Beginners Guide – Piano

What You Will Need

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IMG_2188Piano – I recommend that students purchase their own instrument. I feel that the student will be more committed if the student invests in an instrument right away. The student will also be more motivated to enjoy and protect the personally owned instrument. Digital pianos are great but Keyboards are only acceptable for the very beginner and only if there is a plan to purchase a piano in the very near future. You will often find pianos available on Craigslist, Facebook, or the Newspaper.

The main difference in a digital piano, versus a keyboard, is something called hammer action or weighted keys. This allows you to adjust the volume by pressing harder or softer on the keys. Of course an acoustic piano is the simple answer!

Music Books – I will order your first set of music books for you. I pick out specific books based on the needs/interest of each student. Books may include Piano Adventures, David Carr Glover, and Alfred’s. Having a music dictionary on hand is very helpful during practice at home. The Essential Dictionary of Music, by L.C. Harnsberger is a great dictionary.

Accessories – There are a few items that will help create an organized and successful practice experience. I recommend getting a decent metronome to help with learning rhythm and keeping a steady tempo. I also encourage students to have a nice music bag so they can keep all their books together and easily transport them to lessons.

For Small Children
If the students feet do not quite reach the floor, it may be uncomfortable for them to sit at the piano properly. Use a footstool to enable them to keep their feet flat on the floor. Provide a pillow or large book for them to sit on to bring their elbows up to the height of the piano keys. We want them to be as comfortable as possible, while encouraging them to establish good posture habits.

Instrument Maintenance
The piano is a very valuable instrument that requires special attention in order to keep it in its best working condition. The importance of instrument maintenance must be made clear to the student from the very start.

Storage:
Keep piano against an inside wall in your house (Outside walls vary in temperature).
Never set any liquid on or near your piano (No vases of flowers, etc).
Tuning:
Hire a professional piano tuner to tune and repair your piano annually.
Cleaning:
Dust instrument with a dry cloth regularly.