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#1176118 - 04/07/09 01:37 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: molto_agitato]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
Originally Posted By: molto_agitato
Hello everyone, I'm an adult beginner who has been taking lessons for about 20 months. Since I began lessons, I have practiced on only a digital keyboard and the only times I have played on an acoustic are during my lessons. I want to buy an acoustic piano in the near future, but I have one concern. I'm worried that having practiced solely on a digital will irreparably impair my ability to develop skills that are best learned on an acoustic. That is, I'm worried I won't be able to adapt to an acoustic. I'm curious about experiences teachers have had with students who started on digitals and later switched to acoustics.


Don't give it a second thought. As soon as you get the acoustic you will quickly adapt to playing an acoustic. No damage will have been done.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1176123 - 04/07/09 01:47 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Chris H.]
jwcolby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/09
Posts: 27
Loc: NC, USA
Chris,

And that is my point exactly. No one starts out a master pianist. First you have to learn to read music. To get your fingers to move together, to get your mind to interpret the notes on the page and translate them into the correct fingers moving.

All that "feel of the nuances of the string vibrating through the fingers and the pedal" is just pure intellectual snobbery until you get to the point where that may matter. And probably about 1% of all students ever get there. Most just learn to play enough to enjoy themselves, which is PERFECTLY OK.

If and when you make a decision to become a truly good pianist, THEN it almost certainly will make a difference.

In the meantime I don't hear any of the teachers saying that they have to start back at sight reading when they get an accomplished student that learned on a DP because the DP just "ruined them".

Even John hung an anvil around the ankle of one of his students and tossed him overboard. I am still flabbergasted about that one! wink
_________________________
John W. Colby
www.ColbyConsulting.com

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#1176139 - 04/07/09 02:18 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: kennychaffin
John (Brook), I don't think he (John C) pointed out any specific teacher other than you and you and I have been through all that already.

Nor does he need to delineate a list of teachers. There have been numerous postings in this thread by you and others denigrating and demeaning both digital pianos and those who use them. That's fine, it's your opinion, you're free to express it as am I, as is John Colby.

As I said in one my previous posts, we should stick to the O.P. question at hand and drop the judgments. Maybe just Yes/No answers. smile

Should you want to continue this discussion, I'm still looking for you to detail the limitations you believe students are placing on themselves by using a digital piano. Of course email or PM might be more appropriate than continuing to pollute this thread.





It is spurious, if not down right deceitful, to accuse teachers of something, when in PLAIN ENGLISH, they have stated to the contrary.

Kenny, you and I differed over two issues, as I recall - calling a non-piano a piano, and I'm the old fashioned one on that account, and whether a student could learn better on a piano than on a non-piano. I contend that they do, based on over 30 years of teaching students who had both type of learning instruments. Opinion is all well and fine, but I have experience to back up my opinion.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1176143 - 04/07/09 02:23 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: jwcolby]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: jwcolby

Even John hung an anvil around the ankle of one of his students and tossed him overboard. I am still flabbergasted about that one! wink


You should be. I never said anything of the sort. Perhaps you would you be so kind as to back up that accusation with a quote?


_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1176145 - 04/07/09 02:29 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: jwcolby]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: jwcolby
All that "feel of the nuances of the string vibrating through the fingers and the pedal" is just pure intellectual snobbery until you get to the point where that may matter.


Some of us teach listening to the sound and the feel of the instrument and keys from the very first lesson. You should be so lucky as to find such a teacher.

And snobbery has nothing to do with it -- it's one of the main drivers which differentiates pianists who "sound good" from those who do not.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1176152 - 04/07/09 02:43 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
jwcolby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/09
Posts: 27
Loc: NC, USA
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: jwcolby

Even John hung an anvil around the ankle of one of his students and tossed him overboard. I am still flabbergasted about that one! wink


You should be. I never said anything of the sort. Perhaps you would you be so kind as to back up that accusation with a quote?




LOL, you should learn to read english as well as you read music. I already did. Third post in this thread. You said...

Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
My question would be: why strap an anvil around your ankles when learning to swim?


And then...

Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
The OP asked:
Quote:
How many of your students have only a DP?


I didn't answer, but the answer is 1. It's mine and it's a loaner because the student couldn't afford anything other than lessons.


So.... to quote YOU...

A DP is "like an anvil around your ankle" and you loaned one to your student.

