My dcs have been using a Yamaha Clavinova to learn on and have successfully got as far as grade 4 on it. Do they need a proper piano to progress further? Am worried about the expense, especially if they decide to give up in a year or two. Thanks!
Ask their teacher for final confirmation, but Yes, I would have thought a reasonably good Clavinova quite up to the job of higher Grades.
Obviously, it's not only about correct notes and timing, but the higher you go, style, touch, expression and interpretation play and ever increasing part in good playing.
So if the Clavinova has good touch sensitivity (and on some models it can be varied) to allow for good control and range of dynamics, then it should be OK. Using additional amplification, and a powerful computer also open up more possibilities.
Sibelius Software, via MIDI, allow you to compose, multi-track etc. And recently I discovered the Ivory II systems, and I give a link below: