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A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano. (Read 1463 times)

Offline reiyza

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A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
« on: February 03, 2016, 12:42:13 PM »
It's Been a month since I've been playing the piano again.

And tomorrow I'll be meeting my new teacher. (after almost 8 years of no playing)

As I read in the forums, they said, I'd rather play for the teacher than letting the teacher play for me to evaluate his skills.

But I'm Nervous! What the heck will happen to me if he rejects me! (I'm 23 BTW, and may have formed bad habits.)

and Not only that, I have only been practicing on a Digital(Clavinova-430)! The return to the acoustic(which I think is old, but used everyday) gives me a mini anxiety attack! What if my pieces sound uneven or garbage, or maybe I can't press the keys enough to make a sound and the pedaling! Oh the horror!

Any Experiences with this!

(and should this be posted to the student's corner? I already have a thread there but it's technique related, and is dead.. :()
Yup.. still a beginner. Up til now..

When will a teacher accept me? :/

Offline reiyza

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Re: A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
«Reply #1 on: February 03, 2016, 12:52:21 PM »
Please skip this if too long.

Also... as suggested by some members to make a list of pieces that I would like to play.. here they are,

I'm just a serious hobby pianist.. What pumps up my anxiety is when the new teacher tells me that most of the pieces I outlined is impossible for me to play.  :(

List of Pieces I want to play in the future:

Beethoven(All Movements)
Sonata No. 8 op 13 - Pathetique
Sonata No. 27 op. 2 - Moonlight
Violin Sonata No. 8(Kreutzer) piano solo by czerny
Sonata No. 23 3rd Movement (Appasionata)

Mozart(Selected Movemets)
Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor K310(1st Movement)
Piano Sonata No. 18 K576(All movements)
Piano Sonata No. 281 (3rd Movement)

Liszt
La Campanella
LiebestraŁm

Rachmaninoff
Piano Concerto No. 2
Liebeslied

Strauss
Concert Arabesques (Blue Danube)
Vienna Blood
Kunsterleben

Chopin
Etudes
Op. 10
-No. 12
-No. 3
-No. 4

Op. 25
-No. 5
-No. 11

Valse(s)
Grand Valse Brillante

Nocturne(s)
Op. 9
-No. 1
-No. 2

Ballade(s)
No. 1 in G minor

Fantasie Impromptu Op. 66

Debussy
Clair De Lune

Bach
Well Tempered Klavier
Book 1
No. 1 Prelude and Fugue
Book 2
No 16 Prelude and Fugue

Schubert
Piano Sonata No. 16(1st Movement)
Yup.. still a beginner. Up til now..

When will a teacher accept me? :/

Offline quantum

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Re: A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
«Reply #2 on: February 03, 2016, 01:36:37 PM »
You go to a teacher to learn new things, and to learn things you didn't know you needed to know.  If you present your bad habits to a teacher and they can help you fix them and improve, that is a win for you. 

If a teacher doesn't accept you into their studio, you move on to the next teacher.  There's no need to worry too much about this.  During your first meeting with a teacher you should also be evaluating them - just because they are a good teacher, does not automatically equate that they will be a good teacher for you. 

Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline reiyza

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Re: A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
«Reply #3 on: February 03, 2016, 01:58:31 PM »
Yes, thank you Mr. Quantum for the response, well, since I've recently started playing again on my own, I'm afraid that I won't improve unless I get a teacher.

He's the only classical teacher in my area, there are others that teaches keyboards(61 keys?). And the good teachers are a 4-5 hour drive from my area and are Practically in the capital(i live in PH btw). Since I'm working a full time job(about 9hrs/day), I can't go the distance. I'm going nuts right now!

Yup.. still a beginner. Up til now..

When will a teacher accept me? :/

Offline timothy42b

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Re: A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
«Reply #4 on: February 03, 2016, 06:08:37 PM »


And the good teachers are a 4-5 hour drive from my area and are Practically in the capital(i



There are good teachers in your house, one mouse click away.  Don't rule out Skype. 
Tim

Offline irrational

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Re: A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
«Reply #5 on: February 04, 2016, 07:59:19 AM »
I wouldn't worry too much.
What the teacher is looking for is not if you can play a piece well.
There are many other things.

