Nathan Rippon Product Manager, Yamaha Music Australia
Social worker, counsellor, baby-sitter, accountant, mentor, book-keeper, repertoire expert, scheduling expert – these are just a few of the many “hats” a piano teacher wears in today’s teaching landscape.
- Acoustic or digital?
- What are weighted keys, touch sensitivity, fixed pedals?
- We found a piano on the side of the road, will it be suitable?
- What are “hybrid” pianos?
What makes a piano a “hybrid”?
The term “hybrid” is now relatively commonplace, but in the piano world it generally suggests some combination of digital and acoustic. Many brands now produce hybrid pianos – from a digital instrument with some kind of acoustic piano action inside (e.g. Yamaha’s AvantGrand), or, viewed from another perspective, an acoustic piano with a silencing system and/or an amplifier that turns the soundboard into its own speaker (e.g. Yamaha’s TransAcoustic).
Figure 2: Key sensors in Yamaha’s Silent Piano
Other teaching benefits
While hybrid acoustic pianos are fundamentally about the acoustic playing experience, teachers and students also have the advantage of elements we expect from digital technologies, including:
• playback and recording functions for aid in learning and practice
• connecting to external MIDI devices (some models)
• app integration
• additional voices.
Nathan Rippon is the Product Manager for Pianos at Yamaha Music Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Music (Hons) from the University of Newcastle, Australia majoring in Piano and Saxophone. He has previously held positions within the Music products industry including Marketing Manager for Hal Leonard Australia and editor of The Piano Teacher magazine, Australia.