How to Find the Right Piano

Buying a good quality piano is the best thing you can do to inspire enthusiasm and commitment in young students. You don't need a 9-foot concert grand to make great music, but you do need to carefully consider your options. Electronic keyboards seem convenient in the short term, but acoustic pianos are


built to last

Oftentimes, pianos are treasured heirlooms, and help spark a love of music from one generation to the next. After a time, electronic keyboards will ultimately need to be replaced. 


help build healthy technique
You learn to control dynamics (playing soft and loud), and the weighted keys help build finger dexterity. You also get the full 88 keys, which many keyboards don't have.


they can increase in value

the more they are used and properly taken care of


and they are

fascinating machines--open the lid, and you can see exactly how it works!

There are many options available: smaller console/spinnet (aka 'upright' pianos), to baby grands (4 feet), and slightly bigger grands (5 to 9-feet). You can buy new or used, and if you look in the right places, you can find decent price ranges. 


Pro-tip:Try the piano before you buy. Harry Potter tried out several wands before he bought the right one. And like a wand, pianos have their own distinct 'personalities.'  Some sound 'bright,' some sound 'dark' and rich. Some keys are easier to press down (this is called the 'action'), and some aren't. Used pianos might have bad sound quality (damaged/missing strings), keys that won't even press down or come back up again, scratches, or wobbly legs. Don't rely on an online photo description-- make sure you get the one you want. 


The following are all resources I trust and have used over the years:

Expert Salespeople
Sue Dopp, Schmitt Music in Roseville--she's a trusted colleague and will answer all your questions!

Buy Used/Refurbished
Wells Pianos, Snelling Avenue, St. Paul

Keys 4/4 Kids, St. Paul
Donated pianos are refurbished, and the money goes to support local arts programs


Buy New

Schmitt Music--Burnsville, Roseville, Brooklyn Center

More Tips


Guild of Piano Technicians
Tips on Buying a Piano