It is absolutely essential that students have easy access to a suitable piano or keyboard on at least 5 days per week.  Students who live between two houses may need an instrument at both.

Suitable instruments:

The ideal instrument to practice on is a well tuned acoustic piano in good condition. 


  • ideal for technique development
  • motivating to play on
  • need to be tuned regularly
  • older pianos can malfunction, keys can be loose or sticky
  • older pianos can be impossible to tune or go out of tune quickly
  • a quality instrument will cost a few thousand dollars


A keyboard with 76 to 88 weighted keys is another suitable option.

  • do not need to be tuned
  • will be in great condition if you buy new
  • cost as little as $600
  • have great sound effects
  • have a different touch/feel to an acoustic piano (disadvantage in learning technique)
  • may have less keys than an acoustic piano
  • are unsuitable for students at a late intermediate/advanced level

Why not a smaller keyboard?

  • From the first year of lessons, fewer than 76 keys greatly limits the repertoire that can be practised at home.
  • It is confusing to the student's hand when keys have a smaller width than regular piano keys.
  • When keys are 'lightweight' (easy to press), the student stiffens the wrist and connects notes, playing with the fingers only. These tension issues are difficult to remedy later on.
  • The teaching of dynamics (loud and soft) will be delayed until the student has a weighted key instrument in order to prevent further tension/control issues.

Rent an instrument:

Consider a hire-buy scheme (ask about your options at Barratts Music store), buying second hand (in good condition) or opting for an electric piano/clavinova.  Musicorp Australia offer hire-buy schemes for suitable keyboards.

If you need a piano moved: my father runs a furniture removal business in Launceston. Call him for a quote. He even has an electric stair climber which is great for moving pianos!

Tune regularly!

If you own a piano, have it tuned or serviced every two to three years.  A student practising on an instrument that is noticeably out of tune does not have the opportunity to develop an accurate sense of pitch.