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#1398654 - 03/18/10 02:25 PM when is it time for a grand piano?
Bach13 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/09/08
Posts: 10
Hello teachers,
this is a question that has been on my mind for a while. When do you oknow it is time for a grand piano for your child?

I took piano lessons as a child, and our family upright was adequate for my needs. My son has been taking piano lessons for over 3 years, and I have the feeling he is outgrowing my old upright. He surpassed me pianistically after about a year and a half of lessons. He is now studying Beethoven Pathetique sonata (3rd mvt), Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 No. 2, a bunch of Bach Inventions and Sinfonias, and a Shostokovich Prelude.

Two things that are preventing me from getting a grand piano: our living space is very small (820 sf or about 80 sq meters) and a husband who had no musical education and doesn't see anything wrong with our upright, and doesn't even know why we should send our son to music school. Am I right? If so, I need a good argument to convince him to get a grand piano. Help!

Thank you in advance.
Bach13

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#1398687 - 03/18/10 02:58 PM Re: when is it time for a grand piano? [Re: Bach13]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
It's always the right time to get a grand piano!

I once visited a friend whose home was about your size. She had a 7' grand, which took up 1/2 of the living room. The sofa took the other half. There was barely a 2' walkway into the dining area.

So, in the end, priorities dictate what you do. I can't solve the husband education issue, but now is surely a good time to start. You could try "Kitty's" approach (That 70's Show) when she wanted Red to start doing things with their son, Erik. It was basically, "I'm going to be in your face, and your life is about to become a living hell if you don't" approach. However, something less drastic is probably in order.

What is your husband's occupation? Did he get there by being uneducated? Doesn't your son deserve a shot at developing his talents? Doesn't he want your son to have at least as good of life as he has enjoyed? Etc.

Good luck.

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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#1398688 - 03/18/10 02:58 PM Re: when is it time for a grand piano? [Re: Bach13]
Hop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 654
Loc: Hudson, FL
Ask him if he buys cheap tools for the work that he does. Tell him that a decent grand piano is equivalent to a fine tool (e.g., Kline pliers, or Snap-on wrench).

Besides, playing a grand has a lot of cache, and it simply adds enjoyment.

Of course, if you don't have the budget for it, then I wouldn't lobby for one.

Hop
_________________________
HG178, Roland FP-5, Casio PX 130

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#1398709 - 03/18/10 03:25 PM Re: when is it time for a grand piano? [Re: Hop]
Crayola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 299
Loc: Chicago, IL
I grew up in a home where buying a grand piano was completely out of the question. We moved every few years, and we simply didn't have the financial means. Because our small Kaiser upright was no longer helping me prepare for higher level classical literature, my high school let me use the grand in their auditorium for awhile. I simply quit practicing at home, unless I had to. I made it through a performance major without purchasing a grand, but I don't think I could have made it had I not been practicing and having lessons on grands.
_________________________
Independent Piano Teacher, NCTM
Member of MTNA and ISMTA

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#1398715 - 03/18/10 03:32 PM Re: when is it time for a grand piano? [Re: Hop]
tc_eliot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/09
Posts: 37
Loc: California
My husband was also hesitant about getting a grand piano, since we had a perfectly good Yamaha U3. Just for "culture," I rented Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037 from Netflix. As a woodworker, he became fascinated by the process of building a grand piano, and the next thing I knew, he was looking at piano manufacturers' websites.

We did rush our purchase a bit (I was worried he would change his mind wink )

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#1398825 - 03/18/10 06:24 PM Re: when is it time for a grand piano? [Re: tc_eliot]
Chopinmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 65
If you search this forum, you will find great discussions on this topic. We almost pulled the trigger on a Kawai RX-3 a few weeks back, we decided against it, at least for now.

If money is not an issue, I would buy him a grand piano, a good one I might add, it is always better than an upright.

If money is an issue, I would consider the following:

1. Does my son want to pursue piano perfomance as a career?

2. Does he enjoy practicing piano now without being asked to?

IF the answers are both "Yes", then I would buy him a good grand even if I would have to borrow money.

