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.