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#1173127 - 04/02/09 10:10 AM How many of your students have only a DP?
pianozuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 180
Loc: Bellevue WA, USA
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.
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#1173139 - 04/02/09 10:49 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2895
Loc: UK.
I have quite a few students with DP's. I am sure they would all like an acoustic grand but for many people it is not possible. I wouldn't dream of insisting that anybody go out and spend thousands on an expensive piano so they can 'realize that promise'. I advise them to get the best instrument they can afford. A lot of the time that means a DP. In fact far more of my students have a DP than they have grands.

Is development limited by having a DP? Well there is no use pretending that a DP can do everything a good acoustic grand piano can. Despite what some will say there is a difference in touch and sound. But then there are differences between all pianos. I know lots of people who have acoustic instruments which are in such a poor state they would be better off with a DP. It's much more common that development is limited by lack of practice. If I were you I wouldn't worry about it. If you are in a position to buy a nice new Yamaha grand then fine. If not then the Kawai DP will do nicely for now.
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Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1173150 - 04/02/09 11:10 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Chris H.]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7349
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
My question would be: why strap an anvil around your ankles when learning to swim?

It this is your dream, why not give yourself every possible advantage?

There's an order of magnitude difference between the best electric and a good upright, and an order of magnitude difference between the very best upright and a good grand.

I'm not a Steinway salesman, I don't get a commission, but if I were in your shoes, I'd run over to Sherman-Clay (downtown store), talk to Ben Klinger, and look seriously at those beautiful Essex grands. The shorter ones are made, very well, btw, in their China factory, and the 6', which is just about perfect for most homes, is made in Korea. It is a jewel, and with the economy being what it is, you can probably get it for a song.

Just my humble opinion. And you should have been here yesterday afternoon to see young Stephen's face (2nd grader) as he played through his repertoire on the grand.
_________________________
"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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#1173152 - 04/02/09 11:12 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Chris H.]
Tenuto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/07
Posts: 550
Loc: U.S.A.
When you play and practice on a digital piano you are learning a different instrument. You are learning to play a digital instrument. It has a different touch and feel. The same could be said about learning the electric guitar as opposed to learning on an acoustic guitar.

When you play and practice on an acoustic piano (and it doesn't have to be expensive) you are learning the touch and feel of an acoustic piano.

I have always practiced and performed on an acoustic piano. When someone asks me to play on a digital I will usually decline. That is because I don't sound very good on a digital because it has such a different touch, and I'm not used to it.

Why don't you go to a digital piano teacher? This way there is no conflict. I simply consider it a different instrument.

If you want to stay with this teacher then I would buy an old upright and get a piano tuner/technician to do some work on it. It shouldn't cost you too much, hopefully.

Good luck,
Valerie

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#1173168 - 04/02/09 11:47 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Tenuto]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2895
Loc: UK.
I think it's going a bit far to say that a digital piano is a different instrument altogether. You can't compare it to say a Classical guitar and an electric guitar. Not only are there big physical differences but they are played in completely different ways. Not so with piano/DP.

The ideal is a good quality acoustic grand. If that's not possible then a good quality acoustic upright. If not that then a good DP. The thing that matters most is the 'good'. A lot of old acoustics are junk and limit progress far more than a DP.
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Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1173187 - 04/02/09 12:30 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Chris H.]
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
I have a very good DP at home but am fortunate to be able to do most of my practice on acoustics in the practice rooms where I work. It is definitely a different instrument but I still love my digital. Those big crashing chords aren't very enjoyable but for learning the notes, fingering, timing, sightreading, running through old repertioire, and just noodling around my DP is great. Of course polishing a piece and true dynamics requires the real thing but even when I do acquire an acoustic, my digital will be my early morning/late night friend and will always be around.


Edited by IPIBAHN - Sandy (04/02/09 12:31 PM)
_________________________
It's the journey not the destination..

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#1173200 - 04/02/09 12:42 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: SAnnM AB-2001]
Mr. D Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/09
Posts: 51
I would say about 10% of my students have DPs, and their development has unquestionably been limited in comparison to those with even fair-quality acoustics. You can spend $1500 and get a quality used acoustic. You have to spend twice that to get a good-quality digital (that won't retain value and is much, much more likely to break). I have probably the best DP on the market, and I won't touch it unless it's after 11PM/before 8AM. OK for developing muscle memory, and that's about it.

HOWEVER, if that's all you have to begin with, fine. Just cut out all other unnecessary expenses (if possible) and get on an acoustic soon as you can. Unless you want to play video game music, of course.

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#1173203 - 04/02/09 12:44 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: SAnnM AB-2001]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2895
Loc: UK.
John, when you say you could get one of those nice (but cheap) Essex grands for a song, how much are we talking about exactly?

In the UK the Essex 155 sells for around £10000. If you want to go up to the 173 you will need over £12000. Even that is not enough for the 6' model you mentioned. I don't teach many students who have that kind of disposable cash, do you?

Even if you can buy one of these Essex grands some will still tell you (quite rightly) that it will not perform as well as a Steinway model B and that it might in fact limit your progress.
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Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1173216 - 04/02/09 01:09 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Chris H.]
Piano*Dad Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10356
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Originally Posted By: Chris H.


Even if you can buy one of these Essex grands some will still tell you (quite rightly) that it will not perform as well as a Steinway model B and that it might in fact limit your progress.


laugh



Actually, you can get a new grand for roughly 10K that would fulfill the needs of just about any student.

That too is a lot of money, and may price things out of reach for many families. I would remind everyone, though, that often such a price tag only 'prices a family out' because of their priorities. I'm sure there are many families that would buy a 15K car without too much of a strain (grumbling, maybe) who would recoil in horror at the prospect of spending 10K on a musical instrument.
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Grotrian 192 #156455

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#1173219 - 04/02/09 01:18 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Mr. D]
pianozuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 180
Loc: Bellevue WA, USA
You can spend $1500 and get a quality used acoustic.

I did start my search for a piano to replace my CLP-124 by looking around for an acoustic. I soon realized that I simply couldn't judge a used piano as to its health.

How do you suggest I go about finding "a quality used acoustic" for $1500?

If I were in the Washington, D.C. area I might go to Rick Jones Pianos. But I'm near Seattle..
_________________________
Kawai RX-2

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#1173230 - 04/02/09 01:41 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
It is anathema to me to learn how to play the piano on a digital. The whole purpose of learning the instrument, technique, interpretation and all, is to learn how to produce beautiful sound. I would argue that it is not possible to do so on a digital, no matter how sophisticated. There are many good uses for a DP as delineated by Sandy. But it is not a piano, if that is what you wish to learn.
You sound insecure about the prospect of purchasing a used piano, and I do not blame you. But you should trust your ear and not be embarrassed by your inexperience. You might even be able to ask your teacher to try a couple of instruments you have pre-tested. (you might need to pay her for her time, which is a worthwhile endeavor).

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#1173239 - 04/02/09 01:55 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
piano_deb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 787
Loc: Memphis, TN
pianozuki, I went to Kawai's site and checked out the CE200 — and it looks like a real top-of-the-line choice. I hope that your teacher appreciates the investment you're making in your musical education.

I'm an adult student, not a teacher, so I usually post in the Adult Beginners Forums — and I want to invite you to stop by and share your piano-adventures with us. Trust me, the ABF isn't just for first-time students or youngsters. Lots of us have checkered musical pasts ... and more than a few miles on the odometer. smile
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Deborah
Charles Walter 1500
Happiness is a shiny red piano.

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#1173244 - 04/02/09 02:03 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: piano_deb]
pianozuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 180
Loc: Bellevue WA, USA
Originally Posted By: piano_deb
pianozuki, I went to Kawai's site and checked out the CE200 — and it looks like a real top-of-the-line choice. I hope that your teacher appreciates the investment you're making in your musical education.

I'm an adult student, not a teacher, so I usually post in the Adult Beginners Forums — and I want to invite you to stop by and share your piano-adventures with us. Trust me, the ABF isn't just for first-time students or youngsters. Lots of us have checkered musical pasts ... and more than a few miles on the odometer. smile

Thanks, Deb! I should have the CE200 in 7 or 8 days. I'll stick my head in your forum soon.

Dick
_________________________
Kawai RX-2

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#1173256 - 04/02/09 02:25 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Chris H.]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7349
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Chris H.
John, when you say you could get one of those nice (but cheap) Essex grands for a song, how much are we talking about exactly?

In the UK the Essex 155 sells for around £10000. If you want to go up to the 173 you will need over £12000. Even that is not enough for the 6' model you mentioned. I don't teach many students who have that kind of disposable cash, do you?

Even if you can buy one of these Essex grands some will still tell you (quite rightly) that it will not perform as well as a Steinway model B and that it might in fact limit your progress.


Chris, when it comes to the topic of humans, I find myself a slow learner. I was probably in my 50s before I realized that people can afford what they want, and cannot afford what they don't want.

I've had parents who signed their kids up for lessons, grumbling about my "high fees" who then drop them off driving a $60k automobile.

About the Essex. I don't understand why Steinway doesn't put Steinway & Sons on every instrument, and then brand the particular model in the lower right hand corner of the fall board. Are the Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans which are built in the USA, or other countries, not Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans because they weren't assembled in Japan? Then why would a Steinway designed instrument, built with parts supplied by Steinway, not be a Steinway, just because it's built in Japan or Korea or China?

I've had the opportunity to play on each model of Essex, and while the tone is necessarily limited in the smaller sizes, the actions are remarkably good. In fact, if there were any way to squeeze a second grand into the studio, I would choose the 6 ft Essex. It really is good, and at the price point, must be one of the bargains of the century.
_________________________
"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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#1173258 - 04/02/09 02:28 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7349
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Chris - by the way, I wouldn't term the Essex "cheap." Less expensive, perhaps, or less polished, but hardly cheap in either sense of the word.
_________________________
"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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#1173267 - 04/02/09 02:40 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
I think most people who argue against using Digital Pianos have never even tried the higher-end DPs. (they are probably thinking of electronic keyboards like at walmart) The serious DP builders are creating keybeds with the same feel and touch and response as analog pianos. Sure there are differences between an analog piano and a digital piano but there are significant differences between analog pianos too. Differences in feel and sound and tone and ...... and then there's all the messing tuning and space that it takes up and you can't practice quietly using headphones.......

smile

P.S. Dick/Pianozuki that looks like a great piano you got there!


Edited by kennychaffin (04/02/09 02:59 PM)
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1173273 - 04/02/09 02:46 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2895
Loc: UK.
I agree about priorities and that many families will spend money on other luxuries but not a decent piano. But then to be honest some of those kids would not do well even if they had a brand new concert grand. The chances are that they wouldn't practise anyway. It always seems to be the less well off (maybe a little less spoilt?) who take it more seriously. This is of course a generalisation but it is something I have encountered. I teach at a fee paying school where the parents are well off but hardly any of them have a piano. The ones that do never practise much either so it makes very little difference.

Regarding sound. It's true that you wouldn't describe a digital as having a beautiful sound. But then there are many acoustics which sound bad, especially if they are not tuned regularly which often happens.

And what about space? I used to have a grand which was quite modest at 5'10". It was pointless because although it would fit in my music studio it sounded awful. Too overpowering. I ended up selling it because it wasn't appropriate. Even my upright is a powerful beast in my small room. I know a lot of people, some of whom are quite well off, who could not have a grand because they have no room for it. Many can't have any kind of acoustic because it will disturb neighbours and so on. For some the DP really is the only option. And if that's the case I would not reject a student for it.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1173276 - 04/02/09 02:49 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Chris H.]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2895
Loc: UK.
Kenny, I was writing my post when you posted. Looks like we are sying the same thing.

BTW did you mean me and my piano? If so, which one?
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1173286 - 04/02/09 02:58 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Chris H.]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: Chris H.
Kenny, I was writing my post when you posted. Looks like we are sying the same thing.

BTW did you mean me and my piano? If so, which one?


Sorry, I may have confused names... I was referring to the CE200 the O.P. mentioned he had ordered. Looks like a nice piano. I certainly am no expert, particularly on acoustic/analog pianos, but just spent the last month or so researching various Digital Pianos under $1000 to get the closest thing I could to the feel of an acoustic.
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1173291 - 04/02/09 03:01 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
markb Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 2593
Loc: Maryland
Before answering a "Which instrument should I get?" question, I believe it's important to find out several things: What's your goal for learning an instrument? Personal satisfaction? Casual playing with others? Formal performance? What type of music do you intend to play? Is this a casual hobby; a serious hobby; your life's calling? How much space do you have? How much money are you willing to spend? How much time you do intend to spend practicing? There's no one-size-fits-all answer.

Many factors go into the decision. Don't deny yourself the joy of making music on your terms because an instrument isn't "good enough." If you're enjoying what you're doing, but your teacher doesn't like your instrument, go find another teacher.
_________________________
markb--The Count of Casio

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#1173293 - 04/02/09 03:02 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: markb]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2895
Loc: UK.
Well said Mark.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1173294 - 04/02/09 03:07 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: markb]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: markb
Before answering a "Which instrument should I get?" question, I believe it's important to find out several things: What's your goal for learning an instrument? Personal satisfaction? Casual playing with others? Formal performance? What type of music do you intend to play? Is this a casual hobby; a serious hobby; your life's calling? How much space do you have? How much money are you willing to spend? How much time you do intend to spend practicing? There's no one-size-fits-all answer.

Many factors go into the decision. Don't deny yourself the joy of making music on your terms because an instrument isn't "good enough." If you're enjoying what you're doing, but your teacher doesn't like your instrument, go find another teacher.


Exactly! I meant to mention that sort of thing myself. It is the student that is paying for the lessons, eh? smile

I know in my case I'm just an over the hill 56 year old that is learning to play for my own amusement.
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1173394 - 04/02/09 05:25 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
buck2202 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 216
Loc: Cleveland, OH
My perspective (as someone who's only been learning for about 2 years) is that you should have the best instrument that you can afford, have the space for, and can play without disturbing neighbors. I live in a small apartment, so no room for a grand. And again, I live in a small apartment, so any acoustic would be disruptive to my neighbors since I frequently play at odd hours. So the digital is necessary for me. Since I live in a small apartment (seeing a trend here?), having both a digital and an acoustic is out of the question.

I upgraded recently from a ~$400 DP to a high end Yamaha DP, and I couldn't be happier. I actually like my DP more than the studio Yamaha that I take my lessons on (more consistent touch and the studio's lower registers are poorly voiced). But I certainly wouldn't say that digital and acoustic are two entirely different instruments. I adjust to the acoustic with a few minutes of warmup before my lessons (just like others adjust to it from their own acoustics), and my complaints about that instrument are the same complaints that my teacher has about it.

It's easy to say that you can get a "good" acoustic for $1500 (which is less than I paid for my DP), but my experience has been that a high-end DP will be nicer than many, many uprights. I'd take a grand any day, but that's not in the cards for me yet, and even if I did have one, I'd still keep my digital.