When I started at my teacher I played Beethoven Op.27/2 1st movement, from memory and messed up the notes 3/4 of the way through and stopped. Her comment was "Will you stop after a few months". I said no. And going on 6 years later we are getting along very well. Nerves you'll have. But really, most things like this is much less of an issue than you think.

As for the pieces you chose. Several are really very high level. Its not to say you can't play them, but how long it would take. You had some piano when young, which will have helped a lot. I started late 30's, so my hands are struggling to loosen up and relax and all sorts of little things. But that doesnt mean I don't think I could play the Op. 57 one day. I just know something like that will require a few years with continuous dedication.

That said, you will likely find as you learn that your pieces of choice may change as well.

And if, by some chance, the teacher says no. There should be a reason and hopefully one you can work on and try again.

Offline michael_c

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Re: A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
«Reply #6 on: February 04, 2016, 09:42:25 AM »
You have most probably developed bad habits, but that is certainly not a reason for the teacher to reject you: the teacher is there to correct the bad habits. They wouldn't have much work to do if you only had good habits!

Why might a teacher reject you as a new student? Maybe if they see that you are a raving looney who expects them to transform you into Horowitz. Or if you have clearly come just to show off and don't pay any attention to what they say. But if they can see that you honestly want to improve and are open to their suggestions, they have no reason to send you packing.

Edit: as to the acoustic piano, it's best to be up front and explain to the teacher that you've been practising on a digital and are afraid that the acoustic may feel very different.

Offline reiyza

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Re: A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
«Reply #7 on: February 04, 2016, 04:43:30 PM »
@timothy - skype? I never tried it ans have poor knowledge on where to start, and Where I live, the bandwidth of my connection is too weak, live online tutorials will prove to be much difficult.

@irrational - well I have had informal lessons with my grandpa since I was young. Though the long silence may have made me forget most of the teachings. I'm very interested in your story, were you able to finish all movements of Op. 27? And yes I've gone through the piece(s) i listed and yup, definitely most of them are grade 8 and above, that's why I cannot just continue to self study.

@michael - yes i believe i may have developed several, :(  and no I don't plan to be like horowitz or any famous pianists, but I do like to watch piano competitions online sometimes. I am just really obssessing over the piano since I was born into a family that is musically oriented/inclined, and since my grandpa was a former mini-concert pianist at his prime.

And yes I am planning to tell him that when I meet him, but I am also afraid that he maybe the anti-digital type of piano teacher, and require me to buy an acoustic which I can't afford. :(

Thanks for all the responses guys, it was all really good feedback.!

And guess what guys? Out of sheer anxiety this morning, I wasn't able to go to the teacher, I'll try on monday and see what'll happen(maybe my pieces will be a lot cleaner by then).
Yup.. still a beginner. Up til now..

When will a teacher accept me? :/

Offline michael_c

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Re: A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
«Reply #8 on: February 04, 2016, 05:24:01 PM »
And guess what guys? Out of sheer anxiety this morning, I wasn't able to go to the teacher, I'll try on monday and see what'll happen(maybe my pieces will be a lot cleaner by then).

It doesn't matter how clean (or not!) the pieces are. Try not to put pressure on yourself to play up to a certain level. This isn't a competition. The teacher just needs to get an idea of the level you've reached. Be honest and simply show yourself as you are. In all probability the pieces won't go as well as they do when you play them on your own, but teachers are used to this: how often do they hear "it went so much better at home!".

If you go in with big expectations for yourself or for the teacher, you are heading for disappointment. This is just about getting to know one another. Remember also: you're not used to this situation, but the teacher is: it's up to him to put you at your ease.

