in one file to minimize the time spent administratively so I could use the time instead to answer questions and post more material. Thanks for your understanding. (Same .gifs as on this page, so that won't slow things down; other than the duplicate graphics, the file is all text.) I update this file constantly.
Note: If some of these links don't work, it's likely because I haven't mounted the file. Please come back! (And e-mail me with the link that's dead, as this will remind me to get going on this article!)
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Last updated October 19, 2015.