The piano is arguably the most universal instrument there is. Many musicians recommend starting with a kids piano and then learning more instruments after you get a good feel for the piano.
The reason why musicians recommend the piano first is because it’s an instrument that teaches you music theory and builds your finger dexterity right off the bat.
If you’re interested in your child taking piano lessons, you will want to purchase a keyboard or a digital piano. Taking lessons without a keyboard for kids to practice on is hard. Your child won’t retain as much information if they are only meeting with their instructor and practicing once a week.
I believe that if you can afford one, a digital piano for kids is the best instrument you can get. They sound like real pianos and are the closest feeling thing there is to a real one.
Playing at a young age helps your child strengthen their brain and it also will help with trying to learn other languages.
This guide is meant for parents who are looking for pianos for their kid who is 10 and under.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Kids Piano – A Quick Glance
- 2 Why Should I Look Into A Keyboard?
- 3 At What Age Should My Child Take Beginner’s Piano Lessons?
- 4 What If I live In An Apartment Or Have To Keep The Noise Down?
- 5 What Size Keyboard Should My Child Have?
- 6 Best Kids Keyboards In 2020
- 6.1 Alesis Recital Pro – Best Kids Piano
- 6.2 The ONE Smart Keyboard
- 6.3 Yamaha P-45
- 6.4 Casio CT-X700
- 6.5 Casio CTK-2550
- 6.6 Yamaha PRSEW300
- 6.7 Yamaha DGX230
- 6.8 Hamzer 61
- 6.9 Alesis Melody 61
- 6.10 RockJam 61
- 6.10.1 Overall Quality
- 6.10.2 Things To Consider When Looking
- 6.10.3 Does My Kids Piano Need A Keyboard Stand?
- 6.10.4 What Kind Of Music Should My Child Focus On?
- 6.10.5 What Are Ways To Improve My Kids Interest In Piano?
- 6.10.6 Do I Need An Amp For My Keyboard?
- 6.10.7 How Important Is It To Have My Child Use A Metronome?
- 6.10.8 Do I Need A Sustain Pedal?
- 7 Pianos For Toddlers 3 & Under
- 8 Best Toddler’s Keyboards
- 9 Conclusion
Best Kids Piano – A Quick Glance
Great for toddlers or those looking for a portable keyboard with decent sounds
I like this option for those who want to create a real feel for their toddlers
This keyboard has some great sounds for a great price. The CT-X700 gives you everything you need as a beginner, minus weighted keys
Why Should I Look Into A Keyboard?
Playing a musical instrument is very good for the early development of the brain. The piano works as an outlet for stress and anxiety and if your kid learns to play at an early age, it will help them later in life. It is the most universal instrument there is, so if your kid is interested in music, the piano is the right move.
There is nothing better than completing tasks and feeling accomplished when you’re a kid. I remember when my instructor gave me piano homework, I would be so happy when I completed it.
It’s good to have your child feel like they are making improvements and exposing them to something like this instrument early will help.
There is a mathematical side of music for sure. Exposing your child to learning the technical side of music will help them tremendously in the future.
At What Age Should My Child Take Beginner’s Piano Lessons?
As far as keyboard lessons go, I would recommend you wait until at least 6 years of age. Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t start them earlier, it just is a good general age to start.
Any earlier and it’s typically harder to keep a child’s attention to really start making some progress. At this age, they are exposed to learning in a classroom and are just beginning to understand adult instruction.
There are instructor’s that say you should start lessons before they turn 9 years old. Some instructors think that there’s a window of opportunity they miss out on if you start them later. If you have a 5-year-old who is telling you they want to learn to play the keyboard, I wouldn’t hold them back from it.
This is a very good sign and it means that they are connecting with music at a young age.
Something you can do as a parent slowly starts to expose your child to music and different instruments. I have found that if they connect with a certain band, they will typically want to play whatever instruments that band plays. This can be used to fuel their fire and keep them hungry when it comes to learning.
What If I live In An Apartment Or Have To Keep The Noise Down?
These instruments have volume control and that is extremely important. An instrument like a guitar or drums will typically be much louder. They are often times very portable and light, making them easy to carry up or downstairs.
If you’re worried about your child making too much noise and the noise just being too much, they can use headphones.
