Nearly anyone who has considered taking piano lessons for himself or who has considered enrolling her children in lessons has asked the prospective teacher, “What piano should I buy?” It’s an excellent question, because new acoustic pianos can be very expensive: an average Baldwin upright (below) can go for around $7,500; a Steinway Model D (pictured at left) can set you back nearly $150,000. Needless to say, most parents are wary of investing several thousand dollars in an instrument if they believe their child might not stick with the lessons.
The likelihood of a student focusing on lessons is one of the points Dr. John M. Zeigler raises in his article, “Top Ten Considerations In Giving the Family a Piano.” Rather than address the question of which piano to buy (the subject of another Zeigler article), he instead addresses some practical considerations one should ponder before the purchase.
Dr. Zeigler’s first point is sobering in its intensity: do your children actually have the time to learn the piano? It won’t do much good to buy a quality instrument if the children are so involved in other extracurricular activities that they don’t have the time to devote to serious study, or if the parents don’t have time to be involved with practice. And why bother with learning if one cannot be serious about it?
Other issues worth contemplating include:
- Acoustic piano or electric keyboard? (Remember, you may have to buy an amp, stand, and seat with the keyboard.)
- Is there enough space for a piano?
- Are you prepared for the ongoing costs of an acoustic piano (tuning, regulating, etc.)
- Should I learn the piano at home?
Investing in any musical instrument of quality should never be a hasty decision. If you’re thinking about buying a piano, I highly recommend reading this article several times. If you know someone who is considering a purchase, send this article to him or her. In any case, do your homework, but remember – the real fun begins after the purchase.