I will admit the "threw him overboard" is an embellishment. But a good one you have to admit. wink For the record I was not accusing you of offing one of your students. eek

C'mon John, it is your attitude, not mine.
_________________________
John W. Colby
www.ColbyConsulting.com

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#1176158 - 04/07/09 03:03 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: jwcolby]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Something strange is going on here. Several posts which didn't download suddenly downloaded, adding posts between what I received. Is anyone else having this problem? Thus, I didn't receive John C's initial reply.

John C, I believe you're taking an analogy out of context. My point, which I think is quite clear, is that you should get the best instrument you can afford. Of course, as a piano teacher, I firmly believe a piano is the better choice, all other things being equal, which they seldom are.

I haven't denigrated the electronic keyboard, rather simply believe that it has it's place.

For the record, in the summer of 2005, I spent an entire day at a training seminar put on by Roland. We played all of their instruments. Now, admittedly, that experience is four years out of date, but not one of the instruments we played came as close to the touch and feel of a piano as I would like for my students.

I see that Roland now has for sale a $27,000 "grand." I may have the opportunity to try it later this week, and I'll report back the progress made by the electronics community.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1176172 - 04/07/09 03:26 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Something strange happened to me.....

I get things forwarded from the topics I'm interested in my email box and I can quickly read the new postings and keep up with a topic without being on the forum. The "watch" choice.

Darn, if something posted several days ago, and which I responded to, popped up to be read as a new incoming mail. The source of it is buried in the topic and many more new postings have been made since that.

It must be "burping"!

Betty

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#1176174 - 04/07/09 03:27 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
jwcolby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/09
Posts: 27
Loc: NC, USA
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: jwcolby
All that "feel of the nuances of the string vibrating through the fingers and the pedal" is just pure intellectual snobbery until you get to the point where that may matter.


Some of us teach listening to the sound and the feel of the instrument and keys from the very first lesson. You should be so lucky as to find such a teacher.

And snobbery has nothing to do with it -- it's one of the main drivers which differentiates pianists who "sound good" from those who do not.


I should be so lucky as to find a teacher that cared that I (or my children) could take a lesson at all, and didn't really care that I didn't live in the Hamptons.

It is snobbery John. Sorry, it is!

You would not believe the comments I am getting off line from people saying "thanks for saying what I feel", and "my social security only goes so far".

Sorry John, snobbery is what it is. If you don't want to be "accused" of it, don't practice it. Or at least don't be so blatant with it.

I only discuss what I hear. And what I hear from you is that everyone YOU KNOW could afford a "real piano" if they wanted to. Snobbery, and not just the intellectual kind either. I sense that you consider yourself a nice guy John, and I believe you are, and that you care about what you do. Try to sound like one.

I am impressed by your giving lessons to a kid without the funds to buy a piano. I would be even more impressed if you told me you did so routinely. I am impressed by the fact that you loaned him a DP. I am not impressed by the fact that you consider the DP an anvil around his ankle.

I am not impressed by your "high fees" John, nor the parents dropping off the kids in 60K automobiles. I also earn "high fees", but I used them to adopt two children three years ago, NOT buy a Steinway, and I drive a 2004 Chevy van (perfect for two young children). It is a little sad that my children won't have you teaching them about "the sound and feel of the instrument and the keys", OTOH I am lucky to have them in my life, and they are lucky that they were removed from their bio-parent's "care". Life is all relative John! My kids will have to "make do" with a $100 used DP for awhile yet. I do believe that they will survive the experience though.

I am just mirroring back to you what you are saying John, things you are saying in this very thread. If you don't like it (and I can see why you wouldn't), stop saying it!
_________________________
John W. Colby
www.ColbyConsulting.com

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#1176176 - 04/07/09 03:28 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Something strange happened to me.....

I get things forwarded from the topics I'm interested in my email box and I can quickly read the new postings and keep up with a topic without being on the forum. The "watch" choice.

Darn, if something posted several days ago, and which I responded to, popped up to be read as a new incoming mail. The source of it is buried in the topic and many more new postings have been made since then.

It must be "burping"!

Betty

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#1176185 - 04/07/09 03:39 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: jwcolby]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11847
Loc: Canada
First off, the OP involved a teacher who wanted to bring his student further in the skills he could teach him. To do so, his student would need equipment that was suitably responsive in the right way, and he advised this student accordingly, as any expert with a client would do. The student then posts in PW, not to get further information, but to collect arguments against his teacher's advice. Why? If you get a top level DP, and if it responds in the needed manner so that you can experience what your teacher wants you to experience, then you will learn what it is he wants you to learn -- provided that you are even interested in such things. If it does not respond in the needed manner then you won't be able to practice, experience, and learn these things. It is that simple. Why do you need to "persuade" your teacher of anything? He was advising you, based on what and how he teaches. If you don't want to learn these things, it's no skin off his nose. What is the point of this persuasion?

