This year I have had the pleasure of working with some of our youngest pianists and helping them grow in their skills. With this has come many questions about which piano is right for a given student and how to know where to begin the purchase process as a parent. Those questions have inspired this beginner piano buyer’s guide!
Number of Keys- These can vary but the most common is a 61-key and an 88-key. These are measured by how many keys are on the piano. A 61-key keyboard is smaller and will be lower in cost and vice-versa for an 88-key. Eventually a student will need an 88-key piano or adapt music, but this doesn’t need to happen until book 2 or 3.
Brand Name- The most common brand names offering affordable keyboards are Yamaha and Casio. These are both wonderful and reliable brands. With these you can’t go wrong.
Accessories- There are so many accessories that can be used with your keyboard here are a few that you should consider:
- Piano Bench or Seat- these are usually adjustable along with the height of the keyboard.
- Keyboard Stand- Most keyboards come with a stand. I would recommend checking to make sure because this is a must!
- Music Stand- Keyboards should come with a music stand, attached to the top of the keyboard to hold music at a comfortable level. Once again, this is a must have.
- Weighted Keys and Key Size- Key size is very important. You should check to see that they haven’t slimmed the keys on your keyboard to provide for ease of transition from practice to lessons and performance. Also, there are a large variety of keyboards out there that have weighted keys. Weighted keys require more resistance when playing to more closely relate to the feel an acoustic piano.
Altogether your choice will largely depend upon whether you would like to get a starter piano or something more long term. I still use my 88-Key keyboard that I started my piano journey with 12 years ago. My recommendation would be, if it is within your price range, to invest in an 88-key keyboard. You don’t need an upright piano, or a keyboard with all of the bells and whistles to give your child what they need to excel in their music lessons.
Best of luck in your piano buying journey!