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#2153445 - 09/19/13 01:52 AM Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress?  
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Stevio55 Offline
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I'm interested...mostly to bolster my argument why I really NEED that Mason & Hamlin AA that I'm buying. smile

I've had so many people tell me that they do, as if it were fact, but I'm wondering if anyone has actually written on the subject.

Thanks!

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#2153477 - 09/19/13 03:39 AM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: Stevio55]  
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I do not have statistic for you, but I can tell you currently in my studio, 4 students has grand piano at home, 3 of them are very good students (top) and 1 is not.
Conclusion, I think attitude will drive you to practice more, instead of having a perfect instrument at home. I think.


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#2153602 - 09/19/13 09:26 AM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: Stevio55]  
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I think grand or not really doesn't affect a student's progress.

If you are already very dedicated, a grand piano can certainly amplify the dedication and practicing.

#2153611 - 09/19/13 09:38 AM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: Stevio55]  
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Sorry, I don't think it makes any difference. One of my hardest working students is the one with the 61- key keyboard I posted about in another thread. Some of my worst students are the rich kids with the huge grand pianos who barely practice. {shrugs}

#2153643 - 09/19/13 10:22 AM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: Stevio55]  
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Stevio55, I have read your post, here:

I'm interested...mostly to bolster my argument why I really NEED that Mason & Hamlin AA that I'm buying. smile

I've had so many people tell me that they do, as if it were fact, but I'm wondering if anyone has actually written on the subject.

Thanks!

________________________________________________


It is never the instrument. There is no doubt that a good instrument is important and helpful, but the reality is that it is drive and commitment and determination and allowing absolutely nothing to get in your way of reaching your goal no matter what roadblocks have been put in front of you - that make the difference.


Last edited by Michael_99; 09/19/13 10:24 AM.
#2153902 - 09/19/13 04:39 PM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: Stevio55]  
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In our case, I think a grand piano really gives my kids more satisfaction and makes the practice more enjoyable, and makes my listening to them more enjoyable. But I don't think they practice more. It probably does help them develop more nuanced playing, though.

But I think a grand piano is not as important as a student's will to learn, effective practice, a good teacher, a supportive family, a learning-oriented community, opportunities for public performance, etc, etc. It's a good thing to have, of course.

Any study on the effect of a grand piano will need to take into consideration all the other factors related to why one person has a grand piano and another doesn't. Socioeconomic status, a focus on music study, a focus on learning, a focus on developing a child's potential, other piano players in the house, etc., etc., could all be reasons why a parent buys a grand piano for a child. And these factors could all contribute to the outcome of a child's learning, and having a grand piano might just be incidental in some cases.

#2154078 - 09/19/13 10:19 PM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: Stevio55]  
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Originally Posted by Stevio55
I'm interested...mostly to bolster my argument why I really NEED that Mason & Hamlin AA that I'm buying. smile

I've had so many people tell me that they do, as if it were fact, but I'm wondering if anyone has actually written on the subject.

Thanks!
I don't have any statistics, perhaps one of the dealers in the Piano Forum has something? Or perhaps it hasn't been really studied that much.

I know that if I had a nice piano growing up, I would have practiced a lot more. Many times I would stomp away from our spinet in frustration. It was truly an awful instrument that was never in tune. Any chance I had to play a grand (and "any chance" means they didn't lock it up) I was on it.

Since I've been able to purchase nicer pianos as an adult, my progress had been much better and more consistent. Even nice uprights will still not respond as well as a nice grand, and it's that response that allows you to be more expressive. As long as you keep your piano in good repair, have it tuned regularly and keep it regulated, then you will be very happy with your purchase. No regrets!!


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#2154308 - 09/20/13 09:40 AM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: Stevio55]  
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Originally Posted by Stevio55
I'm interested...mostly to bolster my argument why I really NEED that Mason & Hamlin AA that I'm buying. smile

I've had so many people tell me that they do, as if it were fact, but I'm wondering if anyone has actually written on the subject.

Your thread topic should have read "Any statistics on how uprights/keyboards slow student progress."

So many people are used to using uprights and keyboards that they forget that the standard is the grand, and moving away from the grand is a compromise. Uprights can be excellent, but never quite make it to the standard of the grand. Keyboards are a very distant 3rd.

PS As a long time teacher, fully certified, I here-by grant you dispensation to purchase that Mason AA. Go for it.



"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#2154313 - 09/20/13 09:52 AM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: Stevio55]  
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When I was a student, I practiced on a tiny, old upright. I knew this kid who practiced on a baby grand. This kid was also much better than me. However, to be fair, he was better before he got the grand...

