However, we are realistic and understand that not everyone will have the budget to invest in a quality acoustic piano right away. At a minimum, we ask that all students invest in a full-sized (88 key) digital piano.
Compared to small keyboards, digital instruments have:
- a full 88-key keyboard, so you can play all your pieces!
- a more realistic dynamic range (called touch response, which means you can play loud and soft)
- weighted keys, which aim to mimic the feel of a real piano.
We’re happy for students to play on digital instruments as beginners, but recommend that they then upgrade to an acoustic once they become intermediate players; around the time they are playing pieces at piano exam grade 3 level (regardless of whether the student chooses to do exams or not).
Please DO NOT purchase any type of small keyboard! Keyboards do not have the full range of keys, do not have proper touch response or weighted keys, and do not allow students to develop proper technique.
A piano is a very personal purchase, so take your time and try out a few instruments to find the one that suits you best.
Acoustic options - the ideal option would be to find a quality new or second hand acoustic piano. You might be able to find private second hand listings on sites like gumtree, or ask your teacher if they know of anyone selling a piano. If you do decide to purchase something second hand, stick with a reputable brand, such as Yamaha or Kawaii and make sure they’re not too old; 10-15 years old at most. If they are older, just ensure they haven’t been played much! Unfortunately, pianos deteriorate with time and from being played. Just like buying a second-hand car, always get a “mechanic” (a piano tuner!) to give them a check. Prices will vary greatly based on the brand, age and condition.
You an also go through one of the music stores in Canberra such as DW Music (Fyshwick) or Better Music (Phillip). They both have lots of pianos that you can try out and can arrange financing and delivery.
Digital options - A great budget and portable digital option is the Yamaha P125 digital piano. It has a surprisingly full sound and good touch (full-sized with 88 weighted keys). Make sure you get the accessories- the timber frame and fixed triple pedal board- so that you have a correct and comfortable piano set up. If you would like a step up from the P125, there are some very good Yamaha digital pianos in the $1700 range new (pricing as of 2020, for the Arius YDP144 model). There’s no need to pay more than that for a digital piano at this early stage otherwise you’re simply paying for more tech gadgets that you’re unlikely to use. Roland is also a great brand for digital pianos and Kawai has some good models also.
As with acoustic pianos, you can find digital instruments second hand. BUT if you are buying second we would even more strongly recommend sticking with reputable brands like Yamaha, Roland or Kawai. Also make sure that second hand digital instruments are no more than about 7 years old. Mechanisms in older instruments can start breaking and keys can stop working.
We hope that helps and if you need further guidance please contact Amber via the ‘contact us’ page ☺