Deciding on a new piano for your child is not easy. There are different sizes, shapes, the range of keys, electric or acoustic and this list could go on for a while. So I have decided in this review to trim down the possibilities and make you a list of the best piano’s on the market from keyboard pianos to digital and finally acoustic.
Your probably a mother who has learned several musical instruments over the years and found that the piano to be one of the best to learn and when learnt has the ability to set the foundation of learning for all other musical instruments. This is why I wanted my children to first learn the piano and felt the need to thereafter share my thoughts and experiences with you because it really can be tricky for those first-time buyers.
Kids Pianos Buyers Questions and Answers – Complete Guide
I remember when I bought my first piano I had so many questions, so I’ve put together a list of what I consider the most important questions and answers to help you make the best buying decision, so you can get the right piano for your child whether that’s an acoustic, digital or keyboard piano.
Which piano is best for my kid of 7 years?
By the time they have reached 8 they have the finger span to play almost any instrument and especially the piano. There is not a real difference if a child begins learning at 3-4 then if they start at 7 because by the time they reach 8 they will be the same standard of play, however, there are exceptions to the norm obviously. The piano to get you child is determined by their capacity. The keyboard piano is usually better if they are unsure of the capacity or they’re own willingness to learn, playing it same will save a lot of time, energy and space.
What’s best weighted keys or not?
There are some differences between piano keys and each can offer a unique feel and user experience. Fully weighted keys are the type that requires you to use a force that is similar to an acoustic piano while others might not necessarily have the same weight in the design. A fully-weighted key is touch sensitive and this would be reflected in the sound, which would be lighter in sound as the force of finger pressure is reduced.
Electric piano or keyboards are opposite and offer less touch-sensitivity and therefore do not have the diversity as the touch-ones do. Some do however and there is growing trend in design and manufacturing process to develop pianos with touch sensitive because of the ability to the easy transition to acoustic styled play.
The digital hammer on technology has become so similar to the acoustic that it is hard to tell the difference in play, although there is a slight difference between brands and each has a slightly different feel and there have been notable differences from each end of the keyboard.
How much should I spend on my kids first piano?
This is definitely a personal choice, but as a general rule, I would say you should make a decision that is based on time spent vs the cost of the instrument. Most kids never really expressing the desire to play would be best suited to a lower valued piano than say a grand piano. A keyboard piano is always a safe bet and the more you spend the more frustration you might feel if your child says they no longer want to continue playing.
Should I get a full size piano or not for my child?
This is another question to answer based on personal circumstances, but in general, the rule of thumb when deciding on such a matter is children 8 and above can handle full sized, but under is not.
Toddlers should use the 25-35 key pianos and begin by enjoying the sound rather than being pressured into practice, which is usually the case when children start so young.
Do these toy pianos help with their development as a potential future piano player?
The toy Pianos are great for introducing them to playing and the more you get them into practice/having fun the more they will enjoy the advancement into larger pianos with a large span of keys and sounds.
Loads of cases are emerging where teachers are seeing not much difference from children being pressured at an early age from another who started at the same time, so this suggests getting them enjoying at a toddlers age and practicing more vigorously as they get older.
What is the correct amount of keys for a toddler to learn with?
This is simply down to the amount of finger span and arm length and the grand piano is much too large for them to master, but the 20-30 keys are manageable and much better for enjoying and learning with.
Should Young Children Get Private Lessons?
Parents worry about when the right time for getting their children private lessons and they wonder whether their children have the capacity to learn.
The physical dexterity is an issue when your child is too young and they cannot handle the strain of playing. The eye-hand coordination is extremely difficult for the early developers and it is usually best to wait until they are older, 8 is usually ideal to avoid issues, especially with grueling private tuition. Teachers usually get your child to sit and repeat single notes, which is extremely different when the idea of playing a song was in there preconceived ideas.
The key is to not push them too hard into playing piano and gradually let them learn, but if you do get them a tutor then make sure they are the right age and not too young. There are lessons which focus less on learning piano directly but focus on activities that get them to dance, sing and begin to build the fundamentals. The gradual concepts like beat and reading rhythm assist to ground your child in music comprehension.
