From the New York Times ©, 01/02/03:
ROB REIS, a 49-year-old electrical engineer in Palo Alto, Calif., was in his mid-40's when he resolved to redress a big regret in his life: he had never learned to play the piano. He decided to start taking lessons. Trained to approach challenges methodically, he gauged that it would take roughly five years to become proficient at what he calls "cocktail party piano."
Being the electronics-happy fellow that he is, Mr. Reis settled on a digital piano, which he credits not only with speeding the vexingly slow process of learning the piano, but also with helping him get through a three-month period of stagnation that nearly caused him to quit.
For most adults, learning to play the piano is the musical equivalent of watching grass grow. Frustration over one's own lack of coordination and the struggle to play what an 8-year-old with a year's experience can knock off with ease makes piano study a wide-open market for electronic learning aids.
Not surprisingly, there are more to choose from than ever before. Digital pianos do a better job than ever at approximating the action and sound of acoustic pianos, providing new enticements for beginners and performance-level musicians alike. And for those still mastering the instrument, many instruction books now come with disks that can be inserted into a digital piano or a stand-alone box, letting the student hear a piece in any number of ways. There are also specialized CD players that can slow the music down to the novice's pace without changing the pitch.
The rest of the story is at: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/02/technology/circuits/02pian.html
- Frank B.