question about a begining student : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

My dad works with a guy who has three daughters and he wants me to start teaching the piano to one of his girls. However, they do not have a piano and they are working on getting a keyboard. Is this a good idea to get a student started on? Are there any disadvantages of having a student learn on an electric keyboard instead of a piano? Should I stay away from the keyboard and encourage them to look into a piano? Any advice would be great!

Nichelle Bailey

-- Nichelle Bailey (, April 09, 2004


It depends on how badly you need students. I have several students who have begun on keyboards. Two of them have eventually purchased a piano. More of them have not. They often have less committment in the first place.

I would encourage them to buy a piano. If finances are stopping them, I tell them their child can last a year on a keyboard. I notice children on a keyboard often don't have the wrist and finger strength that they should. I explain that you cannot achieve the same dynamic control on a keyboard, and will miss the prime motivation to practice: the resulting sound. You may be missing notes too. And the pedal is not the same.

In any case, you will have to be sure about setting the same guidelines for your dad's workmate's kids as your other students. I got one student from my dad! yeah dad!

-- Anita (, April 20, 2004.

I would first explain the parents all the differences between a piano and an electrical keyboard: quality of sound, development of technique and finger strength, range (quantity of keys), pedalization, etc. and explain them that if they really want their child to learn how to play the piano, the child is gonna need a piano. But, I would also suggest to be quite careful with this, there could be some financial obstacles and some other factors to be considered: pianos are way "noiser" that keyboards, are the parents willing to deal with all that "noise"?; some people will be more worried about all the space that a piano will need "where are we gonna put that thing?", etc , etc So, just explain them all the advantages and disadvantages of a piano and a keyboardand let them decide whether or not buy one or another. Just don't push too much that they rather look for guitar lessons.

-- luis gaytan (, May 14, 2004.

Keyboard? No. But a digital piano or keyboard with 88 weighted, touch-sensitive keys and a pedal would probably be fine. "Weighted" means the keys feel more like a piano than an organ, and "touch- sensitive" means you can do soft, loud, crescendo etc. Be sure it's set up well, with proper bench height! The headphones, recording capability and sounds of different instruments are really fun for kids. But you can't play Chopin or Debussy on a digital piano.

-- anon (, May 18, 2004.

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