Best Piano for Kids 2017
I have put together some of the best of the bunch and filtered through the ones that you wouldn’t like, simply to ensure you make the right decision whatever particular type of piano you choose.
Hamzer 61 Kids Electronic Piano
This Hamzer 61 electrical keyboard piano is ideal for children who want to play, record and progress to the grand piano or DJ mixer/producing.
There are 61 keys that come with this keyboard piano and this is a general standard for its quality and features. The weight of this item is 20.2 pounds and can be easily transported. The dimensions are 39.8 inches across and can be used by most children, however, this span might be too great for kids under 5 years.
The price of this keyboard piano is cheaper than any in this review and will be ideal for parents not wanting to go all-out so early on in there learning, especially if you don’t know that they committed.
This particular device offers a range of features like LED display, 12 demo songs, 4-watt speakers, headphone connectivity and a jack for the microphone. The 100 timbers and rhythm’s make experimenting loads of fun and with the bass chords through single finger-pressing, it couldn’t be easier.
The sound is played through 2 in-built speakers and with 4 watt speakers the sound can get loud if needed. The special effects, like the 8 percussions, create diversity and joy. The keyboard itself can be played on its own or with your child playing alongside it, which can assist with the learning process.
There are loads of pros and reasons why this is good. Firstly there is a wide range feature, it’s inexpensive, great 4w speakers, voice options and loads of praising reviews. The only downside is the keys are not the best, but for the price, it’s hard to complain. This is a keyboard for beginners and intermediate players and if your child is ready for that then this will be a great match for them.
The ONE Kids Portable Keyboard Piano
The ONE is a brand of the “the ONE Music Group” and has a long history of design in musical instruments. This musical keyboard weighs 11 pounds and is lighter by almost half than the Hamzer 61 at 20.2 pounds. This can be used by beginners and intermediate users, but the children under 6-7 years might struggle with some of the technical aspects. There are downloadable apps to assist the learning curve at each stage in the process.
The ONE keyboard piano is slightly better than the previous in this review and offers additional features. The piano can be used in multiple ways and can be connected to your phone for music, games, and videos for guidance as well as amusement. The phone app that is connected will automatically update, so no crashing or confusing glitches that take ages to figure out.
Some children do find it difficult to sit down and practice, which inspired the creator Ben to make this keyboard piano because app-integration puts the fun back into learning for them, especially when they can play their favorite songs while they practice. The visual instructor can assist in the learning process and give tips on where to improve their technique.
The product has MIDI output, 61 keys, 4001+ music sheets, 90+ videos, 128+ instruments and sounds and plus loads of games. The app is also iOS and Android compatible for those parents concerned about whether their kid’s hand-held device will work with it.
There are thousands of themes, sounds and playlists, from jazz to soul, funk to blues this piano can provide a great array and user experience. The games are an amazing adaptation of the technology and the score themed interaction makes key pressing fun, especially when the lights light-up to assist the no-experienced kid.
Kids RockJam Electronic Keyboard
The brand RockJam has produced a stunning 61 key electronic keyboard with a whole range of awesome features and applications. The functionality and play-ability is ideal for most users whether, for the first time trying or years in, it’s versatile in design and made to be used for years.
The weight and dimensions are similar to the Hamzer 61 electrical keyboard and weigh 19.8 pounds and span 35.4 inches across, which makes The ONE lightest so far.
This is an ideal beginner electric piano and can be used for all levels, but as a starter piano it’s easy to use and has multiple levels of easy to use applications and features. The LCD screen is bright and can be easily used with teaching mode on. The huge range of over 100 songs, 100 rhythms, and demos of at least 50 make using this piano fun to use. I think however this is less than The ONE, which boasts a larger amount of content as standard.
This Piano is slightly unique in the sense that this comes with a stool and saves the need to have to purchase one separately or use a home chair, which might not be as comfy or ideal in size. This piano keyboard comes with a pair of quality headphones and is a cool feature that the previous 2 don’t have. The headphones can be used for playing privately and silently, simply plug in and keep the neighbors happy.