The headphone technology has come so far and having a digital piano with a headphone port is really useful. I recently talked about the best electric pianos in the world today. You can check it out at the link above.
Sometimes your child won’t want people to hear them when they’re first starting because they’re embarrassed. Headphones are a simple, affordable solution.
What Size Keyboard Should My Child Have?
This is an important question. You can buy a full 88 size keyboard for your kid if they are 8 and older and are serious about music.
Don’t spend too much money before you know how serious they are about music. Having a keyboard as your kids’ first instrument is a good thing because when they graduate to a digital piano, they will start to develop more finger dexterity.
The keyboard obviously won’t have weighted keys, but don’t focus on this too much unless your kid is close to becoming a teenager.
Have you ever heard of the melodica? This is a great instrument for kids and you might find it really interesting. Read more at the link above.
Best Kids Keyboards In 2020
Alesis Recital Pro – Best Kids Piano
I would recommend this to musicians who are serious about playing and don’t want to learn on a smaller keyboard. This is technically a digital piano and when you buy these, you’re buying an instrument that sounds and feels the closest to the real thing.
You can read about some of my favorite Alesis keyboards here.
The reason I like this is the fact that it is quality, yet affordable. This is an instrument that you will get many years out of. With some of the cheaper products, they will grow out of them after a couple of years for something better.
This comes with split and layer mode which allows you to split the keyboard up to have different sounds in different octaves. Layer mode allows you to layer multiple sounds at once.
The educational purposes on this keyboard are really cool. It includes Skoove3, which allows your child to practice online for 3 months with a live person. This is really cool and technology has really made it easier for kids to learn piano. Let’s take a look at some of the key features below.
- 12 different sounds to try out
- Educational mode through Skoove3
- Split, and layer mode
- 20-watt speakers
- Headphone jack
- 88 semi-weighted keys
The ONE Smart is a really neat product. It has 61 keys that light up when you start playing. It comes with over 4,000 different sheet music pieces, free games, and lessons that you can use on your I-pad or I-phone. This keyboard was designed to connect to smartphones to help further your knowledge with keyboards.
Something interesting with this instrument is that the lesson modes on this keyboard are some of the best you can get without getting real lessons. If you go into this with the mindset that it’s going to be a starter instrument that you will get a couple of productive years out of, it’s perfect. This keyboard comes in different colors as well, so be sure to check the different colors out.
The Yamaha P-45 is an excellent choice again for students who are at the beginner to intermediate level and are looking to graduate from a smaller keyboard. This instrument has 88 full size weighted keys and plays very nicely.
I like this because it’s a digital piano and I believe if you can afford it, digital pianos are probably the best options for kids.
The Casio CT-X700 is one of my favorites for beginners. I like this product because the sounds on it are actually very realistic. I wouldn’t call this a toy because it is put together much better than a typical toy piano is and doesn’t feel as cheap or flimsy.
I recently talked about this product in a full review. Click here to see why I like the Casio CT-x700 so much.
When you buy a newer keyboard it’s always good because they typically have new features that older keyboards don’t have.
As technology in the music world continues to grow, pianos are also starting to get more advanced. The plastic on the exterior of the instrument is very durable compared to other ones around this price range.
The Casio CT-X700 comes with 600 pre-set sounds and 195 different rhythms to play with. This feature is fun because they can literally just hit play and play along to a beat.
We will be looking at cheaper options for beginner keyboards, but the Casio series is always a safe bet. The CTK-2550 allows you to connect to your I-pad or I-phone and learn your favorite songs by using the free app, Chordana. It comes with 400 different pre-set sounds and over 150 different rhythms.
If you like Casio keyboards, I would recommend checking out the Casio CA-77. It’s smaller and more so for younger kids, but it’s solid.
The Yamaha PRSEW300 is a newer product for Yamaha and it definitely an instrument that will grow with your child. This could be used easily for 4-5 years until your child is ready to graduate to a digital piano or real piano.
It might be a little more on the expensive side, but it comes with a stand and a power adapter.
This comes with Yamaha Education Suite so your child can begin learning immediately with their piano. A cool feature about this is Touch Tutor, which tracks the velocity of the keys being hit in order to teach you or child dynamics.