If this is a power play between teacher and student, then there is no winner. So you get the digital contrary to his advice. This is not like a kid refusing to eat his veggies despite a parent's prodding, and growing up big and strong anyway. There is no relationship between authority figures. It is a relationship between an expert who is advising and providing services, using his expertise, and recipient of that. I'm a freelancer, and since many of my clients are bilingual, some try to tell me how to do my work better. Usually their wishes are not in their best interests and I will explain to them why. If they trust me, then I can give them the best possible service. If they want to be the boss and "win", the I will do as they wish, as long as it does not compromise the correctness of my work. The only result is that the client will not receive the best quality product if I am not able to use my expertise and experience. The client has lost an opportunity. The same should hold here.

Why is it important to a) persuade your teacher of your opinion b) the teachers on this board of your opinion? What is the benefit?

What perturbs me is that I am an adult student and to be taken that seriously is a precious thing. I have not been able to take lessons for a year and it hurts. To see such things taken so lightly in this manner really bothers me.

Changing direction:
Quote:
(JWColby)And that is my point exactly. No one starts out a master pianist. First you have to learn to read music. To get your fingers to move together, to get your mind to interpret the notes on the page and translate them into the correct fingers moving.

All that "feel of the nuances of the string vibrating through the fingers and the pedal" is just pure intellectual snobbery until you get to the point where that may matter. And probably about 1% of all students ever get there. Most just learn to play enough to enjoy themselves, which is PERFECTLY OK.

Not necessarily - and to continue:
Quote:
(John v.d. Brook) Some of us teach listening to the sound and the feel of the instrument and keys from the very first lesson.

As a student I have three separate sets of experience. 1. There are the decades of being self-taught on a number of instruments since childhood. The touch and texture of the sound and the vibrating instrument as experiences are memories that I have from earliest childhood. It is PART of music and instrument playing, and for me it was an important central part from the beginning.

2. I began lessons on a string instrument in middle age. Every sound and every sensation was surrealistically immense. This is the time to really develop how you will be relating to the instrument. It becomes a subconscious thing you draw on, and it forms your physical actions. Later on you are relatively desensitized to these things. It is harder to recapture, though it can be done with an effort later on. The human mind pays attention to what is novel.

3. I returned to piano after an absence of several decades. Having had music lessons I knew how crucial it is to have a good start and I was also aware of the untrained habits I had had when self-taught. I'm saddled with a DP, and have had to pull my ear and sense of touch away from its unreality in sound and response. There is literally nothing there, and it is literally illusion. The things that I consider the most important in (re)learning to play the instrument are absent.

Learning to play the notes on the page - This is a relatively minor thing and it doesn't even require a teacher. You can also play what you hear, so even the page is not necessary. If it is not relatively minor, in the least it is only ONE aspect of playing the instrument.

No - feeling the strings and the rest are not snobbery - they are essential, and it provides pleasure. The fun of producing recognizable music can wear thing. It did not interest me that much even when I was young. It is what is inside the music and what can be done with both instrument and music which provides the fascination.

Quote:
You should be so lucky as to find such a teacher.

There is room for students who prefer digitals, who are not interested in the types of things that have been represented here; others such as myself who simply cannot afford anything different. Teachers can cater to many sets of wishes, and can also decide not to share those things which are not seen as essential by students. What gets me, however, is this wholesale dissing of those teachers who do bother to explain, or try to teach these things.

There is already a problem with teachers not wanting to take on adult students, or giving a watered down or more "fun" version, because of attitudes they expect. Here we have a teacher who is taking his student seriously and wants to give everything he can offer from the sounds of it. Surely you can say "No thanks, I'm not interested." without embroiling a whole thread and I don't know how many people in your rejection of that option.



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#1176194 - 04/07/09 03:51 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
jwcolby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/09
Posts: 27
Loc: NC, USA
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
John C, I believe you're taking an analogy out of context. My point, which I think is quite clear, is that you should get the best instrument you can afford. Of course, as a piano teacher, I firmly believe a piano is the better choice, all other things being equal, which they seldom are.