There is 61 keys all full-sized and digital as all the others are, however there is a slight difference in the touch of the key, which have been noted by several users, but nothing worth noting for a child to worry about.
The app is downloadable via the piano maestro, just register and create a new account. Once this is done go to “settings” then “select your piano” and follow the drop down options, which lead an extensive library to play about with and use.
FlyChord DP420 Digital Piano for Beginner
The FlyChord DP420 digital piano is a lovely introduction to the digital range with it’s great features and specifications, which reaches beyond the keyboard piano’s capacity.
The brand Flychord has been on the market for less than two years, but the parent company has been around for a lot longer (60 years) in the industry creating keyboard actions and their parts, which end up in big brands like Yamaha, Casio and Roland.
This particular piano weighs 130 pounds and is going to be a stationery digital piano in the home, it’s simply too big to transport anywhere easily. The piano is a lovely black finish and comes with a stand for easy reading as well as a cover that hides the keys, but doesn’t look out of place.
There 5 layers of piano sampling and these have been sampled from Steinway (famous piano company). There are 88 keys that have the hammer action similar to an acoustic, which is ideal for all players both beginners up to advanced. The triple sensor technology makes this a high-end digital piano without the usual cost that is associated usually and is why this is a great choice.
The 4 speakers in total make this a fantastic sounding piano and with the 6-inch speakers, the amount of air can assist the sound, especially because these 2 speakers are situated at the bottom of the piano and are 15 watts per side. There is a triple pedal unit with this piano e offering finer sounding quality.
This is good value for money and comes with 40 voices list, 50 unique styles which can be learned while one side of the piano becomes mastered, ideal for beginners. This can be plugged into almost any device and has an input/output that can make connecting to a computer easy. There is a USB port, MIDI output, AUX and really can be plugged into almost anything. There is also auto accompaniment, song recording, DSP effect, beep tone and Duet.
One negative side is the fact that there is not a large LED display screen which some kids might prefer due to the interactive nature that does have. They have opted to use buttons on the piano rather than all being accessed through a display menu. Another con of the digital piano rather than the keyboard piano is the fact the price is way more expensive, however, this is a completely different of piano and generally should not be compared out of its own class of “digital”.
Casio Kids Digital Piano
This stunning black toned wood Casio PX-760 Privia Digital piano is a lovely home piano or can be transported with the light weight of only 85 pounds, it’s almost half the weight of the FlyChord DP420, which is ideal for some families with children.
Casio is a huge brand name and one you have probably heard of. They have been producing pianos for years and have become very good at it, offering sounds that a purist would begin to turn, it’s refined and sounds identical to the finest acoustic piano instrument counterparts. The air-sound source technology is similar to the grand piano acoustic sound and does this by infusing the memory capacity which has been added.
The Casio PX-760 has tripled censored pedals and can enhance the sound to reach a concert-level quality, especially with the functions allowing all types of practice play, everything from orchestral pieces to the concert play. Each tempo can be changed and costumed to suit the pianist at hand.
The key action and features are similar to the FlyChord DP420 in regards of that there is 88 keys, weighted hammer action scales, triple sensory technology and high quality, but it does differ in speaker size 4.7 inches and there is two of them with two 8 watt amplifiers. The sound difference is only very slightly different, but I would say this digital piano is slightly inferior overall.
The features are good and offer an array of sound with tones like organ, grand piano, bass and even electric. This can be used with layer capability, which splits to make the user have a gradual progression so that each part can be learnt. This is ideal for beginners and makes the learning easy and as if the tutor is at hand. There is even pre-recorded and installed orchestra performances to inspire, which are live.
There is loads of connectivity which similar to the FlyChord DP420 and Casio offer USB connectivity all able to be used with Window or Mac computers. The Mac has software that can be used through the USB MIDI via the apples Privia pianos.
This would be ideal for beginners and intermediate levels of play, but you can not expect the highest standard without flaws, simply because this is cheaper than the previous by almost half. This is a great digital piano and for some parents wanting there children to have one, but without spending too much this is a great deal.
