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As the piano covers both the treble clef and bass clef in music notation it is the perfect foundation instrument for young children. Most children are ready to start their formal music education around the age of 5, but we have had great success with younger children too. The piano is also the perfect choice for mature students too. Around 30% of our students are adults and 20% are retirees. Although students may choose to learn to play for relaxation and fun, our teachers are also skilled in exam preparation in all genres. Although exams were traditionally for classical music, the AMEB introduced a contemporary syllabus decades ago called Piano for Leisure. More recently the AMEB has added Rockschool exams, this exam format is fast becoming our most popular exam, not only are the pieces songs you will recognise from blues, rock and pop but we believe that this syllabus will prepare students to join the music industry with relevant skills.
Still one of the most popular instruments today, with the first piano constructed made in 1698 by Bartolomeo Cristofori in Italy. The name ‘piano’ is actually a nickname for the full Italian name of the instrument, which is ‘pianoforte’. This longer name was given to the instrument based on its ability to play notes very quietly (piano) or very loudly (forte). The piano is known as the “King of the Instruments” because its range goes from the lowest note that you can play on a double-bassoon to the highest note that you can play on a piccolo, which means this single instrument covers a full orchestral range! It is generally considered to be a member of the percussion family because it only makes noise when a hammer hits a string. There are 7500 working parts in the body of each piano, and 230 strings required for a piano to make its full range of sound.
Acoustic pianos and Digital pianos are both a good option for home practice. Well made acoustic pianos have a life span of around 60-80 years, but they do need yearly professional tuning and regular maintenance. Digital pianos are designed to be a more portable, affordable option than an acoustic piano but with a very authentic feel and sound, they have 88 weighted keys. They do not require tuning and are not affected by temperature or humidity like traditional pianos. Keyboards usually have around 63 keys that are not weighted, although they are suitable for the absolute beginner piano student, they are more suited to stage work, recording and computer integration. Due to the non-weighted keys, keyboards are not recommended for piano students with long term goals.