3 Things You Need to Succeed at Piano

Originally published on Medium

The benefits of learning piano are numerous, studied, and well documented. Anyone can start and benefit at every skill level and amount of commitment, so why don’t most people play? The answer is that we have over-complicated getting started.

There are only 3 things you need to succeed at piano:

  1. Ambition
  2. The Right Teacher
  3. A Good Piano
Gorgeous Piano to realize your music dreams

Most people who start learning piano began with a bit of ambition — maybe it was a parent’s ambition for their child to learn, nonetheless it was ambition. The ambition one starts with is either going to grow or diminish based on the other two things you need to succeed at piano.

The right teacher for you may not be the right teacher for someone else but, for the most part, you will recognize your needs as a student. Personally, I learn well through failure and trying to figure out how I can fix my own mistakes, another person likes the encouragement and direction from a cheerleader type of environment, while others require a coach to really push them to achieve more. Hopefully, your teacher will also recognize a good fit and best teaching style for you!

Having a good piano is often the linchpin. Of the 3 things you need to succeed at piano, this is the one that everything could fall apart and leave someone feeling like a failure or just plain frustrated. A good piano will allow you to make music more easily because the keys are easier to control. Each key should play the same as the next and allow you to produce dynamic contrasts, provide a palette of varying articulations, and ultimately not creating barriers to musical expression.

A bad piano will bankrupt ambition. Imagine practicing for hours and not making any progress — you push the keys but it doesn’t sound like music. What happens after a few weeks of trying hard and making no progress? Less effort is invested because there is less ambition seeing such a paltry return on the time invested. After a couple weeks, maybe a month or so, even the right teacher will become frustrated with the lack of practice and progress.

Starting off with all three ingredients is important. There will be times when ambition wanes but having a good piano will call you back like a Siren’s song. The right teacher will help steer you towards challenges that keep you engaged and ambitious. The right piano rewards your ambition and the teacher for all the time invested and challenges overcome.

How to Learn Piano

Learning new skills and developing your talent can be rather daunting, especially playing piano music if you don’t know how to learn piano. Most people don’t realize the things they need and get started without all three of the essential pieces in place. In truth, there are only 3 things you need:

  1. Ambition
  2. The Right Teacher
  3. A Good Piano

Most people who start learning have the ambition it takes to learn how to play piano. A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step – Ambition is just before taking the step. Finding the right teacher is a logical next step – they provide the map for your journey. But if you don’t have the right equipment to complete the journey you will not make it very far. That is why you need a good piano in order to learn how to play piano.

Without a good piano to practice on, musicians will invest countless hours of effort without rewarding results. This is a surefire way to bankrupt their ambition which leads to less practicing. One thing leads to another, less practicing for the right teacher is a frustrating experience for the teacher and student. Anyone who wants to learn how to play piano needs all three parts to succeed.

Fuel your ambition with an inspiring piano

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$78,567 $55,480

PETROF Bora 159



53 1/8″

$47,589 $33,714

$39,920 $28,326


51 1/2″


The exceptional heritage of our ancestors

Meet the tallest upright of the PETROF brand, which boasts the greatest sound potential. Its size makes it ideal for discerning professional pianists and audiences. This is an instrument of masterly construction intended for music schools, home interiors, and for the performance of musical works with orchestra. Its uniqueness is enhanced by the unusual design of the music stand, but lies most of all in its powerful, open and colourful tone.

Technical Specifications

Depth (mm)   606
Width (mm)1448
Height (mm)1350
Weight (kg)256
Sound board materialresonance spruce wood
Active area of soundboard(m²)1,222
Ribs – number, shape10, spherical
Soundboard constructionwedgewise tapered 9 mm in upper section – 7 mm in lower section
Cast iron plateWet sand casting
Surfacing of iron platelight gold metallic paint, diamond effect
Pin block – materialMultiplex beech plywood, density 800 – 850 kg/m3
Wooden frame construction, materialspruce wood, 3+2 posts
Cut off bar (corner cross rib) – material, numberbeech, 1
Cabinet materialMDF, plywood, solid wood
Bridge – treblebeech wood
Bridge – bassbeech wood
Bridge pinssteel-round tips
Agraffes material – numberbrass, 88
Strings – materialsteel wire Röslau Germany, copper winding Degen Germany
Hitching of plain stringsdouble
Dampers – number1 – 70
Pedalsleft – Piano pedal, midle – Muffler (moderator) pedal, right – Forte pedal
Felts colourred
Hydraulic slow close fallboard mech.yes


