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#2211454 - 01/09/14 12:13 PM Digital piano for teaching
Ivory Melodies Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/09/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Hamilton, Ontario,Canada
Hello, I am completely new to this, but joined this forum as I really could use some advice. I have maybe read too many reviews on various sites, so now feel more confused. It is difficult with having a budget of about $1000 Canadian, I will upgrade later when I can afford it better.
I am looking for the best digital piano to fit in this budget that would be suitable teaching piano students up to about gr. 5/6 RCM level if possible. I have a YDP181 which I am not sure I am totally happy with, but cannot afford another this expensive. I need another DP for a 2nd teacher I am training to take on more students as I am at my max. I have not been able to consider acoustic pianos at all as my teaching rooms are in the basement.
Anyway, I have looked at portable pianos which would be convenient to take to student recitals, however it doesn't have to be, quality, touch, weight, pedaling are all more important, and I can't be so picky with this budget.
I looked at FP50's, but read about the thumping, cannot afford the FP80 at this point which would be better. I have looked at the Yamaha P155's which I thought seemed O.K. but some are saying Casio's are better? Would as Casio PX350 or PX850 be better to consider over the P155? I have not yet found somewhere in Canada to have PX350, Costco.ca has the PX850, but cabinet model which I will consider if I can't find a portable as good for the money. There is a Kawai dealer less than 2hrs from me that will be getting the ES100 in soon, should I consider this with my budget, I just read this morning that some are disappointed in this, so maybe it really will not stand up to teaching. The salesman tried to convince me the CL26 would be better than the ES100 but I was told the ES100 is way better with the updated technology, piano sounds etc.
Can anyone please help me to narrow down my choices, am I looking in the right direction or is there something else you would recommend. I would greatly appreciate it, as I do not want to go buy just anything for that money.

Thanks so much,

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#2211472 - 01/09/14 12:32 PM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: Ivory Melodies]
Charles Cohen Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1180
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
FWIW (I don't teach) --

I think the Yamaha P155 would be a decent "beginner's piano". I also think it has just become obsolete, likely replaced by the P255, which will be announced in a few weeks at NAMM.

. . . So you might be able to get a good deal on it.

I own a PX-350, and like it. I think it's comparable to the P155 in overall "piano quality" -- piano sounds, and keyboard feel. It has _lots_ of neat features -- auto-accompaniment and auto-harmonization -- which might be useful to your students, or might be a distraction. [You can turn all that off, of course.]

Long & McQuade doesn't carry Casios, but Tom Lee Music does, and they may have a local store.

I don't like the built-in loudspeakers of any portable digipiano I've heard. Consider adding a pair of powered studio monitors, to get a better sound. Or use headphones -- there are two jacks, for student and teacher, in the PX-350 (probably in the P155, as well).



. CHarles (Richmond, BC)

PS -- why can't you use an acoustic piano in the basement?

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#2211491 - 01/09/14 01:01 PM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: Ivory Melodies]
Ivory Melodies Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/09/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Hamilton, Ontario,Canada
Thank you so much, I am going to keep my eyes open at Long and McQuade about the P155. If I can get a good deal maybe it will be good for now. I have not heard of Tom Lee Music, so maybe we don't have one close by, but I am going to check. I would like to find the Casio PX 350 so I can try it. I have read a couple of reviews that say it is maybe better than the P155? I actually never considered using 2 pairs of headphones for teaching, maybe a neat idea smile I was wondering why my YDP 181 had 2 headphone jacks, I have a long ways to go with learning about digital piano stuff, I grew up with an acoustic piano.

There is more humidity in the basement so usually an acoustic piano will not do well because of the wood. I have tried in the past at another house and we had problems with the keys sticking. When the piano was moved upstairs it was fine.

thanks again,
Jennifer (Hamilton, Ontario)

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#2211536 - 01/09/14 02:21 PM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: Ivory Melodies]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11445
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Unfortunately, everything in your price range will be somewhat limiting for grade 5/6 RCM playing. What don't you like about your YDP181? It really comes down to a personal choice. I would try out a Casio PX350 and a Yamaha in the same price range for comparison. If you can, check out Rolands and Kawais as well.

Knowing a bit more about what's a priority for you in a piano will help us suggest what works in your budget.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2211704 - 01/09/14 06:02 PM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: Ivory Melodies]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3788
Loc: North Carolina
Teaching up to grade 5/6 on a cheap digital piano? Don't!

