Creating Life-Long Passion One Skill At A Time
Piano is both a great instrument to learn in and of itself as well as a perfect second instrument to melodic instruments such as the violin and viola. Just as in violin and viola, I use the Suzuki method and repertoire to train the ear and develop technique. And, just as in violin and viola, I begin teaching music theory from the very first lesson. As piano is equally a melodic as well as harmonic instrument, those choosing to take piano are able to study harmony in both theory and practice at earlier stages of development than the violin or viola, which allows them to learn a second instrument, such as violin or viola, more easily and allows violinists/violists the opportunity to understand their own instruments better. Piano students are given opportunities and encouraged to accompany and perform with violin and viola students, a rare treat for piano-only and violin-only studio students.
An important consideration when choosing to study the piano is the subject of the instrument itself. If an instrument is of poor quality, the student stands to develop bad habits, will struggle to progress and runs the risks of developing physical problems, not to mention will balk at practicing (an already challenging task). Unlike the violin, the piano is not sized according to the student. However, pianos do come in different sizes and shapes, from spinets to grands and from cheap miniature keyboards to weighted key digital concert pianos. So, what do I suggest? Buy the best that you can afford for the space you have. A requirement, though, if purchasing a keyboard is that it MUST have weighted keys, otherwise performance on a regular piano (whether for lessons or performance) becomes an unnecessary obstacle and sets the student up for frustration. A requirement for renting or buying a piano is that the instrument is that the instrument is in good playing condition.