ONE Smart Digital Piano
The ONE Smart classy wooden look piano is an elegant piano with amazing features and technology that seems to unite the new technology with the old.
This piano is somewhere in the middle in terms of weight and compared to the Casio PX-760 Privia it’s heavier, but lighter than the FlyChord DP420 and weighs 117 pounds. The ONE smart piano is a larger version of The ONE keyboard piano viewed at the start of this review and offers 88 keys, unlike the 61 The ONE did. This ONE Smart piano is more advanced and has a high graded hammer action, 3 foot operated pedals and is, of course, an upright home piano.
You have a lot of similar user features and experiences which is why I chose this particular digital piano. I like the fact they have designed this piano with easy to use iPad or smart device technology because as you know your child doesn’t go anywhere without their beloved gadget.
This has 64 note, 128 tones and percussion so very similar to the previously viewed digital pianos, plus there is the less need for a tutor with the private instructor in-built into the software, which can be downloaded with iOS and Android. There are loads of games, lessons, and sheets of music that can assist in the child having a great time while learning.
This has mp3 speakers and has dynamic sound controls that can be managed through the app, which can blend, adjust and change the over sound. The light up feature is an ideal tool for learning and I love the easy to use keys which light up before needed pressed, which helps the muscle memory become embedded before too long. The LED light management is really easy to use and see which is what makes for an enjoyable user experience.
This has and supports USB MINI for computer use and can be used in conjunction with iPhones, Android 4+ and iOS model types iPad 2 and newer for those who may be living in the stone age still.
Most kids learning this type of musical instrument are a little older than 5-6 and therefore this is ideal for children aged 7 years and older, but if you’re looking for a smart digital piano with the technology to assist them to learn without needing a tutor then this might be ideal.
Schiller Grand Piano for Kids
This Schiller is an American based piano producing company and is located in Oregon, Illinois, which was founded in 1890 until 1971, however there legacy continues.
This Berlin 5’3″ is a grand piano and weighs 500 pounds and ships at 600 pounds, which is heavy enough to make sure you plan your shipping to the very fine and minute detail.
The schiller piano company state that “This instrument incorporates a Siberian Sitka Spruce Sounding Board.. German Roslau Strings, German VGF Felt, a Friedrich Action™ and a High Specific Gravity Rim which allows the piano to emit a beautiful singing sound”.
This piano offers the highest of quality and equals a concert level of sound with the finest strings that all others predecessors cannot equal in this review. This is an acoustic grand piano and if your family and children are blessed enough, then them by all means indulge in the ebony polish finish and high-quality German felt hammers. This fast responding piano is action-ed for anything you can play, it’s faultless and will not let you down.
Grand pianos are for the orchestras and events, but also for party functions and enjoying the rich sound and pristine crisp tone. Kids usually do not start with a grand piano but if they can appreciate such a unique musical instrument like this then make sure to get a good tutor and watch them progress to new heights of excellence.
What is right age for kids to learn Piano?
Learning to play a great musical instrument is good for a child’s development. The right age of when they should begin playing a musical instrument is when you feel they are ready, but knowing for sure when that is can be difficult. Some kids have been seen on YouTube performing pieces of music that astonish the viewer and get loads of praise and likes, however, these prodigal-type kids are not the norm.
Most children who are under 5-6 years of age will not benefit from parents who impose vigorous routines and timetables. Studies have shown that if left to explore on their own accord they will have a better-balanced development overall than to be pressured from a young age.
Some moms have come to me asking is my child ready to begin lessons now he is 5 years old and I am sure you know someone or a similar story. I reply that why not get a piano for younger children and test their commitment, especially if they do not have a piano already, which will help you decide before making a large purchase of which your unsure about. However, there really isn’t a one-fits-all so if you feel your child is ready then go ahead with your instinct.
Some good signs for knowing if your child is ready to begin the piano is if they have enjoyed playing the toddlers 25-35 key piano and have continued to show interest throughout. This might be the right time to purchase either a larger piano or keyboard.
Some key factors to deciding when the right age to begin piano playing includes:
- The size of their hand and whether they are can place each finger over five white keys, which is a real struggle for some kids, but essential for progressing
- The ability to have finger independence, which will indicate that they can move forward and by simply being able to move each finger independently is ideal
- Continued desire to learn the piano is one of the most important factors for a child to progress
- Whether ear based or book they should be able to start, but most children younger than 5-6 should be ear to start with and later book reading
- Make sure you give your child every opportunity and no matter the age they can begin to learn, so desire again is all that’s needed
Choosing Your Child’s Piano
There a three main types of piano and each offers slightly different user experience and sound. The type of piano that is played in the grand halls of the worlds arenas are usually the grand piano and offers the best quality sound by far.
Most children under 4 will need to start with a piano that is designed for easy playing, which includes color stickers and anything that encourages them without being too overwhelming and difficult. Some examples of these can be seen in the Schoenhut German producers, which have a range of pianos specifically for younger children, like toddlers aged 1-3 years.
Some larger full sized pianos are too wide on their fingers and playing is not as easy or enjoyable, so that’s why a whole range of smaller piano’s allow for the fun to be put back into learning.
These type of toddler pianos are much smaller in size and offer less key range. This can be a good way to introduce a child to pianos playing, but should not be thought of as a possibility for children with any serious desires and capability.
The Piano and How It Works
The interesting thing about kids pianos are that they are uniquely made and usually very different from the classical pianos at a concert hall. The grand piano has two simultaneous functions going on under the lid, firstly the string instrument and the other a percussion. The string part of the piano is combined with the drum sounding percussion part to make the overall sound, although essentially very different and unique, together they create harmony.
The piano is a mechanical combination of functions to produce an outcome of sound, however, this can be manipulated by the pianist through pedal and finger pressure. Most kid pianos do not have this unique combination of design and therefore a parent should be aware that if you’re looking for a piano to last 30-50 years then a children’s piano is not going to suffice.
How to Get your Child Practicing
Makes sure to always pay loads of attention whilst they play the piano and give them praise too. This is always a good way of encouraging them and this creates a desire to want to play and also to please mom and dad.
Set goals for them to achieve and give them rewards when they do, it’ll make learning fun and exciting, but obviously, there is a balance and don’t go too overboard with the gifts and praise.
Sometimes sitting with them, going over what they have learned and getting them to explain what they have done gives them a sense of achievement. This makes the piano playing seem to have important significance and gives them encouragement and builds their ability and confidence. This can also be done by getting a professional teacher to come and also put the care and attention towards them, which will help them understand that practicing is important.
Make sure to always choose songs that they like, easy to play and allows them to progress at a rate which will not discourage them because pushing them beyond their capacity acts as a negative rather than a positive.
Which piano do I buy, acoustic, digital or electronic?
There are different types Pianos all differing in the range of size, weight, tone, and sound. These differences offer slightly different user experiences and some might suit a particular parents needs, whilst others might not. I have known a parent to buy a grand piano and did not realize that they had bought one that was too big for their house, which caused an almighty problem that was hard to resolve. This might not matter for yourself, however, it does to others, so I highly recommend checking all possible problems that could occur before making any big purchases.
There are 3 main types of piano:
- Acoustic pianos – The acoustic is the traditional piano and makes sound from real strings. This has the best tone, sound and offers the a lovely user experience, which no digital or electric can compare to. These are usually more expensive than other types and can be very expensive if a grand-piano is bought. This is the best to learn on and most students who progress as a pianist will want to use one. The downside to acoustic is the fact they cannot be plugged into any device to upload the sounds for editing on computer software. This combined with fact that they will be extremely loud for anyone around is a limiting factor and should not be overlooked, because the household might get grumpy at the hours of playing.An advantage of the acoustic piano is the length of time it will last. A good piano should last 30-50 years if it is maintained and serviced every year, which will cost around 100-200 dollars. The price of an acoustic piano usually ranges between $5000 and $10,000 and is more expensive than the other types.