To the OP, I'd say that if you and your teacher aren't noticing problems with your playing on the acoustic, don't worry about it. At some point, you might want to move up to a grand because it will do things that a digital can't, but couldn't someone with an upright eventually reach that same conclusion? In a perfect world, we'd all buy instruments that could last us a lifetime the first time we buy...but who lives there?

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#1173424 - 04/02/09 06:07 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: buck2202]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2895
Loc: UK.
Originally Posted By: buck2202
At some point, you might want to move up to a grand because it will do things that a digital can't, but couldn't someone with an upright eventually reach that same conclusion?


Sure you can reach the same conclusion with an upright. I had never played on grand pianos until I went to college to study music as a performance major. Was my progress limited by my small upright until then? Not that I noticed. Of course it was nice to use grands for professional study and if you dream of becoming a concert pisnist you had better get used to performing on a concert grand in a large venue. That said, there are a good number of concert pianists who do not own a grand piano themselves. Most don't make enough money!
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1173445 - 04/02/09 07:01 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Chris H.]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: Chris H.
.... there are a good number of concert pianists who do not own a grand piano themselves. Most don't make enough money!


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

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#1173706 - 04/03/09 08:51 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3190
Loc: Virginia, USA
My child started her lessons practicing on a cheap unweighted keyboard. I quickly upgraded to an older but decent DP. Her teacher noticed her progress improved immediately. The teacher, by the way, had a small spinet, indifferently maintained. IMO.

My daughter made the same progress as any other student in that studio, limited not by the instrument but by the amount of practice she did.

Had her teacher objected to a DP, I simply wouldn't have told her, which is what I imagine most parents would do.

My prediction is that digital pianos will continue to increase the percentage of the market share until the domination is overwhelming. If you don't want to teach children who practice on them, you're severely limiting your source of students. As there's nothing you can do about it, might as well learn how to adapt how you teach to the change in environment.

The real question is: what should you do differently, if your student practices on a DP? (if anything)

Uh, how many of your students have hearing damage from iPods? how are you changing your teaching to cope with that? Hee, hee.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1173823 - 04/03/09 01:03 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7349
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: pianozuki
You can spend $1500 and get a quality used acoustic.

I did start my search for a piano to replace my CLP-124 by looking around for an acoustic. I soon realized that I simply couldn't judge a used piano as to its health.

How do you suggest I go about finding "a quality used acoustic" for $1500?

If I were in the Washington, D.C. area I might go to Rick Jones Pianos. But I'm near Seattle..


Well, even as we speak, the Kawaii dealer in your city, Bellevue, is offering a huge sale on instruments seized in a bank foreclosure. Have you visited the store? It's almost across the street from the Bellevue Steinway dealer. I'd visit both of them.
_________________________
"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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#1173826 - 04/03/09 01:15 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: TimR]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7349
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: TimR
As there's nothing you can do about it, might as well learn how to adapt how you teach to the change in environment. Hee, hee.


Are you sure you're not a keyboard salesman????

And, well, yes, there is something we teachers can do about it.

As teachers, we can educate our students that an electronic synthesizer, as nice as it sounds, and as handy as it is for all kinds of tasks, is not a piano.

A piano, at its heart, is a stringed instrument, which is played by felt hammers controlled by the performer using keys. It is not a percussion instrument, as is commonly misconceived, as percussion instruments the performer hammers directly on the transducing membrane, where as in stringed instruments, vibrating strings, whether bowed, plucked, or hammered, have their vibrations transferred to the transducing membrane using a bridge device.

Manufacturers, and their sales force, know all this, and if they presented it honestly to potential customers, would not make a single sale, so they have to fudge the truth (you can call it something else, if you like).

Would I prefer all my students practice on grands? Of course. Would I refuse to teach them if they were limited to uprights or electronic substitutes? Of course not. They limit themselves when they choose this route. Why should I stand in their way?
_________________________
"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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#1173839 - 04/03/09 01:39 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
markb Offline
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Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 2593
Loc: Maryland
John v.d.Brook wrote: "They limit themselves when they choose this route."

Limit themselves from what?
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#1173850 - 04/03/09 01:54 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: TimR
As there's nothing you can do about it, might as well learn how to adapt how you teach to the change in environment. Hee, hee.


Are you sure you're not a keyboard salesman????

And, well, yes, there is something we teachers can do about it.

As teachers, we can educate our students that an electronic synthesizer, as nice as it sounds, and as handy as it is for all kinds of tasks, is not a piano.
.....

Manufacturers, and their sales force, know all this, and if they presented it honestly to potential customers, would not make a single sale, so they have to fudge the truth (you can call it something else, if you like).

Would I prefer all my students practice on grands? Of course. Would I refuse to teach them if they were limited to uprights or electronic substitutes? Of course not. They limit themselves when they choose this route. Why should I stand in their way?



Are you sure you're not bigoted about acoustics? Are you an acoustic salesman? Notice how you call them KEYBOARDS. We're not talking about KEYBOARDS. We're talking about Digital Pianos which are a different thing than keyboards
I believe you're way off base here. The world is going digital. The high end digital pianos are actually BETTER in many respects than most acoustics out there. Are they the same, no, do they sound the same, not exactly, but extremely close depending on the model and how the sound was sampled and modeled. Does every acoustic piano sound alike, no, but who cares. Id the feel, the responsiveness of the keys the same? Again not exactly, but extremely close depending on the specific model. People used to play lutes, do they now? We used to have analog TV, do we now, only for a few more months. We used to have analog vinyl records now we're digital.

You say you would like all your students to play on grand pianos? Why? What benefit would they get in the long run from it beyond what they would get from a proper Digital Piano?

In what way specifically are they being limited?





Edited by kennychaffin (04/03/09 02:21 PM)
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#1173864 - 04/03/09 02:20 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
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Quote:
In what way specifically are they being limited?

Give me a day where, as a student, I have time to list them. We are trying to produce sound out of the multiple aspects the instrument has (if only it had them) - not be the recipient of a finished product (artificial mimicry). How does one respond to the movement of a hammer when there is none? How do you blend and mix the things emanating from strings, when there are no strings, and the sound is a predigested pretty glob coming out of a speaker? How can you develop your ear or your technique when there is nothing there to interact with....

But John ... not everyone who has a DP does so by choice, and some people cannot afford a good piano OR a car. Humanity 101 teaches that people who are not poor cry poverty. Humanity 102 says that doesn't mean poverty doesn't exist. Humanity 103 brushes the sand out of the avian's head feathers and says people are pretty hard to figure out. Humanity 104 says people should be paid what they are worth, equipment should be quality ... Hum105 says it's not always that simple. Cheers! smile
KS

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#1173868 - 04/03/09 02:30 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: keystring]
kennychaffin Offline
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Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: keystring
Quote:
In what way specifically are they being limited?

Give me a day where, as a student, I have time to list them. We are trying to produce sound out of the multiple aspects the instrument has (if only it had them) - not be the recipient of a finished product (artificial mimicry). How does one respond to the movement of a hammer when there is none? How do you blend and mix the things emanating from strings, when there are no strings, and the sound is a predigested pretty glob coming out of a speaker? How can you develop your ear or your technique when there is nothing there to interact with....
.....
KS


Hmmm, not sure I'm following this exactly, but I think you may not understand the intricate details of how a high end digital piano creates its output. The sounds can mix and blend and respond to the players touch on the keys, the physical keys simulate the hammer actions which is very tactile, the output is far from a predigested glob as you say it is created, mixed, adjusted in real time in an analogous way to what the acoustic instrument does. -- at least in the higher-end digital pianos. Now if you are speaking of keyboards and not digital pianos then I don't necessarily disagree with your statements but not with respect to a proper digital piano.



Edited by kennychaffin (04/03/09 03:40 PM)
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#1173869 - 04/03/09 02:34 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
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You nicely sidestepped the major point of my post, which is a keyboard, no matter how sophisticated, is not a piano.

I cannot in good conscious call them pianos, as they are not pianos, any more than a high end digital recording system is an orchestra.

I'd call them electronic synthesizers, because that's what they basically are, but then the synthesizer community gets bent out of shape, because they use recorded sounds, ie digital 1s and 0s, as opposed to using digital 1s and 0s to synthesize a sound from scratch.

But they are not pianos. Period. Go ahead, pluck a string on your electronic. Play it when there's a power outage.

Quote:
You say you would like all your students to play on grand pianos? Why? What benefit would they get in the long run from it beyond what they would get from a proper Digital Piano?

In what way specifically are they being limited?


You mean, you really don't know?


Edited by John v.d.Brook (04/03/09 02:41 PM)
Edit Reason: added 1st paragraph
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
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Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1173871 - 04/03/09 02:36 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
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keystring, are you saying that the only reason people choose electronic synthesizers, aka keyboards, because they are too poor to choose a piano?
_________________________
"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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#1173875 - 04/03/09 02:43 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
pianozuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 180
Loc: Bellevue WA, USA
Well, even as we speak, the Kawaii dealer in your city, Bellevue, is offering a huge sale on instruments seized in a bank foreclosure.
Hmm. What do you mean by "Kawai dealer"? Currently, the only Kawai dealer in the whole state is in Bremerton..
_________________________
Kawai RX-2

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#1173878 - 04/03/09 02:51 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
MoodyBluesKeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 258
Loc: Trent Woods, NC
I believe that there are a couple of issues in the OP rather than simply one. One issue is the relative merits of electronic instruments versus traditional acoustic pianos. This issue has innumerable threads already posted, and is not likely to be resolved in the near future. It is also possible that the result may change in the future, as electronics are improved.

The other issue is to what extent a teacher should exercise control over the student's practice tool. One extreme is the teacher who flat out refuses to teach a student that does not have (or obtain) an acoustic piano, perhaps even a specific quality of acoustic piano. The other extreme is the teacher who works with each student in order to help the student develop, regardless of what device the student may use for practice. In the 19th century, it was rather common for many students to not even posses a piano, but to practice on a silent keyboard. I owned one of these for a period, I purchased it as an interesting antique.

I feel most comfortable with a teacher who discusses the relative merits honestly with the student; then works with the student's decision (which can be a result of many things - what type of musician the student wants to become, financial means, problems resulting from apartment living, etc.)

My instructor for the past 2.5 years is a VERY qualified teacher, a finalist decades ago on the Morehead Scholarship program in North Carolina who received training in Basil, Switzerland, and concertized in Europe for 20 years. He rents studio space from the local music store, which provides an abominable ancient Wurlitzer upright (and now a Yamaha digital). My own instruments are electronic (Kurzweil), because my main motivation is not only solo work but performing in an ensemble.

Said instructor is single, does not drive nor own an automobile, and lives in an apartment. He has begun to concertize again, and plans a trip back to Gibralter in the fall to set up a schedule of concerts. His final practice is being done on a Steinway at one of the local churches; but he now uses a higher end Yamaha digital in his apartment. He was convinced to purchase the instrument after a session of using my Kurzweil. His expression is that it allows him to do between 90 and 95% of his preparation at his convenience at home; and then do the last 5 to 10% of his preparation on the Steinway. Makes a lot of sense to me.

People just don't all fit in the same box. Between rehearsals and public appearances, the two ensembles of which I am member have me setting up and playing out two to three nights a week.

One thing I have noted (at least in this small town): Those teachers who are TOO particular (will ONLY teach the repetoire that they have done for xx years; or will ONLY teach those who possess an instrument that meets the teacher's standard) are much more likely to find themselves under- or un-employed.
_________________________
Jim Cason
Promised LAN Computing, Inc.
Howard C171 Grand, Kurzweil PC3X, PC3, PC361, PC2X, PC2.
JBL 10&15 EONG2s, EV SxA100+s QSC K10s, HP & ThinkPad DAWs, eMu 1820M & 1616M.
Epi Les Paul & LP 5str Bass, Trace amp-cabinets.
Formerly in electronic keyboard repair trade - semi-retired

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#1173882 - 04/03/09 02:56 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11659
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
keystring, are you saying that the only reason people choose electronic synthesizers, aka keyboards, because they are too poor to choose a piano?

John, Humanity 105 stated "It's not always that simple". My main argument was the same as yours - the role and importance of a decent acoustic piano, and why that was so.

ONE reason a person may be stuck with a DP is because of circumstances. I have a digital piano which I managed to purchase from someone I knew for $400. It was used for performances, and it has an impressive performance sound at a distance. That doesn't mean that it is ideal for learning to play the piano. It was affordable, and since I have neighbours on four sides there is a practical issue. If I had any way out, I would not be making do with the instrument I am playing.

No, I am not saying that is the only reason. It is one reason, and it is a very real one. People are in all kinds of circumstances. I am not being argumentative - to the contrary.

KS

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#1173883 - 04/03/09 02:58 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
You nicely sidestepped the major point of my post, which is a keyboard, no matter how sophisticated, is not a piano.

I cannot in good conscious call them pianos, as they are not pianos, any more than a high end digital recording system is an orchestra.

I'd call them electronic synthesizers, because that's what they basically are, but then the synthesizer community gets bent out of shape, because they use recorded sounds, ie digital 1s and 0s, as opposed to using digital 1s and 0s to synthesize a sound from scratch.

But they are not pianos. Period. Go ahead, pluck a string on your electronic. Play it when there's a power outage.

Quote:
You say you would like all your students to play on grand pianos? Why? What benefit would they get in the long run from it beyond what they would get from a proper Digital Piano?

In what way specifically are they being limited?


You mean, you really don't know?


Clearly you are confused or simply don't care to know. So my point about bias is well-founded.

It's certainly your own issue if you don't understand or refuse to understand. I can't help you with that John.

All I can do is lead you to the water, I can't make you drink. smile

Please humor me and enlighten me. I have no idea what limitations you are speaking of, you are the one that brought it up. Please detail what you think are limitations?



Edited by kennychaffin (04/03/09 03:02 PM)
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1173886 - 04/03/09 03:03 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7349
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: pianozuki
Well, even as we speak, the Kawaii dealer in your city, Bellevue, is offering a huge sale on instruments seized in a bank foreclosure.
Hmm. What do you mean by "Kawai dealer"? Currently, the only Kawai dealer in the whole state is in Bremerton..


Sorry, thinking of Washburn. According to the Kawaii web site, and the radio ads I'm hearing, try

Prosser Piano And Organ Company
13400 Interurban Avenue South
Tukwila, WA 98168
206-957-8732
_________________________
"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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#1173888 - 04/03/09 03:06 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Stanny Offline
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Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
To answer the OPs question, only one of my 29 students has a DP, the rest play on acoustic pianos. This is in my policy.
_________________________
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#1173894 - 04/03/09 03:17 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
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Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
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. It happens to be the identical keyboard the OP currently uses, and it's not bad. I've used it for a number of events, especially the harpsichord setting, concerts on the mall with students, etc. The student in question has potential, which is why I decided to lend out my keyboard, at no charge, BTW, rather than have her quit lessons due to lack of an instrument. The parents could probably afford a piano, but choose not to get one, for what ever reasons shall remain with them (they have chosen not to share this information).

But I do not delude myself into believing it's a piano. It is not. Now, the discussion as to what would need to be done to turn a keyboard into an instrument that would be close to indistinguishable from a piano has been fought long and hard in these forums. It would cost probably ten times that of the very finest pianos to make a comparable electronic keyboard.

