This is an actual ad under the instruments section I found on Craigslist.  I have these same digital pianos in my studio. They are great for learning on.  I considered calling the seller to make an offer for my group lessons. I have considered buying another one of this particular model. I decided against it, but I spent about 24 hours ruminating on all the questions I had for the parent from this ad.

Actual Craigslist Ad Photo

Actual Craigslist Ad:

digital piano – $600 

condition: like new 
make / manufacturer: Casio 
model name / number: CPG700 

Casio CPG700 88 key digital grand piano bought new in August of 2017. I took a chance at the request of my 14 year old daughter but she never ended up getting in to it. It has sat under a sheet in prestine shape ever since. It is almost brand new without the box. It has a touch screen which you use to navigate to a ton of different musical settings. What an instrument! Go online and read all about it. It comes with everything including the seat in the picture. I paid nearly a $1000 for it. I’ll let it all go for $600. Cash only. Local only.

My Internal Questions for this Parent:

  1. Why did you wait until your daughter was fourteen and had to ask you for a piano?
  2. What do you mean by you “took a chance?”
  3. What constitutes her “getting into it?”
  4. Did she have an instructor?
  5. Was she supposed to just figure it out on her own or try some  “Youtube tutorials?” Or maybe that Udemy course where you can “Learn the piano in three weeks?”
  6. Did you ask a piano teacher if it was a good idea to put those stickers on the keys that say the names of the notes?
  7. From the timeline, it would appear that your fourteen-year-old daughter was given just a little over a year to figure out the piano on her own. If not, it was going up for sale. What made you determine that was the amount of time needed to “get into it?”
  8. Do you consider music to be an academic subject?
  9. Does your daughter have to do her other academic subjects such as math- or do you take a chance with that as well?
  10. I’m assuming that you do actually see the piano as a pastime, and not an academic subject. I am also assuming that your daughter did not have an instructor. If so, what other competing pastimes/activities/ or homework did your daughter have? Perhaps she didn’t have the time or energy to learn something as complex as the piano on her own in just over a year.
  11. When your daughter learns to drive will you buy her a car and expect her to figure it out on her own- or will she take a class?
  12. What other requests does your daughter have that equals $1000, that you are willing to take a chance on?
  13. For instance, what if your daughter also wants to learn to ski. Will you spend $1000 on ski/lift tickets, and then send her off to the mountain to figure it out for herself?

If my assumption is wrong (and in your defense), you sincerely tried to help your daughter by hiring a piano instructor…

Question A) Did you ask your daughter what kind of piano music she wanted to play before hiring the instructor?

Question B) Did you hire an instructor that specialized in that style of piano music that she was motivated to play?

Question C) Did your daughter attend lessons consistently and on-time?

Question D) Did you communicate frequently with the instructor concerning your daughter’s progress?

Question E) Did you help your daughter set up a regular practice schedule?

Question F) Did you enforce that practice schedule since you were paying for the lessons?

Question G) Or, did you “just take a chance, and wait for her to get into it?”

Fellow Piano Teachers- what can we learn from this advertisement? It seems that a great deal of parent education into the reality of learning an instrument cannot be assumed. We have a great deal of work to do in this area. So much so, my head and my heart hurt as I slowly sip today’s Musical Mocha…

Wow…just wow…