Do I really need a grand piano?

Many parents approach teachers to ask the same question-does my kid need a grand piano? The fact is, many piano teachers do not own a grand piano at home for a variety of reasons, and still be able to practice and perform. Grand pianos provide great sound and have amazing action for greater playability, but it does not prevent us from mastering the hardest of all pieces.

What makes a grand piano grand?

  1. The soundboard can be longer by the virtue of being horizontal, and the longest string (lowest note) on a baby grand are longer than most tall upright pianos give it the advantage of having better harmonicity.  The longer the soundboard, the longer the strings can be to resonate better and sound more pleasing to the ear
  2. The actions on a grand piano are more sosphicated and allow more effortless playing, especially in fast passages.
  3. A grand piano have a proper una corda (soft – the left most) pedal that shift the hammers to strike less strings instead of reducing the hammer’s travel distance (which further alter the touch negatively), and a sostenuto (middle) pedal that allow certain notes to sustain while others are dampered. Only certain pieces demand the use of sostenuto pedal (eg. Debussy) or when the performers deem necessary.

Can you get by without one?

You can certainly get by without one in most cases. Having access to one is beneficial, especially before an RCM examination. Many RCM exam centres will have a grand piano for students testing at grades 8 or later.