I got an "I don't know" to question 1 and a "not really" to question 2 from my son. So we decide against buying the grand.

Hope it helps, good luck!
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/tyj1020

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#1398841 - 03/18/10 06:48 PM Re: when is it time for a grand piano? [Re: tc_eliot]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: tc_eliot
My husband was also hesitant about getting a grand piano, since we had a perfectly good Yamaha U3. Just for "culture," I rented Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037 from Netflix. As a woodworker, he became fascinated by the process of building a grand piano, and the next thing I knew, he was looking at piano manufacturers' websites.

We did rush our purchase a bit (I was worried he would change his mind wink )


I love your story!
_________________________
"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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#1398847 - 03/18/10 06:56 PM Re: when is it time for a grand piano? [Re: tc_eliot]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: tc_eliot
My husband was also hesitant about getting a grand piano, since we had a perfectly good Yamaha U3. Just for "culture," I rented Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037 from Netflix. As a woodworker, he became fascinated by the process of building a grand piano, and the next thing I knew, he was looking at piano manufacturers' websites.

We did rush our purchase a bit (I was worried he would change his mind wink )


Surprising you didn't end up with a Steinway D in the house. laugh
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1398863 - 03/18/10 07:11 PM Re: when is it time for a grand piano? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Bach 13,

Try communicating that the "musicians" in the family think an investment in their musical futures is now appropriate as evidenced by the progress into classical music by the master composers. Having a superb piano to continue lessons and to practice on every day will certainly benefit both of you who have a keen interest in piano music. Tell him about your committment, love of music, and your dreams.

If your son is participating in adjudications(sponsored by professional music teaching organization that many teachers are members of) and getting high marks, or memorizing and performing for an audience in student recitals perhaps this can be used to persuade your husband of his seriousness of purpose.

At the same time, don't forget it's important to you and your happiness and well being in music which you have enjoyed since childhood. Because it's not important to him is not a good reason for it to be vetoed. Of course, it needs to be affordable and realistic for the family and would well be worth accumulating money set aside for a future date. You want to select your piano carefully and not impulsively.

It's best to approach a purchase of a specific instrument by being well informed as to it's age, condition and making sure it is priced well for your budget. You want the best you can buy for your money and you won't want a piano that needs work today or in the immediate future. Do the research and work toward having the money allocated for a purchase that gives you what you need.

Good luck to you and your son!

Stay positive and on track.

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#1398865 - 03/18/10 07:15 PM Re: when is it time for a grand piano? [Re: tc_eliot]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Originally Posted By: tc_eliot
My husband was also hesitant about getting a grand piano, since we had a perfectly good Yamaha U3. Just for "culture," I rented Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037 from Netflix. As a woodworker, he became fascinated by the process of building a grand piano, and the next thing I knew, he was looking at piano manufacturers' websites.

We did rush our purchase a bit (I was worried he would change his mind wink )


Boy, do I understand this manly viewpoint having a woodworking, knowledgeable husband of my own! So glad it worked out for you! You both are appreciating the art of piano building and the musical artistry of having a fine piano in your life. That was great thinking on your part to supply the "evidence" in such a relevant way to him!

Best wishes!

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#1398920 - 03/18/10 08:35 PM Re: when is it time for a grand piano? [Re: Horowitzian]
tc_eliot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/09
Posts: 37
Loc: California
~H,

There are limits to the influence of even a very good documentary, and buying a new house to fit a concert grand definitely exceeded them frown

We ended up with a beautiful 5'7" "baby grand" which the whole family enjoys.

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#1398939 - 03/18/10 09:08 PM Re: when is it time for a grand piano? [Re: tc_eliot]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: tc_eliot
~H,

There are limits to the influence of even a very good documentary, and buying a new house to fit a concert grand definitely exceeded them frown

We ended up with a beautiful 5'7" "baby grand" which the whole family enjoys.


If your profile is any indication, a Steingraeber is a fine choice. Doesn't get any better, especially in that size range. smile
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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