There is a joke frequently heard among piano teachers, which goes something like this: “Would you send your kids to play a sport with the cheapest possible gear or would you make the investment in quality gear so that they can be successful?” Jokes aside, the concept of investing in a high quality instrument is pivotal to setting up a child for success when learning the piano.
Over the years, much research has been conducted to study the effects that learning music has on brain development. The "Mozart effect" was a commonly held belief that listening to music composed by Mozart improves your intelligence, especially if you start at a young age. This theory has been reputed, but according to Miami Piano Studio Director Dr. Mihai Preda, research has shown that actively learning an instrument has many long term beneficial effects on the brain, including cultivating better working memory, perceptual organization, and processing speed to name a few things.
This strong correlation between learning an instrument, brain development, and cognition has inspired many parents to send their kids to music lessons. Successfully learning an instrument, however, depends on a number of factors, including supportive parents, a good teacher, and a quality instrument. Learning to play the piano on a quality instrument, like a Steinway grand piano, establishes a solid foundation for success.
A high quality instrument like a Steinway grand piano not only facilitates a fuller and more vivid range of musical expression and nuance, but it also teaches the student to intently listen to and explore how to create these sounds and textures in their musical interpretation. And this is where the magic happens. This is when black notes on a white sheet of paper are brought to life and posses personality, character, and a story; when rote practicing becomes intentional art and expression. This is how a Steinway piano enables that deeper and more meaningful connection to music to emerge and touch the deepest recesses of our souls.
Though the upfront investment in a fine instrument like a Steinway piano may feel significant, Steinway pianos maintain their value over time and the "cost of use" — what you pay minus what you can reasonably expect to sell the piano for in 10-15 years —actually works out to be less expensive than buying a cheaper brand which depreciates more in value. Not only that, but with a little effort, you can find and purchase a pristine, lightly used Steinway piano for substantially less than a brand new Steinway.