Supplies for beginners
This is a general list of supplies for young beginners.Other students can modify this list for their needs.
Piano or fully weighted 88-keys digital piano/keyboard
You don't have to buy a piano or keyboard right away, especially if you have a small kid. You can start taking piano lessons, make sure that your kid enjoys it and wants to continue, and then you can buy a piano.
Digital piano is a good start. Make sure you buy a fully weighted 88-keys piano. Fully weighted means that it is designed closer to a hammer mechanism of a real acoustic piano. Professional musicians use this type of keyboard because it makes possible to play with more dynamics (more difference between quiet and loud sounds), while light keyboard is not able to reproduce much dynamics at all. Also fully weighted keyboard will help you to learn the right hand posture and right touch. Pay attention to fully weighted versions when you buy, visually they look the same as light keyboards, you have to read the description.
Some advantages of having a digital keyboard:
- it is not heavy, you can easily move it
- you don't need to tune it! It is always in tune. It will save you some money (my piano tuner charges $185 to tune my acoustic piano, and I do it at least twice a year)
- it usually has a USB port so you can record your performances in you computer or use it with various software (make sure it has a usb port when you buy it!). If it has a 1/4 inch jack output you can still record audio in you computer, but you will need to have an audio interface with 1/4 inch jack inputs.
- It is easier to sell a keyboard/digital piano than acoustical piano in case you don't want to continue playing or want to upgrade
Disadvantage of digital piano/keyboard:
- The quality of sound is not as good as acoustic piano. The sounds is reproduced by little built-in speakers in the keyboard. It is totally fine for beginners though, but if you are an audiophile and feel like you want a better quality audio -- I would recommend to buy a couple of nice speakers (e.g. Yamaha HS5 etc..) and connect them to a line output (1/4 jack) of your keyboard.
TIP: to save money, buy used pianos. Many people sell their pianos in great condition. The same with other audio equipment. My acoustic piano is pre-owned, I bought it on sale at University of Miami. They have a contract with piano salon: they buy new pianos every year and sell "old" ones for discounted price. "Old" ones are only one year old, used by professionals, and in perfect condition, so I got my piano for $4k, which is $2k less than its full price. By the way, many universities are doing the same thing, and if you want to buy and acoustic upright piano or a baby grand -- such university sales is a place to go. They also have many pianos displayed at once in one room, I spent 2-3 hours playing all of them and choosing the best one. I also bought all my audio equipment used (speakers, microphones, audio interface...) on ebay or reverb.com.
For 4-6 y.o. kids we'll need My First Piano Adventure: Writing Book A ($6.75 on Amazon)
I am using Lesson Books in class from the same series, if you want to follow what we are doing in class you can get them too, but it is totally optional.
For beginning kids 7+ we'll need:
This book covers similar material as My First Piano Adventures, just designed for older kids.
Kids 7+ who already studied with My First Piano Adventures, can skip Primer Level and go to Level 1: Theory Book - Piano Adventures.
For beginning students ages 11 to high school, we'll need: Accelerated piano adventures for older beginners: Theory Book 1
For adult beginners who like more systematic approach I am using Piano Adventures series for adults.
Music notebook: wide staff
For kids under 10 we'll need a music notebook with wide staff. It can be 2 large staves per page in album orientation and pictures inside, like this one.
Or it can be up to 4-6 single large staves per page in portrait orientation, like this one. There are different fun options with unicorn, mermaids, etc, choose whatever is more fun for your kid!
Any kind of notebook where I could write down notes for you what to practice at home. I am not giving large homeworks, not giving grades, and do not feel bad if sometimes you don't have time or inspiration to finish everything -- it's totally fine. Just do whatever you can! If you review things we learned in class with my notes, it will help you to learn more efficiently and get results faster. Especially if you are taking one class per week.
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