At the age of five, my parents started me on piano lessons, and bought me my first piano. I may not have stayed with piano for long (I switched to cello, bass, and other stringed instruments after that… and then percussion, also trombone…) but as you can see, that strong introduction to music opened my world up to so many musical possibilities.
When choosing our first piano, my parents must have worked with someone who knew what they were talking about, like Knauer Pianos sales associate Cody Volk. I asked him about what people should be looking for when shopping for their first piano, and he had some brilliant insights that I would like to share with you.
- If you are leaning towards a Digital Keyboard, pay attention to the keys. First of all, there should be 88 of them – this will allow you to play full-range piano repertoire (as you should). The keys, whether plastic or wooden, should also be weighted, like an acoustic piano, so that you will develop the proper hand and finger strength and technique.
- You may be thinking of starting with an upright piano. Upright pianos all have the same width – 57 to 58 inches. They are typically placed up against a wall, so try to reserve about 60” of wall space. The variance is in the height. The taller the upright piano, the longer the strings and soundboard, and the better the sound. Also, upright pianos can come in lots of different colors, styles, and finishes, so consider what would look best in the room it will live in.
- Maybe you want to go for it and get a baby grand piano. From the edge of the keys to the opposite edge of the piano, the length can be between 4’7” and 5’5”. The same rule of size applies – the longer the piano, the longer the strings and soundboard, and the better the sound. The feel of the keys (the “action”) differs slightly from an upright piano, so keep that in mind knowing that concerts and recitals are usually performed on baby grand pianos.
- Keep in mind that when you get a piano, you’ll need it moved, tuned, maintained, and you’ll need a bench. This can be overwhelming, but my friend Cody makes sure you’re not the one to worry about all that. At Knauer, you’ll get a warranty and a matching bench of course, we take care of delivery, and your first tuning is on us. Cody makes buying your first piano easier than adopting your first pet.
- How does music fit into your life? When you take home a piano, you’re inviting music into your home for as long as that piano lives there. So while children’s interests may come and go, if there’s a piano to come home to, music will always be a part of your family.
I cannot thank my parents enough for starting me so early on my musical journey, and making it possible by keeping a piano in the house. It made music a part of our family even more than it already was. And I know that my Great Grandmother, a piano teacher herself, would have been very happy to know that my parents fostered my musical education so well, which now that I think of it, probably all started with her. Thanks Meemom!
And many, many thanks to Cody, for his sage piano shopping wisdom!
by Halley Feaster