So you’re interested in starting piano lessons and you don’t have a piano or a keyboard in your home. This is not uncommon at all and it’s a situation we are faced with many times. You have your options. Of course, one of those options is to make the commitment to investing in an instrument, whether it be a piano or keyboard. The predicament that usually exists is that the parent doesn’t want to make a huge investment if their son or daughter isn’t going to take the matter seriously. So, in other words, having a piano (or keyboard) in the home becomes a “conditional” decision. A positive alternative to adopting this mind set is to put a piano in the home and allow it to be accessible unconditionally, whether or not lessons are pursued. Making it a conditional experience often puts an unnecessary burden on the shoulders of that new student. Put music in your home! It’s doesn’t have to be a “serious” matter. Is there a television there? Need more be said?
Okay, so you are interested in getting started with those lessons and aren’t sure what direction to go. After all, in this day and age, you have more choices. You can go the “acoustic” route, which is really often preferred. Keep in mind that, if you invest in an acoustic piano, you’ll want to protect that investment by providing regular care to your piano. This will generally include having it tuned at least once a year and having a regulation performed on it every couple of years (this is work that is more “mechanical” in nature). Is it worth it in the long run? You bet it is. If you have the option of starting piano lessons on “the real thing” and are okay with making the investment, a purist would emphatically encourage you to opt for this route.
But, of course, that’s not your only option. If you decide to go “digital,” there are some advantages that you can look forward to. For one, a digital piano is not as susceptible to atmospheric changes. This means, among other things, that you won’t have to pay a tuner to keep it tuned. In addition, you can turn that volume down or even use headphones if giving respect to people in the next room (or perhaps in the next apartment) is in order. By all means, if you go digital, it is suggested that you opt to go with a piano keyboard that has all 88 keys. Don’t shortchange yourself in this regard. Also, be sure the keyboard has a “weighted” action (you can actually feel a bit of resistance when pressing the keys, as you would with an acoustic piano).
A last option is to go with a miniature keyboard. The investment can be significantly less (but not always). That said, remember you generally get what you pay for. At the very least, be sure the keyboard is “touch sensitive,” meaning that if you press a key hard and softly, the result is a louder and softer volume, respectively. Given the choice, however, a used acoustic or digital piano can be had at a decent price and would ultimately be your better option in the long run, barring some extreme examples.
You can actually schedule a trial lesson and discuss these options with a professional so that you will have the peace of mind of knowing that you will set yourself on the right track as you start your lessons. You’re in for a journey that is priceless!
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