John,

I wasn't taking it out of context (exactly) I was simply attempting to make you see what it sounds like to me and others following this thread. I have absolutely no doubt that you are a very talented guy.

I read a funny tale about a world class violinist (I think) who had a fan come up to him and say "I'd do anything to play like you". His response was "No you wouldn't". That says it all of course.

But there is more to the story than that. All of us make choices and live with the situations we are faced with. I read your posts with some amusement because I *know* that you are a dedicated guy who has done all of the things required to be *very* good at playing the piano, as well as teaching the piano. I do not doubt that for an instant!

OTOH, I have done the same thing to be the best I can be as a computer programmer. I love what I do, I do not want to be a world class pianist, at least not enough to do what it takes.

But I do want to learn to play again. Compared to you I was never very good, and compared to you I will never be very good, but that truly doesn't matter, because I don't *want* to be as good as you. I only want to enjoy the music that I am able to make. And what I need is someone that isn't hung up on "real" or "DP" but rather simply that I want to learn a little bit about playing the *keyboards* (emphasis mine), and that a DP is what I can afford.

I have read, understood and taken all of your points. A piano in your hands is completely different than the exact same piano in mine simply because of what you are willing to do to learn to play. I can imagine the feel and the sound, but I can't really get there. It takes all of my time just to stay current in my chosen profession - programming. And then there are the kids....

So take this as an apology if you want, and be sensitive to the fact that I (and many others reading these threads) just have no use for your pianos, they would be wasted in my house.

Thanks for your expertise, I really do read and absorb every point of view.
_________________________
John W. Colby
www.ColbyConsulting.com

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#1176222 - 04/07/09 04:33 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: keystring]
jwcolby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/09
Posts: 27
Loc: NC, USA
In the end all of this stuff is all opinion. I listen to many kinds of music from Stevie Ray Vaughn to Guitares Classico de Mexico, to... you get the point. We have all watched a great musician work, they don't "think about doing it" they just "want" a note or combination of notes and their hands move to cause that. If they "thought" about it they would hose the whole thing up! But they did have to "think about it" the first many times.

Now, I understand and appreciate the whole "feel and touch and hear" thing. But that does not mean that I cannot learn to play music on a keyboard unless (insert your requirements here). Music is a lot of things to a lot of people, but in the end it is entirely personal. All that you are saying is that YOU cannot learn to play music on a keyboard unless (insert your requirements here).

Define "great pianist". That is a TOUGH thing to do. As you pointed out, even the mechanics are up for grabs, is it NECESSARY to read music to be a great pianist? If you can't even define a "great pianist" then the question is meaningless.

By MY definition I need to learn to read sheet music. I need to train my fingers to do scales. I did them 40 years ago, and I distinctly remember how hard each one of the exercises was until I just sat down and did them, and then they became easy. We are talking about causing this finger to hit a key when the eye reads this note. It makes no difference whatsoever to the process of reading the note and moving the finger whether it is done on a 50K grand piano or a DP. The brain has to recognize the dot(s) on the page and cause the right finger(s) to move, and it has to happen *automatically*, AND the fingers need to be able to do it.

PLEASE... I am not denying that there are subtle nuances that are different between the results if learned on a DP or a 50K grand. But 98% of the learning is just indifferent between the instruments.

Music theory is another part of being a good musician. Understanding progressions and harmonics, inversions and all of that stuff. I learned a ton of that in my youth, and that likewise is indifferent between the types of keyboard type. I learned a dozen different inversions so that I could play a specific chord wherever I was on the keyboard. That was just practice and muscle memory, the feel of the keys triggering the brain to "know" that if I wanted to play a specific chord with specific harmonics I had to move these specific fingers. It didn't matter one iota whether the keys were on a real piano or a DP. What DID matter was whether the "Scale" (size) of the keyboard was natural, something that "real" pianos don't have to deal with.

I lived in Mexico for 5 years between 1995 and 2000. I did not know Spanish when I moved there. If you have never learned a foreign language you cannot understand the training required to cause the tongue, lips and all the rest to move the right way to make the words sound correct. It takes a TON of practice! But if you play the piano (or any instrument) then you DO understand because you have gone through the process of teaching your muscles to automatically do something when the brain thinks about it. In this case it is mostly the fingers but the process is the same.