That said, if you physically have enough money for a grand, you should get it. Just think of all the starving piano teachers who can't afford one for themselves wink

#2154314 - 09/20/13 09:54 AM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
Your thread topic should have read "Any statistics on how uprights/keyboards slow student progress."



I offer my own suggestion for the proper thread topic, since we've opened the door to changing it.

"Any statistics on what slows student progress?"

And since I asked it, I might as well answer.

Lack of practice, 89%
Bad teaching, 10%
Lack of grand piano, 1%

By all means, if you can afford it buy a grand. I would, in a heartbeat, and piano isn't even my primary instrument.


gotta go practice
#2154344 - 09/20/13 10:42 AM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: TimR]  
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Originally Posted by TimR
I offer my own suggestion for the proper thread topic, since we've opened the door to changing it.

Lack of practice, 89%
Bad teaching, 10%
Lack of grand piano, 1%


My thoughts:

Lack of practice, 45%
Bad teaching, 45%
Lack of grand piano, 10%

Okay, I was just starting my morning coffee and my right brain wasn't fully engaged! Don't pick on us sleepy heads.

Last edited by John v.d.Brook; 09/20/13 01:35 PM. Reason: see above comments

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#2154346 - 09/20/13 10:50 AM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: Stevio55]  
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Can we change the top to "lack of proper practice"? And unfortunately, with a diligent student, "teaching" will impact "practice" " if that hasn't been guided (or misguided).

And I agree with John, because practising the wrong(ly) taught/ untaught thing can be a disaster.

#2154402 - 09/20/13 12:16 PM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Quote


My thoughts:

Lack of practice, 40%
Bad teaching, 40%
Lack of grand piano, 10%


So the another 10% is how good they are in math?

Nowadays everyone is trying to be politically correct and don't mention the student's natural talent (or the lack of it). That counts at least 10%, right?

#2154460 - 09/20/13 01:24 PM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: The Monkeys]  
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Originally Posted by The Monkeys
Quote


My thoughts:

Lack of practice, 40%
Bad teaching, 40%
Lack of grand piano, 10%


So the another 10% is how good they are in math?

Nowadays everyone is trying to be politically correct and don't mention the student's natural talent (or the lack of it). That counts at least 10%, right?


No, and not for "political correctness" (which is also NOT what questions of talent are about, when considering how to teach). What is being figured out is what can be done for maximum growth.

Supposing we take your "talent" factor. Student A has "huge talent". If he is taught properly, practices properly, and has a decent instrument, then he will advance faster than if any or all of these factors are absent: good teaching - good practising or practising period - good instrument. So you compare Student A to Student A. Not Student A against students B and C.

The same will be true of a student who has "little talent", who has a good ear but poor coordination, excellent coordination but something else is missing.

#2154674 - 09/20/13 06:33 PM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook

My thoughts:

Lack of practice, 45%
Bad teaching, 45%
Lack of grand piano, 10%

Okay, I was just starting my morning coffee and my right brain wasn't fully engaged! Don't pick on us sleepy heads.

But I agree.

The main thing that is necessary is student/teacher chemistry.

I can' teach without a student who wants to learn - and that means work.

The student is not going to get very far without me (or another good teacher).

And if the instrument we use for lessons has almost nothing to do with the hunk of junk at home, things are not going to work very well.


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#2154755 - 09/20/13 09:42 PM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: Stevio55]  
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Hi, along the same lines, any thoughts if a grand is recommended (or required) after a certain level of study or at a certain level of proficiency?

I have heard, for example, that talented students who don't have a grand to practice with are at a disadvantage when they start entering piano competitions, etc. If true, it implies that after a certain point a grand almost becomes a requirement.

I guess there are some repertoire which require a grand (e.g., requiring the una corda or sostenuto pedal, or very fast repeats of the same notes) -- but my question is more generic.

On the flip side, am I right to assume a student with a good upright will be fine even at the highest levels of RCM or ABRSM diploma levels?


Working on RCM Grade 8
#2154766 - 09/20/13 10:11 PM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: peekay]  
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Originally Posted by peekay
Hi, along the same lines, any thoughts if a grand is recommended (or required) after a certain level of study or at a certain level of proficiency?

I have heard, for example, that talented students who don't have a grand to practice with are at a disadvantage when they start entering piano competitions, etc. If true, it implies that after a certain point a grand almost becomes a requirement.