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#2211758 - 01/09/14 07:45 PM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: Ivory Melodies]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8877
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Personally speaking, I don't think any of the models you are considering will offer a notable improvement over your existing Yamaha.

My recommendation would be to double, if not triple your budget and opt for a higher specification Roland, Kawai, or Yamaha model.

Kind regards,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2211852 - 01/09/14 11:01 PM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: Ivory Melodies]
Ivory Melodies Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/09/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Hamilton, Ontario,Canada
Thank you for all the input. Yes, you are right! I don't even recommend for a gr. 2/3 student to practice on a $1000 digital if they can afford better. Just hoping for the best for this price for the odd time a more advanced student may want to play it. I have read some of the cheaper Casios and Kawai have a nicer, more realistic touch than the YDP series which I realize is a personal opinion too. I have wondered how the cheap DP's can have a nicer touch than a more expensive one. The touch on the 181 is on the heavier side which I like, but I have found that the dynamic range doesn't seem to be the best for a more advanced player, unless I have some setting wrong, but realize I am just being picky too. It isn't an acoustic piano. My plan is to sell it in the next year or two, to upgrade to a $2000-$3000 digital, I realize this might help smile I am leaning towards the Kawai's for sure. I love my acoustic Kawai. The cheaper DP I am looking for is actually temporary for another teacher to get started with helping out with some make-up lessons and to teach a few beginners, also to take to concerts for the younger kids that are not comfortable with an acoustic to play on, so they can have fun with some sounds as well. As the schedule gets busier, we will for sure upgrade this as well.
So basically, I am looking for what might be one of the better choices for my budget as a temporary solution for mostly beginners, I understand maybe none of them are really great as a teaching instrument.
Which digital has the nicer touch, key response? I will see if I can find a PX350 to try and compare to the P155. Are the weight of these keys similar? How does the ES100 compare? Maybe I will just go with the one that might be the most fun for the kids since it will not be used for teaching for a long period anyways. They will have fun recording and playing with all the sounds too.

Thanks again,
Jennifer

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#2211939 - 01/10/14 02:08 AM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: Ivory Melodies]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3457
Loc: Northern England.
For what it`s worth, there are folk on Youtube playing advanced classics on pianos such as the Yamaha p155. That keyboard has an excellent pivot length which must render it more suitable for general teaching, Some teachers get the job done on the most appalling acoustics . . . !

The Yamah is the solid choice and should not invite problems. The keyboard is bulletproof.
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes — but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2211952 - 01/10/14 02:55 AM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: Ivory Melodies]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1258
Loc: Reseda, California
I have the Yamaha CP33, $774 from Guitar Center. It's a stage piano, the plus is ruggedness, the minus is that you have to connect it to an amp and speaker, or use headphones.
_________________________
-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

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#2212028 - 01/10/14 08:48 AM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: Ivory Melodies]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11445
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I'd go with the Casio, you get a lot of bang for your buck. Yamahas are good too, of course, but I don't think the P155 is triple-sensor, whereas the PX350 is. This means you get a much better response on rapid repetition of notes.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2212123 - 01/10/14 12:16 PM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: peterws]
Ivory Melodies Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/09/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Hamilton, Ontario,Canada
Thank you so much, it has been bugging me that I cannot afford a better digital piano for now especially when it is for teaching. On the otherhand, I know many of my students cannot afford more than $600 on a DP, never mind a $1000 one and they are just doing fine practicing on it every day. It is better than not being able to practice at all. I was able to try the P155 and like you said, it seems like a sturdy instrument so I am considering it. Now I remember, one of my teachers had a very old acoustic with some broken keys, which I did not like the touch of but it worked!
Actually, at one of our recent student recitals some of the students chose to play on my old portable Roland (RD300) rather than the baby grand the church allowed us to use.

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#2212128 - 01/10/14 12:19 PM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: JohnSprung]
Ivory Melodies Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/09/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Hamilton, Ontario,Canada
Thank you, I did come across a review for the CP33 somewhere, and forgot about it. I will see if I can find that somewhere and take a look. Do you know how it compares to the P155?

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#2212139 - 01/10/14 12:31 PM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: Morodiene]
Ivory Melodies Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/09/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Hamilton, Ontario,Canada
This is actually a great help. I have been unsure of the Casio as I always believed Roland, Yamaha, Kawai to be the best, but I remember someone saying that about the Casio's. Some have a better key action/touch than the more expensive Yamaha's. I just haven't found a place that carries the PX350 yet so I can go try one, I am going to search the internet again. I think that is what is missing on my YDP 181 as well, the triple sensor action, plus I think it is the dynamic range that isn't as good. Do you think that the Casio PX 350 is as sturdy as the P155?

