I’m a music teacher and I was scouting for the best possible digital piano I could recommend to my students. So I went to a local music store to look, and went straight ahead to the Yamaha pianos’ corner. I also occasionally check other brands but Yamaha is a good one to start with – as they are the leading company of digital and acoustic pianos for the longest time.
Browsing through the displayed keyboards, I came across the Yamaha PSR-E243 – a portable 61-key keyboard which is primarily designed for learning musicians which I must say is perfectly what I was looking for. It’s amazing that it contains the Y.E.S. (Yamaha Education Suite) lesson function which enables playback to make tempo adjustments for the benefit of the student. Furthermore, it contains a huge number of preset high quality voices, 385 exact with the addition of 32 polyphony voices that is GM and XGlite compatible plus 100 accompaniment and 102 preset songs. This is good for my students, it gives them more option to explore their sounds and create harmony with their playing. They can use it with an iPhone/iPod/iPad to add virtual pitch with the installed app required. I like also that overall controls include metronome, transpose, tempo range, and tuning – it gives me more options to teach and explore with my students. To top it all off, it really is inexpensive amounting to only $169.00 and that it’s light – weighing only about 9 pounds; it can be taken and be set up anywhere – in school during rehearsals and theaters during performances.
It was sad to find out though that the keys are not weighted, meaning no “real piano” feel to it and I’m thinking there’s a possibility it may sound electronic or cringy for this. Also, there’s no layering feature so teaching how to do mash-ups can really be a challenge for me. It would have been good also if there’s a recorder to it so I can share my student’s progress with them as based on their progress from the start. Sadly too that the volume knob can’t transmit MIDI data – it would have been good if the keyboard was programmed to do so.
All in all, I think it’s a good buy and I can definitely recommend this to my students. With the features Yamaha PSR-E243 posses, it can be a great first piano for learners; a must-have for those who are starting to look for something that can fit their skill levels.
Visit the Yamaha Digital Piano page for more info and recommendations: http://digitalpianoreviewssite.com/yamaha/