The Yamaha DGX230 is a 76 key keyboard that works well for beginners and kids. The keys on this are non-weighted, but you can set different levels of resistance on the keys. This helps for when your child starts to develop finger dexterity. Having more resistance is going to simulate a real piano more than having less resistance.
This comes with Yamaha Education Suite, which is an educational program that comes on a CD-ROM. You can put the CD-ROM in and play along with it by separating if you want to do left and right hand or one or the other. The speakers in this product have some really good feedback on them and this is because the speakers have separate sub-woofers for the low end.
The DGX does come with USB/MIDI in case you wanted to hook it up to a computer and record with it. This is a nice feature to have because as your child furthers their passion, they may want to record and experiment with more sounds.
The Hamzer 61 key portable electronic keyboard is an entry-level product that works well for kids. This option is going to be cheaper and the quality isn’t going to be as good as the Yamaha or Casio keyboards, but it is more so meant to get your child into music.
The keys on the Hamzer 61 are slightly smaller and they are closer together than a normal keyboard would be. The plastic on it feels a little flimsy as well.
The volume is something that is pretty weird. It is surprisingly loud and it defaults to max volume. Headphones aren’t very good with the Hamzer 61 because the volume is really loud even when on the lower volume setting. Something nice is that it comes with a detachable music stand to hold sheet music.
The Alesis Melody is good for beginner’s piano lessons and for parents who don’t want to spend a fortune. Alesis also makes the Harmony 61, which is just a step up from this product. This comes with a stand, a music holder, a microphone, and a bench.
Something to keep in mind for parents is that some of these options are not going to be high-quality.
This beginner’s product comes with a headphone jack for parents who want to keep the noise down a little bit. You get the functions like dual and split mode on this keyboard which is also a plus for a beginner. This allows you to split the keyboard to have more than one sound at a time.
The RockJam 61
This comes with 2 months of face to face lessons. This helps as lessons are quite expensive. The keyboard itself isn’t going to blow you away and it feels rather cheap. This is our least favorite and it doesn’t compare to some of the others on this list.
The overall quality of a keyboard for kids is not going to be as good as one made for adults. The big difference will be in the way the keys feel. This isn’t a huge deal, but over time you will want to have weighted keys. The speakers on the will definitely be loud enough, but they’re not going to sound like a grand piano.
Remember that if you’re spending less money on an instrument, there is going to be a quality difference. This isn’t a bad thing though.
Things To Consider When Looking
Digital Piano, Or Keyboard?
A digital piano for your kid is a really good choice if your child is really interested in learning to play the piano. Digital pianos typically are going to be more expensive than a piano meant for toddlers. Keyboards are good if you’re not quite sure how interested your child is in music and piano. I recommend them for kids 8 years or younger.
Number Of Keys:
How many keys do you want your instrument to have? A full-size digital piano has 88 keys. Some of the children’s instruments have fewer keys.
Having keys that are weighted is definitely recommended as your child gets older, however, they don’t need weighted keys when they’re first beginning to play. The right age for your child to start playing on weighted keys can vary. Your instructor will definitely tell you when they think your child is ready for weighted keys.
If your child is learning on their own, I would say if they have been playing for a couple of years and are 10 or over, they should upgrade to a digital piano. The big thing this helps with is finger dexterity. I found that when I switched to a real piano, my left-hand fingers became more powerful as they were pressing down heavier keys.
If you are buying your child their first instrument, it is wise to test the waters on a cheaper keyboard. Parents should be spending a fortune until they know their child is serious about playing.
Quality Of The Sound:
You don’t need something that is going to blow your ears out. The speakers are important, however, they shouldn’t be the reason you’re buying the instrument. When buying an instrument you want to focus on something that is quality, yet meant to get them to the next level.
Does My Kids Piano Need A Keyboard Stand?
This answer varies. You can get away with placing it on top of a kitchen table or a desktop and be fine. However, eventually, you will want to get a stand for it. The posture is important for building proper technique as a pianist moves forward in their journey.
Stands sometimes come with beginner’s keyboards as packages. If they don’t, you can still find them for pretty cheap since you won’t need anything special.
What Kind Of Music Should My Child Focus On?
