From time to time, I receive questions from prospective students and parents ... Here are a few of them:
How long a lesson should I have?
From personal experience, young children benefit most from a 30 minute lesson. Teenagers and adults find 45 and 60 minute lessons more advantageous.
How long will it take to learn to read music?
Learning to read music is very similar to learning to read text. It is a progressive process that can take many years to perfect. As is often the case, the more time you can commit to practice will accelerate your reading skills.
We don’t have a piano at the moment. Can I start learning on an electronic keyboard?
Certainly. Buying a piano can be a considerable expense, especially if you are just starting out and are unsure if it is right for you. Any good electronic keyboard with ‘touch sensitive keys’ will suffice in the early stages of learning. However, if you wish to continue onto Classical examinations it will be necessary to purchase a piano.
What is the difference between an electric and acoustic (real) piano?
Electronic Pianos which today are incredibly sophisticated can emulate the feel and sound of a real piano. Depending on the make and model it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the feel of playing an electronic or acoustic instrument. There are many benefits to purchasing an Electronic Piano (you may be short on space, want to avoid tuning costs or have concerns over noise and neighbours). However, in my opinion no Electronic instrument can fully capture the sound, feel and nuances of a real piano. I would always recommend my students to purchase an acoustic instrument if they possibly can.
Should I buy a piano advertised in my local paper?
This is a difficult one to answer. There are many pros and cons to buying an instrument when you do now know its history. Old pianos could have been stored in damp conditions or have broken internal parts which do not show up during a cosmetic inspection. If there are problems with the tuning block (lift the lid on a piano and you will see several metal pins with strings attached. The tuning block is behind the pins) you may never be able to tune the piano. I would always say, listen to the sound of the piano and ask lots of questions of the seller (e.g. where it has been stored, how old it is and how often it has been tuned). If in any doubt, walk away or contact a local piano tuner/technician for advice.
How much does it cost to have a piano tuned?
This really depends on the tuner. In my experience, tunings cost between 30 and 40 pounds. However, this will increase depending on the amount of work that needs to be done.
I have bought a piano … How can I get it moved?
If you are moving an upright piano, three strong adults can usually do the job providing you have a low backed van and lots of sheets to cover the piano with (to avoid damage). If you have any doubts whatsoever, I would recommend you contact a local removals company or furniture mover. Alternately, contact Piano Logistics by clicking here
I have bought an old piano. Can I get it tuned right away?
Personally, I would advise against this. A piano needs to settle for two to three weeks before it is tuned. As many of the internal components are made of wood, they need to become accustomed to their new environmental conditions. Tuning the piano before it has settled will decrease the amount of time it will stay in tune.
Can I learn how to tune a piano myself?
These days, there are many books available that claim to teach ‘how to tune a piano’. I personally leave that job to professionals as inexperience can lead to much frustration and ultimately you may do serious damage to your piano.