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Using An Appropriate Action When Practicing for a Recital

When you’re taking piano lessons, practicing at home is an essential step in becoming a better musician. An acoustic piano should be the first choice whenever possible because it will be the closest feel to what will be played at a recital. Many students elect to purchase a pre-owned acoustic piano and upgrade later when their skills improve. If the purchase of an acoustic piano is not possible due to space or budget, some quality digital pianos can closely simulate the feel of playing a real piano.

Understanding Weighted Keys

When you play a piano, it is necessary to push the keys with enough force to send a hammer into two or three strings. When the hammer strikes those strings, the note sounds. A mechanical lever system connects each key to each hammer, and it gives the keys a feeling of weight.

If you’ve ever played a keyboard without weighted keys, then you probably know that the absence of the weighted feeling of a genuine piano can be confusing to play at first. Keyboard keys are designed to spring right back up, and they can be depressed with less force than you would need when playing a piano. Even keyboards that claim to have “fully weighted” keys can oftentimes be a lot lighter than a real acoustic pianos and all but the most expensive digital pianos that cost as much as a real acoustic piano do not offer any escapement pressure, leading to a bouncy feeling and lack of control over dynamics.

This can create a transitional problem if you’re going back and forth between a keyboard and a piano, especially if you’re practicing on a keyboard at home and then need to play on a piano in your music lessons or during a recital performance. The adjustment between the two very different actions are generally difficult to make on the fly at a crucial time like in a recital This can affect the way the child feels about his music instruction in the early stages of learning. Under optimal circumstances playing at a recital can be an important confidence building experience.

And finally, it has been shown that students that practice on a real acoustic instrument not only get more satisfaction from their play, but also progress more rapidly, and that is a very important factor in assuring the student continues on in lessons!

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