The secondary issue, which has already been answered in the posts above, is that a piano's touch, feel, and response is quite different from that of keyboards. They are similar. Just as a harpsichord, organ, Celeste, are similar. If you cannot feel or hear the difference, it simply means you have further to go on your musical journey. Hopefully, you'll have the chance someday to appreciate what the piano offers the musician.
_________________________
"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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#1173900 - 04/03/09 03:38 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
kennychaffin Offline
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Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
The OP asked:
Quote:
How many of your students have only a DP?

..... It happens to be the identical keyboard the OP currently uses, and it's not bad. I've used it for a number of events, especially the harpsichord setting, concerts on the mall with students, etc. ....


But I do not delude myself into believing it's a piano. It is not. Now, the discussion as to what would need to be done to turn a keyboard into an instrument that would be close to indistinguishable from a piano has been fought long and hard in these forums. It would cost probably ten times that of the very finest pianos to make a comparable electronic keyboard.

The secondary issue, which has already been answered in the posts above, is that a piano's touch, feel, and response is quite different from that of keyboards. They are similar. Just as a harpsichord, organ, Celeste, are similar. If you cannot feel or hear the difference, it simply means you have further to go on your musical journey. Hopefully, you'll have the chance someday to appreciate what the piano offers the musician.


I assume that is the Yamaha Clavinova CLP-124 you are referring to and if so I agree completely that it's more a keyboard than a piano, it's ancient history as far as digital pianos go and you are sorely mistaken as well about the feel and responsiveness of modern digital pianos.

Have you tried any of the new models in the stores? Just a simple yes or no please?

I still seriously want to hear your opinion of why "They limit themselves when they choose this route." You didn't answer it, but attempted to sidestep it as you did with the entire post above.
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1173906 - 04/03/09 03:51 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
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Kennychafin, on any digital, am I able to feel the actions of a hammer in my fingertips? Will I hear the resonance of a vibrating string spread its way along the sound board in secondary sound, and will I be able to manipulate that resonance? If I release the damper and play a chord, will all the strings reverberate according to their nature, and if I lower the damper but hold down the keys, will the colour of this reverberation change? Can I get the feeling that all these subtle properties of real objects made of wood and tight wire will respond in real time in a real way to my touch and actions? Am I able to manipulate these things, and create the sound that I want to make, in the manner that I want to make them? Rather than having the instrument do it for me? Can I become sensitized and responsive to an instrument that has no natural response?

Perhaps John was not able to answer the question of limitations, but I have attempted to do so twice now. Certainly there are digitals out there which are far superior to the finicky Samick that I'm struggling with right now, but I can't believe that any can behave like an acoustic.

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#1173914 - 04/03/09 04:08 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: keystring]
kennychaffin Offline
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Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: keystring
Kennychafin, on any digital, am I able to feel the actions of a hammer in my fingertips? Will I hear the resonance of a vibrating string spread its way along the sound board in secondary sound, and will I be able to manipulate that resonance? If I release the damper and play a chord, will all the strings reverberate according to their nature, and if I lower the damper but hold down the keys, will the colour of this reverberation change? Can I get the feeling that all these subtle properties of real objects made of wood and tight wire will respond in real time in a real way to my touch and actions? Am I able to manipulate these things, and create the sound that I want to make, in the manner that I want to make them? Rather than having the instrument do it for me? Can I become sensitized and responsive to an instrument that has no natural response?

Perhaps John was not able to answer the question of limitations, but I have attempted to do so twice now. Certainly there are digitals out there which are far superior to the finicky Samick that I'm struggling with right now, but I can't believe that any can behave like an acoustic.


Keystring, the basic answer to this is YES. I'll ask you the same question I asked John. Have you actually tried any of the current Digital Pianos? Absolutely you can feel the hammer action -- even on my low-end Casio PX320. As I explained the creation of the sound is very complex and not at all unlike what actually happens in an acoustic piano. And yes there are digital pianos out that there that do everything you are implying that they don't do, which is why I'm still asking for a simple answer to "WHAT LIMITATIONS?" (not what a particular piano does or doesn't do).



I'm curious, what Samick model are you struggling with? And is it doing or not doing the things you describe above?

I'm not going to claim that a digital piano is exactly the same as an acoustic/analog, but nor is any given acoustic/analog the same as any other one, particularly between manufacturers, styles and models. But do they have similar characteristics such as touch, responsiveness, sound quality, timber the answer is yes for both acoustic/analog pianos and digital pianos.
_________________________
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Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1173922 - 04/03/09 04:22 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
keystring Online   content
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It's a GX100C and it is definitely inadequate for anything I want to do. I know that it is quite lower end.

I did once play a super-expensive super-fancy digital in a store. It was responsive and "perfect", but IT was creating the sound. I need the actual thing to be there: the strings etc. It was some years ago.

Ken, I see you are a clarinetist. Do you not respond to the vibrations of the reed, the sense of air flow, maybe your instrument vibrates to the sound as you play it (I don't play clarinet, but I do play a number of instruments) which is all part of the act of playing? That's what I miss in the DP.



Edited by keystring (04/03/09 04:25 PM)

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#1173928 - 04/03/09 04:38 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: keystring]
kennychaffin Offline
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Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Thanks, I'll check out the GX100C....Hmm not finding much, the one google listing I got lists it as a "keyboard" so maybe that's the issue....not sure.

Anyway thanks for your response.

Yes I am a clarinet player, but have lost most of my technique at this point. frown

Absolute the feedback (which is what it's called in a "systems" sense) is always crucial to any musical instrument and certainly the low-end keyboards don't do much to emulate a piano, I'm not disputing that at all, but what I am saying is that the current high end digital pianos are all about doing exactly that in trying to provide a similar if not identical playing experience as an acoustic/analog instrument.

I'm intrigued by your statement "It was responsive and perfect but IT was creating the sound" Does not the acoustic piano create the sound as well?



Edited by kennychaffin (04/03/09 04:38 PM)
_________________________
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#1173929 - 04/03/09 04:40 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
pianozuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 180
Loc: Bellevue WA, USA
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: pianozuki
Well, even as we speak, the Kawaii dealer in your city, Bellevue, is offering a huge sale on instruments seized in a bank foreclosure.
Hmm. What do you mean by "Kawai dealer"? Currently, the only Kawai dealer in the whole state is in Bremerton..


Sorry, thinking of Washburn. According to the Kawaii web site, and the radio ads I'm hearing, try

Prosser Piano And Organ Company
13400 Interurban Avenue South
Tukwila, WA 98168
206-957-8732


Wow! You're correct! I just got off the phone with them. They became a Kawai dealership 1 week ago. I started my search for a Kawai piano (acoustic and digital) just before that, when the only dealership in WA was in Bremerton (across Puget Sound from Seattle), and it has no digitals. The Prosser store, according to the salesperson I spoke with, is also a Roland dealer (but she didn't know about the forthcoming Roland V-Piano). Prosser has both acoustic and digital Kawais (even a Shigeru Kawai!). The list of digitals she gave me: CP177, CP117, CA71, CA91, CA71, CP155, CP175. I asked about the CE200 and CA51. They're coming, but not there yet.

2 days ago I ordered the CE200 online. See my post. I just called WI and put the order on hold. Cancelling will cost $30. I think I'll be able to get down to the Prosser store this weekend, not to buy, but to see and try the first Kawais since the Kawai upright (a K3?) I had to sell decades ago because of a chronic basketball injury to my right hand's little finger. I'll visit again when the CE200 and CE51 come in. And even then I may wait until the V-Piano is available here. And while I'm waiting, I might as well visit the nearest Yamaha dealer, in Tacoma, 30 miles from me.

So thanks for the information, John!
_________________________
Kawai RX-2

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#1173935 - 04/03/09 04:55 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: pianozuki
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: pianozuki
Well, even as we speak, the Kawaii dealer in your city, Bellevue, is offering a huge sale on instruments seized in a bank foreclosure.
Hmm. What do you mean by "Kawai dealer"? Currently, the only Kawai dealer in the whole state is in Bremerton..


Sorry, thinking of Washburn. According to the Kawaii web site, and the radio ads I'm hearing, try

Prosser Piano And Organ Company
13400 Interurban Avenue South
Tukwila, WA 98168
206-957-8732


Wow! You're correct! I just got off the phone with them. They became a Kawai dealership 1 week ago. I started my search for a Kawai piano (acoustic and digital) just before that, when the only dealership in WA was in Bremerton (across Puget Sound from Seattle), and it has no digitals. The Prosser store, according to the salesperson I spoke with, is also a Roland dealer (but she didn't know about the forthcoming Roland V-Piano). Prosser has both acoustic and digital Kawais (even a Shigeru Kawai!). The list of digitals she gave me: CP177, CP117, CA71, CA91, CA71, CP155, CP175. I asked about the CE200 and CA51. They're coming, but not there yet.

2 days ago I ordered the CE200 online. See my post. I just called WI and put the order on hold. Cancelling will cost $30. I think I'll be able to get down to the Prosser store this weekend, not to buy, but to see and try the first Kawais since the Kawai upright (a K3?) I had to sell decades ago because of a chronic basketball injury to my right hand's little finger. I'll visit again when the CE200 and CE51 come in. And even then I may wait until the V-Piano is available here. And while I'm waiting, I might as well visit the nearest Yamaha dealer, in Tacoma, 30 miles from me.

So thanks for the information, John!


That sounds like great news! Isn't this place wonderful!
smile

Oh and I'll be very interested in hearing what you find out and what you end up buying!





Edited by kennychaffin (04/03/09 05:08 PM)
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1173947 - 04/03/09 05:25 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 214
Loc: Cumbernauld, Scotland
Originally Posted By: kennychaffin


I'm not disputing that at all, but what I am saying is that the current high end digital pianos are all about doing exactly that in trying to provide a similar if not identical playing experience as an acoustic/analog instrument.



Just because that is what they are trying to achieve doesn't mean they actually achieve it.

I have been on a two year quest to find the right digital piano for me. I also own an acoustic upright piano which I bought brand new. I bought a Roland FP-7 at one point but decided it wasn't for me and have recently sold it.

In the last 2 years I have played the entire Yamaha CVP 400 series, CLP 200 and 300 series, the P85, P140, CP33 and CP300. I have also played the Roland HP series and the FP4/7 and quite a few Casios and some of the newer Kawai models. As part of that search I've also been fortunate enough to play lots of acoustic pianos, the highlight of which was an absolutely gorgeous brand new Steinway Model M.

I am currently awaiting the release of the Yamaha P155 which I reckon will be the one I go for. I have both the space and the money for a CLP380 (I prefer Yamaha over Roland) but it's not worth all the extra money as it's simply no match for my acoustic upright. I need a digital for quiet practice time, both at night and also to spare my family from listening to my half hour long scales routine!! grin Hopefully the P155 will be adequate for the job when I can't play my acoustic.

There are so many things digitals don't do as well as an acoustic. The main things for me is there is no feedback through the keys or pedals when you play. You are not connected to a digital they way you are to an acoustic. The pedalling on a digital is far from that on an acoustic piano. You don't have all the subtle options you have on a real piano. It's not much better than on/off on any digital I've played.

The sound is in the same bracket. No matter how they try it still doesn't sound the same as an acoustic. The difference between watching something on TV vs being there in person. Even in this world of digital satellite with HD, surround sound etc., it's still not the same as being there.

The feel of the keyboard is probably the area where digitals are getting the closest. The actions are very good as far as weight, touch etc. are concerned. I'm looking forward to having a go on an Avant Grand when it is released to see if their Tactile Response System can complete the touch/feel experience.

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#1173960 - 04/03/09 06:13 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
Well, what would you rather: lessons on an electronic keyboard, or no lessons? Developing musicianship on an electric keyboard, or not doing it at all? Playing on what you can get, or giving up and watching yet another worthless program on television?

No, they're not a piano; this class (with sequencers and sound modules) is an instrument in its own right, and as with acoustic pianos, there are better and worse ones. I have both; for a long time I could afford only a digital... and I did use, it, I did learn, I developed within its, and my, capabilities. When I could afford an acoustic, and lived in a place where I could play it without the neighbors calling the police, and could have lessons with a real piano teacher, that's what I did.

It seems to me that living beyond our means is a problem that is coming home to roost for quite a few people. Making the most we can of what is really available to us is, in my view, a commendable thing. That is not to say we need to foster delusions about digital v. acoustic, or to fail to take a real look about our priorities: the posts about that really hit the mark. But I would rather see students encouraged, rather than smacked down. Encouraging them to have higher goals is a great thing, and I hope that in time, many of them will reach them. Meanwhile, progress is available...
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#1173961 - 04/03/09 06:14 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: Gerry Armstrong
Originally Posted By: kennychaffin


I'm not disputing that at all, but what I am saying is that the current high end digital pianos are all about doing exactly that in trying to provide a similar if not identical playing experience as an acoustic/analog instrument.



Just because that is what they are trying to achieve doesn't mean they actually achieve it.

I have been on a two year quest to find the right digital piano for me. I also own an acoustic upright piano which I bought brand new. I bought a Roland FP-7 at one point but decided it wasn't for me and have recently sold it.
.....
The sound is in the same bracket. No matter how they try it still doesn't sound the same as an acoustic. The difference between watching something on TV vs being there in person. Even in this world of digital satellite with HD, surround sound etc., it's still not the same as being there.

The feel of the keyboard is probably the area where digitals are getting the closest. The actions are very good as far as weight, touch etc. are concerned. I'm looking forward to having a go on an Avant Grand when it is released to see if their Tactile Response System can complete the touch/feel experience.



Bravo for you! At least you have some actual hands on experience with digital pianos!

It true that the quest for a similar playing experience to an acoustic/grand is never finished I guess, but sometimes the goal changes, who's to say that an acoustic grand is the be-all end-all eh? I think there are many things which actual are an advantage to Digital Pianos -- portability, no need for tuning or furniture polish, ability to practice without disturbing others, ability to emulate different models of pianos etc.

I get the distinct impression that many of those who rail against digital pianos are simply doing it to maintain the status quo without any real knowledge of what's out there (doesn't seem to be the case for you though).

I've got to agree about the pedals (something that had not been touched on yet) they pretty much suck for what I've seen so far, but I have not tried many of the options that are available.

As far as the sound, certainly that is going to depend on the particular digital piano and speakers, etc. etc. all kinds of variables there. Interesting thing is that many people probably couldn't tell the difference and particularly in an ensemble setting.


Thanks for some real-world input on this topic!
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
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"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1173987 - 04/03/09 07:53 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: 7349
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Teaching break - I rail against calling a dandelion a rose.

In my youth, I attended a concert at Grieg's home, with an excellent pianist playing his compositions on the original piano. Unfortunately, seating was limited, so they used a PA system to pipe the sound outside, where the rest of us sat.

I felt cheated. There was no difference than listening to a recording. I didn't get to hear the actual piano, but an electronic substitution for it.

There is a difference, but explaining it is much like trying to explain colors to a blind person. It just cannot be done.