I guess there are some repertoire which require a grand (e.g., requiring the una corda or sostenuto pedal, or very fast repeats of the same notes) -- but my question is more generic.

On the flip side, am I right to assume a student with a good upright will be fine even at the highest levels of RCM or ABRSM diploma levels?
I think a student at any level should have as much piano as they can afford to have. Having a good grand as a beginner is very inspiring and having one as an intermediate or advanced pianist will reduce frustration and allow them to play to their maximum capability. Piano is hard enough, we don't need to throw up roadblocks for them.


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#2154929 - 09/21/13 09:16 AM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: peekay]  
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Just think of those Chinese kids who enter professional studies at the age of 10 or 12, I doubt many of them have grand pianos at home. It might be interesting to find out what piano Lang Lang practiced on when he was a kid. I think a better piano is always better and a child is blessed if his/her parents have the means to provide an instrument that best brings out the child's abilities. But I think it's far from "required".

#2155003 - 09/21/13 12:33 PM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: childofparadise2002]  
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Stevio55,

Get that piano! I got a grand for my daughter last year. Based on a sample size of 14 months, sampled almost daily, I would say she has improved 7.8%, with CI of +/- 7.6%. grin

Last edited by rlinkt; 09/21/13 12:34 PM.
#2158259 - 09/26/13 08:45 PM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: Stevio55]  
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My children's teacher had asked that we acquire a grand piano in order to maintain continuous progress.

As a parent, I have asked the off-topic question of how a grand may or may not help my children. If we have a good upright that claims to have good "long grand-like" keys, do we really need a grand piano?

This struggle went on for months until one of my children surprised us at a recital. Months before the recital, the teacher assigned a classical piece that required softer light touches conveying a pastoral scene of a peaceful village. Strangely, practice at home always sounded like an elephant trampling every hut in the village into splinters. My poor kids were trying but it was impossible to reconcile what I heard from our upright with the teacher's requirement! Being a non-player, all that I could do was to shake my head and kept my mouth shut.

On the day of our recital, my kid got on the grand piano and did a complete 180-degree. The piece was played with wonderful dynamics, soft touches and a flighty quality exactly as the teacher wanted. The elephant became a butterfly. My jaw dropped and my wife stared at me asking how the hack was that possible? Practice at home was two-hours a day six days a week and time spent at teacher's house was only forty-five minutes; how was it possible for a kid to change his playing overnight?

After an in-depth chat at home, we learned that he had adapted whatever was on the upright at home to the grand at the recital. While he practiced to the limit (touch and dynamics) of the upright, his head was keying on the quality required by his teacher. He said it would have been a lot easier if we had a grand but he made do as best he could.

So, we have learned to listen carefully to what our students (kids) are telling us and trying to understand the challenges they face when practicing. Kids often say very little and just live with limitations without knowing it is something worth discussing.

We think we can insist on getting by with our upright but we are now shopping for a grand.

#2158656 - 09/27/13 03:48 PM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: Caowner2013]  
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Bravo for you. Every one of my piano families, over the past 35 years, has been astounded at the change in their children's playing, once they made the leap.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#2158662 - 09/27/13 03:53 PM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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PS Don't make the same mistake twice. Buy quality over quantity, that is, a better, but smaller piano rather than a large one of cheaper quality. For a highly subjective, but insightful read, check out Ben Klinger's short book, Why We Play. Ben is a jazz pianist of very high caliber.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#2158800 - 09/27/13 08:45 PM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
... Every one of my piano families, over the past 35 years, has been astounded at the change in their children's playing, once they made the leap.


The thought of my husband being anything like 'astounded' leaves me speechless!



Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2158817 - 09/27/13 09:57 PM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: malkin]  
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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
... Every one of my piano families, over the past 35 years, has been astounded at the change in their children's playing, once they made the leap.


The thought of my husband being anything like 'astounded' leaves me speechless!

So, he's really mellow!


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#2159017 - 09/28/13 10:53 AM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: Stevio55]  
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The poor man has been listening to me butcher Stravinsky's Cinq Droigts all summer. If a grand would speed that process up, maybe he would actually be astounded (as well as relieved).


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2159025 - 09/28/13 11:01 AM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
PS Don't make the same mistake twice. Buy quality over quantity, that is, a better, but smaller piano rather than a large one of cheaper quality. For a highly subjective, but insightful read, check out Ben Klinger's short book, Why We Play. Ben is a jazz pianist of very high caliber.

John, does Ben Klinger discuss the attributes of various kinds of pianos, and choosing pianos, in this book?