As to the digital piano, if the teacher refuses to teach somebody who practices on one he is cutting himself off from a lot of potential clients. It's possible to use a Clavinova for serious practice, even if it isn't ideal. I know an excellent amateur pianist (last year he did a solo recital including the Chopin B-minor sonata, to give an idea of his level) who only has a digital piano at home. He does look for all possible opportunities to practice on a good acoustic piano, though.

Offline reiyza

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Re: A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
«Reply #9 on: February 05, 2016, 03:37:11 AM »
@michael_c - Tried your advice, went to the teacher today, and he wasn't there! All the courage that I mustered up, went down the drain, talk about bad timing, I'll try again tomorrow(if my axiety doesn't kick in again).

Regarding this excellent amateur pianist, does he have recordings posted on the net, I'm very curious on how far my clavinova will take me, since it's only a digital, I have plans to get a decent upright(kawai) or a baby grand(yamaha gbk series), which ever is in my budget in at least 10 years.
Yup.. still a beginner. Up til now..

When will a teacher accept me? :/

Offline irrational

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Re: A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
«Reply #10 on: February 05, 2016, 07:56:07 AM »
Again just remember that 99% of your anxiety is made up by yourself for no reason.
Just play. Trust me the teacher will know that you are anxious and will not play to your best ability.
Keep going there until you meet up. Have a chat. If you show a lot of interest it will go a long way. Perhaps even more than just playing.

Michael_C has it exactly right.

As for my story. I still play Op.27/2 first movement for myself. And I also know after 5 years I can not yet play it exactly the way I want to unless I really focus on it for a few months. The sheer amount of music in that piece is easy to get lost in for me. The other movements I also taught myself to play long ago, but now I know I couldn't really. The 2nd movement is not that hard, but the 3rd, to get it right is very hard. Also I find many other amazing pieces I want to play so that sonata is not a goal right now. Op.10/3 is a higher goal for me. 8)
I know better what kind of music I am good at and my strengths and weaknesses. But above all. I enjoy it more every day. Anxiety playing for people is still there of course, but it much less of an issue.

I enjoy talking music with my teacher. We constantly discuss composers, performances and so on. Building that relationship is important I feel. It makes the music much more enjoyable and after all the teacher ALSO loves music! Don't be afraid of the teacher. He'she is just someone with more knowledge of something than you do and hopefully not the kind of elitist person that wants to show off (which in my experience  teachers rarely are). So grab the opportunity to learn and enjoy it. Surely that's why you want to do this? Because you enjoy it. In that case, you shouldn't be afraid of showing that you enjoy it.

Offline reiyza

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Re: A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
«Reply #11 on: February 05, 2016, 11:16:48 AM »
@irrational - wow, 5 years and you're still not fully satisfied, I envy you for having such resolve, I started to learn the Op 27 first movement on my own without a teacher years ago, and I'm afraid to touch it again since, the fingerings i used back then were my own(didn't follow the suggested fingerings since I'm too dumb at the time), so that bad habit was kind of ingrained on me, I'll have to ask my teacher on how to relearn it again, I really want to finish that beethoven sonata(all movements), every time I hear it, I imagine myself playing it, then when I open my eyes, it tears me up because I think I won't be able to play it as good as them. (maurizio pollini, rubinstein)


Apparently, my teacher contacted me and told me to come again tomorrow, maybe I should take medication(beta blockers) prior to going. Best of luck to me. If he's good, the almost 10$/session will be worth it!(assuming he takes me, if not, *cries in a corner*).
Yup.. still a beginner. Up til now..

