So your child is starting piano lessons, huh? You’re probably wondering how on earth you’ll pick the right keyboard for them to have at home from the hundreds of options out there. Well, your life is about to get a whole lot easier because I will be showing you the 3 best keyboards for beginners that I recommend to new beginner students.
Before I get into specific keyboards, there are some things that you need to think about and consider before choosing an instrument:
What is your budget?
There are quality keyboards and digital pianos for as little as $500 and as much as $2000 and higher. What can you afford?
If the answer is less than $300, you will not find a quality keyboard with 88, fully-weighted keys for that low, not even used.
What do I mean by 88, fully-weighted keys? Well, the keyboard should have 88 keys for one and those 88 keys being fully-weighted instead of semi-weighted or non-weighted means that they’ll feel and react as much like a real, acoustic piano as possible that are weighted.
At very low prices, they will start sounding like toys, not have fully weighted keys, have less than 88 keys, and not give your child the ability to learn properly or develop finger strength or dynamics for expressive playing. The instrument they have at home should feel the same and respond the same as what they learn on during their lessons with me.
You should have a proper bench and pedal to go with the keyboard as well. This will ensure your child is making the most progress possible during the week.
If you can’t afford a proper instrument, then I’d hold off on lessons until you can because you are truly doing your child a disservice. It’d be like if you signed them up for dance with shoes that don’t fit or a sport without all the protective gear they need.
All keyboards are not quality instruments and you shouldn’t think of the little dinky keyboard you have at home as “good enough for now” because it really isn’t. The first few months of lessons are crucial and if they don’t learn on a quality instrument from the start, they won’t be able to learn as fast.
If you want your child to get the full experience from lessons and be able to enjoy learning, then invest properly right from the beginning and you won’t need to upgrade later.
What room will it be in?
Your child should have privacy to practice without any distractions or interruptions. That means no TV in the room, no loud noise from making dinner in the kitchen, no siblings running in and out of the room, etc.
Think of it like a practice nook where your child can feel calm, comfortable, creative, and focused. All of their materials should be organized in one place and ready to go. Once you pick the right place, see how much space you have in that room.
Do you need it to be portable?
Keyboards are different from digital pianos in that they’re meant to be portable. They’re lightweight, cost less, and come on detached stands. They cost less because they’re of lesser quality and are not meant to as closely replicate the sound/feel of a real acoustic piano like digital pianos are.
If your child resides in two different homes or maybe you want to be able to take the keyboard on vacations so they can still practice, keyboards are your best option. I see a lot of children not be able to practice for half the week because they split their week between parents and only one parent has a keyboard. So think about your child’s lifestyle and what they need to be successful all week long.
So here are my top 3 picks for beginners based on budget and value. I highly recommend not getting the standard options for the low and medium budget keyboards that have the x-stands that wobble and the separate pedal that slides all over the place. Get the upgraded version with the furniture stand that will be sturdy and have a better pedal:
Low Budget: Yamaha P-45
Bundle option that comes with bench, stand, headphones, and pedal: Link to purchase on Amazon
Here is the upgraded furniture stand for this keyboard to make it more sturdy: Link to purchase on Amazon
You can opt to not get the bundle with the x-stand and just get the keyboard with the bench here:
And then get the furniture stand and pedal separately (saves about $50 v. the bundle):
Stand: Link to purchase on Amazon
Pedal: Link to purchase on Amazon
Here’s a review of the keyboard: https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/yamaha-p-45-digital-piano-review/
Medium Budget: Yamaha P-125
Upgraded option that comes with bench, upgraded furniture stand, and attached pedals:
Here’s a review of the keyboard: https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/yamaha-p-125-digital-piano-review/
High Budget: Yamaha Arius YDP-164
Already comes with 3 pedals, furniture stand, and a bench: Link to purchase on Amazon
Here’s a review of the digital piano: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDKKZ7ZaVgo
You do NOT have to spend thousands of dollars on an instrument for your child. There are even ways to save money by buying used keyboards, digital pianos, and even acoustic pianos. I’ve found every single one of the digital pianos and keyboards in my studio through Facebook Marketplace, ebay and OfferUp that I picked up locally for only a few hundred dollars and they have lasted me years!
So give it a search and see what’s out there because there could be a perfect keyboard out there selling for hundreds of dollars cheaper than it’s listed for online. I hope you feel a little less overwhelmed now and I wish you luck in your search for the perfect keyboard for your child!