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#2212166 - 01/10/14 01:06 PM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: Ivory Melodies]
scorpio Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 498
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Someone more experienced can help - and I probably should just keep my fingers away from the keyboard. But when I was looking last year, I did not care for Casio at all. And when I hear anything recorded, the Yamaha always sounds better. But again, this is all personal preference.
_________________________

    Yamaha P-155

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    #2212173 - 01/10/14 01:22 PM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: Ivory Melodies]
    David Farley Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 10/27/13
    Posts: 248
    Loc: Illinois
    In case you missed it on another thread, you might find this demo of a Casio PX-5S Mike Martin posted to be of interest. I believe the PX-5S uses the same sound engine and action as the PX850.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOzg-EXlAx0

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    #2212186 - 01/10/14 01:40 PM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: Ivory Melodies]
    Troy 125 Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 10/25/13
    Posts: 111
    Originally Posted By: Ivory Melodies
    There is more humidity in the basement so usually an acoustic piano will not do well because of the wood. I have tried in the past at another house and we had problems with the keys sticking. When the piano was moved upstairs it was fine.
    Have you tried a nice quality dehumidifier to see if you can get the humidity to an appropriate level? I have my dehumidifier in the finished part of the basement with a hose leading to a drain in a utility type room so I never have to empty it. I can control the downstairs humidity better than the upstairs.

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    #2212471 - 01/10/14 09:37 PM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: Ivory Melodies]
    lolatu Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 11/01/13
    Posts: 391
    Loc: UK
    If you want to teach piano, you need to have a decent piano to teach on (most likely an acoustic), not a cheap digital. It's your basic tool of the trade. If you cannot provide that, don't teach. You need to do whatever it takes, especially if your students are getting more advanced and are taking exams.

    Sort out the humidity problem in the practice room. If you can't do it where you are, find a different venue. If you can't afford it, put up the price of lessons as long as it takes to finance the improvements. Take a business loan if necessary. If all else fails, you need to refer your more advanced students to another teacher who is able to provide proper facilities.
    _________________________
    Kawai CA95 / Roland FP3 / Pianoteq Stage / Tannoy Reveal Active / Sony MDR-7506 / Steinberg UR22 / K&M 18810

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    #2212489 - 01/10/14 10:38 PM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: lolatu]
    Ivory Melodies Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/09/14
    Posts: 10
    Loc: Hamilton, Ontario,Canada
    Thank you, I do understand, I have been teaching a long time:) Moved not that long ago so have a couple of things to iron out. And I do have an acoustic piano which I use, mostly beginners have their lesson on digital so they are not all upstairs. And yes, I am working on upgrading the situation as you say, have raised lesson fees as of this month actually to help with upgrades. As I said earlier, I also have a decent digital as well, looking for the best lower cost digital to use Temporarily for a small number of beginners starting with another teacher 1-2 nights a week. So looking for some input. Just wanted one of the better digital pianos for the odd time someone a little more advanced may want to play around on for fun. We have been running a dehumidifier for a few months now and have been thinking to attempt an acoustic downstairs again smile Thanks again for taking the time to respond, think I have it all figured out now:)

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    #2212500 - 01/10/14 11:16 PM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: lolatu]
    StarvingLion Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 06/30/13
    Posts: 226
    Originally Posted By: lolatu
    If you want to teach piano, you need to have a decent piano to teach on (most likely an acoustic), not a cheap digital. It's your basic tool of the trade. If you cannot provide that, don't teach. You need to do whatever it takes, especially if your students are getting more advanced and are taking exams.

    Sort out the humidity problem in the practice room. If you can't do it where you are, find a different venue. If you can't afford it, put up the price of lessons as long as it takes to finance the improvements. Take a business loan if necessary. If all else fails, you need to refer your more advanced students to another teacher who is able to provide proper facilities.


    You are obviously unaware of 'Project Gyro'...my heroic attempt to be Chopin's successor with nothing more than a $500 Yamaha P-105 and a $250 Synthogy Ivory II American D software engine. No silly overhead of a teacher and a $10,000+ acoustic piano. The brilliant 'Gyro' taught me that musical memory is what makes a pro. I've already scrapped the idea of starting with the easy stuff (Beethoven sonata's, Chopin op.25 etude #1). I'm going straight to judgement day with Chopin op. 10 #1 and #2. No beating around the bush here. Either I can do it, or I can't. I don't need some Teach smothering me with false praise while emptying my bank account.