When will a teacher accept me? :/

Offline indianajo

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Re: A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
«Reply #12 on: February 05, 2016, 03:20:19 PM »
Half of life is showing up.
Not showing up is about the worst thing you can do to a teacher.  Do not do that again, not without at least a day's notice.  My dentist, if I forget an appointment, I mail him a check anyway.  He gave me a huge discount the last big session before he moved away, about $100.  He credited the check for the missed appointment against the next appointment, also.  
Be placid and show up.  You'll learn something, if only equanimity.    
I don't know where you are, but acoustic pianos can be had free to $200 here. Baldwins and Howards frequently, which are one of the best brands IMHO.  Moving a 1920's free upright takes 4 healthy friends, a truck. some long thick boards,  and a strong cart, so that is not entirely free.  The worst thing about a preWWII upright is the weight, not usually the performance.  
This idea that the only piano worth having is a Yamaha is great for Yamaha salesmen, but otherwise sheer lunacy.  There were hundreds of decent brands before WWII.  They were built from kits, both the good ones and the trashy ones.  You have to inspect them personally to see if a used piano is a good instrument or furniture.  See my post in this thread for some tests to sort out trash used pianos without hiring a tech: http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=56680.0
There were a dozen really good console and studio pianos brands after WWII.  See the post for some of them in the western hemisphere.  Spinets, 36" high and less, are slow but can otherwise be really good for a newby, particularly at 250 lb, $100, and fitting in the trunk of a car.  
It is only since globalization, about 1988 or 1990, that the number of quality piano brands shrunk to about four.  One or two brands produced now are good for the first year or two, but fall apart after that. 

Offline reiyza

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Re: A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
«Reply #13 on: February 05, 2016, 03:34:54 PM »
@indianajo - (gasps) oh, I'm sorry! I'll have to apologize to him tomorrow, Guess I kinda wussed out at the last minute. Maybe that's why he wasn't able to meet me today because he's mad? great, now that's the worst first impression I made, maybe I'll just pay him double for tomorrow? Does that work?

Here in the Philippines, I think my old fritz kuhla upright was post WWII, though, it got whacked during a typhoon last october(waist high flooding), I really want to send it for repairs so that I can save a lot rather than buying a new one. Maybe I'll have another technician take a look at it.

200$? Where do you live? Man! And/or for free? What? The piano is whacked?

About that 4 persons and a truck, maybe I can have my piano(flooded) refurbished is that a good idea? Since you've said that the uprights in your area cost 200$ or less, I assumed it's kind of rundown, and I'll have to shoulder it's repairs or send it for refurbishing.

And as for your opinion on yamahas, man, that's some real good advice, but it's rare to find pianos like that in my area(then again, i bought the clavinova in the capital). What's wrong with yamaha grands and uprights anyway? I'm sorry for asking you this, but I have yet to try acoustic pianos.
Thank you for the response.
Yup.. still a beginner. Up til now..

When will a teacher accept me? :/

Offline indianajo

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Re: A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
«Reply #14 on: February 05, 2016, 04:46:28 PM »
As far as paying for the session you missed, yes that is entirely fair.  If you don't see him soon I would mail him a money order to show sincerity.
Sorry about the typhoon last year. Water and acoustic pianos do not mix.  Hammer shafts bend, soundboards warp. rotating points change size and bind up or wiggle side to side. Veneer peels and buzzes.  My grandmother's piano was flooded: she kept it but I was never able to do anything with it.  
Free pianos are often the 400 lb pre WWII uprights, that the piano moving company here will not even quote on moving.  Many are **** but some are quite decent pianos.  I played a Knabe at Salvation Army resale for $100 that seemed in really good shape.  Of course Baldwin, Gulbransen, Sohmer, Steinway Everett Wurlitzer are often in good shape, the Steinway pre WWII uprights go as high as $300, and consoles $4500. But there were hundreds of good uprights built from kits by brands that went bankrupt that were as good.    Post WWII, spinets go about $100-200, name brand consoles $200-800,  Yamaha Everett (yamaha purchased them) Kawai consoles $1000-6000 because people recognize the surviving brand.  Only the Kawai consoles sound good to me, but everybody else tells me the Emporer has clothes.  I think he is naked. 
The church people around here have been convinced that it is not music if it is not played on a Yamaha.  I have heard several stories about the beautiful green eyes of the salesman, from admiring female purchasers and donors. Important people value pianos with their eyes, not their ears or hands. Presence in television commercials is viewed as very important by important people.   There is $25000 in Japanese musical and PA equipment at the front of my home church.   I have this odd idea that people that live here deserve jobs that don't require standing up all day or pay less than the rent plus food. Hiring everybody to work for the government as some politicians promise, is not IMHO the answer.   Yamaha is built in a country that buys almost nothing from us, not even arms.  I'm certainly willing to hear or play a European piano as they do in fact trade freely with us, if not evenly.  Besides, Yamaha consoles have a boring tone.   The grands sound okay, but I will not perform on them. I do charity work at five churches, and all have Yamaha pianos in the sanctuary.  They can hire oriental men to play the oriental instruments  if they have so much money, I will not play or sing there.  I tuned a Baldwin in the dining hall of my home church last year, so the deacon's gave it away.  It was scratched.  
If anybody want to buy a container of decent used midwestern console pianos, checked out by me as functional if not 100% showroom new appearance, do kindly send me a PM and we will negotiate.  Beautiful sounding consoles go to the dump every day around here.   Peaple are convinced by the *****y performance of 5 year old consumer electronics and 8 year old cars, that pianos are the same way.  NOT true, IMHO.  Just many of  the recently built pianos, well engineered to perform great for a thousand hours or so.  Before 1970 there were only a couple or so brands engineered to wear out like that.  I wouldn't be collecting any Kimball, Whitney, Winter consoles for example.  