I am not going to run out to try every new product that comes along, just to see if it's almost as good as a piano. I'll just stick with the piano, thank you.

Question - why is it so important to you to call something which isn't a piano, a piano?
_________________________
"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
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#1173989 - 04/03/09 07:58 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Teaching break - I rail against calling a dandelion a rose.

In my youth, I attended a concert at Grieg's home, with an excellent pianist playing his compositions on the original piano. Unfortunately, seating was limited, so they used a PA system to pipe the sound outside, where the rest of us sat.

I felt cheated. There was no difference than listening to a recording. I didn't get to hear the actual piano, but an electronic substitution for it.

There is a difference, but explaining it is much like trying to explain colors to a blind person. It just cannot be done.

I am not going to run out to try every new product that comes along, just to see if it's almost as good as a piano. I'll just stick with the piano, thank you.

Question - why is it so important to you to call something which isn't a piano, a piano?



Still waiting on your answers. Once more your and trying to avoid answering. Unless that partial answer above is a NO YOU HAVE NOT TRIED THEM you just rail against them.

I think my very first reaction to you was right on target.
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1173996 - 04/03/09 08:14 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 214
Loc: Cumbernauld, Scotland
Kenny,

Your 1st reaction is way off target. John is right when he states a digital piano is not an acoustic piano. I normally refer to digital pianos as digital pianos and acoustic pianos as "real" pianos.

As I pointed out above, and you agreed with me, there are many areas where a DP simply does not compare to a real piano.

So I fail to see what your point is, and why you are attacking one of the most valuable members in the Teacher's Forum.

I have played all of the DP's I have as I am looking to buy one to take advantage of the fact you can play with headphones on when I can't play my acoustic, but you don't need to have played all the ones I have to realise that none of them is a satisfactory substitute to a real piano for a serious piano student.
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Gerry Armstrong

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#1173999 - 04/03/09 08:22 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
Kenny
Ever been to a concert by a great classical pianist on a digital instrument?? Any idea why? I bet they could easily get labeled as say a "Roland Artist" and get the highest of the high tech digital.So access is not the problem.
One of the main tenets of learning to play the piano, is to learn how to interface with this percussive instrument and make it sing. A digital instrument uses different principles. Not sure what sort of answers you are looking for. High end digitals are widely available and many of us have played them at dealers. The more expensive ones have a much beter touch than the cheaper ones, and could sound better than a crappy acoustic, but they are not an acoustic piano and you cannot learn all of piano technique on them. There is a niche for them for the many reasons already cited, most of which have to do with money and convenience. But if you want to call yourself a pianist, you need to play the acoustic piano.

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#1174001 - 04/03/09 08:34 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
buck2202 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 216
Loc: Cleveland, OH
I don't think anyone is saying that a digital piano is the same as a piano. There are qualities of a high-quality acoustic that cannot yet be reproduced on a digital instrument. Maybe someday that will happen, but not yet.

The point that I think the DP proponents should be trying to make is that digital instruments do capture many of the important qualities of acoustic pianos, and do it in a way that eliminates many of the acoustic piano's drawbacks -- noise that can disturb neighbors for apartment-dwellers, space issues that come with grand pianos, maintenance costs, difficulty of high-quality recording by amateurs, cost, etc.

Given that, and the fact that many, many household pianos out there are poorly maintained, why not accept the digital piano as a valid option? It's not an entirely different instrument..I'd call it simply another class of piano with its own advantages and disadvantages. Wouldn't you recommend a high-quality digital over a spinet or used upright with a questionable maintenance history? "Acoustic" shouldn't trump all other concerns.

Many of us would like to have well-maintained, high-quality pianos, but when that's not possible we all accept shortcomings in our instruments. We buy low-cost second (or third, or fourth) hand instruments of questionable quality, we limit our playing time to respect neighbors, and we buy digital.

MHO is that both the "acoustic is always better than digital" and "digital is the same as acoustic" arguments are silly. There's a continuum of pianos out there, ranging from very good to very bad, and I'd put good digitals somewhere inside that spectrum. They don't default to the extreme low end, nor do they touch the extreme high end...but most of us are in the middle somewhere anyway.

edit: Of course a serious pianist will always want a good "real" piano, but a good digital can serve many people quite well.


Edited by buck2202 (04/03/09 08:38 PM)

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#1174007 - 04/03/09 09:03 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: Gerry Armstrong
Kenny,

Your 1st reaction is way off target. John is right when he states a digital piano is not an acoustic piano. I normally refer to digital pianos as digital pianos and acoustic pianos as "real" pianos.

As I pointed out above, and you agreed with me, there are many areas where a DP simply does not compare to a real piano.

So I fail to see what your point is, and why you are attacking one of the most valuable members in the Teacher's Forum.

I have played all of the DP's I have as I am looking to buy one to take advantage of the fact you can play with headphones on when I can't play my acoustic, but you don't need to have played all the ones I have to realise that none of them is a satisfactory substitute to a real piano for a serious piano student.



Look, you're not even understanding what my first reaction was. Let me spell it out to you. JOHN IS A GRAND PIANO BIGOT.

He's not even tried the latest Digital pianos. Digital pianos are pianos as much so as any other piano. Just just said so above. Of course that depends on your blinders I guess and how define a piano. Some apparently define a piano as ACOUSTIC ONLY. Well if they do, they are wrong, that's not what the rest of the world does.

I totally disagree with your assumption that NONE of them is a satisfactory substitute. That is just simply wrong.
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1174009 - 04/03/09 09:04 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Andromaque]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: Andromaque
Kenny
Ever been to a concert by a great classical pianist on a digital instrument??...


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

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#1174010 - 04/03/09 09:05 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
Originally Posted By: buck2202
I don't think anyone is saying that a digital piano is the same as a piano. There are qualities of a high-quality acoustic that cannot yet be reproduced on a digital instrument. Maybe someday that will happen, but not yet.

The point that I think the DP proponents should be trying to make is that digital instruments do capture many of the important qualities of acoustic pianos, and do it in a way that eliminates many of the acoustic piano's drawbacks -- noise that can disturb neighbors for apartment-dwellers, space issues that come with grand pianos, maintenance costs, difficulty of high-quality recording by amateurs, cost, etc.

Given that, and the fact that many, many household pianos out there are poorly maintained, why not accept the digital piano as a valid option? It's not an entirely different instrument..I'd call it simply another class of piano with its own advantages and disadvantages. Wouldn't you recommend a high-quality digital over a spinet or used upright with a questionable maintenance history? "Acoustic" shouldn't trump all other concerns.

Many of us would like to have well-maintained, high-quality pianos, but when that's not possible we all accept shortcomings in our instruments. We buy low-cost second (or third, or fourth) hand instruments of questionable quality, we limit our playing time to respect neighbors, and we buy digital.

MHO is that both the "acoustic is always better than digital" and "digital is the same as acoustic" arguments are silly. There's a continuum of pianos out there, ranging from very good to very bad, and I'd put good digitals somewhere inside that spectrum. They don't default to the extreme low end, nor do they touch the extreme high end...but most of us are in the middle somewhere anyway.

edit: Of course a serious pianist will always want a good "real" piano, but a good digital can serve many people quite well.


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

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#1174017 - 04/03/09 09:13 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 214
Loc: Cumbernauld, Scotland
You are free to disagree with me but I am not making any assumptions. I am simply stating my opinion. It does not mean I am blinkered, a bigot nor can you state that I must be wrong because I don't agree with you. I simply have a different opinion, that's all.

I stand by my view - for a serious piano student a DP is not a suitable substitute. You have a different view, fair enough.

I will only point out one more thing. You are attacking people who you believe don't have any experience of DP's yet you yourself stated earlier that you have little experience of acoustic pianos. You are comparing DP's to something that you have stated you know little about so on what basis can you attack others for something which you are doing yourself?
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Gerry Armstrong

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#1174018 - 04/03/09 09:14 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
I'm going to assume that John's answer to whether he has tried any of the current high end digital pianos is no. Which brings into question any of his other responses railing against digital pianos.

But I am still hoping to be enlightened by his answer to
why "They limit themselves when they choose this route."

Not that I actually expect an answer at this point. He's had plenty of opportunity, but has side-stepped it each time.

At least I got one question answered. smile
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1174020 - 04/03/09 09:16 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: 7349
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Kenny, perhaps your next post can be all caps, in 18 pt font.

I suggest you go back and carefully read what I wrote. I have never, ever stated I'm against using electric keyboards. The fact that I own 'em and loan to students ought to speak volumes.

I'm against calling them pianos, because, well, they're not pianos. And I prefer pianos to substitutes where ever possible, and yes, I prefer grands to uprights (I only have four uprights, and one grand, but who's counting). And I advise students to get pianos as soon as their budget will allow, and move up to grands whenever that's possible.

Have a pleasant evening practicing on your keyboard.

John
_________________________
"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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#1174023 - 04/03/09 09:22 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: Gerry Armstrong
You are free to disagree with me but I am not making any assumptions. I am simply stating my opinion. It does not mean I am blinkered, a bigot nor can you state that I must be wrong because I don't agree with you. I simply have a different opinion, that's all.

I stand by my view - for a serious piano student a DP is not a suitable substitute. You have a different view, fair enough.

I will only point out one more thing. You are attacking people who you believe don't have any experience of DP's yet you yourself stated earlier that you have little experience of acoustic pianos. You are comparing DP's to something that you have stated you know little about so on what basis can you attack others for something which you are doing yourself?



Gerry, you're certainly welcome to you opinion and to express it, as is John, as am I. You assertion that a digital piano is unsuitable to learn to play piano is simply wrong.

I'm only attacking the assertion that Digital Pianos are not suitable for learning to play piano. I certainly don't own an acoustic piano, but I have played them and I listen to them extensively.

I'm also arguing with the definition of "piano" as acoustic only. It certainly is not.
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1174029 - 04/03/09 09:27 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Kenny, perhaps your next post can be all caps, in 18 pt font.

I suggest you go back and carefully read what I wrote. I have never, ever stated I'm against using electric keyboards. The fact that I own 'em and loan to students ought to speak volumes.

I'm against calling them pianos, because, well, they're not pianos. And I prefer pianos to substitutes where ever possible, and yes, I prefer grands to uprights (I only have four uprights, and one grand, but who's counting). And I advise students to get pianos as soon as their budget will allow, and move up to grands whenever that's possible.

Have a pleasant evening practicing on your keyboard.

John


And that's the point John. You are simply wrong. There are all kinds of pianos. If you want to call a digital piano a zebra, then you are welcome to, but odds are the rest of the world is not going to see it your way. Enjoy your game, because that's all it is.


I'm still looking forward to your answer to my question.
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1174030 - 04/03/09 09:27 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11659
Loc: Canada
Kenny, let's try to get some understanding and meeting of different worlds here:

I haven't been back to piano that long - a bit over a year now - so I'm not terribly experienced. I did have a number of years of strings lessons in the last few years, which was my first formal instruction. It took me a couple of years to be able to hear qualities of sound that the musician works with: it's like I was deaf to them before. I still have a fair ways to go but I can "hear" much more than I used to. These things simply did not exist for me. Now, if a musician had told me of these things being missing in an instrument it would have been meaningless to me because they did not exist for me.

That's what I think is going on here. The people saying that digitals are not adequate for teaching, or for their musicianship, are experienced trained musicians and teachers. John will not be able to get his students to bring out of an instrument things that don't exist in that instrument. My own DP may be a poor model, but the best model still does not have these particular things. The problem is that if you have not heard or experienced these aspects of sound, and sound creation, you cannot relate to them. I am going from my experience as a student, and what I could hear later, but not before. There is no way that this can be conveyed to you, so the experienced pianist and teacher are helpless to explain it. The only way to explain it would probably to teach you over time (on an acoustic).

Since I am a strings student my ear is already sensitized to shades of sound and the way they emanate along the body of the instrument and sympathetically along other strings of an acoustic. My piano ear is still relatively weak and I can imagine that piano teachers would be seeing even more missing than I do.

I see by your posts that you are about my age, you have played a number of instruments, you've played around a bit on piano and now you're starting out again. I played a number of instruments as well before starting lessons in my late 40's: piano in childhood, recorder, classical guitar, mouth organ. Those things did not prepare me to hear what I am able to hear now. It's like the way honey bees see ultraviolet patterns on flowers that we can't see so the patterns aren't there for us.

Can you try to accept that perhaps these people are looking toward qualities that do not yet exist in digitals, and which they find essential? It is not acceptable to start attacking members in capital letters, and such a thing weakens any point you might be trying to make.

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#1174032 - 04/03/09 09:30 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 214
Loc: Cumbernauld, Scotland
You should carefully re-read what I have written as I did not make the statement you attribute to me i.e. Digital Pianos are not suitable for learning piano.

I was very explicit, so let me re-state for the 3rd and final time. In my opinion a DP is not a suitable substitute for a serious piano student. That is not the same as the statement you have attributed to me.

If you are going to quote me please use my own words.

And while Wikipedia is far from the equivalent of a full set of Oxford Encyclopaedias, here is an interesting link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano

_________________________
Gerry Armstrong

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#1174035 - 04/03/09 09:43 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: keystring]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: keystring
Kenny, let's try to get some understanding and meeting of different worlds here:

I haven't been back to piano that long - a bit over a year now - so I'm not terribly experienced. I did have a number of years of strings lessons in the last few years, which was my first formal instruction. It took me a couple of years to be able to hear qualities of sound that the musician works with: it's like I was deaf to them before. ....

Can you try to accept that perhaps these people are looking toward qualities that do not yet exist in digitals, and which they find essential? It is not acceptable to start attacking members in capital letters, and such a thing weakens any point you might be trying to make.


Certainly at the higher levels of musicianship there are going to be differences, just as there will be between an upright and a grand or different brands or models, some will be better than other, some people will not even be able to hear the differences, some will.

Never have I said that a digital piano is an exact replacement for an acoustic, they are simply different, just as a grand is different than an upright etc. etc. That doesn't make them unsuitable for learning to play piano and particularly true of the high-end digital pianos, which will eventually replace the acoustic piano for any number of reasons just as digital music has replaced analog and just as digital tv has replaced analog tv. It's just a matter of time. But even now the pianos are quite adequate that is all I'm trying to covey. Maybe I've misread some peoples comments here but they very well appear to be a vilification of digital pianos when it is certainly not deserved, particularly by those who have not even experienced them.

I hope that helps. I understand your point at the higher levels of musicianship of the current state of affairs, but that current state is changing. There will be those who embrace it and those who resist it. Only the future will hold the final result of what is the gold standard (currently a grand piano located deep in Fort Knox smile ).
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1174038 - 04/03/09 09:46 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
kennychaffin Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gerry Armstrong
You should carefully re-read what I have written as I did not make the statement you attribute to me i.e. Digital Pianos are not suitable for learning piano.

I was very explicit, so let me re-state for the 3rd and final time. In my opinion a DP is not a suitable substitute for a serious piano student. That is not the same as the statement you have attributed to me.

If you are going to quote me please use my own words.

