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Willing to teach student who only has digital piano?

Posted: 23 Oct 2004, 10:19
by DunkinDonuts

I completed grade 8 about 10 years ago then stopped playing when I moved to the UK due to lack of access to a piano (I took up a more portable non-keyboard instrument just for a couple of years as temporary 'compensation').

I miss playing the piano as I found it liberating and relaxing. I am now financially in a position to afford one BUT I can't get an acoustic piano because of my living circumstances (am moving to a top floor, one-bedroom flat in N3, north London)- (a) it would disturb the neighbours and (b) not possible to get an accoustic piano up to the 2nd floor via the narrow staircase.

Looking at the FAQs page and link about digital pianos, I saw mention of 'silent pianos' (eg., however, I would still have a problem of how to get such a piano up the narrow staircase to my 2nd floor flat. Also, it seems to me that when in 'silent' mode (which is what I'd have to practice in most of the time), it would have the same quality limitations as an ordinary digital piano anyway. (so it's as much 'worse of both worlds' as being 'best of both worlds'!)

Therefore a digital piano is my only realistic option for the next 5 (?) years (other than the status quo of nothing at all). I am aware of digital pianos' sensitivity limitations during sampling which means it cannot fully replicate the experience of playing acoustic piano (though I have not yet had the chance to try one.... I'll do so before making any purchases, of course).

I can't really do anything about this limitation, because of my living circumstances, but it's been brought to my attention that this may mean I have difficulty finding a teacher who's willing to coach me back up to ABRSM grade 8 standard (and perhaps beyond) as they will require me to have an acoustic piano to practice on. That being the case, I don't know whether its worth me investing one or two thousand pounds in an 'inferior' or 'limiting' instrument in the first place (if I get one, I would be willing to spend on a top of the range one, e.g. Roland HP-103 or HP-107 )

Do you, as teachers or as students who've been in similar positions, have any advice for me? I would appreciate any advice.

Many thanks in advance.

Posted: 23 Oct 2004, 18:13
by Gill the Piano
A good teacher, whilst preferring to teach someone who has a proper piano, should be glad that someone is keen to play despite adverse conditions! And if you're in London I believe there are some places who rent out pianos in studio rooms for practising...I'm not sure how you'd find them, but perhaps Time Out might list some...? Sorry not to be more precise! You could always approach somewhere like the Guildhall School of Music or Trinity, both of which are London based and may know of these places. Good luck :) !


Posted: 26 Oct 2004, 15:07
by DunkinDonuts
I just wanted to thank Gill for your encouraging reply (in fact, the only reply I got :wink: ). I had come across room rentals before but it's not very cost effective, esp. considering the travel time involved. OK for the occasional practice to supplement regular practice on a more accessible piano (eg. personal one).

Posted: 26 Oct 2004, 17:26
by Gill the Piano
Another thought has occurred to me ( :shock: ); many churches have church halls with pianos (in various states of repair!) which they might be pleased to rent out for a small (with a bit of luck!) consideration. Worth a try... :)

Posted: 27 Oct 2004, 13:52
by DunkinDonuts
That's a clever idea! In fact the flat I'll be moving to is quite near a church. Not sure how willing they would be to rent it to non-congregation but can always give it a shot.

Posted: 22 Nov 2004, 19:36
by jazzman
Don't go for so much trouble. A digital Piano is a Digital PIANO. You don't need to worry about caffufling around for a 'proper' piano. If its heavy weighted on keys, and is pretty decent (yamaha CLP 150 or higher, or one of their new range CVP 3xx's).

I worked for Yamaha Digital Pianos and I teach Jazz so I'd like to think my reply has some value. Even if its a demi-semi-quavers worth?

thanks jazzman

Posted: 08 Jan 2005, 00:23
by DunkinDonuts
Sorry for the belated reply, Jazzman. And thanks for your comments. Anyway, I got in touch with my former piano teacher's daughter who is a professional piano performer overseas and she said I would do ok with a digital one. So that basically settles it for me! Now all I have to do is move into my new flat (still waiting to sign the contract to buy it), settle in and the buy the piano!