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How to buy a piano

The following is a primer that I give to parents of beginning piano students.  When parents do not follow this advice, they tend to spend buckets of money and have an unsatisfactory buying experience.  Please use this to help your students have good experiences with beginning piano!

Buying a Piano

DON'T! There are so many kids who take piano and drop it after a few lessons, that there are hundreds of pianos available for free throughout Massachusetts. Wait until you've taken piano for a few years and develop a devotion to it before you invest the thousands you'd need for a great piano or keyboard. Here are some tips.

Go to Piano Adoption's website.  There you'll find free pianos in every state!

See the piano and feel the keys under your fingers. Make sure that the touch of the piano is comfortable. Make sure that the keys have the same volume at every key for the same amount of pressure. Broken strings, felt on hammers, and other small repairs can be fixed by a piano technician. No matter what piano you buy, you'll be paying a minimum of $100 to get it tuned in your home.

This piano is good for firewood, but not to play.

Water circles from beverage cans and glasses, scratches, etc. are aesthetic. I love them because you'll never worry about keeping the finish looking beautiful.

Water damage, missing keys, and a tinny sound are not fixable. Don't buy a piano that doesn't sound pleasing.

Do not settle for an electronic keyboard with fewer than 88 keys! Get an electronic piano with all the keys, a stand, and a good bench if you decide to go electric. The best thing to do is to go acoustic. Fancy, expensive keyboards are for students who have shown that they are dedicated and will practice diligently.

This piano isn't pretty, but it's functional. It will do!

Wait until your child is out of book 2, has outgrown my instruction, and is excited about playing for a lifetime before spending lots of money on a keyboard or piano. It's too much pressure on the child, and it's not fair to the family budget.

This bench is hard and not adjustable

A Good Bench

Fancy, expensive, tufted piano bench
You will need a good piano bench. You can get nice ones for about $50 at any music store. The bench should be adjustable. You will have many different people playing the piano, even if they are only your child. Just imagine how your child is going to grow in the next 5 years. You'll need to adjust the bench, if only for him/her. I like the model pictured here. It's comfortable and cheap.
If you insist on a piano and bench being an exquisite set of furniture, get an adjustable bench with tufted, leather seat.

A poorly fitted bench will result in hand problems, back pain, and quitting the instrument. Ergonomics are really important in instrument playing.

The BEST choice.  This bench is comfortable, inexpensive
and adjustable.   As your child grows, the bench adjusts.
It's also very portable.

Fancy, expensive, tufted piano bench

If you insist on a piano and bench being an exquisite set of furniture, get an adjustable bench with tufted, leather seat.

A poorly fitted bench will result in hand problems, back pain, and quitting the instrument. Ergonomics are really important in instrument playing.


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