And while Wikipedia is far from the equivalent of a full set of Oxford Encyclopaedias, here is an interesting link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano



So I guess then what you need to further define is "serious."

Is not any person that has a desire to learn to play piano and practices to that end not serious?

Sorry, but we seem to be pissing into the wind now, so pardon me if I just bow out. I think we've all had about enough of this silliness.

Thanks for playing.


P.S. that is an interesting link, particularly the part about DIGITAL PIANOS and Keyboards.


Edited by kennychaffin (04/03/09 09:52 PM)
Edit Reason: for John :)
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#1174042 - 04/03/09 09:58 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
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Thank you for re-reading what I wrote.

In my experience, very few people who want to learn to play the piano are serious about it.

Too many potential pianists don't realise just how difficult it is to play piano. Ask any piano teacher and they will tell you that lots of people want to be able to play but won't put the work in to get where they want to get to. Therefore they are not really serious about studying piano.

And in closing, I'm not here to vilify digital pianos. Indeed, my pocket is almost certain to be £1,300 lighter when I purchase my next DP, assuming that the P155 passes its audition next month. I love digital pianos. They are a great tool for me as it allows me to practice twice as much as I could with just an acoustic piano, but for me it will never take the place of my real piano.

Here is the link to Digital Pianos. You'll notice it has a separate link!! grin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_piano

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#1174048 - 04/03/09 10:18 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
Tenuto Offline
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Gerry Armstrong:

You are absolutely correct. When you look up "piano" in any dictionary or encyclopedia you will always get a description of an instrument with mechanical action based on Cristofori's original design.

In a separate article you will get a definition of "digital piano" and it describes an electronic instrument.

These are two separate instruments, used for different reasons and should have separate music written for each.

Here's the problem when we discuss these 2 instruments. We try to judge one as better than the other. That is not the case. They each serve their purpose. A beginner pianist may be able to start lessons on a digital and at least learn something basic.

Sometimes a piano student becomes more serious about playing the piano and that is when he has to decide what instrument he wants to learn. Does he want to be a virtuoso "digital pianist" or does he want to become a virtuoso "pianist."

I, for one, cannot play a digital piano very well because I am only familiar with the acoustic piano touch. It is very difficult to negotiate myself around a DP and I really have no interest in practicing on it. That is not to say that I do not admire those who can get around on a DP.

A DP is simply not my specialty. No value judgement needed.

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#1174049 - 04/03/09 10:21 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
Andromaque Offline
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Originally Posted By: kennychaffin
Originally Posted By: Andromaque
Kenny
Ever been to a concert by a great classical pianist on a digital instrument??...


Straw man argument.



stumped you! Surprise surprise, no echolalia ensued!!
laugh laugh

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#1174054 - 04/03/09 10:30 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
kennychaffin Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gerry Armstrong
Thank you for re-reading what I wrote.

In my experience, very few people who want to learn to play the piano are serious about it.

Too many potential pianists don't realise just how difficult it is to play piano. Ask any piano teacher and they will tell you that lots of people want to be able to play but won't put the work in to get where they want to get to. Therefore they are not really serious about studying piano.

And in closing, I'm not here to vilify digital pianos. Indeed, my pocket is almost certain to be £1,300 lighter when I purchase my next DP, assuming that the P155 passes its audition next month. I love digital pianos. They are a great tool for me as it allows me to practice twice as much as I could with just an acoustic piano, but for me it will never take the place of my real piano.

Here is the link to Digital Pianos. You'll notice it has a separate link!! grin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_piano



Thanks Garry and I apologize if I rubbed you and John and probably others the wrong way. Not my intent I assure you. I love pianos -- all kinds of pianos -- and it annoys me I guess when favorites are pick and put on a pedestal. There are all kinds of conditions and situations and very few are black and white.


You are very likely right about the seriousness. I wonder about my own seriousness, but will let it develop at it's own pace.

Yep, separate link, I do like this part though smile :
"sound, they nevertheless have many advantages over normal pianos:"

smile

I'm looking forward to a full review of that P155 when you get it.

I just received my Yamaha NP-30 which they market as a "Portable Grand Piano" smile It's pretty cool, but far from a real Grand Piano, but man is it portable. smile I can practice just about anywhere.

grin
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#1174058 - 04/03/09 10:34 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Tenuto]
kennychaffin Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tenuto
Gerry Armstrong:

....
Here's the problem when we discuss these 2 instruments. We try to judge one as better than the other. That is not the case. They each serve their purpose. A beginner pianist may be able to start lessons on a digital and at least learn something basic.
....


Thank you for that, you are right on target and said much more succinctly and with much less emotion what I was trying to convey.

No need to judge, or vilify or determine which is better or worse, they are all part of a spectrum of pianos.
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#1174060 - 04/03/09 10:35 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Andromaque]
kennychaffin Offline
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Originally Posted By: Andromaque
Originally Posted By: kennychaffin
Originally Posted By: Andromaque
Kenny
Ever been to a concert by a great classical pianist on a digital instrument??...


Straw man argument.



stumped you! Surprise surprise, no echolalia ensued!!
laugh laugh


Not really. smile The actual answer is, as you know, no. But I did see a few Emerson Lake and Palmer concerts a few years ago.
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#1174062 - 04/03/09 10:37 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
kennychaffin Offline
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Apologies for hijacking the thread so far off Pianozuki!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.
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#1174065 - 04/03/09 10:40 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
TimR Offline
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Originally Posted By: kennychaffin
Originally Posted By: Gerry Armstrong
You should carefully re-read what I have written



So I guess then what you need to further define is "serious."



No, I think we know what definition of serious is being used here, and it is intricately linked to the difficulties with the DP.

It is simply this: There is one and only one worthwhile purpose to taking piano lessons, and that is to prepare for a conservatory education and an eventual career as a concert pianist using only grand pianos of only nine feet or larger and only playing composers dead 300 years or more.

Those of us who have other goals, to play pop or jazz or rock or just advance our musical education or, -horrors- like me, to play organ, we are not serious. We are BY DEFINITION not serious.

I guess I would agree that the truly serious, by this definition, are not likely to benefit by using a DP even for one measure.

I'm not so sure that the rest of us, the dedicated but NOT SERIOUS, could not do as well or better on a DP. Nothing in this discussion has really addressed that.

I am reasonably sure by the sales statistics that this problem will solve itself. At the rate acoustic sales are dropping, and DP sales are rising, if teachers become a purist in this respect they will shortly have no students.
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#1174078 - 04/03/09 11:03 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: TimR]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
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Your definition of serious is not what I meant at all. You don't have to be shooting for Conservatory and a career as a Concert Pianist to be a serious student.

One thing you said puzzles me somewhat. If your goal is to play the Organ why would you be interested in Digital Pianos? Wouldn't your goal be better served by buying an Organ?
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#1174086 - 04/03/09 11:36 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Pianozuki,

Just after my last answer to you, my wife arrived home with a letter from an area piano rebuilder, Ryan Sowers. That reminded me that the Pacific NW is blessed with a number of top notch rebuilders, whose pianos are definitely worth a look-see. Several models were under $5k. I don't know how that fits with your budget, but a check of the piano technicians' forum, and a call for help my bring you some prospects.

Best of luck.

John
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#1174088 - 04/03/09 11:40 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Gerry, I was going to try to resist, really, I was, but I just couldn't pass this up.

You mean "digital organ" right? grin
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#1174121 - 04/04/09 12:38 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
TimR Offline
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Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Gerry Armstrong
Your definition of serious is not what I meant at all. You don't have to be shooting for Conservatory and a career as a Concert Pianist to be a serious student.

One thing you said puzzles me somewhat. If your goal is to play the Organ why would you be interested in Digital Pianos? Wouldn't your goal be better served by buying an Organ?



Seriously. whoops, not sure I can use that word! When I first approached a skilled organist, she said piano skills were foundational to organ playing. Not that I accepted that at face value, but there seems to be agreement on the subject. Organ builds on piano skills. So I struggle to improve piano, but my long term goals are organ, provided of course I live that long.

And if not, the journey has been rewarding!

But part of the point is that my interest is not really in the fine subtlties of piano nuance, except as they apply to organ. And when I sent my children to piano lessons, I did not expect them to ever achieve solo pianist skills. The purpose did not seem to demand owning a grand piano, or the top of the line upright. In fact, the purpose seemed well served by a good DP, and they improve every year.

Bottom line, I want to make music, not play piano. Sorry!
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#1174124 - 04/04/09 12:42 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted By: pianozuki
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?


To answer your question--

I do require my students to have an acoustic piano at home. My last student to make the switch from DP to a Yamaha upright (October of last year) has since made outstanding progress. She can make dynamic shadings like never before.

I teach classical music. Almost all of my students are playing intermediate and/or advanced classical repertoire. But even for my handful of beginners I require them to have an upright at the very least. In my personal experience, students who do not practice on an acoustic piano:

1) quit piano within six months,

2) are not interested in learning classical repertoire,

3) are not sensitive to different levels of dynamics, and

4) do not develop strength in their fingers.

That being said, I am also particular about what upright pianos the students have. Several of my current students play on substandard instruments, which holds them back from advancing into more difficult repertoire. I've been hammering away at their parents to get them either a baby grand or a "quality" upright piano. Like John said, it's not these parents can't afford buying a good instrument that costs $6,000. Heck, I just helped one of my students get a very good (brand new!) upright piano for less than that.

Some of these students have been studying with me for more than 3 years. It is very frustrating to me as a teacher to witness students who are not progressing properly because their parents are unwilling to get a good instrument.
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#1174128 - 04/04/09 12:53 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Horwinkle Offline
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I'm not sure what the fuss is all about.

Whether digital pianos will ever be as good as acoustic pianos is not relevant to me.

I gave up my worn out upright and bought a CLP240 last fall. I don't think I'll ever go back.
  • I like the feel of the DP keyboard better.
  • The sound is not as good as the upright was when the latter was in tip-top shape, long ago. But I couldn't see fit to do all the fixing up the upright needed. It needed new hammers, some flange repairs, regulation, and some replacements for rattling wound strings. Money money money.
Since I did not (could not, would not) spend the money fixing the upright, I got the DP, and it sounds, feels, and plays MUCH better. You see, there are some cases where DP beats acoustic. (We're not all millionaires, ya know.) grin

So I don't ever intend to go back to an acoustic.

Am I a piano player? No, I'm a DP player. So what?

Does the DP spoil my ability to play an acoustic. No! An acoustic spoils my ability to play a DP.

Does the DP prevent me from performing in concert? No. I have no intention of performing in concert.

There's more to the story than just the pianos. There's the player and his circumstaces. So it's best not to make generalizations about "acoustic vs. digital".

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#1174163 - 04/04/09 05:10 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: AZNpiano]
pianozuki Offline
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Thanks for your reply, AZNpiano.

I do require my students to have an acoustic piano at home. My last student to make the switch from DP to a Yamaha upright (October of last year) has since made outstanding progress. She can make dynamic shadings like never before.

It would be useful to know which DP she switched from. My Yamaha Clavinova CLP-124 was considered a pretty fair DP when I bought it in the mid-90's, but it certainly is not now. Thus my search for a DP to replace it (with the outside chance that the replacement will be an acoustic, my teacher's wish for me).
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#1174166 - 04/04/09 05:25 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: TimR]
kennychaffin Offline
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Originally Posted By: TimR
[quote=Gerry Armstrong]....

Bottom line, I want to make music, not play piano. Sorry!


I'm trying to resist, but by piano you mean Analog Acoustic Piano, right?
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#1174168 - 04/04/09 05:30 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
kennychaffin Offline
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Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Gerry, I was going to try to resist, really, I was, but I just couldn't pass this up.

You mean "digital organ" right? grin


grin grin Call your organ what you want, you certainly do with pianos. grin grin
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#1174172 - 04/04/09 05:49 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
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Originally Posted By: kennychaffin


I'm trying to resist, but by piano you mean Analog Acoustic Piano, right?


Analogue is a different type of electronic signal to Digital so has nothing to do with Acoustic Pianos.
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#1174180 - 04/04/09 06:06 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
kennychaffin Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gerry Armstrong
Originally Posted By: kennychaffin


I'm trying to resist, but by piano you mean Analog Acoustic Piano, right?


Analogue is a different type of electronic signal to Digital so has nothing to do with Acoustic Pianos.


Not in my definition. Analog = Acoustic.





Edited by kennychaffin (04/04/09 06:07 AM)
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#1174188 - 04/04/09 06:50 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
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Sorry Kenny, but you don't get to define the meaning of words and neither do I.

Look it up in the dictionary.
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#1174190 - 04/04/09 06:58 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
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In case you don't have a dictionary to hand.

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=analog&db=luna
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#1174193 - 04/04/09 07:17 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
kennychaffin Offline
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Tell that to John. smile
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#1174194 - 04/04/09 07:24 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
kennychaffin Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gerry Armstrong
In case you don't have a dictionary to hand.

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=analog&db=luna



Analog is a term used to describe a system that exhibits continuous physical properties.
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#1174197 - 04/04/09 07:43 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
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I'm afraid that's not what it means.

Click on the link I posted for you to read what it actually means.
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#1174199 - 04/04/09 07:50 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
pianozuki Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gerry Armstrong
I'm afraid that's not what it means.

Click on the link I posted for you to read what it actually means.



When I click I get

–adjective
2. of or pertaining to a mechanism that represents data by measurement of a continuous physical variable, as voltage or pressure.

What's the problem?
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#1174202 - 04/04/09 07:53 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
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An acoustic piano doesn't measure anything. The strings simply resonate at the frequency they have been tuned to when they are struck by a hammer.

No measurement takes place and no data is represented after it has been measured.
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#1174205 - 04/04/09 07:57 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
pianozuki Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gerry Armstrong
An acoustic piano doesn't measure anything. The strings simply resonate at the frequency they have been tuned to when they are struck by a hammer.

No measurement takes place and no data is represented after it has been measured.



Ah, but the key here is "continuous physical variable".

In this sense analogue and digital are antonyms.
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#1174211 - 04/04/09 08:11 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
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No, the key is that data is not measured and data is not represented based on what was measured. The difference between digital and analogue is how the data is measured and represented.

An acoustic piano does neither of these things.
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#1174216 - 04/04/09 08:21 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
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Another interesting link which describes the differences between Analog and Digital Sound Reproduction.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_recording
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#1174232 - 04/04/09 09:12 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
kennychaffin Offline
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Gerry, clearly you seem to just want to argue. My point in all this is that John has created his own definition of "piano" which is not what the rest of the world concurs on and that definition is what he is basing his follow on claim that the student is limiting themselves. In his world that is true, but it's a fantasy world sort of like Ronald Regan's wish for a nuclear bomb free world.