Offline reiyza

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Re: A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
«Reply #15 on: February 05, 2016, 05:21:42 PM »
@indianajo - Man, Double for nothing, ok, I'll pay him tomorrow.(If I don't wuss out again.)

So meaning? That's the end of my fritz kuhla, since I can't use it, what'll I do with it? A expensive antique display?

are you an anti-yamaha type of person? About that, yamaha is the only good and affordable dealer in our country, the steinway uprights are next in line, but due to it's prices, I can buy a set of house and lot at that price. Maybe a good kawai upright is the last resort for me, can't think of living without music. And you mentioned that yamaha grands is good, does that include their baby grand series? Or the large types?

Even if I do consider your offer, how will it get shipped from your area to here? As you said, the weight is of significant value, if I were to buy it and have it shipped overseas, I might as well be paying for a 2nd hand piano.?

I've been thinking about how you were talking about old cars and electronics, does it mean that, as a piano ages, it will sound good? I'm confused.

Thanks for the advice, you made me reconsider on choosing a yamaha piano.
Yup.. still a beginner. Up til now..

When will a teacher accept me? :/

Offline indianajo

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Re: A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
«Reply #16 on: February 06, 2016, 12:47:30 AM »
Yeah, hundred year old pianos that haven't been exposed to too much moisture and not played for thousands of hours, can sound great.  There are some of those around here, and thousands of 50 year old pianos that sound great. People bought pianos as status symbols, and most owners didn't play them very much.  I don't try out ones that have scooped out hammers and dampers in the middle, pounded to death.   
Old pianos frequently can go as fast as they ever did. My 1941 Steinway bought 2010 has one sticky key, and new parts are available.  I'm going to look at fixing it this winter since I replaced a broken string in my 1982 Sohmer last fall.   
I've heard a Yamaha baby grand, the bass wasn't as boring as the consoles IMHO.
Steinway named pianos are I suppose as good as ever.  It may change, there are new owners.  The Essex imported by Steinway, see a previous thread under instruments about how some pros think they hold up after a few thousand hours. 
To ship a 20' container overseas, one would have to stuff it with 20 or 30 pianos.  There is the question of humidity control in an ocean voyage, and there are fumigation regulations on wood products and packaging that might make them stink.  Plus your country is one of those where the guys with government jobs may expect a contribution from the people that they serve.  Then there is problem of finding dry secure warehousing of pianos while one sells them off in some sort of showroom.  The receiver has to have zoning and business permits for the sales room.  I don't expect anyone that posts here to be able to work through all that.   But we can dream.  I could certainly afford 30 $200 pianos, but my time to pick them up, and truck rental, is not free. I'd want some money out of a deal, too.   
So, get a good night's sleep and good luck learning something from your new teacher tomorrow. 

