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In choosing a piano, first discuss with your teacher which brand of piano is suitable for your needs.  

In the case of an older piano, evaluation by a competent piano technician is strongly advised.  Many older pianos can never be tuned to the correct pitch and can damage a child's sense of pitch.  

There is a distinction between an electronic keyboard and an acoustic piano.  An electronic piano has a pre-programmed sound that can be changed by a volume control.  You can control the dynamics but you cannot control the tone.  On an acoustic piano, you can control the dynamics and the tone by the way you strike the note.  

The OSA piano teachers require that a child learn on an acoustic piano.  If you already own an electronic piano, discuss it with your teacher.

For young children, a footstool and adjustable bench are required so that they can more easily maintain proper playing posture.

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Care of a Piano

A piano should be placed away from any sources of heat or large windows.  Heat can dry up and crack the wood of the instrument especially the soundboard.

A new piano needs more tuning than an older one because the strings need to be stretched. The store where it was purchased will tell you the tuning schedule for your instrument.

For a settled instrument, tuning at least once a year is recommended. The ideal time is at the beginning of winter when you first turn on the heat.  The change of temperature and the dryness in the house causes the piano to lose its tuning rapidly. 

To keep the piano in tune for a longer time, keep the humidity in the room constant. A "damp-chaser" can also be installed in the piano to keep the humidity constant.  This will keep the piano better in tune.

Tuning will probably be required if the piano is moved, even if it is just moved within the same room.

Avoid changing piano technicians too frequently.  Each technician approaches the tuning of a piano differently and your piano will lose its tuning faster if you constantly call a different technician. Your teacher will be able to recommend one.

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