As far as analog you are not understanding the base meaning of analog vs digital. Analog equates to continuous, digital equates to discrete samples.
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#1174235 - 04/04/09 09:15 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
kennychaffin Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gerry Armstrong
Another interesting link which describes the differences between Analog and Digital Sound Reproduction.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_recording



We're not discussing recording.
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#1174236 - 04/04/09 09:17 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: TimR]
Hop Offline
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I've owned and played three acoustic upright pianos, the last olf which was an Everett studio piano (circa 1970, new at that time). I now play on a Roland FP-5, which I prefer over any of the previous pianos for touch, and perhaps even tone.
2
Perhaps it has to do with the type of music you like to play (pop, classical, etc.), and how (well) you play it. I've got to agree that a really good acoustic piano, especially a nice grand, allows for a wider range of expression, and a certain presence that appeals. I haven't played the new Roland V piano, but I wonder how much better that is than my 3 year old FP-5.

That said, it doesn't have to be an either/or choice. I'm getting a HG 178 grand that I hope to enjoy also. It will be interesting to me to see whether the grand piano allows me to do things I couldn't do before, or whether the tone and touch will make it still more enjoyable to play.

Hope so.
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#1174238 - 04/04/09 09:24 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
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A quote from one of the links I have posted:

"Analog sound reproduction is the reverse process, with a bigger loudspeaker diaphragm causing changes to atmospheric pressure to form acoustic sound waves. Electronically generated sound waves may also be recorded directly from devices such as an electric guitar pickup or a synthesizer, without the use of acoustics in the recording process other than the need for musicians to hear how well they are playing during recording sessions."

"Digital recording and reproduction uses the same analog technologies, with the added digitization of the sonographic data and signal, allowing it to be stored and transmitted on a wider variety of media."

The issue isn't the differnce between digital and analog, but the difference between both of these and acoustically generated sound waves. An acoustic piano uses neither analog or digital technology to generate sound waves.

I'm not arguing, just trying to point out your error i.e. an Acoustic Piano is not analog, or digital for that matter.
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#1174245 - 04/04/09 09:42 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
keystring Online   content
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I would like to thank the teachers for the question that was directed at teachers, as well as their explanations. smile

KS

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#1174931 - 04/05/09 02:51 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Hop]
Surendipity Offline
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Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 129
Could you see Mozart or Bach on a Yamaha Clavicord?

Could you see Michelangelo in Photoshop?

Wow the world would blow up with spectacular light and sound.

Can you play Bach in Clavicord mode on an Acoustic?
NOOOOO..

Can you punch in rhythms and full orchestra on an Acoustic?
NOOOO..

Can you create 4 to 8 track full orchestration on an Acoustic?

Can you learn the sounds and timber of other instruments?

Can you play the drums on an Acoustic?

How many keys on a Clavicord, Harpsicord, Spinet?

What does a Glockenspiel sound like?

Can you print, write or plug an Acoutic into a computer.

Can you take an Acoustic to your buds house?

Do you have to tune an Electronic instrument at 120.00 a pop?

Do you have to worry about humidity that much?

Will a key ever be out of tune?

Think about church organists?


You can play an Acoustic in the dark by candle light if the power goes off.

I play on an upright Yamaha U3 Acoustic. I teach on anything, and have taught on nothing (another strange story)

I want a Yamaha ps525 but they are hard to come by.
Got one, I have a symphony I would like to discover in full sound.

Miss Laura






Edited by Surendipity (04/05/09 02:54 PM)

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#1174936 - 04/05/09 03:02 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Surendipity]
kennychaffin Offline
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Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: Surendipity
.... and have taught on nothing (another strange story)
....

Miss Laura




Would love to hear that story. smile
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#1174953 - 04/05/09 03:32 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
Surendipity Offline
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Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 129
I have a student this year who started in Sept.
He did not have a piano at home. I was helping his father locate one but there was much this and that. I didn't ask why and his father and his son continued to show up for lessons.
The son was very good though and I kept at his father to get anything. 3 months go by and still the child is doing well and still there is no instrument in the home.
I am at my sisters for Christmas dinner and am asked to go into the basement to fetch large serving platters.
While there I spot an old very old keyboard with a broken G key, totaly missing, none the less it goes home with me and I lend it to my student. He is advancing nicely even with this old broken machine and my guess is his father is waiting to see the results before continuing to invest. Well, this years recital "Night at the Oscars" will be very enlightening for his father. I think a new piano will be on its way. This child asks alot of questions and that's a good sign, he plays very well and I let him know it.
I push him hard because he doesn't yet believe in himself like I do. His father is a lovely person as well as his mother and brothers. He may just not have the funds currently so I am glad I was able to help out. It actually gave me an idea to purchase a fairly good keyboard so I could offer lessons to students who wanted to give it a try. In this financial climate all ideas are welcomed.

Miss Laura

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#1174963 - 04/05/09 03:43 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Surendipity]
kennychaffin Offline
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Registered: 03/19/09
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Thanks for that Laura!
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#1174996 - 04/05/09 04:34 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Surendipity]
Oblacone Offline
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Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 344
Loc: Norway :D
Originally Posted By: Surendipity

I play on an upright Yamaha U3 Acoustic. I teach on anything, and have taught on nothing (another strange story)


Miss Laura





But that doesnt make sense... i mean if you teach on anything but then you taught on nothing.. it would mean that you teach in imaginary world...but in real life you taught on nothing... anyway.. but when the power goes off your acoustic would be out of tune unless you spent money on tuning something you never used...
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#1175011 - 04/05/09 04:57 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Oblacone]
Chris H. Online   content
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Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2895
Loc: UK.
I went back several pages to read the OP. This question is asked by a student who is concerned that owning a DP will limit their progress. The teacher obviously seems to think so as do a few of the teachers in the forum. But I think pianozuki might be asking the wrong people! Why not ask over in pianist corner how many of the excellent pianist's there own a DP and don't have a grand piano? Did it limit their progress?
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#1175013 - 04/05/09 04:59 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Oblacone]
Jeff Clef Offline
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Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
Miss Laura wrote: "I have a student this year who started in Sept. He did not have a piano at home. I was helping his father locate one but...

"...While there I spot an old very old keyboard with a broken G key, totaly missing, none the less it goes home with me and I lend it to my student. He is advancing nicely even with this old broken machine..."

Don't know if this link to Music Link Foundation would be of any help to your student, but it could be worth a try. The quote below the link is from their website:

http://www.musiclinkfoundation.org/

"If you have an instrument that you would like to donate to the MusicLink Foundation for use by our MusicLink students and programs, please contact us through email, explaining specifics of the instrument and your location."
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#1175018 - 04/05/09 05:04 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Jeff Clef]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
Miss Laura wrote: "I have a student this year who started in Sept. He did not have a piano at home. I was helping his father locate one but...

"...While there I spot an old very old keyboard with a broken G key, totaly missing, none the less it goes home with me and I lend it to my student. He is advancing nicely even with this old broken machine..."

Don't know if this link to Music Link Foundation would be of any help to your student, but it could be worth a try. The quote below the link is from their website:

http://www.musiclinkfoundation.org/

"If you have an instrument that you would like to donate to the MusicLink Foundation for use by our MusicLink students and programs, please contact us through email, explaining specifics of the instrument and your location."


Very cool. And this is OT, but Laura's posting as well as John's loaning a keyboard, made me think, "Wouldn't it be nice if the PianoWorld forum did something (and maybe it does and I've just missed it) to help provide instruments or assistance to young players in need."
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#1175065 - 04/05/09 06:37 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
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Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
Kenny,

That has happened in at least one case. A dealer in the Pianists Corner donated a piano to someone.

Rich
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#1175074 - 04/05/09 06:59 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: DragonPianoPlayer]
kennychaffin Offline
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Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Very cool. Music is very important.
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"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1175602 - 04/06/09 03:30 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
Alex P. Keaton Offline
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Registered: 06/21/07
Posts: 55
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
My current teacher recommends DPs to new students over buying an acoustic for two primary reasons: more available practice time (due to headphones) and no need for tuning which can be a big advantage to young students who's parents are responsible for keeping the piano tuned and may not know or care about doing this.

I would think that these two advantages outweigh any perceived "feel" advantage of an acoustic, especially for beginner and intermediate players.

If your budget is under $3k (which I would think is most beginners), would not a DP be better off in almost every aspect anyway? I would think the ideal situation is to start off with a DP, then once you determine that you are very serious, buy an acoustic, and then you have both and have the advantages of both! I don't think playing on a DP would "hurt" your progress like some here seem to be implying.

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#1175624 - 04/06/09 04:25 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Alex P. Keaton]
tickler Offline
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Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 373
Loc: Chicagoland
Let me share an example with you:

A friend of mine used to have an acoustic, an old spinet which was in decent shape and tuned and maintained regularly. She played mainly hymns, pop songs and show tunes. She played with expression and enthusiasm, playing at about the mid-intermediate level.

Then her acoustic developed a serious problem that would've cost too much to fix. So they replaced it with a DP.

Now, when she plays an acoustic piano, I've noticed 2 things:
1. Her touch is very, very light -- she has to work hard to press the keys all the way to the key bed. As a result, she has to practice on the acoustic for a while to play a song all the way through -- otherwise a lot of the notes don't sound.
2. Her playing has no dynamics any more. Everything she plays is the same volume -- where her dynamics used to be varied, loud when it should be, soft when it should be, etc.

The acoustic she's playing on is mine -- a grand with a medium-weight touch, perfectly regulated and tuned. So there's absolutely no issue of the acoustic inhibiting her playing.

My conclusion is that exclusive practice on a DP does affect your ability to play an acoustic piano. So if you intend to perform on an acoustic, you should practice -- at least some of the time -- on an acoustic.


Mary
_________________________
Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman. -- Beethoven
1911 Steinway A-II (2007 Rebuild)

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#1175635 - 04/06/09 04:38 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: tickler]
kennychaffin Offline
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Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: tickler
Let me share an example with you:

.....

Then her acoustic developed a serious problem that would've cost too much to fix. So they replaced it with a DP.
....

My conclusion is that exclusive practice on a DP does affect your ability to play an acoustic piano. So if you intend to perform on an acoustic, you should practice -- at least some of the time -- on an acoustic.


Mary



Mary, I'm wondering, but I bet you don't know what model of Digital Piano?

Certainly the feel is quite varied from model to model, with only some of them (typically the higher-end) digital pianos approaching the feel of an acoustic.
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#1175640 - 04/06/09 04:49 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Alex P. Keaton]
MA Offline
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Exactly what I did for my children. My daughter spend her first six months on a good Yamaha DP (with Yamaha GP action) and then moved to an acoustic grand. My son started about 6 months ago and has been spending 80% time on a better Yamaha DP (with GP3 action) and 20% on the grand. My daughter still spends about 20% on the DP. In both cases, no negative impact.

So the progress of a student depends more on the student, parents (if the student is very young) and the teacher than whether he practies on a good DP vs. an acoustic upright/grand.

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#1175641 - 04/06/09 04:51 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: tickler]
MA Offline
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
What DP was she using?

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#1175645 - 04/06/09 04:55 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: MA]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
i personally do not find it difficult to switch between keyboards. i play on various organs with actions all over the board.. one i could build muscles on.

i think it most important to acquire skill and literature.. i think a kid particularly could adapt to a different action with few problems.

i've taught kids on my grand (Renner action).. they practice on digitals but quickly adapt. I think it not detrimental in the long run altho they would have to learn to play 'percussively'.

an acoustic piano is best but a digital is certainly better than nothing.. (not to disparage digital pianos).
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love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1175654 - 04/06/09 05:02 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
tickler Offline
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Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 373
Loc: Chicagoland
Nope, I don't know what model DP she plays. However, I think that the recommendation holds no matter what model DP you play. Users of high end DPs will probably require less adjustment to play on an acoustic.

In addition, I would bet that the vast majority of people with a DP do not have the highest-end models. If the only instrument they practice on is their not-high-end DP, then they'll need an opportunity to get used to the acoustic before performing on it.


Mary
_________________________
Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman. -- Beethoven
1911 Steinway A-II (2007 Rebuild)

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#1175656 - 04/06/09 05:09 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: tickler]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: tickler
Nope, I don't know what model DP she plays. However, I think that the recommendation holds no matter what model DP you play. Users of high end DPs will probably require less adjustment to play on an acoustic.

In addition, I would bet that the vast majority of people with a DP do not have the highest-end models. If the only instrument they practice on is their not-high-end DP, then they'll need an opportunity to get used to the acoustic before performing on it.


Mary



Mary, if that's your recommendation, I can't argue with that, but as I indicated (and have others) that it matters what the feel of the Digital Piano is. Some are very good as far as the same feel and responsiveness as an acoustic. I don't think you can just make a blanket statement without knowing the details.

Thanks.
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#1175685 - 04/06/09 06:15 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
Horwinkle Offline
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Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 1011
Two things:

1. Let's take the original question in reverse ... After playing an acoustic piano, how hard is it to adapt to a digital?

2. Also ... I wonder if the original question is moot because it generalizes about the feel of an acoustic and the feel of a digital. Is that a meaningful comparison? Do all acoustics feel the same? Do all digitals feel the same? I'd say no to all three of those questions. Consequently, one can only compare a specific acoustic to a specific DP.

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#1175696 - 04/06/09 06:30 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: tickler]
MA Offline
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
My son has had no problem switching from our DPs to our acoustic grand to the grand pianos in his teacher's studio to the upright and grand pianos in practice rooms to Steinway Concert Grand pianos on stage. (He had more problems adjusting and positioning the benches.)

And again, he spends most his time on one of our DPs out of conveniece. "He plays with sensitivity and already has great control!" (as one concert pianist and piano teacher has commented.)

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#1175700 - 04/06/09 06:38 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
tickler Offline
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Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 373
Loc: Chicagoland
kennychaffin wrote:
Quote:
it matters what the feel of the Digital Piano is. Some are very good as far as the same feel and responsiveness as an acoustic.


To that, I ask: same as which specific acoustic?

No two acoustic pianos feel the same. Some acoustics have a heavier feel, others a lighter feel. A grand's action allows for faster repeated key strokes than a spinet.

Whatever specific acoustic the DP is trying to imitate, it's almost certainly not the piano that one will be performing on.


Mary
_________________________
Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman. -- Beethoven
1911 Steinway A-II (2007 Rebuild)

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#1175701 - 04/06/09 06:40 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: tickler]
tickler Offline
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Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 373
Loc: Chicagoland
Quote:
1. Let's take the original question in reverse ... After playing an acoustic piano, how hard is it to adapt to a digital?


Gah!!! I hope I never have to!

I almost put a smile on the above sentence. But then realized that I do feel that way. No offense to all the DP advocats on the forum.

Mary
_________________________
Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman. -- Beethoven
1911 Steinway A-II (2007 Rebuild)

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#1175718 - 04/06/09 07:06 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: tickler]
kennychaffin Offline
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Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: tickler
kennychaffin wrote:
Quote:
it matters what the feel of the Digital Piano is. Some are very good as far as the same feel and responsiveness as an acoustic.


To that, I ask: same as which specific acoustic?

No two acoustic pianos feel the same. Some acoustics have a heavier feel, others a lighter feel. A grand's action allows for faster repeated key strokes than a spinet.

Whatever specific acoustic the DP is trying to imitate, it's almost certainly not the piano that one will be performing on.