And that is what I am discussing. To a large extent the process of learning music on any instrument is training the brain / nerve / muscle pathways. Once that training is complete then taking that to the next level and being GREAT is a whole 'nother ball game. Then a great instruments makes all the difference in the world.

In the end, for many and perhaps most of us, the "great instrument" is a moot point as we simply could not afford it, or we don't have the time or desire or necessity to go that huge "last" step.

That in no way means that we cannot learn enough to have fun though!

All I want right now is to get back to where I was when I was 17. When that happens we will talk further.
_________________________
John W. Colby
www.ColbyConsulting.com

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#1176226 - 04/07/09 04:39 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: jwcolby]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
John,

Thank you for the lucid and non-hostile response. But you can be as good as I am, perhaps a lot better, if that's your goal. In addition to hard work, you'll need a teacher who can help you reach that higher level, and of course, the best instrument you can swing. With the responsibilities you just mentioned, it will probably take you longer to get there, but eventually, those kids will grow, and your company will mature, so you don't have to micromanage everything, and suddenly, you'll have that time you can use to focus in on piano.

By the way, I was a miserable student in high school. My teacher used to tell me to find another job! What great motivation he provided - when it finally kicked in!
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1176229 - 04/07/09 04:42 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: keystring]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
keystring, thanks for a really fine recap!
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1176281 - 04/07/09 06:25 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: keystring]
buck2202 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 216
Loc: Cleveland, OH
I can't speak for the OP's intentions, but I certainly didn't get the impression that he came here specifically to collect arguments against his teacher. Rather, I think he was concerned that the teacher's poor opinion of digital pianos was either based on out-of-date experience or an "in principle" belief that there's no substitute for strings, hammers, and a soundboard. A person isn't questioning the expertise of a doctor by seeking out a second opinion of a particular diagnosis...it's just something that we do because opinions and interpretations vary. He's not denying that an acoustic would be the very best piano today. But at the same time let's not forget that he IS upgrading to a better instrument because he cares about his own development.

It seems to me that he wants to be sure that his teacher advises him based on relevant experience with DPs, and questioning that is NOT the same as questioning her expertise as a teacher or pianist. It's just admitting the facts that DPs are always getting better, and that people who are excellent pianists today need not have had recent experience with DPs.

As for the need to "convince" the teacher that DPs are not as inferior as she might believe them to be...I think this is brought on by being told that he couldn't realize his full promise without an acoustic grand right now. Maybe that's true, maybe not, but if my teacher said that to me, I'd certainly want to discuss it (both with the teacher and with others) before I decided whether to accept it or not. This is because I do care about realizing my potential, and I do care about taking my teacher's expert opinion seriously, but I would need to discuss and understand why. Unlike your (keystring) role as a freelancer or mine as an engineer, there are concerns for a piano teacher beyond just the end result...the journey from novice to musician is just as important as the end result, and when the goal is for a person to both develop AND enjoy the process, I don't think that discussion or a need for explanation is inherently disrespectful...especially when we're talking about something as expensive as a good grand piano, something as quickly developing as a digital piano, or something as precious as becoming a musician.

I think we got caught up in semantics, and there are pure opinions from both sides that are irrelevant to the discussion that nevertheless have rubbed people the wrong way. Can a DP someday be as good as a grand? I think so. Can a DP be called a piano? Who cares? Am I biased in my thinking that DPs can someday be functionally as good as an acoustic grand? Sure..but I'm an engineer. Is John biased if he thinks that they can't? Sure, but what does it matter? He's right today, and talking about tomorrow is just speculation.

We all agree that a person should have the best instrument possible for their situation (financial and otherwise), and we all agree that the DP is sometimes appropriate. But as I said before, I think that the that the question of when does a person start to be limited by a DP is something inexact and worth discussing. If someone progresses far enough, sure, today's DP will become inadequate...but that doesn't mean that the DP is worthless, or that a person is necessarily "choosing" to be limited. It's the "when" of that question that should concern us, and the matter of recognizing and trying to deal with it when it occurs.

If there's anything regrettable about this thread, it's that we've managed to offend each other through misunderstandings and tempers...not the actual discussion that's managed to occur in between the insults and misread jokes.

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#1176307 - 04/07/09 07:18 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: buck2202]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Jokes? There were jokes?

grin
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1176418 - 04/07/09 10:27 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: buck2202]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11847
Loc: Canada
Buck,
Quote:
I can't speak for the OP's intentions, but I certainly didn't get the impression that he came here specifically to collect arguments against his teacher.