#2159093 - 09/28/13 02:13 PM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
PS Don't make the same mistake twice. Buy quality over quantity, ... For a highly subjective, but insightful read, check out Ben Klinger's short book, Why We Play. Ben is a jazz pianist of very high caliber.


Thank you very much, a quick peek (Kindle) shows it to be a most interesting book! We are receiving it today.

To the teachers reading, some parents really could use concrete advice on WHY a grand is necessary and WHAT specific training and practice regime a grand will support and benefit. It needs to be objective and tied to real skill related data, so parents can clearly understand the requirements and make the right choices. A short 15-minute to 20-minute demonstration and lecture would help; given the parents are willing.

It would be horrible for a parent to refuse a grand upgrade based on lack of information; or for a parent to run off to purchase a grand based only on price. The wrong piano may not support the children's current level of play, let alone support their continuing growth.

We respect and love our teacher who has done a magical job with our children but that capability also means she is booked solid and has little time to EDUCATE parents like us. Our R&D jobs prepared us well in researching from scratch but other parents may not be so lucky.

All of you dedicated piano teachers are very very very lucky professionals! Not only can you play beautiful live music in your homes, you can actually make a living or extra income off a wonderfully rewarding skill. Better yet, you are spreading that love of music and the joy of playing a piano to children. We thank you all.


#2159123 - 09/28/13 03:06 PM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: Stevio55]  
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Originally Posted by Stevio55
I'm interested...mostly to bolster my argument why I really NEED that Mason & Hamlin AA that I'm buying. smile

I've had so many people tell me that they do, as if it were fact, but I'm wondering if anyone has actually written on the subject.

Thanks!


We are not pianists, but we can share our own experience at attempting to answer the question posed in the title: "...how grands help speed a student's progress?"

We have a supposedly very good upright (Fine's Performance Grade - High Quality). It actually sounds quite good until it is compared to a 6+ grand.

1. It lacks the dynamic range needed for my children to correctly express Beethoven's Moonlight and Chopin's Raindrop and several more demanding pieces. I can hear the difference. confused

2. It lacks a real Una Corda. We can hear this when my kids try to compensate.

3. General clarity is different than the teacher's grand. it has to sit 10-ft from the wall for better rendering but it cannot match a 6+ grand. Clearly audible too.

4. Its less responsive key-weight providing insufficient "depth" for them to fully meet the teacher's required expressiveness levels.

For a year, the kids adapted by keeping the tonal characteristics and feels of their teacher's grand in mind while practicing on our upright. My wife and I are still amazed that you pianists can do this. Unfortunately, this adaptation will eventually impede efficient progress. The operative word is "efficient".

In our shopping research, we have found the following:

1. Good grand provides near "bottomless" (my oldest's word) control in the key.
2. Good control supports various very soft and very loud playing requirements.
3. Good grand sound is clear and provides immediate feedback for adjustments.
4. Good grand provides a very wide range of clear tonal palette for expressiveness.
5. We played a well-known European piano and my children fell in love with the touch control. They claim that the piano sounded exactly what they wanted to express through their fingers; at their current level of skills.

Our upright can do only a narrow range of these and they had to work for the rest.

If you were to go try different grand pianos with prepared pieces, then all or some of the above can either be verified or refuted. That should help you argue for or against acquisition of the M&H grin.

Good luck!

#2159153 - 09/28/13 03:38 PM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: Caowner2013]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,327
malkin Offline
4000 Post Club Member
malkin  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,327
*sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted by Caowner2013
Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
PS Don't make the same mistake twice. Buy quality over quantity, ... For a highly subjective, but insightful read, check out Ben Klinger's short book, Why We Play. Ben is a jazz pianist of very high caliber.


Thank you very much, a quick peek (Kindle) shows it to be a most interesting book! We are receiving it today.
...


Me too. Borrow for free with Prime!!


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2159203 - 09/28/13 05:29 PM Re: Any statistucs how grands help speed a student's progress? [Re: keystring]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member
John v.d.Brook  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted by keystring
John, does Ben Klinger discuss the attributes of various kinds of pianos, and choosing pianos, in this book?

Not really. His purpose is different - it's to help buyers focus in on what's really important, tone quality, feel of the instrument, etc. Consider the difference between Audi, BMW and Mercedes. Spec wise, they are all very similar, but driving wise, a completely different experience. Ben is basically saying, don't buy the specs (or its corollary, don't buy the price) buy the instrument which allows you to make music and gives you pleasure.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
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