    Stick around young tadpole, if I can nail op.10 #1 and 2, the earth will tremble with fear.

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    #2212849 - 01/11/14 01:34 PM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: lolatu]
    evamar Offline
    500 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/02/12
    Posts: 541
    Loc: Spanish living in UK
    Personally I don't think I would be spending money hiring a piano teacher with no piano, not for me not for my children if I had them. But I do think that some parents would be okay with their kids learning on good keyboards or digitals if that is what they want to play and not an acoustic piano. The important thing is playing something.

    I've never been fond of a lot of voices, effects and noises, but many others like them and want to use them to make covers of songs or make their own creations.

    So I'm sure there is a market for keyboard teachers.
    _________________________
    Serious since Dec 2013. March 2014, Kawai CA95!

    Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted



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    #2212864 - 01/11/14 02:07 PM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: StarvingLion]
    gvfarns Offline
    3000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 04/16/07
    Posts: 3483
    Loc: Pennsylvania
    Originally Posted By: StarvingLion
    Stick around young tadpole, if I can nail op.10 #1 and 2, the earth will tremble with fear.


    In the mean time the entire earth rolls its eyes.

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    #2212888 - 01/11/14 02:37 PM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: evamar]
    spanishbuddha Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 11/08/09
    Posts: 2323
    Loc: UK
    Originally Posted By: evamar
    Personally I don't think I would be spending money hiring a piano teacher with no piano, not for me not for my children if I had them. But I do think that some parents would be okay with their kids learning on good keyboards or digitals if that is what they want to play and not an acoustic piano. The important thing is playing something.

    I've never been fond of a lot of voices, effects and noises, but many others like them and want to use them to make covers of songs or make their own creations.

    So I'm sure there is a market for keyboard teachers.

    There is a keyboard teacher near where I live. He teaches rock, pop, jazz, blues, mostly chord progressions and advanced chords but especially rhythm. I don't think he teaches piano in a classical sense at all, and doesn't claim to. He uses a synth or DP for the lessons.

    I have piano lessons and asked my teacher about this, she could teach me some of the advanced chords and associated theory but would have to learn herself about some of the jazz or blues progressions and different rhythms. She is an amazing classical player.

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    #2212952 - 01/11/14 04:24 PM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: Morodiene]
    anotherscott Offline
    3000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/20/10
    Posts: 3158
    Originally Posted By: Morodiene
    I don't think the P155 is triple-sensor, whereas the PX350 is. This means you get a much better response on rapid repetition of notes.

    As has been discussed before, I don't think that's necessarily the case. Check the thread at http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2171115

    Originally Posted By: Kawai James
    Personally speaking, I don't think any of the models you are considering will offer a notable improvement over your existing Yamaha.

    That's probably true... but he's not looking to replace that Yamaha, he's looking for a second board, at a lower price.

    Originally Posted By: Ivory Melodies
    I looked at FP50's, but read about the thumping

    Did you actually try it for yourself? Because you can read about flaws in every piano in the market, especially ones that are more economically priced. If you start ruling out pianos because you read about this complaint or that, you'll quickly rule out every one of them. You should try it and see if you notice bothersome thumping yourself. You could also look at the lower priced Roland F-20.

    Also, have you considered going the computer route? Then you could buy the piano just based on its action and other physical characteristics, and pair it with whatever VST sound you like. Personally, in a low priced instrument, I'm a real fan of the Casio action, but less enamored of the way they actually play. So a PX-150 connected to a VST piano source would be another possible solution I'd look at for your scenario.

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    #2213950 - 01/13/14 11:43 AM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: David Farley]
    Ivory Melodies Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/09/14
    Posts: 10
    Loc: Hamilton, Ontario,Canada
    Thanks so much, what a great video and I really appreciate you sending the link. I wish I could understand what he is saying, but the demo is enough, I am impressed.

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    #2213954 - 01/13/14 11:53 AM Re: Digital piano for teaching [Re: anotherscott]
    Ivory Melodies Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/09/14
    Posts: 10
    Loc: Hamilton, Ontario,Canada
    Thanks so much for the suggestion, and you are right, I am slowly ruling out each one frown I am going to go back and play them again and will go with the one with the best action, it is time I learn how to attach the digital pianos to a computer anyways:) I know it can be a lot of fun and it will be great for the students as well since most of them seem to be buying digital pianos now. If you have a chance, and know of a good website with information about how to get started could you please send the link?

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