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Do You Need an Acoustic Piano at Home to Start Your Child in Lessons?

 


Well...yes and no. There are a lot of people who are wondering what they are going to do if they want to start their kids in piano lessons. This can be a tough time because you simply have no idea what you are going to do given that you can’t just go to the music store and grab a piano. Because of this, you need to know all your options. 


For the most part, this is a simple question to answer based on your budget and how much space you have in the house. Every family and every child is different, though. Just think for a moment about your options before you press on and just buy a piano out of the blue.

Do You Need a Piano?

Yes, you need a piano for your kid to practice on. This isn’t like Larry Bird going out in the backyard and tacking a peach basket to a tree in French Lick, Indiana. You can practice basketball without a court. You cannot practice the piano without...a piano. You need some kind of piano, but you may not know what is appropriate. This means that you need to decide which kind you are going to buy before starting lessons because you want the instrument to be ready when your child comes home from that first lesson.


“I always recommend that families communicate with a teacher before starting lessons,” said Gabriele Baldocci, founder of the London Piano Centre. “Your teacher’s credibility is tied to your child’s improvement, so your goals are aligned. The teacher will help you choose a piano that meets your needs.”

Do You Need an Acoustic Piano?

Not necessarily, but we should explain why you would benefit from one. You can get a small upright that sits along a wall. You do not need a massive piano. Sure, some people have a massive foyer and a lot of money sitting around to pay for a grand piano, but you do not need to do that.


What’s more, you can get an upright piano for free or basically nothing when you check something like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. You can easily take delivery or pick it up, and all you need is a tuner.


Yes, the piano needs to be tuned. That is an expense you will need to factor in say—once a quarter? It’s something simple to fit into your budget, and you just need to think through how much it costs to maintain the piano, pay for lessons, and buy the piano in the first place if you even spend money on it.

What About an Electronic Piano?

You can get anything from a simple Casio keyboard up to a Yamaha Clavinova, massive Korg, or something else with weighted keys. Weighted keys - that is the thing you need. When you are buying a digital keyboard or electric piano, you need something with weighted keys that feel like “real” pianos. 


This is a big deal because it is a weird transition to go from a piano with weighted keys to an electronic keyboard that does not have them. Something like a Casio will clink and clack, and the keys just feel weird. Also, remember that you need a stand for an electronic piano, a stool or chair, and a stand for music. These pianos can be awkward to set up, but they are not terribly complicated.


You just have to decide if you want to pay the money (and you will pay the money.)

Acoustic Pianos Sound Better

Acoustic pianos sound better because they’re...acoustic. Because of the construction of the piano, you can hear the resonance inside the instrument when you press the keys. You can lift the lid and see it work. Kids need to get used to how that sounds because the whole instrument is resonating. Kids learn a lot about music because of that, and you should really consider getting an acoustic piano just for that alone. Children also often enjoy learning how to sing alongside a piano, and the keys will help guide their ears as they internalize pitch and rhythm.


Plus, acoustic pianos add value to your home. If you ever need to sell your house, people who tour it will see the piano and instantly perceive your home as more welcoming and inviting. The same is true when you are hosting friends and family. 

Where Does the Piano Go?

When you want to put a piano in your kid’s room, you might want to get an electronic piano because they can plug in headphones and practice at any time of the day. (Plus, how would you get an acoustic piano upstairs and through a small door?) This is a really nice way for your kids to play when they want, but it can also give them some respite from the rest of the family.


Yes, we know that an acoustic piano has a sotto voce or soft pedal, but that does not mean it is totally silent. People are still going to hear the instrument. That might be an issue for you depending on the layout of your house and your child’s practice habits.


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