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What Type Of Keyboard Should My Child Use When Starting Piano Lessons?

Updated on October 14, 2015

Starting Keyboard Lessons Is Exciting

Starting keyboard lessons is exciting. The musical journey that we take when we study the piano or keyboard can be life changing. We could find a talent that was hidden for a long time that just comes out when beginning lessons.

Sometimes it is scary to start something new, especially when it is an instrument. When we look at a piano keyboard we see a bunch of black and white keys and it can be overwhelming to the eye.

We also have improved self-esteem, a new form of self discipline, and increased patience and frustration tolerance. There are so many benefits to learning this instrument that it is hard to count.

Learning the piano or keyboard is not easy, but it is quite rewarding especially when we learn our favorite piece and perform for our family and friends.

Many of us who start keyboard lessons need to eventually purchase an instrument soon after the start of lessons.

The difficult part is whether to purchase a keyboard, piano, or digital piano and what kind to buy.

If Purchase Is For A Child, Consider The Age

When looking to make a purchase for a keyboard you must consider the age of the child. If your child is 4-5 years old, a smaller instrument should be fine. Something larger could be intimidating for a young child.

Since you are never sure of the interest of a child this age, getting a smaller, more inexpensive instrument could be very prudent. Children at this age can be very fickle and can lose interest in playing the piano quickly. One day the child loves piano/keyboard class and cannot wait to go to class. Then, suddenly, the following week the child may decide to quit, right out of the blue.

If your child does lose interest and you purchased a keyboard for over $500 you may have some regrets or may wind up having to put in on Craigslist and selling it used. You could take a loss of several hundreds of dollars.

I recommend a 61-key piano keyboard for children this age. It is small, and not too intimidating regarding the size of the instrument.

A keyboard such as this will most likely be touch sensitive, have a music stand, and come with a pair of headphones.

A keyboard like this may be a perfect start for a little one ages 4 to 5.

Child Playing Keyboard

What Is My Budget Going To Be For The Keyboard?

Budgeting is very important when you are looking to purchase a piano keyboard for yourself or for a child. You need to have a price range of what you are willing to spend. You do not want to overspend on a piano that you cannot really afford since you may come to regret this.

When you have a good idea of what you want to spend you will make the buying experience stress free. You will feel good about your choice of a keyboard because you know that the price will be within your range and within your budget.

Since there are so many different types of these instruments, as well as digital pianos you will at least have a ballpark figure of what it will cost you. The prices have a very big range, so know before looking and buying what you can really afford to spend.


What Type Of Features Do You Want On Your Keyboard?

This is an important question to ask yourself when you are purchasing a new piano keyboard. Do you want weighted keys that feel like a piano? This would usually be an 88 Key piano. These are called digital pianos and are usually a little bit more expensive.

Are you looking for something with a lot of sounds.. perhaps hundreds, and different types of rhythms? You may want to get a 76 key piano for this as these usually have these features. Some children really like these types of instruments because they can make up their own songs. This type of keyboard is fun, and can really enhance creativity for the person playing.

To get a lot of sounds and rhythms on an 88 key digital piano you are probably looking at a very expensive instrument.

Picture Of Beethoven

Older Students May Want A More Sophisticated Keyboard With Weighted Keys

If you are an older student or adult student you may not be happy with a smaller 61 keyboard or 76 key piano keyboard with unweighted keys.

You will not have the experience of the piano because the keys will have a feel of plastic and will not have the action of a weighted keyboard. If this is the case, an 88 key digital piano may be the answer.

Another thing to consider is that unweighted keys have such a different action than a piano or digital piano that it can affect finger strength. Weighted keys produce stronger fingers, and therefore much better piano technique.

These are still not too expensive, but provide the touch and feel of a traditional piano. It is worth looking into especially if you decide to get very serious with the instrument.

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