The first post seemed to be asking for information as you suggest. But recently he wrote this:
Quote:
The purpose behind my question was in part to shape up an argument to use with my teacher.

and the other purpose he stated was not that of learning more, but simply in regards to choices of keyboards since he had already made up his mind. That is the part that bothered me - appearing to be asking for information but apparently not being sincere about it. If I were the one being asked, and spent the time to explain something about my craft, I wouldn't appreciate it.
Quote:
Unlike your (keystring) role as a freelancer or mine as an engineer, there are concerns for a piano teacher beyond just the end result...the journey from novice to musician is just as important as the end result ....

This is actually where I am coming from. I am a trained teacher from my "other" life, as well as adult music student, and other related things. The nature of that journey interests me keenly. From what I see and opportunity might be missed, but that may only be my impression. It's the quoted purpose that bothered me.

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#1176466 - 04/08/09 12:25 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: keystring]
pianozuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 180
Loc: Bellevue WA, USA
To facilitate a fair assessment of the degree of my disingenuousness in this thread:

Here's my post that started this thread at 04-02-2009 07:10 am PT

I'm an OLD piano student, starting lessons again for the fifth time in my long life. I recently found an excellent teacher and today will begin my 3rd month of weekly one-hour lessons with her.

I have only a Yamaha Clavinova CLP-124, which I bought new in the mid-90s. At my last lesson she told me I showed some promise, but that I could not realize that promise unless I got a good acoustic piano. By "good", I believe she meant a Yamaha grand made in Japan.

Now, I don't think she will kick me out if I don't buy an acoustic grand, but I am upgrading my digital to a Kawai CE200, which should arrive by the end of next week. I'll tell her about it today, and hope that she will not be too disappointed.

She is a very busy and popular teacher, with many years of experience. She told me when I asked, that I am the ONLY student she has without an acoustic piano. It's possible she makes an acoustic a requirement in accepting a student, but she didn't with me.

My question for you piano teachers is, do you require your students to have a good acoustic? And if not, what per cent of your students do not have an acoustic? Also, do you believe that a student's development will be limited by having only a good DP?

Thanks very much.
===========================================

And my post of 04-07-2009 06:57am PT

Thanks, Chris.

Yes, I like the digital idea, just as I like writing on a computer better than on a typewriter. DPs will continue to improve, and eventually surpass the best APs.

The purpose behind my question was in part to shape up an argument to use with my teacher. I think I've got that now, just in time for my 2pm lesson today.

Secondly, I was hoping to learn of DPs that I didn't know of. I now know I should investigate Casio and Roland in addition to Kawai and Yamaha. And I'm in luck for the Kawai and Roland, because I learned in a thread here of a big piano store (Prosser) near Seattle that has just become a Kawai dealer and I think was already a Roland dealer. For Yamaha, I'll have to go to Tacoma, Olympia, Portland, or Spokane. Kawai has been my tentative first choice all along for either a DP or AP -- I had a Kawai upright when I lived in Tokyo decades ago.

My thanks to everyone for their participation in this thread.
==================================================

And here I quote from reply I wrote a few hours ago to a PM received from a teacher who had some advice for me, most of which I will seriously consider. However, he had the impression I was going to "confront" her with an argument:

I can't imagine confronting my dear teacher about anything. But our relationship can stand a gently applied challenge. I just got back from the first lesson with her since she gave me that advice to get a Yamaha grand. I only touched on that advice today by mentioning that I had taken it seriously and had been spending a lot of time looking into getting a better piano, and might get a good DP instead. She said that she wouldn't have given me that advice if she didn't think I had the ability to benefit from a grand. I'm 71, so she means NOW.

But I'm still wondering what I wonder about many who have contributed to the couple of threads I've started on PW: has she tried out the better DPs of today? So that's for next Tuesday.

I started with her in February--I've had only about 8 or 9 one-hour lessons. But already she has made several truly remarkable improvements in my playing/practicing. Frankly, I'm astonished. Even today she gave me the project of memorizing all scales, their arpeggios, inversions, and cadences, and then spent a lot of time showing me how and when to move the thumb when playing a scale. I don't know what difference that will make to speed and smoothness, but I have great expectations! Of course, years ago I learned all the major scales and 2 of the 3 minor varieties, plus their arpeggios, so that part of the assignment will be easy..
====================================================
_________________________
Kawai RX-2

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#1176488 - 04/08/09 02:00 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: keystring]
buck2202 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 216
Loc: Cleveland, OH
keystring,
It's quite a long thread...I read what you had said and it seemed that you were objecting to the principle of seeking more information, and I had only gone back to the first post to refresh my memory of how we got to where we were. So, to the extent that I misrepresented your position, I apologize...I misunderstood where you were coming from.

