Are wondering which digital piano will fit your needs?
Are you looking to add your first digital piano to your studio?
Are you hoping to add an additional digital piano to your studio?
Have you noticed the “buzz” around teaching piano in groups? If you are gearing up to teach in groups, most experts in the field admit that you can do so with just about any kind of keyboard. Yes, even an old Hammond organ will do!
But, when you are–
- done putting up with an old keyboard
- ready to offer your students a serious and digital instrument
- searching for a reasonable price tag
- looking to upgrade the level of technology in your studio
- wishing to add your very first digital piano to your studio
–whatever the case may be—you’ll want to buy Yamaha’s P255 digital piano.
The P255 recently joined my growing collection of Yamaha pianos. I wouldn’t trade my C6 or my Clavinova CVP 505 for the world. The P255 took the place of an ancient Roland keyboard. I set five requirements for the replacement of the ancient keyboard.
The P255 digital piano meets all my requirements and then some
The digital piano is MIDI capable (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) which means it can be wired to and “talk” to an iPad or computer. This feature is not unusual now-a-days, but is extremely important to me as I want students to be able to play Piano Maestro with head phones, and notate compositions using either Notion or Noteflight. Both notation programs are MIDI compatible and allow composers to enter notes by playing them on a MIDI compatible keyboard.
It is my intention to provide students more playing opportunities and to “play it forward” at various public and private venues. Since there is never a guarantee that a decent piano will be around, it is crucial that my new keyboard is light enough to carry with me on the go. At 38 pounds, this is not a problem. I purchased an X-stand so that it can be set up anywhere (see pic below.)
This also means that I can move the keyboard around in my studio to suit my needs when teaching in group settings.
Students at any level deserve a high quality instrument that feels like a real piano when performing. The P255 includes a cabinet with pedals making it close to the feel of an acoustic piano. The keyboard attaches to the cabinet with 4 small screws making it incredibly easy to detach and carry to a gig. Believe me, f I can do it, you can, too. I’m really not that handy with tools unless I have to be.
You wouldn’t believe the sound quality of this piano. I could attempt to describe it, but instead watch and LISTEN to the first minute and a half of this video to hear the difference between Yamaha’s P 255 and the older model, the P 115.
The minute–no–the second tech guru, Chris Ranney, at Classical Pianos Denver showed me how the P255 can be controlled by an app for the iPad or iPhone, I was sold. Those tiny buttons on the keyboard work fine but are not nearly as easy to use as the app! I was blown away by this pleasant surprise–I had NO idea.
Below are screen shots of what the controller app looks like. Users can swipe between sounds and set the split or dual-mode with a simple tap. The shiny graphics make finding the keyboard’s unique voices and rhythm styles a breeze–especially for young pianists!
All my students were recently assigned to get to know the keyboard with the P255 app during Off Bench time. Once I showed them how things worked, I didn’t hear a peep from them–they were way too busy discovering their favorite voices, rhythms, etc.
The four high school seniors in my studio believe this to be the perfect dorm room keyboard!
In all the excitement it’s easy for me to overlook some of the questions you may have.
What equipment do I need for hooking the P255 to an iPad?
A USB to A cable
A lightning to USB adaptor
Where should I purchase my keyboard?
Make sure to visit your local Yamaha dealer as they will match any price you can find online. Plus you’ll get all the support you’ll need to get things up and running. I purchased mine at Classic Pianos Denver.
How much is the P255?
Right around $1300 and a little more if you want the cabinet or X stand.
How does Piano Maestro work with the keyboard?
For all your questions for using Piano Maestro and connecting it to a MIDI keyboard like the P255, follow this link.
How does Noteflight work with a MIDI keyboard?
Noteflight is my go-to notation program when teaching composition. In a nutshell, it is SO easy to use–both teachers and students would agree.
Input of notation with a MIDI keyboard is possible with the Noteflight MIDI adaptor downloaded on your Mac or PC. The instructions can be found here.
Need additional info?
I won’t pretend that I know everything about digital keyboards. To help you make an informative decision, I found this in-depth review of the keyboard and how it compares to others in its class. The article didn’t talk me into the keyboard as I was sold the minute I played it and saw how it was controlled by the app.
What am I forgetting?
Do you have a favorite digital piano?
Are you worried about the sound quality of a digital vs an acoustic piano?
Upcoming Webinar you won’t want to miss
One of my FAVORITE options of any keyboard is the vast array of rhythm styles. These instant backing tracks are far superior to a dreary metronome. So…here’s a perfect segue and shameless plug for the upcoming 88 Creative Keys webinar: Groove Your Theory. It’s all about using apps and backing tracks to breathe life and creativity into theory and technique. No worries if you can’t make it April 22. Register and we’ll send you the recording. Want to get this $49 webinar for free? Then join us this summer at our workshop!
Upcoming Summer Improvisation Workshop you won’t want to miss.
If you attend the fourth annual 88 Creative Keys Workshop in Denver this summer, I’ll bring my P255 Digital along so you can play it yourself! AND don’t forget, you can attend the Boost your Theory webinar for free!