I think it is important to let your child guide you to what kind of music they are interested in. The more interest you get out of them, the more motivated they will be to learn. It is smart to mix in popular songs with classical or jazz, depending on the route they go.
Starting with classical and then going to jazz as they get older is always a really smooth transition. With classical music, you learn a lot of the basic fundamentals and music theory to be able to go into jazz.
It is possible to just start up and want to learn jazz, however it is more difficult because you need to typically have some knowledge before you make the switch. If you start with a jazz instructor they will most likely have you learning the standard kids’ repertoire in the beginning so it’s totally fine.
When you first begin lessons you start with about a year of basic lessons before you really have to choose what path you want to go down as a pianist.
I recently wrote an in-depth review of digital pianos for beginners. You can read about it at the link above.
What Are Ways To Improve My Kids Interest In Piano?
With piano or really any instrument, you never want to force it with your kids. When you are having to force them into playing and practicing for an extended period of time, they can lose interest along with focus. Many years ago, my father had me begin lessons when I was about 8 years old.
I ended up quitting after a couple of weeks. It was about a year later that I was listening to music and realized that I wanted to learn how to play.
Introducing your kids to good music, whether it’s classic rock or even classical is a good thing. If they naturally decide that they want to learn, they will be able to retain more knowledge and want to stay driven.
Music lessons are very challenging for kids at an early age so it’s smart to think of ways to pique their interest. Talking to them about their favorite bands is always a great way to get them hooked into an instrument. The inspiration they can find from their favorite artists is the greatest motivation they can find.
Do I Need An Amp For My Keyboard?
No, you probably don’t need an amp. Almost all keyboards come with built-in speakers that will be plenty loud. Most also come with a headphone jack so you can easily plug in to keep the noise down. If you do want to use an amp because you’re playing a concert or doing a special performance, you will need one that has a line/out and an instrument cable.
It is very simple to plug your instrument into the amp so you won’t have to worry about trying to figure that out. You will just plug the instrument cable into the amp and then plug the other end into the keyboard. Typically, the line will be on the back of your instrument.
How Important Is It To Have My Child Use A Metronome?
Using a metronome at an early age definitely is a wise move, however, you also want to make sure your child is ready to be playing with a metronome. There isn’t really an age for them to start using one, it’s more about when they’re able to.
In the very beginning when they’re just learning the notes and getting used to pressing keys, they won’t be ready for a metronome yet. You want to wait until they are able to read and play through beginning-level pieces. As soon as they’re ready for it, a metronome will definitely improve their playing abilities.
The metronome is one of the most important things a musician can use to improve their rhythm.
A piano metronome is the most important thing for having good rhythm. Here are my current favorite picks on the market.
They are typically very cheap and they are also easy to use. You can adjust the tempo to whatever the tempo of the piece is you are playing. This will make it so you don’t rush and you stay in time. If your child desires to someday play in a band, this is something that is really good to use at a young age.
Ever wondered how long your child should practice piano scales? Find out in this article I wrote here.
Do I Need A Sustain Pedal?
You don’t need to purchase a sustain pedal, but I really would recommend buying one. Sustain pedals for keyboards are inexpensive and they are instrumental in your child’s growth as a pianist.
If your child is just beginning they can play without one, but as they progress they will be playing pieces where they need it. A sustain pedal allows you to hold out notes with your feet and without one the instrument can sound very choppy.
Pianos For Toddlers 3 & Under
It is often said that exposing your toddlers to music early is great for their development. I really agree with this statement and wish I had started even earlier. I started playing the piano when I was 9 and I learned so much from the experience of it. I think that a toddler piano is a smart gift for kids as it gets them used to the instrument early on.
A toddler piano is something that isn’t going to be super professional generally, but it allows the child to start to get the hang of playing the instrument. It is smart for parents to introduce their kids at an early age because it will have an impact on them during their musical journey in the long run.
Exposing your toddler to the piano at a young age has been proven to be good for the brain. Doctor’s have been talking about the positive impact music has had on children’s development for many years now.
Best Toddler’s Keyboards
Casio SA76 – Best Toddler Keyboard
The Casio SA76 is affordable and it also gives you better sounds than some of cheaper kids keyboards listed above. The reason why this is cheaper is that it only has 44 keys and they’re smaller keys. Having mini keys is good for a toddler because their fingers are much smaller than kids are.