Mary


Mute point Mary. We were talking about your specific experience to which you did not know the digital piano in question so my answer is the same as yours.
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#1175720 - 04/06/09 07:08 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: tickler]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: tickler
Quote:
1. Let's take the original question in reverse ... After playing an acoustic piano, how hard is it to adapt to a digital?


Gah!!! I hope I never have to!

I almost put a smile on the above sentence. But then realized that I do feel that way. No offense to all the DP advocats on the forum.

Mary


Hmmmm, see that's part of my issue in this thread. I suspect you've probably never played a really good digital piano. That's fine if you don't want to, but it's not good to reject them if you are not aware. smile
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#1175830 - 04/06/09 10:52 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
tickler Offline
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Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 373
Loc: Chicagoland
Kenny -- I don't know what your issues with this thread are, but let me re-iterate my position.

I've never said that DPs are bad. What I've said is that if ALL you practice on is a DP and you're going to perform on an acoustic, that you should practice on an acoustic at least once, preferably on the acoustic that you'll be performing on. Who wants surprises at a live performance?? I would also recommend that if all you practice on is an acoustic and you'll be performing on a DP, you'd better practice at least once on a DP.

I admit, the only DPs I've played have not been top-of-the line models. I know that DPs have a wide variety of features that acoustics do not, but I have no need or desire to take advantage of those features. By features, I mean things like: portability, playing silently (only a few acoustics do this), playing with other sounds than that of an acoustic, connecting to a computer, adding rhythms or accompaniments, no tuning required.

Let's not forget that the goal of DP development is to provide touch and tone that mimic an acoustic piano. The acoustic piano is the standard by which DPs are judged! DPs are a useful tool, but they're imitations of the real thing -- the acoustic piano.


Mary
_________________________
Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman. -- Beethoven
1911 Steinway A-II (2007 Rebuild)

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#1175874 - 04/07/09 12:20 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: tickler]
buck2202 Offline
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Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 216
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted By: tickler
I've never said that DPs are bad. What I've said is that if ALL you practice on is a DP and you're going to perform on an acoustic, that you should practice on an acoustic at least once, preferably on the acoustic that you'll be performing on. Who wants surprises at a live performance?? I would also recommend that if all you practice on is an acoustic and you'll be performing on a DP, you'd better practice at least once on a DP.

I think this is a quite reasonable position. In terms of performing, you're best served by practicing on an instrument as close to the performance instrument as possible. And there's usually some need for adjustment when going to any unfamiliar instrument. The closer your own piano is to the "best" piano (read "best" to mean high-quality grand, since different grands have their own distinctions), the less adjustment you'll need when you play on one.

I don't think that anyone can argue against the idea that a person should have (or at least regularly practice on) the best instrument that they can...and the point that I've been trying to make all along is that for some people, the best instrument that fits into their situation is a DP. Heck, for some people's goals, the best instrument is a DP. A good grand will always be the standard, but that doesn't mean that a lesser instrument (be it grand, upright, spinet, DP, whatever) is always bad. Unless you get a top-tier grand, you're probably limiting yourself as a pianist in some way, but we do the best that we can.

Originally Posted By: tickler
Let's not forget that the goal of DP development is to provide touch and tone that mimic an acoustic piano. The acoustic piano is the standard by which DPs are judged! DPs are a useful tool, but they're imitations of the real thing -- the acoustic piano.

Partially true, I think. To take Yamaha as an example, their high-quality DP lines include two classes: one that is almost solely a piano (CLP), and one that builds on the piano line with many different voices, accompaniment, and recording features (CVP). In the CLP class, yes, the goal is first and foremost to be the best acoustic piano replacement that they can. The CVP class can be for a different crowd, and it can't be called simply a "piano wannabe". You can partially judge it that way, but to a person who actually uses all of the additional features, it's much more than that.


To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure what this thread is about anymore. I don't think that anyone disputes that
  • A DP is superior to some acoustic pianos in quality
  • A DP can't approach a top-tier grand in being the best piano
  • DPs are sometimes the best piano possible for a given situation, and DPs are sometimes superior to acoustic pianos for a person's particular goals

Some people don't see that a good acoustic is "better" than a DP because the DP serves their own goals as well or better than an acoustic could. And some people think that a DP is a bad choice because it can't be a better piano than the best acoustic pianos. Are we really arguing about anything but semantics at this point? We wouldn't be arguing if the thread topic was "how many of your students have only a spinet?" but much of the dialog would be the same. "I don't have the space/money for a grand" or "a grand would be too loud" or "the spinet is fine for my needs" or whatever, vs. "you're limiting your development" or "the touch/sound is inferior." The biggest difference would be that no one would argue that a spinet piano isn't a "piano."

If you have and enjoy a DP, and you bought it because an acoustic piano wouldn't fit into your situation (noise, space, money, etc.), fine..you have a "piano." If you have and enjoy a DP, and you bought it because it does things that an acoustic can't (recording, voices, accompaniment, etc.), fine..you have a "digital piano." What does it matter what other people call it? You and your teacher are the best judges of what's best for your development, and you alone can judge what's best for your situation.

Geez..now I've gone and typed so much that I've forgotten what we're arguing about.

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#1175904 - 04/07/09 03:03 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: buck2202]
pianozuki Offline
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Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 180
Loc: Bellevue WA, USA
buck2202 wrote:
I don't think that anyone disputes that

* A DP is superior to some acoustic pianos in quality
* A DP can't approach a top-tier grand in being the best piano
* DPs are sometimes the best piano possible for a given situation, and DPs are sometimes superior to acoustic pianos for a person's particular goals


I'm the OP. I agree with points 1 and 3, but want to take issue with point 2.

It seems buck2202, and others here believe not only that there is no DP that can come close to the best acoustic, but that in principle there can't be such a DP. Some argue that those DP designed to come as close as possible to the touch and tone of the best acoustic grand will always remain an imitation and not the real thing, and therefore less. THAT latter argument is IMO specious and doesn't interest me. Remember, I'm the student whose teacher told him he won't realize his potential unless he gets an excellent acoustic, preferably a grand. Her reason is that without such a piano I won't learn to express all the nuances possible only with an excellent acoustic. I'm not at all interested in performing in public, nor in preparing myself to play a grand piano.

But back to the in principle argument. I trust there is agreement here among those who have looked at today's DPs, that the better DPs are in fact becoming better, i.e., approaching the ideal touch and tone of an excellent acoustic. No cigar yet, I'll agree, but how about 10 or 5 or even 2 years from now? If at some point blindfolded top-flight pianists can't tell the difference between the best DP and a concert grand by playing them, then we have a difference that is no longer a difference.

I haven't seen that anyone in this thread has followed through on my suggestion to view the demos of the soon-to-be-released Roland V-Piano, at http://www.roland.com/V-Piano/ . Could this be my piano?


Edited by pianozuki (04/07/09 03:07 AM)
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#1175913 - 04/07/09 04:12 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2895
Loc: UK.
Originally Posted By: pianozuki
Remember, I'm the student whose teacher told him he won't realize his potential unless he gets an excellent acoustic, preferably a grand. Her reason is that without such a piano I won't learn to express all the nuances possible only with an excellent acoustic. I'm not at all interested in performing in public, nor in preparing myself to play a grand piano.


But where does she draw the line? Even if you did plan to be a concert pianist what should you do? A concert pianist will perform on a premium concert grand piano in a concert hall. So if you are going to express all the nuances possible in this ideal situation you had better go out and buy a concert grand and while you are at it a concert hall to put it in. Anything else has its limitations. If you shoehorn a large grand piano into a small room its expressive qualities are limited (I know because I have done this in the past). If you buy a 100 year old acoustic which has not been restored then its expressive qualities are limited. If you buy the best DP on the market then its expressive qualities will still be limited. None of this matters to me. A good pianist needs to be able to adapt to any piano in any situation because they are all different. Unless you are going to perform on the same one in the same place all the time you had better get used to this. It's a skill which develops with time and experience. By the time you need to be able to do this you should be performing regularly in different situations. That is the only way to practise this aspect of performance. What you have at home might not really matter at this point.

I don't much like that flashy V piano. For me the beauty of pianos is their individuality and personality. I get excited when I sit down to play a new piano because you don't know what to expect. You have to respond to what you hear and feel. I don't want a bland box which can simulate any sound. It has no soul. Just my opinion though. If you like it then get it. Looks expensive though.
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#1175923 - 04/07/09 05:04 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
buck2202 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 216
Loc: Cleveland, OH
I'm not sure what to say about the V-piano...obviously you'll have to try it and see what you think. Guitar center's website is showing it for preorder at about $6000, so yes, expensive. About twice what a lot of people in the DP forum are paying for near top-of-the-line right now.

I agree that the in principle argument is specious. If your definition of a piano is strings in hammers, a DP can never be a piano at all, and I don't agree with that. But I wouldn't be much of an electrical engineer if I didn't believe that a DP will rival an acoustic grand in touch and tone someday. As for when, I'm not sure...some people will tell you that midi software already gets pretty close on the sound front, and I can't imagine it being that expensive for manufacturers to get that built in. In terms of touch, I'm not sure...I've played an acoustic grand once in my life for about 10 minutes, so I don't have a basis to compare where my DP (CLP 370) is now. I can tell you definitively that it's worlds above my previous low end DP, and that I quite prefer it to the acoustic upright that I take my lessons on.

You're right, though...my second point should have read that in terms of being a piano, today's DPs don't rival the best acoustic grands. And admittedly, that's just something that I have to take on faith from the people who know what a grand can do.

The engineer in me doesn't think that it should take that long to get DPs functionally comparable to the best acoustic grands...but then again, the engineer in me doesn't see what should be so hard about it in the first place. Memory and processing power are cheap, and the feeling of striking a piano key, quite frankly, is complex but not impossible to model. If I had to guess, I would say that the current state of DP technology has more to do with marketing than research.


My take on your initial question (if you really want to drop the semantic argument smile ) is that a new DP will be worlds above the one that you have now for sure. Will it limit your development? A top-level pianist can surely do things with a concert grand that can't be done with today's DP. But I think the line between people that can and people that can't is a fuzzy one...when does one get to that point? 10 years? 15? 5? My feeling is that you can't go wrong upgrading to today's DP from where you are now. A good acoustic grand would be a better piano. A top-level upright, maybe better. But if your circumstances don't permit it, or you just prefer the convenience of a DP right now, I wouldn't lose sleep over "lost potential." I think if you're actually being limited by your instrument right now, you don't have to sit around guessing about it. If you can't tell that you've hit a ceiling, surely your teacher can.

And even if you spend the money on a DP today and find that it does limit you in 5 or 10 years, it doesn't automatically become useless if you decide that you do want an acoustic grand after all. The digital will still have its own advantages. And if you still don't want an acoustic grand, get a new DP. It's technology, not an heirloom (as the prices of a DP and a grand conclusively indicate)...they'll get better and they'll probably get cheaper (unless yamaha and roland start copying apple's pricing scheme smile )

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#1175937 - 04/07/09 05:45 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Chris H.]
pianozuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 180
Loc: Bellevue WA, USA
Hmm. I'm just not getting through. To quote from YOUR quote of me, "I'm not at all interested in performing in public, nor in preparing myself to play a grand piano." I AM interested in "learn[ing] to express all the nuances possible".

You say, "A good pianist needs to be able to adapt to any piano in any situation because they are all different. Unless you are going to perform on the same one in the same place all the time you had better get used to this."

Well, I intend to flunk your test of a good pianist. I want only to play the best I can in my family room--for myself and my cat, and only occasionally for a few friends who drop by. But my test and my teacher's test is the ability to express the nuances in the music itself. I don't see any reason a DP by itself would prevent me from developing this ability. If not the best DP now, then one not far down the road. It's this I will begin to try to convince my teacher of, when I have my next lesson this afternoon. I hope to get her to accompany me to the 23,000 square-foot piano store that very recently became a Kawai dealer, the only one in the Seattle area that has both acoustic and digital pianos. (The nearest Yamaha dealer is in Tacoma--a 30-mile hike down horrible I-5.)

(I've copied those V-Piano videos to a memory stick, and will leave it with her today.)


Edited by pianozuki (04/07/09 05:51 AM)
_________________________
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#1175943 - 04/07/09 06:12 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: buck2202]
pianozuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 180
Loc: Bellevue WA, USA
Terrific! Pianist and electrical engineer in the same person. A rational, tech-savvy artist!

Originally Posted By: buck2202
I'm not sure what to say about the V-piano...obviously you'll have to try it and see what you think. Guitar center's website is showing it for preorder at about $6000, so yes, expensive. About twice what a lot of people in the DP forum are paying for near top-of-the-line right now.


Yes, expensive. But PLEASE tell me what you thought of the videos.


Originally Posted By: buck2202
My take on your initial question (if you really want to drop the semantic argument smile ) is that a new DP will be worlds above the one that you have now for sure. Will it limit your development? A top-level pianist can surely do things with a concert grand that can't be done with today's DP. But I think the line between people that can and people that can't is a fuzzy one...when does one get to that point? 10 years? 15? 5? My feeling is that you can't go wrong upgrading to today's DP from where you are now. A good acoustic grand would be a better piano. A top-level upright, maybe better. But if your circumstances don't permit it, or you just prefer the convenience of a DP right now, I wouldn't lose sleep over "lost potential." I think if you're actually being limited by your instrument right now, you don't have to sit around guessing about it. If you can't tell that you've hit a ceiling, surely your teacher can.


Yes. My sig says it all.

Originally Posted By: buck2202
And even if you spend the money on a DP today and find that it does limit you in 5 or 10 years, it doesn't automatically become useless if you decide that you do want an acoustic grand after all. The digital will still have its own advantages. And if you still don't want an acoustic grand, get a new DP. It's technology, not an heirloom (as the prices of a DP and a grand conclusively indicate)...they'll get better and they'll probably get cheaper (unless yamaha and roland start copying apple's pricing scheme smile )


Thanks for really understanding me, and for your informed and sensible advice.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2

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#1175949 - 04/07/09 06:51 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Pianozuki, thank you for bringing this back around to the original point. I think we see eye-to-eye here and I'm going refrain (as best I can smile ) from arguing with those who seem to have their own agenda.

The point of the thread (as I see it) was to find out what piano teachers opinion of digital pianos were and certainly there is a range of opinion, some on target, some misguided some seemingly even intentionally negative, sometimes these opinions are based experience and some on hearsay and fabrication.

I think there is also a distinction in what the purpose (i.e. the final outcome) of the study is to be. I think you explained it well above (I'd have to go back an re-read the initial post to see if it was expressed there) -- there is no intent here to be a top pianist touring the world and playing concerts (correct me if I'm wrong). Currently the performing solo pianist uses an acoustic (grand or otherwise smile ) that is what is expected.

Is that what the future holds? It's anyone's guess. I suspect acoustics will be around for many centuries but I also believe they will soon be replaced by digital pianos in the same way typewriters have been replaced by computers, CDs have replaced vinyl records, digital tv has replaced analog tv and books/newspapers are being replaced by digital book readers and the internet. It's inevitable given the advantage of digital pianos over acoustic. Sure some will continue to worship acoustic pianos just as there are those who worship vinyl records or period instrument orchestras. That too is inevitable and expected.

