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Minimum size instrument for beginner


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#16 Norway

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 10:31

My music hub won't loan/hire out keyboards because of electrical safety issues. I'm not sure if this applies to private teachers but you might want to check that out.


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#17 zwhe

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 10:39

Have a sheet with details of the condition and get them to sign it and pay a deposit?

I've advised a few parents to get the cheapest one they possibly can (you can find them for very little second hand, sometimes even free!) and start saving for a decent piano. If the child doesn't continue lessons, they can then use the money for their next hobby.


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#18 jenny

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 11:04

 

 

 

I think, having seen the difference in a youngster who has moved from a basic non-touch sensitive keyboard to a weighted digital piano, the difference is immense.

 

Same here. I teach 2 sisters who only had a keyboard at the start, but now have a digital piano and progress has really taken off! So much so that they're now moving to longer lessons. 

 

 

 

It so much depends on the family and situation.  When I have insisted on a proper piano, I was lucky to get students.  Being more flexible. that is curcial.  But how do  you justify and accommodate those who want cut price lessons, and cut price terms an conditions.

 

 

The mother of the two sisters I mentioned searched around online and at local music shops and found a real bargain. I find that most parents are willing to pay a few hundred pounds for a digital piano, which seem to be cheaper now than ever, especially if, like this mum, they hunt around. I think hers was an ex-demonstration piano in a local music shop.  


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#19 wendym

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 06:08

I always suggest hiring a keyboard to start off - very often the children end up with a much better quality keyboard for less monthly outlay than buying upfront - plus parents seem very happy with the option of just ‘giving it back to the shop’ if said child loses interest. My local music shop also has a scheme where if you hire an instrument for 6 months, and then decide to buy it, you get all the rental money you’ve paid taken off the purchase price, so it’s a win-win situation when said child turns out to be a prodigy...

Oh and I’d stay well away from roll up keyboards - a student of mine had one of those - gifted to her by a well-meaning family member - but you could never play two notes together - so it was fine to start with but I tend to get mine experimenting with hands together from very early on!
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#20 stream26

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 09:25

We bundle a 4 octave keyboard with our piano music video game system (Piano Wizard Testimonials) and suggest using it as a practice keyboard, i.e., learn on it, and find a better piano to perform and show off on. Our 100 song 2 year curriculum is actually arranged to fit into a 3 octave range (F to F) and it includes arrangements of Beethoven's Fifth and Eine Kliene Nachtmusik by Mozart and other classics. We like this 4 octave size because the keyboards are USB powered and easy to remove and replace in front of the notebook so it can be used for other things without a major disruption or reorganization. That said, the game will work with any size keyboard, and I have a weighted 88 key Yamaha upright that I use with it as well,  but I bring my laptop to it rather than it to the desktop.

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#21 Misterioso

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 10:26

I always suggest hiring a keyboard to start off - very often the children end up with a much better quality keyboard for less monthly outlay than buying upfront - plus parents seem very happy with the option of just ‘giving it back to the shop’ if said child loses interest. My local music shop also has a scheme where if you hire an instrument for 6 months, and then decide to buy it, you get all the rental money you’ve paid taken off the purchase price, so it’s a win-win situation when said child turns out to be a prodigy...

Oh and I’d stay well away from roll up keyboards - a student of mine had one of those - gifted to her by a well-meaning family member - but you could never play two notes together - so it was fine to start with but I tend to get mine experimenting with hands together from very early on!

 

A good idea to hire at the beginning. I suppose, though, that that would be dependent upon having a music shop within reasonable distance. Sadly, we are not in that position (unless I bought one myself and then hired it out). However, it seems the family in question will buy one.

 

Thanks for the info about the roll up keyboards. I had wondered about the issue of playing two notes together. Idea abandoned!


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#22 Aquarelle

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 13:18

 

 

Well said Latin pianist.  However, I did have one student get through a grade 2 piano with distinction, with the aid of a small children's toy.  That put me in my place somewhat.  However, standard sized keys, touch sensitive keys, and ideally a room big enough for a grand piano, backing orchestra and possibly a choir are my ideal.  Realistically, it's just me, a digital (I cannot wait for howls of disapproval from the purists), and a now defunct CD player.

Ditto - yes even my CD player is begging for retirement. Actually I do have 2 digitals - a jolly good Roland and a stage piano I cart around for classroom lessons. And I've lent out a couple of  small keyboards for some beginners whose parents are "not sure if he'll like it."  

 

 

That might be a possibility. I have a loan / hire violin for people to try, so I could maybe do the same with a keyboard. But do you find, Aquarelle, that they come back to you in a similar state to that in which they went out?

 

Until this year, yes. This year one came back with two notes no longer playing but mother had told me about this when it happened. i do know that this is a family where discipline is not very high on the list but on the other hand this was an elderly keyboard. If I were lending out a newish keyboard i think I might have to ask for a deposit of make some sort of agreement for replacement if it got damaged. But I imagine this would be impossible to enforce. It would really only encourage the borrower to take care.


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#23 Iulia

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Posted 30 September 2019 - 12:27

I can only comment about where I live and work - good or bad, most kids do multiple extra-curricular activities. Maybe too many imo but there you are. Plus many of them have extra tutoring.

Parents have all different reasons for getting instrumental lessons for their kids, and I can understand the reluctance to spend a lot of money on an instrument with no idea if its going to be one of the many things they try and lose interest in.

I have no problem starting a kid, esp a young one, on a basic keyboard, though I do explain to the parents they will need to upgrade in a few months.

That said though (and again this may be completely different in other countries) its very easy to get a second hand keyboard less than £100 round here on ebay or gumtree or something, so I personally wouldn't start them without that at least. If the parents can't or won't commit £50 and a few hours on ebay well ...

Just as an aside - one of my most promising pupils started with, and because, a friend of the family gave them a pretty bad keyboard they found for a fiver in a charity shop. The kid started mucking around with it, and the parents thought getting lessons might be a nice idea. Six months later she is coming up to prep test level, and the parents are looking for a suitable digital. I suspect if I'd insisted on that from the start they would have probably not bothered with lessons.

That said my heart does do a happy dance when I arrive at the house and a nice instrument is there :lol:


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