Offline reiyza

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Re: A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
«Reply #17 on: February 06, 2016, 03:00:26 AM »
@indianajo - you got that right about our government, 70% of the time, it's corrupted.

I'll try looking for owners of old grands/acoustic here in my area, maybe I can get a good deal like yours, should I bring a tech with me?

Yamaha baby grands(brand new) cost about 15,000 usd around here(converted). The cost difference is very huge compared to your 200$ pianos. And an upright steinway should cost also at around the 15-20k usd margin in our area. Pretty overpriced huh?

Your insight on acoustic pianos is invaluable, I'll keep this thread bookmarked when I decide to look for a good acoustic. Many thanks Indianajo.

Went to the teacher today, He wasn't mad, though it's the first meeting, my fingers were trembling like hell and made too many mistakes. As for the acoustic piano, the touch was so light(is that even possible?) compared to my clavinova, and the teacher told me that my playing was uneven. (he was also impressed that I have a clavinova at home)

I always thought acoustic uprights have real damn heavy action like my old fritz kuhla?(was I wrong?)

Thank you guys for all the advice, I was able to meet him but I guess due to panicking I pretty much f****d up the pieces I played.

I'll transfer to a new thread in the student's corner since I have a concern regarding my new teacher's methods. Everyone, please have a look at it if you have the time.

Special thanks indianajo, irrational, michael_c, quantum, timothy 42b.
Yup.. still a beginner. Up til now..

When will a teacher accept me? :/

Offline indianajo

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Re: A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
«Reply #18 on: February 06, 2016, 06:25:59 PM »
I'll try looking for owners of old grands/acoustic here in my area, maybe I can get a good deal like yours, should I bring a tech with me?
Read the thread quoted  before post #2 http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=56680.0
There are a lot of checks you can do on a used piano to determine you don't want to buy it, before you go to the expense of paying a tech to look at it.  
Also, the tone may not be to your liking.  Pianos come with bright tone, muffled tone, boomy tone, strident or missing ping (attack). Bass comes in monotone, abundant overtones, fake bass made with two higher frequencies on consoles and spinets (I find this quite pleasant, actually),    Some pianos project best sound at the player, some project best sound only out the back, some only with the top up. Some pianos change pitch a lot between strike and later, some have more stable pitch during the strike.  Some pianos decay the sound in a few seconds, some will hold sound for a minute.  Some pianos the wrap wires on the bass string rattle, some the wood buzzes.    Some pianos are too loud for an apartment, some are too soft to fill a 300 seat church without a $400 microphone and $600 speaker. My church fills the 400 seat hall with a soft Yamaha studio piano hidden in the back with the direct soundboard pointed at the choir, a $5 microphone and some voice only PA speakers, and the sound in the pews is absolute ****.  So listen to various brands and models, decide what you want.  
Used Steinway grands are $20000 here, Kawai's $15000, I imagine the new ones are quite a lot more.  I don't dress nicely enough to enter the new piano showroom, or get anybody to talk to me if I did.   With the price of the Euro depressed a lot, I imagine any $15000 new Steinway you would buy in the Phillipines would be a German built one.   

Offline quantum

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Re: A teacher and an Old Acoustic Piano.
«Reply #19 on: February 08, 2016, 11:50:05 PM »
What's wrong with yamaha grands and uprights anyway?

Some people have opinions on them, that's all.  I consider Yamaha pianos to require a certain skill set to get the most out of them.  They play very different then the ubiquitous Steinway that many ears and hands are familiar with.  Some people like Yamaha, others do not - no big deal.  IMO, Yamaha would be a "safe" brand - where you are likely to get a functional instrument without too much fuss. 

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Glad you worked up the courage to meet with your teacher.  Just remember you are going there primarily to learn - you don't need to prove yourself or present the image of an ideal student.  Just be honest and present your real self.  Work with what you have and who you are. 
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach