You like a challenge. And you have a “never give up” attitude.
You are willing to commit some time (preferably daily) to practicing.
You accept that learning the piano properly takes a lot of time, effort, and patience.
You understand that you will have good days and bad days. Tip: practice more on good days, and practice less on the bad.
You already have an instrument to practice on. If not, you are willing to purchase a decent piano, whether acoustic or digital.
You can find a good and sympathetic teacher who will guide you on this piano learning journey. Such a teacher will be a valuable asset to you and he or she will be able to motivate and inspire you. Tip: read my reviews.
Don’t learn the piano if…
You dislike and are scared of challenges. And you give up easily.
You are not willing to allot time for practice. “I’m too busy” is the most-often heard excuse. Your ship will never sail out of the harbour!
You’re an impatient person. And you expect things to always be easy.
You’re a procrastinator. Many students keep putting off practicing. I hate to tell you this, but there are no shortcuts to playing the piano well. You have to practice!
You don’t want to get a decent instrument to practice on. Forget about learning the piano if you think you can just go to your friend’s house to practice occasionally. You definitely need your own piano!
You want to find a teacher who charges the cheapest rates (and probably lives nearby to you) Experienced teachers come at a premium but like everything else, you get what you pay for. It’s usually inexperienced teachers who charge cheap rates to entice would-be students.
Just as my Korg KDM-2 was giving up the ghost (after using it for more than 10 years) I was browsing for another replacement KDM-2 when lo and behold, I read about the new KDM-3 metronome! Talk about serendipity. Needless to say, I ordered one straightaway.
In a previous post, I talked about the KDM-2, while in this post I postulated about what I would like to see in the KDM-3. Needless to say, part of my wish list has been fulfilled:
The KDM-3 now has an authentic metronome and bell sound, plus 7 other sounds. There is also a female voice which counts the beats.
It’s available in black, white or a front wooden finish. Take your pick.
I read online that its sound is even louder than that of the KDM-2. I can’t verify this until I get my own unit. EDIT: Yes, the sound is just as loud, if not louder, than the KDM-2.
The KDM-3 requires 4 AAA batteries to function. Rechargeable batteries (such as Eneloops) can be used. When the batteries are nearly depleted, a flashing battery icon is displayed on the top left of the LCD display.
New in the KDM-3 is a Timer mode. You can program the metronome to stop after a length of time. Useful if you want to start practicing with it but have it stop at a predetermined time.
The KDM-3 auto powers off if the unit is not used in 20 minutes. This is great if you forget to power off the unit.
Unfortunately, there is still no back-lit display. I also wish Korg would include a pouch or case for it.
You can get further details of the KDM-3 at Korg’s USA website. I will update this post when I receive mine. Stay tuned.
EDIT: I received my KDM-3 today and am amazed that it’s so small and cute. It’s certainly less bulky than the KDM-2 and yes, it’s more aesthetically pleasing to look at. The thing I like best in this new KDM-3 is the authentic metronome and bell sound…although the electronic pulse sound from the KDM-2 is included too.
The Good Pianist has moved to a new studio! Don’t worry, it’s still the same address. I have just moved from the 13th floor to the 14th (things are looking up, LOL) After some minor refurbishments, my new studio became operational in mid-April 2021.
This new place is brighter and more airy. I decided on the Disney pictures because they were based on music, and they make my studio look happy and inviting. Learning piano doesn’t have to be serious!
I like the Yamaha CLP-675 Clavinova because it replicates the sound of the Yamaha CFX Concert Grand and Bosendorfer Imperial pianos, all in one neat and compact package. I am not fond of a teaching studio where you walk in and find a baby grand piano occupying most of the room space. Moreover, the Clavinova is always in tune and digital audio recording is a breeze.
You can find lots of information in the links at the top of the page. I do hope to welcome you in person soon. Take care and have a wonderful day!
EDIT, FEBRUARY 2023: I sold off my IMT-300 after using it for a few months. It just wasn’t on par with my KDM-3 as far as features and ease of use was concerned.I use two KDM-3 metronomes now, one at home and one in my studio.
One can never have too many metronomes. Although I own the fantastic Korg KDM-3 digital metronome, I use it primarily in my studio. I needed another one when traveling. I did consider getting another KDM-3, but I felt it wouldn’t do too well in my cramped Peak Design bag.
I was in Tom Lee Music here in Hong Kong yesterday, and saw this guy, the Intelli IMT-300 metronome. It was priced at $300 HKD versus the Korg KDM-3 at $380 HKD. The IMT-300 is housed in tough plastic and quite solidly-built. It also has a soft case and 9V battery included and being flatter (as opposed to the more traditional metronomic shape of the KDM-3) I reckoned it was easier to put inside my bag while traveling. Enough talk, let’s get on with my first impressions.
The IMT-300 weighs about 149g with a 9V battery. Its physical dimensions are 14.6cm (H) by 6.2cm (W) by 2.4cm (D). A 3.5mm earphone jack is provided, so is a 1/4″ input for electric guitar.
One thing I can say about this metronome—it is LOUD. It has to be the loudest digital metronome I’ve ever heard. Fortunately, a volume control is provided.
The main switch is on the left side. It has four settings: Off, Metronome, Tuner, Sound. I use it on the Metronome setting all the time. Players of orchestral instruments can use the Tuner setting to tune their instruments, while the Sound setting outputs a note. What is surprising is that it covers the full range of the piano—all 88 notes, from A0 to B8. I found the main switch a little fiddly to use. There is also a DC9V if you want to use an AC adapter (not included). Sadly, there is no tap tempo feature.
The Capture M1/M2 stores two metronome settings. For instance, you could store M1 without the bell and M2 with the bell.
The IMT-300 has a tempo range from 30 to 250 beats per minute. This is adjusted using the center rotary dial. The increments are +1/-1. Unfortunately, there is no option to switch to standard metronome tempo settings (for example, if you wanted to increase the tempo from 80 to 100, you’ll have to scroll by +1 increments all the way from 80 to 100. My Korg KDM-3 allows me to go from 80 » 84 » 88 » 92 » 96 » 100)
Beats for the “bell” include 0, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. This is set using the Beat button on the right of the center rotary dial. Different rhythms can be set using the Rhythm button on the left.
The display is big and clear. However, there is no backlight.
The back houses the 9V battery (included) as well as the speaker. I find putting the speaker facing towards the back a little silly, as it should be facing the front. Fortunately, the metronome’s sound is very loud and you can always pull out the included stand and put it on top of a flat surface. You can see that it’s made in Korea but I couldn’t find their website online.
Before I end this quick review, let me say that there is a newer IMT-301 available. It costs $50 more and what you get for that is a built-in thermometer and hygrometer. The other stuff is about the same as the IMT-300.
Quite solidly built
Very loud metronome sound
Easy to read LCD display
9V battery and soft case included
No tap tempo feature
Fiddly main switch
Battery cover feels fragile. Handle with care!
No additional metronome sounds offered
No option to use standard incremental metronome settings
Note: The views expressed in this post are strictly mine alone.
Qualifications: Qualifications matter, of course. But in reality, very few people ask about what qualifications I possess. Instead, they are more concerned about how much I charge. For the record, I have the LTCL and FTCL diplomas from Trinity College London. I also have a Bachelor of Music (High Distinction) from the University of Arizona, USA.
Experience: I have saved the most important for last. Experience is something that can’t be bought, and no one can rush to acquire it. It has to be accumulated through the passage of time; there isn’t any other way. To that end, I’ve been teaching piano for over 35 years now, and I have certainly learnt a lot along the way. I do have a lot of teaching experiences to tell, perhaps in a later post. Suffice to say, I customize my teaching methods to accommodate each and every student. Why? Because every student is different and a good and experienced teacher would treat them as such.
I’ll end this post by encouraging you to read through the reviews that some of my former students have graciously written for me. It warms me up that I have been able to instill the love of music in them and countless others.
I look forward to welcoming you to The Good Pianist soon!
Note: The views expressed in this post are strictly mine alone.
Anyone living in a cosmopolitan city like Hong Kong and intending to enroll in piano lessons probably knows that there are thousands of piano teachers in this city. Which begs the question: how does one find a suitable teacher? What factors need to be considered? Or should one just plunge in and hope for the best?
Generally, people who are looking for a piano teacher (either for themselves or their children) have one or more of the following in mind:
Let’s look at each of these in turn.
Price: This is probably the Number One question prospective students ask me first. All I can say is—don’t take pricing as the most important factor in making your decision. There are teachers who charge cheaper rates (perhaps they are just starting out and/or they don’t have much experience) and conversely there are teachers who charge more because they have been in this business for a long time. Of course, my advice would be to go with a teacher who has had a lot of teaching experience (more about this later).
Location: This wields a lot of importance, as it would make traveling to and from the teacher’s studio less of a hassle. Hong Kong is blessed with a good and efficient public transport network. I’m pleased to say that The Good Pianist is located at a convenient spot in Tsim Sha Tsui. The nearest MTR is Tsim Sha Tsui station and many buses ply Chatham Road South, which is very close to my studio. If you’re coming by car, ample public parking is available nearby. There are also numerous cafes and restaurants if you need to eat or just to while the time away.
Availability: The times that the teacher and student are available for lessons is another factor to be considered. Usually, this can be worked out in most cases and doesn’t present any problems.
Part 2 will deal with qualifications and experience.