piano

A Successful Piano Finding Journey for an adult student (Video)

Two days of intensive piano evaluating produced a lovely outcome. It was a partnered teacher/pupil journey through aisles of Kawai, Yamaha, and Baldwin verticals, playing and replaying them– comparing responses to voicing, tactile/touch tone, pedal/no pedal trials through lowest to highest octaves. Our duo team effort elicited a patient, interactive stream of responses:

Teacher: “This one has a dull upper treble, but a lovely, full resonant mid-range; I like the break at the bass.” My student replaced me at the bench,”feeling” her way through Burgmuller’s “La Candeur” with a seamless dip into a J.C. Bach Prelude. Quickly, she found a weakness that had eluded me. With the pedal down, the smooth note to note transit was interrupted. It was musical chairs as I retested and agreed. ON to the next!

Such an acoustic piano immersion in two commercial warehouses was in marked contrast to my student’s digitized Yamaha P-120 practicing escapades. She had recently acquired a sensitivity to the tone/touch cosmos, having played my Baldwin grand from week to week. Newly awakened to a supple wrist/floating arm generated singing tone, she had discovered an appreciation of pianos responsive to her imagination. (“hear it before you play it,” but with a cooperative piano)

Each vertical, sampled through narrow rows had strengths and weaknesses, though the one emerging as most desirable was impeccably voiced and regulated. (It had a smoothness of note to note transit, and afforded an array of dynamics.) Whether in Forte or piano; or with crescendo, diminuendo, the 45 inch Kawai Model K-200 sang like a nightingale.

In evaluating this beauty, I started by using a flutter pedal through an ascending and descending chromatic scale at MF to F range; then I continued, without pedal, playing the same scale at a very soft level in legato. (smoothly connecting the notes) Repertoire selections followed.

Words of advice to buyers:

When testing a piano, one should traverse its keyboard landscape by half steps at p (soft) to pp (very soft) levels to expose any irregularities in tactile/tone transit. While most samplers will bang a piano at loud levels, they will surely overlook the true potential of the instrument as well as what it lacks.

My student was fortunate to have found a fully responsive piano by taking a patient journey, allowing for necessary revisits and reassessments. It was an ear-widening experience that will forever enrich our musical cosmos.

***

A 45 inch Kawai Model K-200
Size Height 45″ (114 cm)
Width 59″ (149 cm)
Depth 22.5” (57 cm)
Weight 459 lbs. (208 kg)
Touch White Key Surfaces Acrylic
Black Key Surfaces Phenol
Action Millennium III Upright Action with ABS-Carbon Composites
Hammer Felts All Underfelted
Sound Soundboard Solid Spruce, Tapered
Speaking Length of No.1 String 45.6″ (1157 mm)
Contour Bars 1
Agraffes –
Duplex Scaling –
Back Posts 4
Exterior Design Pedals Soft, Muffler, Damper
Front Casters Single, Brass
Fallboard “Soft Fall” Closing System
Lock –
Other Features Steel Reinforced Keyslip & Keybed

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