Some of the Martin guitars through the ages at the Met Museum
As a music teacher, I'm also on the lookout for new ideas, technologies and techniques to help teach my students. As a guitarist, my hands are rather small, and I love the fact that I can now buy high quality half and 3/4 sized guitars from makers like Martin, Taylor and others. The sound quality is amazing and the action and finish on these guitars are wonderful.
Most children who study violin or other classical string instruments begin with tiny 1/4 sized instruments. But one thing has always been missing, a quality piano experience with smaller sized keys.
I love visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City where they have a whole room dedicated to musical instruments, mostly pianos and harpsichords through the centuries. And you can see for yourself, the makers were experimenting with all different sizes and designs.
One of my students with a Baby Taylor guitar
So I'm thrilled to have discovered that there is a movement to make high quality 7/8 sized keyboards for pianos. The new (Sept/Oct 2015) issue of Clavier Companion does a great job explaining how we got stuck with this arbitrary standard sized keyboard. Ah, blame it on old white guys from Europe! (I'm kidding, but it's true)
Well, the good news is that you can go to Steinbuhler's website and either just order the action (the keys) for your grand or upright piano or a full on upright with this 7/8 keyboard made by the Walter Piano Company for about $10,000.
There is a movement to push for more acceptance of alternate sized keyboards. You can get involved at this website.