What Kind of Piano Should I Buy?
In today's market, there are many options as to the kind of piano one can rent or purchase. You will need the best piano in the best condition that you can afford. Making music is a combination of hearing and touching, both of which are very sensitive in a child. If your piano has poor action, broken ivories, and poor tone, you cannot expect your child to stay interested. Generally, old and antique pianos are NOT adequate to learn to play on. Would you give your child a rusty old bike to learn to ride it? Children respond to quality, especially in anything to do with the senses. The more your piano can do in terms of range of sound and tone, the more interested your child will become. For our purposes of developing skill, here are my recommendations:
- The ideal piano to purchase is an acoustic grand piano, new or used, but in good condition.
- The second order of preference is a good acoustic upright, as new and as tall as possible.
- The third desirable choice is an older acoustic upright that has been tuned, voiced, regulated, and in good repair.
Make sure your piano is located in an inviting place. In this way, your child can go to it any time. Avoid placing the piano near the TV, or next to the baby's room.
Why buy a Grand Piano?
The piano was invented and developed in the horizontal form. That is the way it functions at its optimum, as the performer is the most directly in touch with the sound. The grand piano works on gravity, and it is the touch of the performer which determines the amount and kind of sound. The upright was developed at the end of the 18th century to save space. It is really a compromise instrument in which it is a spring, rather than gravity, which makes the hammer touch the strings. Even more distorted is the spinet and console, in which so many changes had to be made to conform to its small size. One piano inventor described it this way: "A spinet is like a box of 8 fat crayons, an upright is like a box of 36 crayons, and a grand piano is like a box of 124 crayons!" That is the difference in the kind of sounds or colors you can obtain.
Of course, not everyone can run out and purchase a grand piano today! But, you can have one on your "wish list." You never know when a great aunt will leave you her fortune, or when someone needs a place for their grand piano to be stored, or someone may hear your child play and want to help him. Keep the desire for a grand piano alive in your heart. Sooner or later, you will have one! And your child will know of the great value you place on his talent developments. It's well worth it.