Music is a productive hobby and a great way to unwind. According to research conducted in the field of neuro-development education, exposure to music in the early stages of a child’s life can help develop language and communication skills. Learning to play a musical instrument, as opposed to simply listening, is also noted as a significant benefit for children in the long term. This brings us to one of the most commonly asked questions we receive: which instrument should someone’s child pursue as a first choice? Although it depends on personal preferences and logistics (such as space), we highly recommend the piano as a starting point for your child’s musical journey.
Why, you may ask? Well, because the piano is relatively easy to learn when compared with other musical instruments. Building muscle memory with a piano is a significantly easier task when contrasted with complicated instruments such as guitars or violins. As a result, and with piano teachers being easily available, it is common for children as little as five years old to begin learning how to play the piano.
You and your child can choose from a variety of pianos styles; in fact, through piano lessons in Atlanta, you can make it fun for your child by allowing them to choose a piano style that they like. Typically, pianos come in three major variations, Upright, Grand, and Electric. Here are some of the most popular styles of the three different types of pianos.
Fun fact: Upright pianos are also known as grandma pianos, and are considered among the most aesthetically appealing instruments in the world.
Similar in tonal quality and pitch to a Grand piano, Upright pianos are a cheaper alternative with a slightly warmer tone. Upright pianos are constructed horizontally with strings positioned vertically in the soundboard. They are also sometimes referred to as Vertical pianos.
Here are some of the more popular styles of Upright pianos:
Spinet pianos are typically the smallest of pianos. Their size can vary from 35” to 37” in height, and are thus best suited for smaller rooms with limited space.
For beginners looking for an affordable choice, a Spinet piano is an ideal choice. They are especially suited for smaller hands, such as those of a child, and although they may look like toys, they handle complex melodies just fine.
Console pianos can measure anywhere between 40” to 43” in height, and possess longer strings than the Spinet piano, producing louder sounds.
While acoustic versions of the Console piano tend to have better sound quality, digital versions are nevertheless a cost-effective purchase. Either choice is suitable for beginners.
Studio pianos can range between 45” to 48” in height, and are most likely to be found in music studios or schools. This is due to the Studio piano’s large body, which produces superb tonal quality. Studio pianos come with more keys than Console and Spinet pianos, and are most useful for playing intricate harmonies.
Grand Pianos consist of strings set horizontally in the structure to produce a crisp and clean sound.
The horizontal design of the Grand piano, along with the placement of keys and hammers, provides enhanced control of pitch and tone. Players of a Grand piano can expect quality resonance thanks to a larger soundboard. Popular styles of Grand pianos include the following:
With an 88 key set, a height between 4’11” and 5’6” with decent sound quality, Baby Grand pianos are an excellent choice for beginners looking for a classic option. However, due to a smaller soundboard, this type of piano may not produce the same solid, crystal clear sounds of its larger counterparts.
Measuring from 5’7” to 6’4” in height, Medium Grand pianos are suitable for professional use, thanks to larger strings and better sound quality than most other piano styles. As their name suggestions, Medium Grand pianos exist between their smaller and larger counterparts, offering a little bit of the pros of both ends of the spectrum.
Parlor Grand pianos measure between 5’9” and 6’1” in height, and are typically found in music schools, concert halls, or musical acts. Their horizontally-set long strings add a mesmerizing sound quality and are loud enough to be played in large open spaces.
As the largest piano on the market, Concert Grand pianos can measure around 9’ in height. Concert Grand varieties are equipped with 88 keys and include a platform to hold sheet music.
The most expensive of all pianos, the Concert Grand style is known for simultaneously producing boisterous and crystal clear sounds. These pianos are best suited for playing in professional environments but are also commonly used by amateurs and students.
Electric/Digital pianos are ideal for beginners and children, as they can be carried around easily and are relatively cheap when compared with their acoustic counterparts. Although limited in effectiveness, these keyboards can mimic the sounds of other instruments, such as a guitar or trumpet. Since their sounds are all pre-recorded, it also goes without saying that Electric/Digital pianos provide the benefit of never needing a tune-up. To compliment this benefit, most Electric/Digital pianos allow for easy recording, allowing players to save their play sessions for future use. The downside to keyboards is that some of them don’t sound as authentic, so you’d want to read up on the keyboard reviews as well as listen to yourself before purchasing.
Irrespective of style or design, the size of a piano typically determines its sound quality. Varieties with longer strings tend to perform the best in terms of volume and tonal quality. However, for beginners, any style with a minimum of 88 keys-set is suitable as long as the piano is tuned.
At piano lessons in Atlanta, we encourage you and your child to find the piano style that best suits you. Contact us now and we will be more than happy to provide further insight into which style meets your budget and musical needs.