I still don't believe that there's something inherently disrespectful in needing discussion/explanation from a teacher with something like this, but it doesn't seem like we disagree on that point. I do wonder, though, if "shaping up an argument" is the same thing as being set on refusing the teacher's advice. Though disingenuous, It could still primarily be motivated by a desire for discussion, though I can certainly see how framing it this way could be offensive


Edited by buck2202 (04/08/09 02:32 AM)

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#1176546 - 04/08/09 07:00 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: buck2202]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO

Sometimes teachers need education as well.

smile
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1176656 - 04/08/09 11:48 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
My apologies, if my post offends the more sensitive souls here, but I could not help but to raise a smile at the title of this topic: 'only a DP?'
My students have instruments ranging from expensive grands and uprights, to digital pianos, and, heaven forfend, unweighted keyboards!
One thing they all have in common, is a desire to play music to the best of their individual abilities.
The student with the most expensive Roland grand, also has an expensive boat, customised Hummer to tow said boat, expensive automobiles, plenty of money to throw at piano lessons, a very expensive oceanside home, ...the list goes on.
The one thing he does not have, is any aptitude whatsoever, to learn to play a musical instrument.
Don't get me wrong, he is a great guy, who has made a success of his career.
I should have heard the alarm bells ringing, at the very first lesson, when he stated, "I decided, I had got to the stage in life, where I should either buy a Harley Davidson, or a grand piano" (says it all, really)
The student with the cheapest K-Mart unweighted keyboard, (a nine year old girl, with the most charming personality, and attitude), currently shows great promise. Her family may not be able to afford a quality acoustic instrument, but the pleasure, and progress she derives from her weekly lesson, is humbling, indeed.
So, quality grand, expensive upright, digital piano, cheap Casio keyboard, they all have their place in the wonderful journey, that is music making, for the sheer love of it.
I'll get me coat......


Edited by R0B (04/08/09 11:53 AM)
_________________________
Rob

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#1176669 - 04/08/09 12:19 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: R0B]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: R0B
My apologies, if my post offends the more sensitive souls here, but I could not help but to raise a smile at the title of this topic: 'only a DP?'
My students have instruments ranging from expensive grands and uprights, to digital pianos, and, heaven forfend, unweighted keyboards!
One thing they all have in common, is a desire to play music to the best of their individual abilities.
The student with the most expensive Roland grand, also has an expensive boat, customised Hummer to tow said boat, expensive automobiles, plenty of money to throw at piano lessons, a very expensive oceanside home, ...the list goes on.
The one thing he does not have, is any aptitude whatsoever, to learn to play a musical instrument.
Don't get me wrong, he is a great guy, who has made a success of his career.
I should have heard the alarm bells ringing, at the very first lesson, when he stated, "I decided, I had got to the stage in life, where I should either buy a Harley Davidson, or a grand piano" (says it all, really)
The student with the cheapest K-Mart unweighted keyboard, (a nine year old girl, with the most charming personality, and attitude), currently shows great promise. Her family may not be able to afford a quality acoustic instrument, but the pleasure, and progress she derives from her weekly lesson, is humbling, indeed.
So, quality grand, expensive upright, digital piano, cheap Casio keyboard, they all have their place in the wonderful journey, that is music making, for the sheer love of it.
I'll get me coat......


Thank you for that Rob, very refreshing.
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1176685 - 04/08/09 12:44 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: R0B]
jwcolby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/09
Posts: 27
Loc: NC, USA
Originally Posted By: R0B
snip...

One thing they all have in common, is a desire to play music to the best of their individual abilities.

snip...

The one thing he does not have, is any aptitude whatsoever, to learn to play a musical instrument.

snip...

The student with the cheapest K-Mart unweighted keyboard, (a nine year old girl, with the most charming personality, and attitude), currently shows great promise.

snip...

So, quality grand, expensive upright, digital piano, cheap Casio keyboard, they all have their place in the wonderful journey, that is music making, for the sheer love of it.
I'll get me coat......


Rob, you make many great points here. Desire and belief that you can do it is more important than anything else.

