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#28665 - 01/31/02 08:49 AM Re: Pianos & Teachers
Eric Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 2325
Loc: New York, NY
Who knows how this development might have a really positive effect on teaching? If successful, perhaps somewhere down the road it will become advisable for young students to begin on a 7/8, much the way young violinists start out on those adorable mini-violins.

As for me, I'm happy with the conventional size! \:\) When I was trying out pianos, I played on a Mason and Hamlin that had slightly larger black keys, and I found my fingers too big to easily maneuver between them.

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#28666 - 01/31/02 08:58 AM Re: Pianos & Teachers
Jalapeņo Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
Originally posted by Eric:
Who knows how this development might have a really positive effect on teaching? If successful, perhaps somewhere down the road it will become advisable for young students to begin on a 7/8, much the way young violinists start out on those adorable mini-violins.

I know nothing about violins, but I very seriously doubt that those "adorable" mini-violins cost $5,000! [You'll have to forgive me, but I hate listening to beginning violin students practice: squeak, squeak, squeak ]

And what are the odds that parents who aren't even willing to buy a decent digital piano :rolleyes: (that costs $2,000 or less; as low as $800 or so if you catch a great sale) are going to be willing to buy a grand piano so they can have it fitted with a 7/8 keyboard?

As for me, I'm happy with the conventional size! \:\) When I was trying out pianos, I played on a Mason and Hamlin that had slightly larger black keys, and I found my fingers too big to easily maneuver between them.

If there aren't going to be many 7/8 keyboards around, I'd rather stick with the regular-sized keys as well. Even though my hands are rather small (I can barely span a 9th), I have managed to adapt fairly well to performing on a regular piano & imagine it would be difficult to adjust to smaller keys, practice on smaller keys at home, then have to perform in public on a regular piano. Until the 7/8 keyboard becomes a commonplace item (which is unlikely at the present $5,000 price), I'll stick with what I have & be content. \:\)

[ January 31, 2002: Message edited by: Jalapeņo ]

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#28667 - 01/31/02 10:44 AM Re: Pianos & Teachers
Jason Offline
Star Member

Registered: 05/14/00
Posts: 2019
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Switching actions in and out of a grand piano is a rather simple procedure. All it takes is a screwdriver. (And some pianos even have a wing nut instead of a screw so you wouldn't need any tools at all.)

Basically, you:

1) Unscrew the screws underneath the keyboard on either side.

2) Pull the fall board out (the wood blocks on either side of the keys will come out with it.)

3) Slide out the action (the action isn't actually bolted down or anything - it just sits in there)

The big thing you have to worry about is that the hammer shanks are a bit fragile and it can be easy to snap a hammer off when putting an action in a piano. It's also pretty heavy and a bit awkward to carry.
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#28668 - 01/31/02 11:11 AM Re: Pianos & Teachers
dlinder Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 689
Loc: Ohio
Amazing...
Just yesterday afternoon I was wondering about the possibility of smaller keys for younger students and even used the same violin analogy to myself!
Although it is still way out of price range for the average teacher and student, who knows....maybe one day they will be as commonplace as different size violins.
dlinder-remembering my own beginning violin practicing days....I wonder if that's why my dad started wearing ear plugs....

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#28669 - 01/31/02 01:39 PM Re: Pianos & Teachers
Jalapeņo Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jason:
Switching actions in and out of a grand piano is a rather simple procedure. All it takes is a screwdriver. (And some pianos even have a wing nut instead of a screw so you wouldn't need any tools at all.)

Basically, you:

1) Unscrew the screws underneath the keyboard on either side.

2) Pull the fall board out (the wood blocks on either side of the keys will come out with it.)

3) Slide out the action (the action isn't actually bolted down or anything - it just sits in there)

The big thing you have to worry about is that the hammer shanks are a bit fragile and it can be easy to snap a hammer off when putting an action in a piano. It's also pretty heavy and a bit awkward to carry.


Doesn't sound like such an easy thing for a petite person like me to do, Jason. \:\(
And God only knows what it would do to my already-bad lower back (& its accompanying sciatica pain).

[ January 31, 2002: Message edited by: Jalapeņo ]

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#28670 - 01/31/02 01:44 PM Re: Pianos & Teachers
Jalapeņo Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
 Quote:
Originally posted by dlinder:
dlinder-remembering my own beginning violin practicing days....I wonder if that's why my dad started wearing ear plugs....




[ January 31, 2002: Message edited by: Jalapeņo ]

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#28671 - 01/31/02 03:56 PM Re: Pianos & Teachers
Rhapsody Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/19/00
Posts: 2329
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jalapeņo:
[You'll have to forgive me, but I hate listening to beginning violin students practice: squeak, squeak, squeak ]


Beginning violinists can create some rather torturous sounds but NOTHING can compare to the AGONIZING HORROR created by beginning trumpeters. I once had a job in a music department office of a trumpet teacher and even though the adjoining room was soundproof (?) with a 6"-thick door, I still have nightmares about it!!!!!!!!!
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