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Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
#2881836 08/20/19 09:19 PM
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Hello,

I apologize if this was discussed previously.

Lack of progress from learning with their previous piano teacher, I brought my two kids to a new one earlier today. It was all good until the piano teacher asked what piano we have at home and I answered "a digital piano". Then he said he only teaches students practicing on a real piano, saying a student will never learn proper finger techniques with any kind of electric piano and judges in any competitions will see right through. I should have read his studio policy but I was shocked that this teacher was so certain about this. The previous teacher (a professional pianist with a master's degree from UMKC) himself practices on a digital at home so he didn't have any issues with us using a digital.

I play piano as well (just not good, gentle, patient enough to teach my own kids grin) and I am really having a hard time believing a $250 (sometimes even free) acoustic piano from Craig's list is going to be better than a $1500 digital (to be fair he didn't say this, this is me imaging the possibilities just to comply with his policy) to develop good skills.

BTW, I offered to bring my yamaha P-515 to next lesson so he can take a look but he didn't think it is necessary.

I am not stupid either to think that my Yamaha P-515 is going to replace a real, properly maintained acoustic grand that's worth 15 grand or more but I am just not sure if it is really worth the investment at this point to get an acoustic with equal or better key action while I am still not certain this new teacher will be a good teacher for my kids.

So my question is: When (or at what level) should I introduce a real (and good) piano so my kids can develop right skills?

My goal for them is not to win competitions but to develop enough skills so they can be independent enough when they grow up to enjoy learning new pieces (basically like me) and good music.

Thanks in advance for answering.....

Re: Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
MeM #2881837 08/20/19 09:29 PM
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Based on your last statement ... there's no need to ever get an acoustic piano. A good digital is adequate for your stated requirements. And the P515 is an exceptionally good choice for the money.

Keep that piano.

And dump that teacher. You need not be guided by a snob's dictates.

Re: Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
MeM #2881854 08/20/19 10:48 PM
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I agree with Mac3.

I have a Roland digital (F140-R) and don’t have any trouble playing (at the same level) on the Yamaha and Kawai uprights when I have lessons.

I suppose always playing on a Concert Grand would be nice but let’s be realistic.

You need a touch-sensitive keyboard for sure with the full 88 keys but don’t worry beyond that unless your children become really advanced.


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Re: Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
MeM #2881860 08/20/19 11:31 PM
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I also agree with everything that Mac said.


Yamaha N1X, P-515.
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Re: Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
JJHLH #2881885 08/21/19 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by JJHLH
I also agree with everything that Mac said.

And me.


Roland LX706

South Wales, UK
Re: Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
Colin Miles #2881930 08/21/19 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Originally Posted by JJHLH
I also agree with everything that Mac said.

And me.

me three.

You don't need an acoustic snob. There are benefits of acoustic pianos over digitals and if your kids keep it up, some day they might need those benefits. But not when you don't even know if they can make progress in their piano lessons. Absurd.

Here is what a person with a doctorate in piano performance has to say about this question:



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across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
MeM #2881931 08/21/19 06:36 AM
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What a snobbish teacher! Geez...


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
MeM #2881938 08/21/19 06:55 AM
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Evgeni Bozhanov who is a prize winner at various international competitions, including:
Quote
2008 Sviatoslav Richter IPC, Moscow, Russia - 2nd prize (1st void).
2009 Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Fort Worth (Texas), USA - finalist.
2010 Queen Elisabeth Music Competition, Brussels, Belgium - 2nd prize.
2010 International Chopin Piano Competition, Warsaw, Poland - 4th prize


practices on a Clavinova. There's even a video from Van Cliburn competition where Evgeni is shown practicing on a Clavinova in his room.

