An acoustic piano is essential and required to study piano. Digital pianos use digitally generated sound so it is impossible to change the tone. What you get is what you get.
While the sound is basically good, young children must learn the necessary finger control to create their own good sound. Also, piano players must use many different kinds of tone (loud, soft, harsh, warm, etc.) and beginning players must master all of these. Digital pianos do not allow you to change the tone so the student is missing critical ear and finger training.
ESPS teachers recommend that you buy the best acoustic piano you can afford. All teachers are happy to consult and advise you on the purchase of your piano.
Adjustable benches are ideal for young children learning piano. Regular piano benches are built for adults. Small children need different-sized benches, according to their height. An adjustable bench will “grow” with your child, allowing for correct posture at all ages (and correct bench height for different children within one family, too).
If an adjustable piano bench is unavailable, the regular bench may be mounted on a platform of boards. The teacher will help in determining the correct height.
Young Suzuki students use adjustable footstools so that their feet are in a comfortable position while playing and not dangling uncomfortably.
Developing good piano posture is very important. If the feet are dangling, the whole body moves while playing and this can put strain on the lower back and spine. The arms will also move in unexpected ways, which can lead to pain in the back, shoulder or wrists.
Footstools are available in an adjustable shelf style that will grow with your child.
Alternatively, families can build their own adjustable footstools in a box style. The minimum surface area should be 9 X 15 inches. The height should be sufficient to provide solid support for the student’s feet.
Music books and CDs
The Suzuki piano repertoire is contained in a series of seven music books, and as your child progress, each of these books are required for learning. For each of these volumes, a matching CD contains professional recordings of the music so the child can hear the music played really well before attempting it.
When children listen only to their own playing, including their mistakes, this is the musical memory of the piece they go back to. Beginning students must hear the music played very well so they know what to strive for.