if a student shows promise at playing the piano, ensuring this emerging talent has room to grow and that the motivation to progress is properly encouraged, discussions about suitable pianos are very much part of the zone. A starter piano is just that: it will get a young player started. A keen and talented student who has to work with a 'starter piano' will constantly be fighting frustration and discouragement as they try play 'with feeling' a piano that has as much delicacy as a bulldozer!
Piano Exams mark the student's progress through to competent musicianship. The higher grades, obviously demand greater ability than the lower grades but there is a corresponding suitability gap between a piano that is just good enough for the elementary grades and one that is built to handle for the more advanced grades.
The world of pianos is thick with variations on a theme of good and bad: good tone, bad action; good action, bad tone; light touch; heavy touch; responsive; unresponsive; bright tone; mellow tone; brand new; worn out; playable; unplayable! The list is endless. No sane person would ever try to document every aspect of every piano ever made. However, in a subtle and informal way, the pianos we encounter help us to make judgements and form preferences that reflect our tastes and style of playing.
There is no list of pianos that could be the definitive guide to suitable pianos. Guidelines and statistics are all a list can offer. Due to the nature of pianos no two of them are alike. Even statistical facts are no proof or guarantee of satisfaction or suitability. Any tuner will have met with many good people who's piano purchases have gone wrong... 'but we were told it was in good working order!'
Choosing a suitable piano will always come down to the best value-for-money piano on offer. Get as much advice as you can find. Talk to your tuner. Pin-point as clearly as you can what you are looking for in a piano, e.g. tone, responsiveness of action, casework etc. Happy hunting!
The Piano World
© Steve BurdenPianology