$162,899 $120,740

PETROF Monsoon 237


PETROF Pasat 210


$124,190 $87,500

$72,882 $49,588

Hailun HG 218


PETROF Pasat 210

Pride in every tone

PETROF’s best-selling grand piano and the darling of musical exhibitions – this is the masterly P210 Pasat grand. Its dimensions allow its sound to stand out even in the smallest spaces: chamber music salons, studios and in the home. Anywhere you choose it will conjure up the atmosphere of the most famous concert halls. The list of its successes fills us with parental pride. We shall feel honoured if you too fall in love with its romantic, clear and singing tone.

Technical Specifications

Length (mm)   2100 
Width (mm)1550 
Height (mm)1025 
Weight (kg)433
Sound board materialResonance spruce wood
Active area (m²)1,401
Ribs (number, shape)13, asymetric
Soundboard constructiondiaphragmatic tapered by CNC shaper   9,5 – 7,5mm
Cast iron plateWet sand casting
Surfacing of iron platelight gold metallic paint, diamond effect
Pin block – materialMultiplex beech plywood, density 800 – 850 kg/m3
Inner rim material12 laminas – beech, birch 
Inner rim thickness55 mm
Wooden frame posts5 longitudinal
Descant post materialspruce
Cut off bar (corner cross rib)round shaped, multiple birch or beech
Outer rim – materialbirch plywood sandwich, inner veneer  Ebony Makassar
Bridge – treblesolid maple wood
Bridge – basssolid maple wood
Bridge pinssteel – ground tips
Agraffes material – numberbrass, 1-50
Duplexes – fronth1 – c5
Duplexes – rearfis1 – c5
Strings – materialsteel wire Röslau Germany, copper winding Degen Germany
Hitching of plain stringssingle
Dampers – number1 – 69
Actionstandard –  RENNER – PETROF
Hammer headsRENNER original
KeyboardTangential sawn spruce wood, individually balanced with lead
Black keysEbony wood
Pedalsleft – Unacorda (Piano) pedal, middle –  Sostenuto (Prolongement) pedal, right – Sustein pedal
Legs and castorsthick legs, big braked castors 
PETROF sign on right side wallPETROF
Felts colourred + black
Hydraulic slow close fallboard mech.yes

Hailun HU-121


The Hailun HU-121 is the unrivaled 48 Hailun professional upright piano. It stands out for its clear, colorful tone, with seamless transitions of sound in all registers of the piano. The powerful and well-balanced sound offers the best instrument playing experience for beginners as well as advanced students. Its lines are elegant by design. The HU-121 beautifies any home surroundings while its sturdy construction makes it the perfect mid-size institutional or studio instrument. Finishes: Ebony Polish, Mahogany Polish, Walnut Polish, and White Polish (Regularly in bronze hardware).

Download Specifications

  • Entry Level piano, perfect for someone unsure of their musical interest

Easy Piano Service Scheduling

Taking proper care of your piano has never been easier:

  • Schedule a time that fits your schedule
  • We’ll send a reminder the day before so you know what to expect
  • Our technician dedicates 2 hours to improving your piano

If the piano is easier to play and makes a more beautiful sound then it’s more likely to be played. C.J.’s Pianos wants to help you enjoy your piano more and have better success with practice and learning, that’s why we make your piano sound better.

When your service technician arrives they will assess your piano’s current condition and decide a course of action for the next two hours. All these appointments have included tuning. Many recent service appointments have included fixing sticking keys, replacing broken strings, cleaning, regulating, voicing, string seating, and other minor tweaks to improve the instrument.

The important part is that you don’t have to worry about a thing! Our service professionals are dedicated to helping you get more from your piano and will do all they can in the 2-hour appointment to help maximize your benefits.

With more than 12,000 parts and many more moving parts than your car, some of the services that can get over-looked are regulation, voicing, and cleaning. These are often seen as “extra” things to be done, if your car needed new brakes, tires, or a headlight, you know it needs to be done. The difference is that your car is made of metals and other durable materials, maintained meticulously, and likely replaced in 5-10 years whereas the family piano is made mostly of wood and wool with many expecting it to last 50-100+ years on minimal upkeep.