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Is your child beginning in trying out learning piano? Buying an actual upright piano would cost a few thousand dollars, and may not be a good idea, as many children may stop learning after a few months. Practicing piano is an excellent way to improve musical skills and even Math skills, as music has been found to be linked to math. Unfortunately practicing piano requires a lot of patience and perseverance (e.g. 1 hour practice every day), in order to reach a decent level like Grade 8 Piano. Hence, many children understandably cannot sustain the necessary practice required, and stop learning, and the money buying the piano (and space in the house) would be wasted.
Research has found that music helps children learn maths! Listening to music in maths lessons can dramatically improve children’s ability in the subject and help them score up to 40 per cent higher in examinations, a new study has found. Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/9159802/Music-helps-children-learn-maths.html
Buying a keyboard (non-weighted) is also not a good idea, as classical piano requires dynamics (e.g. forte and piano) which means loud and soft contrasts, which is not achievable using a non-weighted keyboard.
The perfect solution is to purchase a digital piano first, and then upgrade to a upright piano if the child maintains interest after a few years. A very good brand for starters would be Yamaha, a Japanese music brand. An added advantage of digital pianos is the ability to use earphones, which would enable one to practice late at night without disturbing the neighbor.
If the child is interested to pursue MEP (Music Elective Programme), this digital piano would come in handy for musical composition in MIDI, and it would have orchestral sounds like Strings, Brass, Drums, etc. Definitely a very useful instrument to have for serious music students as well as the amateur.
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