You basically have two options:
1. Purchase an acoustic piano and hope that your kids will get inspired enough to keep on playing it, as well as coping with a teacher that would apparently be assessing if they are worthy enough for his competition winning preparation.
2. Change the teacher


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
MeM #2881972 08/21/19 08:28 AM
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Internet and technology changed everything, so today you have many options. One of them is to allow your kids to enjoy playing the piano, which often means buying an acoustic piano, because the sound is so pleasant (unless the acoustic piano is in a bad state...), no question about it. So the teacher in that case might be right. But if that teacher is a snob, and he is not up to date with the newest digital VST, than it's better to learn via internet, where is plenty of free lessons, kids can watch them and rewatch them. A good teacher can be very good and stimulating, but the kids need to enjoy the piano experience, with a good sound, not with a cold plink plonk. So, one option is to buy an acoustic piano, and if you buy an upright you can improve it simply removing all the wood panels (the one above the keys, and the one in front of your legs, then move the piano away from the wall), this way the piano will sound like a grand piano, and kids will enjoy it so much! If you can't use an acoustic piano at home, (because of neighbours etc) the kids can enjoy the the P 515 if you connect it to a good VST (Ni Noire, Garritan, or Ravenscroft 275). That's my advice, teacher or not teacher, enjoying the piano is a priority. Many kids give up playing because they don't enjoy it (bad teacher or bad piano). The kids might abandon the studying for whatever reason, but if they have a great memory about the sound experience, sooner or later they will start studying and practicing again.

Re: Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
MeM #2881977 08/21/19 08:39 AM
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NI Noire is the best I've tried so far. I already own a lot of VST's (this is a real cash grabber)
I still have to try ProductionVoices and the new VSL Synchron Full package.
It was good as soon as I picked the SL88 Velocity curve.

Last edited by nicknameTaken; 08/21/19 08:39 AM.
Re: Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
MeM #2881993 08/21/19 09:25 AM
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The teacher is kinda silly to introduce that policy of "acoustics only" and to assume that every child wants to be in a competition. You can definitely begin to learn on a digital some aspects of piano playing but you are potentially affecting your child's ability to develop a good touch and sensitivity. So in that regards the teacher is right. My teacher who has a doctorate who still performs around the world with some of the best classical musicians around the world learns notes on a digital but polishes her pieces on an acoustic at the school I attend. She told me it doesn't matter if it's a $500 digital piano or a $10,000 digital piano they are still limited as digital instruments and always recommends an acoustic especially at the early learning stages to develop appropriate touch.


Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Chopin: G Minor Ballade
Schumann/Liszt Widmung

Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
MeM #2881998 08/21/19 09:31 AM
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But then again you could begin your child on a VPC-1 and Pianoteq just to give them a fighting chance... laugh


Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Chopin: G Minor Ballade
Schumann/Liszt Widmung

Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
Jethro #2881999 08/21/19 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Jethro
She told me it doesn't matter if it's a $500 digital piano or a $10,000 digital piano they are still limited as digital instruments and always recommends an acoustic especially at the early learning stages to develop appropriate touch.

Except that a $10,000 digital has a real acoustical piano action and the same "touch" as an acoustical piano (at least when using a modelled VST as Pianoteq). A N1X w/ Pianoteq won't sound the same as an acoustical piano, obviously, but that isn't what your teacher is addressing.


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
MeM #2882005 08/21/19 09:41 AM
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Seriously though a digital piano is a good way to see if they are interested but don't wait too long to switch to an acoustic. It doesn't matter if it's a digital or acoustic some people stop playing after many years even if they are quite good. Can't imagine why but I've seen it happen. I know one acquaintance who got her BA in piano performance at The Juliard School only to use that degree to get into medical school. She has now chosen tennis over piano and doesn't play a lick anymore.


Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Chopin: G Minor Ballade
Schumann/Liszt Widmung

Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
Tyrone Slothrop #2882007 08/21/19 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Jethro
She told me it doesn't matter if it's a $500 digital piano or a $10,000 digital piano they are still limited as digital instruments and always recommends an acoustic especially at the early learning stages to develop appropriate touch.

Except that a $10,000 digital has a real acoustical piano action and the same "touch" as an acoustical piano (at least when using a modelled VST as Pianoteq). A N1X w/ Pianoteq won't sound the same as an acoustical piano, obviously, but that isn't what your teacher is addressing.

Yes hybrids are a good choice now assuming they have a full acoustical option.

Last edited by Jethro; 08/21/19 09:44 AM.

Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Chopin: G Minor Ballade
Schumann/Liszt Widmung

Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
MeM #2882033 08/21/19 11:11 AM
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NU1X N1X, NV5 NV10
or even K300/K500 Aures
All of those hybrid DP, can shut someone up:)


CA98~~RME ADI2 DAC
VSL CFX&D274&Bluthner1895, Ivory2 ACD, Galaxy VintageD&StD, Bechstein DG, Embertone 1955Walker
Re: Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
robinlb #2882050 08/21/19 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by robinlb
NU1X N1X, NV5 NV10
or even K300/K500 Aures
All of those hybrid DP, can shut someone up:)

Yes those hybrids are nice. There really is no reason to have this perception of an acoustic versus DP camp. We're all trying to be better pianists here. There is a place for both. I don't think this teacher is being a snob either but wants whats best for his students.

Last edited by Jethro; 08/21/19 12:14 PM.

Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Chopin: G Minor Ballade
Schumann/Liszt Widmung

Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
MeM #2882056 08/21/19 12:21 PM
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Well; we all know that acoustic actions vary greatly. They're not all great for developing touch. Some aren't great or even good, for playing sound.
How long d'ya think it'd take to develop a decent touch on a decent uptight, having played all your life on a semidecent or better, digital? 10 minutes? 20?


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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Re: Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
peterws #2882058 08/21/19 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by peterws
Well; we all know that acoustic actions vary greatly. They're not all great for developing touch. Some aren't great or even good, for playing sound.
How long d'ya think it'd take to develop a decent touch on a decent uptight, having played all your life on a semidecent or better, digital? 10 minutes? 20?


Acoustic actions do vary widely. In a perfect world we are learning on as many different acoustical actions as possible to develop finer motor control, but that all depends if the acoustic (even a bad one) is responding as a piano should. As long as it's not completely broken you are developing the proper touch even with a terrible sounding acoustic. Digital pianos as much as they are improving are not there yet. If you are learning how to play the "piano" play a piano. Get a cheap one or a free one that someone is not using anymore, no reason to be snobbish about it- it doesn't have to be expensive, but eventually it's good idea to practice and develop on an actual acoustic. The problem with DP's is that as perfect as they may sound to some they are consistently playing slightly wrong every single time and with every single note. So you develop a technique and touch suited for that. That's fine if all you want to ever do is play on DP, but not good if you decide to change to an acoustic later.

Last edited by Jethro; 08/21/19 12:41 PM.

Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Chopin: G Minor Ballade
Schumann/Liszt Widmung

Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Time to introduce acoustic piano for piano learner
Jethro #2882069 08/21/19 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by peterws
Well; we all know that acoustic actions vary greatly. They're not all great for developing touch. Some aren't great or even good, for playing sound.
How long d'ya think it'd take to develop a decent touch on a decent uptight, having played all your life on a semidecent or better, digital? 10 minutes? 20?


Acoustic actions do vary widely. In a perfect world we are learning on as many different acoustical actions as possible to develop finer motor control, but that all depends if the acoustic (even a bad one) is responding as a piano should. As long as it's not completely broken you are developing the proper touch even with a terrible sounding acoustic. Digital pianos as much as they are improving are not there yet. If you are learning how to play the "piano" play a piano. Get a cheap one or a free one that someone is not using anymore, no reason to be snobbish about it- it doesn't have to be expensive, but eventually it's good idea to practice and develop on an actual acoustic. The problem with DP's is that as perfect as they may sound to some they are consistently playing slightly wrong every single time and with every single note. So you develop a technique and touch suited for that. That's fine if all you want to ever do is play on DP, but not good if you decide to change to an acoustic later.


I find it difficult to believe the feel of an acoustic cannot be replicated to a better degree with a decent digital than with an acoustic hack. Playing one of those would teach nobody anything, imo. I'd rather not play at all. But unfortunately I had to years ago in the pubs etc . . . when I played anything semi decent, (for a change!) it was like you were in heaven . . .

Some digitals feel bad simply because the sound engine doesn't connect with the keyboard the way it should; the velocity curve isn't optimised. Maybe that's most all there is to it . .


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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