- Digital pianos – The other type of piano is digital and this can be ideal for certain children wanting to learn how to play without making noise that drives people crazy.The digital piano is designed to sound, feel and mimic the acoustic piano, but with the advantage of not having to be as bulky. This can suit families with a little less space and want to not take up the whole room, but maybe just a corner.The weighted keys have the same feel as an acoustic and are resistant to touch to ensure a soft and loud sound range. These types of pianos are usually much cheaper and easier to maintain and store.The price is usually much cheaper and a good digital piano can be bought for around $1500 to $3000. This is a great option for parents that really want to help there child build up the core skills and progress as a pianist.These types of piano usually last 3-8 years and is much less than the acoustic, which are designed to last the test of time.
- Electric Keyboard/piano – This is one of the cheapest ways to get your kid starting to learn how to play the piano, it’s easy to use and can plug in with headphones and the multiple playing options is great for getting their imaginations going. The price usually ranges from $75 and upwards, which is affordable for most parents wanting to get their child started.
Electric keyboards offers synthesizing options and helps when they want to start plugging into their laptop to layer music over songs they love already. The pre-installed music is great and helps when they want to combine their efforts. The voice effects that most keyboard pianos have are good at enhancing the sound and recording made. This can make the editing process fun and get your child into production, because this is where it all starts.
There are loads of apps that come with a lot of keyboards these days, which can record music, help keep a diary of sound, display with visual experience, various sound controls and song chords. These features are usually unique to either the digital piano or the electric keyboard.
Having a keyboard with weighted keys is an advantage, especially if the grand piano is the goal at the end of it all. However most keyboards do not have this as standard and you should make sure to check before buying.
The aux for plugging in the headphones is perfect for keeping things quiet and law and order maintained, especially if they have a busy household wanting to not have to be subjected to hours of unwanted listening.
The downside is there will be no bench that comes with it as standard and so bare this in mind for when you have decided on which to go for. The pianists elbow and wrist should be in line with the floor to assist for good practice.
Lastly the life expectancy of a electric piano is 3-5 years and will not last that long, so if you want a one time only purchase then maybe this isn’t ideal.
Which piano do I buy, acoustic, digital or electronic?
This is really down to personal circumstances and as a parent I understand that there are some limiting factors in all households, but ideally I think the acoustic is best and will allow them to start with the right tool, although it might be a little more noisy, takes up more room and is more expensive it will last for decades.
There is a new generation of musicians who are combining the classical piano sound through software applications, which is becoming more popular all the time. As children become in their teenage years the electrical keyboards might be ideal for when they convert their room into a music studio, linking their computer, synthesizer and latest gadgets to distort the pure sound of the piano.
While my loyalty lays with the acoustic piano the practical side of me understands that children beginning to learn how to play will be better suited for a keyboard. This will allow them to plug-in and use headphones, mix with computer software and keep the noise down, which is crucial for some families.
The digital piano can be ideal for children, it offers everything of the past and combines with the future and ensures your child can have weighted keys, similar acoustic tones/sounds and can be used with headphones. The apps that interact with modern electrical pianos, both digital and keyboard, are designed for older children, but can be easily taught with the right teacher.
|Brand||Weighted Keys||Keys||Weight (pounds)||Dimensions (inches)||Price|
|Hamzer 61 Keyboard/piano||No||61||20.2||39.8 x 21.3 x 7.1||$$|
|The ONE Kids Portable Keyboard||No||61||11||36 x 13 x 4||$$|
|Kids RockJam Electronic Keyboard||No||61||19.8||35.4 x 9.8 x 5.9||$|
|FlyChord DP420 Digital Piano||Tri-sensor - Hammer Action||88||130||55 x 19.5 x 35||$$|
|Casio Kids Di117gital Piano||Tri-sensor - Hammer Action||88||85.5||59 x 15 x 16||$$|
|ONE Smart Digital Piano||Hammer - action||88||117||54 x 19 x 34||$$$|
|Schiller Grand Piano for Kids||Yes||88||500||Full-Size||$$$$|