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#1637261 - 03/09/11 09:55 AM Practice Instrument
Mary Williams Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/11
Posts: 58
Loc: United States
Hi Everyone! I posted this on the tech forum, too, but thought you might have some good advice as well...

A student of mine is looking for a keyboard with weighted keys for a 'second piano.'

This student goes to her grandmother's house after school until late in the evening, so when she gets home, she's too tired to practice. Her mother is going to get an instrument for her to practice on while at her grandmother's house.

The child is nine years old, lower intermediate.

The family has a limited budget, so I'm looking for a reliable resource of second-hand or discounted instruments.

Any suggestions would be helpful! Thank you in advance!

(p.s. I've been on Craigslist, but I just don't know what is what and don't want to give a recommendation on something I'm unfamiliar with.)
Mary TL Williams

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#1637274 - 03/09/11 10:09 AM Re: Practice Instrument [Re: Mary Williams]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 13119
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I would look into the Casio PX-130. For the money (around $500) she can get a decent digital piano.

If they have room for an acoustic, then I would definitely go with that. Since acoustic pianos are so far different from one another (and you don't really know how well it's been cared for), it's best to check them out in person. However, be wary of any "free" pianos. Those are usually junk, so don't waste your time.

Things to look for in a used acoustic:
-Do all the keys work
-Is the soundboard in tact (or only have hairline cracks)
-Are there any water stains (from someone putting a glass of water on it and spilling it or from a vase, which most likely got inside the piano and caused issues)
-Do the pedals work? The only pedal you really need to worry about is the damper pedal, and it's OK if the piano only has 2 pedals instead of 3.
-Are the caps on the keys (with old uprights many people pulled off the ivories to sell them, and playing a piano without caps can be painful)
-Was the piano kept in the living quarters of the home, or is it in someone's basement? If in the living quarters then chances are it was kept with a comfortable humidity, and possibly played every once in a while, which is much better than not
-When was it last tuned? A more frequently tuned piano will be in better shape than not. Even if tuned once a year that is better than long-term neglect
-How many owners have had the piano? The fewer the better, because then they will know where the instrument was kept during its lifetime
-How often was it moved? Moving can be hard on the instrument, especially if it's not tuned frequently and cared for in general

If the piano passes the above criteria, then you can move onto more subjective things:
-Do you like the sound?
-Do you like the feel?
-And for some: do you like the look? Although IMO this is not an important consideration, especially when you're talking about not having much money to spend on an instrument.
private piano/voice teacher FT

#1637275 - 03/09/11 10:09 AM Re: Practice Instrument [Re: Mary Williams]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7639
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
I had a very similar situation arise two months ago. I called the local Yamaha dealer to see if he had any used Clavinovas on hand. He did, at very reasonable prices. Result, satisfied student and happy teacher. You could do the same including the Kawai and Roland dealers as well.
"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

#1637291 - 03/09/11 10:29 AM Re: Practice Instrument [Re: Morodiene]
wavelength Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 340
Loc: Vermont, USA
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
I would look into the Casio PX-130. For the money (around $500) she can get a decent digital piano.

I recommend this line, too. For a couple hundred more you can get a PX-330 which is suitable for professional use. I know you said the budget is tight, but IMO having upward mobility on the instrument is worth a lot.

#1637643 - 03/09/11 05:38 PM Re: Practice Instrument [Re: Morodiene]
kck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 270
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
I would look into the Casio PX-130. For the money (around $500) she can get a decent digital piano.

We have one of these we use as our "traveling piano". It's functional and fits the bill well. We've been happy with it.
Amateur musician, piano and violin parent

#1662831 - 04/19/11 10:02 AM Re: Practice Instrument [Re: Mary Williams]
Mary Williams Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/11
Posts: 58
Loc: United States
Following up...

My student did end up getting the PX-130. She is VERY excited about it, and her progress seems to have improved greatly.

Thanks to all of you for your recommendations!
Mary TL Williams


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