We're at a transition period at the moment. We'll have to wait to see what the future brings.
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1175952 - 04/07/09 06:57 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
Originally Posted By: buck2202
....

Geez..now I've gone and typed so much that I've forgotten what we're arguing about.


grin

Yes, but well presented better than my response which I typed and then deleted.

Thanks Buck.

P.S. Good to meet another EE here as well. smile


Edited by kennychaffin (04/07/09 07:18 AM)
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1175953 - 04/07/09 07:00 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
Bart Kinlein Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 715
Loc: Maryland
I regularly play both acoustic and digital pianos. I bought the digital because I thought it was reasonably close (in touch, not sound) to the acoustic. I use it for practice with headphones in the "wee small hours" and when my wife is also practicing. I find that I am able to translate the things I've worked on at the DP to the acoustic.

I think that the big difference is between the acoustic I play at home and the acoustic I play at school. Entirely different touch, sound, everything. I prefer my digital to that piano, and I've had considerable experience with another of the same make and size. I'm not saying it's bad, just very, very different.
_________________________
Steinway 1905 model A, rebuild started 2008, completed 2012
Yahama CVP-401
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#1175980 - 04/07/09 08:06 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Bart Kinlein]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Pianozuki,
I just spent a bit of time reviewing the V-Piano. I couldn't view the Roland videos directly as I do not have quicktime installed but watched this video (maybe the same?) at synthtopia:

http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2009/01/23/the-roland-v-piano/

Looks very impressive and appears that Roland has incorporated into hardware the virtual piano approaches that I'm seeing happen in the software virtual piano world such as with Truepianos:

http://www.truepianos.com/

and others in this category. There are many sampled digital pianos as well as modeled pianos in both hardware (i.e. physical pianos) and software (i.e. VSTi running on computers and controlled by a keyboard controller).

As is indicated in the video, there are many issues with the sampling approach which are overcome by the modeling approach. Not that there are not issues with modeling as well, but at least for my money the modeling approach is where this technology will end up.

I don't know that this particular piano - the Roland V-Piano is the be-all end-all but it's certainly the leading (bleeding) edge and thus the high $$$$.

And certainly Roland makes some of the best keybeds out there for their feel and responsiveness.

Personally I am not in a position that I would pay the price for the V-Piano (unless I win the lotto tomorrow smile ), but certainly it looks to be an excellent stand along virtual modeled piano.

For me, for now, I will stick with my Casio PX-320 and Yamaha NP-30 for practice and playing along with my Sonar 8 Professional and my virtual pianos both modeled and sampled for recording.





Edited by kennychaffin (04/07/09 08:08 AM)
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1175988 - 04/07/09 08:46 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
pianozuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 180
Loc: Bellevue WA, USA
Pianozuki,
I just spent a bit of time reviewing the V-Piano. I couldn't view the Roland videos directly as I do not have quicktime installed but watched this video (maybe the same?) at synthtopia:

http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2009/01/23/the-roland-v-piano/


Yes Kenny, that's the same video (or the video in 4 parts)

Thanks very much for your useful review.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2

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#1176002 - 04/07/09 09:25 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2895
Loc: UK.
Originally Posted By: pianozuki
Hmm. I'm just not getting through. To quote from YOUR quote of me, "I'm not at all interested in performing in public, nor in preparing myself to play a grand piano." I AM interested in "learn[ing] to express all the nuances possible".

You say, "A good pianist needs to be able to adapt to any piano in any situation because they are all different. Unless you are going to perform on the same one in the same place all the time you had better get used to this."

Well, I intend to flunk your test of a good pianist. I want only to play the best I can in my family room--for myself and my cat, and only occasionally for a few friends who drop by. But my test and my teacher's test is the ability to express the nuances in the music itself. I don't see any reason a DP by itself would prevent me from developing this ability. If not the best DP now, then one not far down the road. It's this I will begin to try to convince my teacher of, when I have my next lesson this afternoon.


Your point is getting through just fine. Obviously mine isn't. I see no reason for you to go out and buy an expensive grand piano in order to learn to play. A good quality DP will do the job and there is no reason why that, in itself, should limit your progress. But then I think you had made your decision before you even posted this question here. It's clear that you intend to convince your teacher later today. Good luck with that.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1176011 - 04/07/09 09:57 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Chris H.]
pianozuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 180
Loc: Bellevue WA, USA
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.

Dick Moores
_________________________
Kawai RX-2

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#1176067 - 04/07/09 12:06 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
jwcolby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/09
Posts: 27
Loc: NC, USA
I have found this thread a little sad, and a lot judgmental. "serious students", only take students with a "real" piano etc.

Wow!

I can certainly understand teachers requiring certain tools. I can understand teachers limiting themselves to students with a certain level of skill, which is what I have to assume is going on here.

OTOH, I grew up playing on an old piano with a cracked sound board, that sounded abysmal, rescued from the back porch of my great grandparents house. My parents had it "tuned" - for all the good it did. It had harmonics never intended by the manufacturer, I can assure you of that. It had an abysmal feel.

I never became a concert pianist, but that really is not important. What is important is that I learned to love music, and I am now (at the ripe old age of 54) going back to see what I can pick up again.

I am truly glad that my piano teacher did not dictate a grand piano, or I would not have had lessons. My parents were so poor that the choice was between food on the table and a good piano. My grandmother paid for the lessons! Choices my hind leg. THAT is judgmental hooey!!!

There are BILLIONS of people in this world where the family makes a dollar a day. If their children (or the parents) want to learn piano, they are every bit as "serious" as the Kennedy's of this world, but they will NEVER own a grand. They might find a used DP though.

I just bought a well used "used to be somewhat high end" DP (for $100) from my Pastor's wife. I took it apart, cleaned all the electronics and put it back together again.

Now I have to learn the scales, I have to learn to read music again, I have to learn music theory again, I have to learn to play the most basic stuff. I have to train my fingers to work together again. I have many years of just the basics to work through before I will have any use whatsoever for a "real" piano.

I do not NEED a grand piano, I will with 99% certainly NEVER need a grand. I am a programmer, not a concert pianist; I will never be a concert pianist. However I will enjoy learning again. I will enjoy hooking up the DP to my computer and storing my "creations". I will enjoy playing with the synth. I had more fun playing the "ATOMIC Lead" synth voice this morning, I must have played a half hour of finger exercises just because the sound was so neat!

So no, I am not a "serious" piano player, but I have to say it is annoying to be so callously discarded to the trash heap with that expression. I do hope to once again enjoy playing music.

Obviously I have no need for the John v.d. Brooks of the world, though I appreciate that they exist for those who have the need (and the money!!!). Further, given his (and other poster's) heartfelt "prejudices", it seems unlikely that we would even enjoy each other's company! Which I also find a little sad.

But say what you will, a DP fits my needs precisely.
_________________________
John W. Colby
www.ColbyConsulting.com

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#1176077 - 04/07/09 12:39 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: 7349
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
John, you make a lot of accusations here. Name for us the teachers on this forum who responded saying they only take students with pianos to practice on.
_________________________
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#1176085 - 04/07/09 12:50 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: jwcolby]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2895
Loc: UK.
The majority of my students will be spending less than £1000 on their first instrument. I can understand that even that is a lot to lay out on a new activity for yourself or your kids. At this price point (and often less) a DP is a good option. There are acoustic pianos available for this budget but you are taking a big risk if you don't know what you are doing. I know a local dealer who sells starter pianos (acoustic) for around £1000 and he is honest and reliable. I did visit him a few weeks ago and I have to admit that some of the stock was less appealing than the DP's I played recently.

I would still hope that as they advance most of them will consider a change to a good acoustic if possible. And a lot of them do. They still keep their DP's for silent practice and so far I have not noticed any negative side effects.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1176089 - 04/07/09 12:53 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

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





Edited by kennychaffin (04/07/09 01:07 PM)
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Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1176095 - 04/07/09 01:11 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: jwcolby]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5461
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: jwcolby
There are BILLIONS of people in this world where the family makes a dollar a day. If their children (or the parents) want to learn piano, they are every bit as "serious" as the Kennedy's of this world, but they will NEVER own a grand. They might find a used DP though.

I just bought a well used "used to be somewhat high end" DP (for $100) from my Pastor's wife. I took it apart, cleaned all the electronics and put it back together again.


I would encourage you to think about the billions of people in this world who can't afford what you just purchased. Are you now more "serious" about piano than they are?
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1176103 - 04/07/09 01:21 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: AZNpiano]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Well there are billions of people that probably have no thought of pianos as they are struggling just to survive and make it through the next day if not the next hour.

Is that what you are getting at AZNpiano?

Just curious as to your question.
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1176105 - 04/07/09 01:23 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, you make a lot of accusations here. Name for us the teachers on this forum who responded saying they only take students with pianos to practice on.


John,

>>>My question would be: why strap an anvil around your ankles when learning to swim?

What a ghastly analogy to learning to play on a DP.

>>>Chris, when it comes to the topic of humans, I find myself a slow learner. I was probably in my 50s before I realized that people can afford what they want, and cannot afford what they don't want.

Hmmm... uhhhh... right. Tell that to the billions of families that make a dollar a day. My father was an alcoholic that left when I was 11. My mother worked two jobs and was on all kinds of government aid. A grand piano would have fallen through the floor of the "house" that I grew up in, not to mention being many years pay for my mother.

What an asinine thing to say. But of course, perfectly true for the Kennedys. I guess your belief system is very much determined by who you hang out with eh?

>>>Would I prefer all my students practice on grands? Of course. Would I refuse to teach them if they were limited to uprights or electronic substitutes? Of course not. They limit themselves when they choose this route. Why should I stand in their way?

Hmmmmm... do I get that your heart would not be into teaching such a child?

>>>>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.

Hmmmmmmmmm..... Hardly a glowing "I'd teach any student that wants to learn..."

>>>The fact that I own 'em and loan to students ought to speak volumes.

That would appear to be student (singular)...

John... I apologize, you obviously did NOT say that "you only take students with pianos to practice on".

Notice that I also said that it is the right of any teacher to demand certain tools from the student, and to only take students with a certain level of education. Both of those things I find perfectly valid. It would help if you would preface your remarks with something like "Please understand I am a very talented pianist, and a very talented teacher, and I only have the time to take students who have displayed a certain level of competence". That would put your comments into context.

OTOH To call a DP an anvil around the ankle of a child that cannot even afford a DP is simply... breathtakingly ... well it leaves me speechless. To think that you actually LOANED such an anvil to some poor child is unconscionable!!! Why would you do such a thing?
_________________________
John W. Colby
www.ColbyConsulting.com

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#1176106 - 04/07/09 01:24 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
molto_agitato Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/09
Posts: 162
Loc: Washington State
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.

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#1176111 - 04/07/09 01:27 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: AZNpiano]
jwcolby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/09
Posts: 27
Loc: NC, USA
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: jwcolby
There are BILLIONS of people in this world where the family makes a dollar a day. If their children (or the parents) want to learn piano, they are every bit as "serious" as the Kennedy's of this world, but they will NEVER own a grand. They might find a used DP though.

I just bought a well used "used to be somewhat high end" DP (for $100) from my Pastor's wife. I took it apart, cleaned all the electronics and put it back together again.


I would encourage you to think about the billions of people in this world who can't afford what you just purchased. Are you now more "serious" about piano than they are?


Nope, my point exactly!

Thanks for helping me out there!!!


Edited by jwcolby (04/07/09 01:29 PM)
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www.ColbyConsulting.com

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#1176113 - 04/07/09 01:31 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2895
Loc: UK.
I would say that a DP is limited (compared to a quality acoustic) in two ways. Sound and touch.

Over in the piano forum you will hear the sound and tonal qualities of a variety of pianos described in many ways. Some are bright or mellow, full, rich, dark, shrill, colorful etc. They can be called beautiful or they can have character. None of these descriptions seem to be applied to a DP. The best compliment you can pay a DP is that it sounds 'like a real piano'. Hence the state of the art Roland 'Virtual' piano. I have played top of the range DP's recently and good as they might be they still leave me cold compared to the real thing. A real piano gives me more feedback when I play. I feel more connected to the sound and more in control of it. It will respond to the subtle ways in which I can touch it. A DP will to a certain extent but still not close enough.

As far as touch is concerned I have yet to play a DP which feels exactly like a good acoustic. I can't feel the action in the same way and this does not give me confidence if I were to perform advanced repertoire. It will respond only to velocity. An acoustic has a mechanical action which you can only get the best out of when the keys are struck or played in the right way. A 3 year old child can play a key on a DP and it will sound no different to the same key played by a concert artist. Some might say this is a good thing and if you never intend to play an acoustic then perhaps that is true.

This might sound like I am being very critical of the DP. I don't mean to be and I appreciate that for many people it is the only option. It's just that for me the acoustic is a better match for the music I play and the situations in which I perform. I prefer it.

But I still don't feel that the DP limits progress. If at any time you want to explore the possibilities of an acoustic then all you need do is practise on an acoustic. I grew up with a mediocre upright and it did me no harm. When I went to college I had the oportunity to practise on grands. That is where I learned to get the best out of a grand. Up until then I hadn't needed to. When I started to perform more regularly on concert grands in large venues I had to learn how to get the best from them. Of course I didn't have one at home, who does? I needed to gain experience and practise in that situation.

Get the best you can afford or whatever suits your situation. Then forget about it and concentrate on learning to play.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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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. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2895
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: 7349
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: 7349
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: 7349
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: 7349
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 Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11659
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: 7349
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: 7349
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 Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11659
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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#1181147 - 04/15/09 08:33 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Ejay]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: Ejay

I practice early in the morning and late at night or when my baby sleeps, couldn't do that with an accoustic.


Actually, you can get them with mute rails. A person could sleep 5 feet away from you.


Edited by Ebony and Ivory (04/15/09 08:34 PM)
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1181158 - 04/15/09 08:46 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: Ebony and Ivory
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!!


mad What stimulus check. mad

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

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#1181178 - 04/15/09 09:59 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
pianozuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 180
Loc: Bellevue WA, USA
Originally Posted By: Ebony and Ivory
Originally Posted By: Ejay

I practice early in the morning and late at night or when my baby sleeps, couldn't do that with an accoustic.


Actually, you can get them with mute rails. A person could sleep 5 feet away from you.


But then how well can you hear what you're playing?
_________________________
Kawai RX-2

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#1181275 - 04/16/09 02:05 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
Ejay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 216
Loc: U.K.
My wee one sleeps on my back till I go to bed, smile
_________________________
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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#1181285 - 04/16/09 02:31 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Ejay]
pianozuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 180
Loc: Bellevue WA, USA
Originally Posted By: Ejay
My wee one sleeps on my back till I go to bed, smile


Huh?
_________________________
Kawai RX-2

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#1181386 - 04/16/09 08:40 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
Ejay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 216
Loc: U.K.
sorry OT



I put her on my back and I can do housework or practice piano. Its called babywearing nowadays, a traditional method of carrying babies and toddlers, no need for pushchairs.


Edited by Ejay (04/16/09 08:41 AM)
_________________________
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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