From time to
time, I receive questions from prospective students and parents ... Here
are a few of them:
How long a lesson should I have?
From personal experience, young children benefit most from a 30 minute
lesson. Teenagers and adults find 45 and 60 minute lessons more advantageous.
How long will it take to learn to read music?
Learning to read music is very similar to learning to read text. It is
a progressive process that can take many years to perfect. As is often
the case, the more time you can commit to practice will accelerate your
We don’t have a piano at the moment. Can I start learning on
an electronic keyboard?
Certainly. Buying a piano can be a considerable expense, especially if
you are just starting out and are unsure if it is right for you. Any good
electronic keyboard with ‘touch sensitive keys’ will suffice
in the early stages of learning. However, if you wish to continue onto
Classical examinations it will be necessary to purchase a piano.
What is the difference between an electric and acoustic (real) piano?
Electronic Pianos which today are incredibly sophisticated can emulate
the feel and sound of a real piano. Depending on the make and model it
is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the feel of playing an electronic
or acoustic instrument. There are many benefits to purchasing an Electronic
Piano (you may be short on space, want to avoid tuning costs or have concerns
over noise and neighbours). However, in my opinion no Electronic instrument
can fully capture the sound, feel and nuances of a real piano. I would
always recommend my students to purchase an acoustic instrument if they
Should I buy a piano advertised in my local paper?
This is a difficult one to answer. There are many pros and cons to buying
an instrument when you do now know its history. Old pianos could have
been stored in damp conditions or have broken internal parts which do
not show up during a cosmetic inspection. If there are problems with the
tuning block (lift the lid on a piano and you will see several metal pins
with strings attached. The tuning block is behind the pins) you may never
be able to tune the piano. I would always say, listen to the sound of
the piano and ask lots of questions of the seller (e.g. where it has been
stored, how old it is and how often it has been tuned). If in any doubt,
walk away or contact a local piano tuner/technician for advice.
How much does it cost to have a piano tuned?
This really depends on the tuner. In my experience, tunings cost between
30 and 40 pounds. However, this will increase depending on the amount
of work that needs to be done.
I have bought a piano … How can I get it moved?
If you are moving an upright piano, three strong adults can usually do
the job providing you have a low backed van and lots of sheets to cover
the piano with (to avoid damage). If you have any doubts whatsoever, I
would recommend you contact a local removals company or furniture mover.
Alternately, contact Piano Logistics by clicking here
I have bought an old piano. Can I get it tuned right away?
Personally, I would advise against this. A piano needs to settle for two
to three weeks before it is tuned. As many of the internal components
are made of wood, they need to become accustomed to their new environmental
conditions. Tuning the piano before it has settled will decrease the amount
of time it will stay in tune.
Can I learn how to tune a piano myself?
These days, there are many books available that claim to teach ‘how
to tune a piano’. I personally leave that job to professionals as
inexperience can lead to much frustration and ultimately you may do serious
damage to your piano.