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Piano Buyer's Guide (video)
Bastien Piano Professor (video series)




Piano Buyer's Guide

by D. J. Novak

The video, Piano Buyer's Guide, is a good introduction to the art of piano purchasing, especially for those who have never purchased a piano before and don't know the difference between a spinet or a studio piano, or the difference between a baby or concert grand. The narrator takes you into a "showroom" where the various types of pianos are available and shows the specific type of piano that he will be discussing. While discussing the various types of pianos the narrator shows you the insides of each piano type and goes into a factually correct analysis of the different types of actions found in each piano. By having the different types of pianos in the same room, one can actually get a stronger sense of the amount of floor and or wall space that each type of piano would take.

This video's strongest point is that it goes into a factually correct analysis of the different types of pianos available. It explains the physical, structural differences between the different types of piano, and does so in an easy to follow manner. It also does a good job of explaining the mechanics of the actions on the different types of pianos as well as the terms and definitions for most standard parts on most acoustical pianos. The video packet also includes a Piano Buyer's Checklist, and a booklet entitled, the Piano Buyers Guide. These are helpful guides to take with when going in to purchase a piano.

We would recommend this video to the first-time piano buyer or to anyone who is interested in knowing more about the different types of pianos, their construction and things to look for and/or avoid when purchasing a piano. This reviewer has shown the video to some first-time piano purchasing parents of students and they did respond favorably to the information given in the video.

We appreciated the fact that this video did not recommend one brand or manufacturer of pianos over another one. This reviewer wishes, however, that the video would have stayed away from pontificating on teachers, their roles, and expectations. While this video does have its limitations, we would recommend it for viewing by those who are considering buying a piano for the first time. It will prepare you to have an intelligent discussion with a registered piano technician or knowledgeable pianist who can give you more detailed information about investing in a new or used piano.

Please contact the distributor for the most recent price of the video

Piano Buyer's Guide, by D.J. Novak, Distributed by Wehman Video, 2366 Eastlake E Suite 312, Seattle, Washington 98102. Phone: 206-726-0220

Bastien Piano Professor

The Bastien Piano Professor is a video instruction course geared towards adults who have little time or cannot travel to conventional private piano lessons. Each level contains it's own video, plus audio reference, theory books, answer books and even pencils. The quality of the videos themselves is first-rate. The graphics are attractive and the teaching tools used to illustrate sight reading are excellent. The instructor for the videos is superb. Our sincere "Hats-Off" and "Bravo" to the instructor for filling in the blanks and explaining many basic musical and theoretical facts which the Bastien method either does not explain fully or at all.

This reviewer has a pedagogical argument against any notion of teaching POSITION playing. So many students get so stuck on that one aspect of learning that, when faced with the challenge of reading notes and/or doing stretches or jumping around the keyboard, they simply cannot do so. Unfortunately, the Bastien Adult Method does teach position playing, and it is for this reason that although the craftsmanship of the video, the teaching, and the visual aids presented on the video are superb, the problems with the method still remain in spite of all the supplemental information and advice that the teacher wisely provided.

Another potential drawback is the need to have a monitor/TV screen in the same room as the piano, although the package does provide a cardboard keyboard. While most situations in homes are set up like that, many adults do have a private music room, free from all monitors/TV screens.

We would love to see this kind of care, attention and fine craftsmanship evident in the video applied to a much more pedagogically sound method. Perhaps, some other publishers of adult methods will give their permission to this fine video company to do their adult methods using an equally talented instructor and the same quality visual aids.

This video instruction course would be a good starting place for the adult amateur student who has never had lessons before and would like to get their feet wet, before investing their time and money in more traditional lessons. Many adult students feel that a video instruction course is a good way to do the initial learning of the basics before moving on to private lessons. Bastien Piano Professor is a heroic effort to correct the fundamental problems of the Bastien method, while providing a worthwhile learn-at-home alternative to private lessons. However, in the end, it cannot replace private lessons and cannot fully overcome the deficiencies of the basic method, particularly the emphasis on position playing.

Bastien Piano Professor, Distributed by Rathwell International Inc., Rural Route #1, Brucefield, Ontario, Canada N0M 1J0. Phone 519-233-3200. Fax 519-233-3131
Page created: 9/3/97
Last updated: 05/25/19
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