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Originally Posted by Music-mommy
When people ask me about pianos for young children, I tell them that if they want to wait to see if their child will like piano first, go buy a cheap keyboard from Costco, then in a year you can think about investing in a real or good digital piano. However you cannot compare piano to string instruments. For piano, the first things you learn is about the keys, about where your fingers go etc... You don't learn about creating good tone for years.
I think even beginning piano students do better with a good instrument to play on. An instrument with a good sound is going to much more motivating to practice on. I think even the youngest child needs to feel like a "real" musician. In my dream world (ha!) every child would start out playing on a nice baby grand. Even as an experienced musician, my music always sounds better on a nice piano or organ--I think the same holds true for kids. I"ve taught students on cheap keyboards and it's really challenging.

Also, I think that a beginning piano student does indeed have to worry about producing a good tone. I have to admit that my practical experience teaching piano is far less than my experience teaching organ (probably the one instrument where the student truly doesn't have to worry about producing good tone), but one of the things I do remember well from my piano pedagogy classes in college is the importance of teaching piano students right from the beginning how to produce a good sound on the instrument.

Just respectfully disagreeing...
 

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No, I don't think most piano students "need" a baby grand. When I made my comment about it, I was being a little bit facetious. It would be a wonderful dream world if all kids could play on one though, wouldn't it? I would say that if you can afford it and have the space, why not? Otherwise, perhaps trade for a new studio upright at some point. I would say if a student wants to pursue a career in music, a baby grand would be a great thing to have, but even then it's not a "necessity"--maybe at the college level? Unfortunately, the expense of baby grands means that most people will never be able to afford one. I'm not sure I'll ever have one.
 
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