Not that both of those together will necessarily make you great, there are physical limitations that may simply prevent that, but in the end greatness is less important than the enjoyment you get from doing whatever you are capable of.

All of these things are exactly why I rail against the "you really need to get a good piano" message that is being espoused. "The best you can afford" is perfectly reasonable, but that may be a pretty miserable instrument in the end. However if that gets you started down the road, and you can enjoy what you are learning and what you are able to do, then it is the best instrument in the world for you right now.

Thanks for that uplifting message.
_________________________
John W. Colby
www.ColbyConsulting.com

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#1180995 - 04/15/09 03:28 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
RX2 Dreamer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/14/09
Posts: 9
Loc: North Dakota
I own a CLP-170 that I play all the time. This past weekend I had a chance to play a Yamaha U-1, then I realized what I have been missing.. As soon as my fingers hit the keys I could hear sounds I have never even dreamed of with my 170.. They just dont compare.. But they are good for the price (Clavinovas).. I got mine back in 2002 for 3200 bucks and 0 issues with it. I can move it around and dont get me wrong.. it still sounds beautiful.. just not like an acoustic

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#1180999 - 04/15/09 03:31 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: RX2 Dreamer]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Okay, that does it I'm going to go buy a U-1 and stimulate the economy. whome
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

Top
#1181109 - 04/15/09 07:25 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Lots of my kids start out that way. A piano is a huge investment for a beginner that may or may not stick it out.

It is possible to get free/cheap pianos tho, from places like Craigslist.
People move into homes that have one and don't want it, or just want to get rid of one. Many are junk, but not all. Even having one that has to be repaired will cost less than a new one. Just like most things, the older pianos are built better (IMO!!). Ex: I had a student get a brand new piano and was SO excited about it. She wanted me to come see it. It was gorgeous, but while I was playing a bouncy, jazzy piece, they piano lamp actually fell off because the piano was rocking so much!!
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1181110 - 04/15/09 07:27 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: kennychaffin
Okay, that does it I'm going to go buy a U-1 and stimulate the economy. whome


Way to go, use your stimulus cash!!
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1181121 - 04/15/09 07:48 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
Suppose you had a big house, so that noise concerns
are not problem, and you're looking at acoustic pianos
to put in it. At one extreme would be brand new
concert grands in the $100,000+ price range, and
at the other extreme would be old, but serviceable,
uprights that you can get for free. People who
buy or inherit an old house often find these
in it and put the archaic-looking things out on
the curb. If you got a concert grand, of course
it would be thrilling--initially--but after a
while the novelty would wear off, and you'd be
faced with the grim reality that your playing
has not really improved on it. You could have
just as easily gotten an old upright for free
and played the same way on it.

Digital pianos fall maybe somewhere between an old
upright and a concert grand, but the same harsh
reality is still there: you can't improve your
playing by buying a more expensive piano. If you
can't play it on your current digital, then
you won't be able to play it on a more expensive
digital, or on an expensive acoustic grand piano.

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#1181136 - 04/15/09 08:03 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
Ejay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 216
Loc: U.K.
I think that you buy what you can afford and have the space for.
I wanted to learn piano from a young age.
My parents could neither afford the piano nor a house big enough to house one. If they could have, they would have, as the needs of their kids were always the priority in the budget. We never had holidays abroad, last to get colour tv or microwave etc.. but we had our ballet lessons and I had the cheaper option of guitar lessons.

The cost and size of an accoustic piano stopped me from learning at all.

Of course digital pianos are not the same as accoustics, but they are all different in the same way as pianos are all different.
I struggle to play the digital piano at church as it is so different to my own. It has no response to the velocity which I use and hitting a bass note is the same as hitting a treble note. However the church accoustic piano is much closer to my own instrument and I can adapt much easier to it.

I have a Roland fantom X8 workstation ( neither an accoustic piano nor a digital piano..lol).. the weighted hammer action , velocity responsive, aftertouch sensitivity is as close as I can get to a good accoustic.... and it cost me twice as much as my car did.... but waaay less than an accoustic.

I practice early in the morning and late at night or when my baby sleeps, couldn't do that with an accoustic.
So for me a 'digital' piano hinders me a lot less than having nothing at all. I'm saving for lessons next year, I really hope I don't find a teacher who hinders my progress by refusing to teach me.


oh and I really do believe I can't afford the things I don't want, but there are many things I have wanted and cannot afford.... so I become content with what I have.
_________________________
Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
Maya Angelou


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