IS YOUR PIANO GIVING YOU THE SUPPORT YOU NEED?
THE PIANO YOU HAVE IN YOUR HOME MAKES A DIFFERENCE
The most important factor in success at piano study is the quality and amount of time you put into it. Second is the quality of, and relationship with, your primary teacher. But your practice instrument also matters, greatly. You simply won’t ever play advanced repertoire credibly if you only practice on a digital piano. The same thing is true of less capable acoustic pianos. Your (grand)parents’ old spinet is indeed quite acceptable as a starter instrument. But if you’re ready to play advancing masterworks, you need an instrument that is going to support that growth.
PUT THE UPFRONT INVESTMENT IN CONTEXT
Consider all your purchase options carefully. Think about how much time you are devoting to your music study, and multiply that out over the years of use you imagine you might get from your instrument. The piano my parents bought for our home seemed expensive in 1989 but after many thousands of hours of use, it doesn’t seem like so much now. The cost is also not necessarily as high as you might think: you can get an excellent used full-sized upright (48”+) piano for as little as $3000. And when you do buy your piano, it’s not like you’ve lost the purchase price forever. Selling your piano down the road may take some effort, but it is possible; quality pianos retain much of their value.
YES, YOU SHOULD GET A GRAND PIANO
A good grand piano over 5’6” offers a great leap in touch and expressive control over most uprights. And contrary to popular belief, a grand will indeed fit into most homes…our teacher Aphrodite’s apartment being just one of them! If you’ve ever wanted a grand piano, now is the time! One year after my college roommate graduated from high school, her parents bought a new Steinway grand for their home. They don’t even play! She might inherit the instrument someday, but a good grand could have made a major difference in her earlier development. And a used grand piano costing less than 1/5 of what that Steinway cost would still have been a tremendous upgrade from their old upright. If you’ve ever in your life wanted a grand piano, now is the time!
Consider what you’ve got now and what you might in theory be willing to trade up to. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Start mulling over your choices now. Your practice instrument matters, and the more minutes and brainpower you devote to your practice, both daily and accumulated over the years, the more it matters. If you’re a serious student, your current practice instrument is either giving you the support you need, or it is limiting your growth.
Talk to us! We are very practical. We can’t tell you exactly what to buy but we can help you understand what is available locally, and help steer you towards quality instruments in your price range and risk tolerance.