This comes with 5 drum pads that make noise when you hit them. The noises are different drum sounds such as the snare, kick drum, tom, and hi-hat. There are pictures above the drum pads to help your child decipher which sound they’re playing.
The LCD screen on this keyboard is nice because it is big and easy to read. This keyboard has 100 different sounds to pick from and the speakers are surprisingly loud. There is 8-note polyphony on this keyboard meaning your child can hit 8 notes at once and hear them all.
The Casio Sa76 is powered by batteries, but it can also be powered by a power adapter you would purchase on the side. You need 6 AA batteries for this keyboard so I would recommend buying a big pack of batteries to save money in the long run.
The Schoenhut 30 is a piano for babies and it can be used until about 6-7 years of age. These look really cool in the fact that they resemble a baby grand, yet they’re really made for babies and toddlers. The sound of this is very metallic, but not in a bad way. Obviously, since it’s meant for toddler’s it’s not going to sound like a real piano.
This keyboard comes in different colors, so be sure to check out what colors are available for it before buying. The manual makes it rather easy to assemble as long as there are no faults in the product that was shipped.
If you are having a hard time assembling it could be a faulty product and you should just contact customer support and have them resend a new one. Below is a video of this keyboard in action.
The Korg tinyPiano is listed as a toy piano, but it’s definitely not a toy. When you compare the sound of this with the Schoenhut baby grandkids piano, they’re not comparable.
This sounds like a real piano whereas the Schoenhut sounds like a xylophone. Korg makes some very high-end digital pianos so when it comes to making a quality product, they’re no stranger.
What I will say is, how important to you is it that the keyboard for toddlers you buy sounds real?
Most of the time you use these instruments as a transition into a better more expensive keyboard for your kid. However, if you have the budget, then this is your top option as far as sounding like an actual piano. I would recommend this for anyone under 6-7 years of age.
The Korg tinyPiano comes with 25 built-in sounds and 50 built-in demo songs. A nice thing about this keyboard is that it is powered by AA batteries so you don’t have to plug it in. The battery life will get you around 6 hours depending on how much you’re using it. Let’s take a look at a video below.
Melissa & Doug 25 Key Piano
The Melissa & Doug 25 key piano gives you a cool look, but it is still a toy. The price on this keyboard is on the cheaper side for having an instrument that looks like an upright piano. Keep in mind that the sound isn’t going to be incredible since it’s a kids keyboard.
It comes with an illustrated color book with 9 different songs in it for your child. The songs are definitely kid-friendly as they are classics like, ” Twinkle Little Star”, and “Row Your Boat.” The notes are color-coded above the keys to help your child with remembering where the notes are in the beginning. This keyboard is constructed of sturdy wood and it feels pretty durable.
You can use this keyboard for toddlers at your own discretion, one thing I will mention is that there are screws on this keyboard. It shouldn’t be a problem as long as you are watching your child and making sure the screws don’t come loose as you don’t want them to choke on a screw.
The Vtech KidiStudio is a toddler’s toy piano that I really like. Keep in mind again, this is a toy, this is not a professional piano or keyboard.
The VTech KidiStudio is meant for kids who are 3-6 years of age so they can take advantage of all of the features. This is a fun instrument to sit with your child and learn with them. The sounds again aren’t going to be spectacular, but they’re really not supposed to be for a toy piano.
It comes with drum tracks so your child can play along and keep the beat. This instrument is powered by AA batteries which makes it very portable as well. This toy is a little bit more expensive, but I would take this over many of the other toy pianos.
The Little Tikes PopTunes keyboard is good for babies. This is a toy and it is also very cheap. The sound isn’t anything crazy, but at 1 year old, the sound needs to do enough just for your child to hear it and enjoy it.
These aren’t crazy loud, which can be a plus if you’re worried about your child driving you crazy with noise.
All of the keys are functional which is nice since a lot of pianos for toddlers are more so for show and don’t work properly. The keys light up with LED lights that are located inside the toy.
This is a toy that is meant to keep your child’s attention and get them interested in the piano as an instrument. I’m a firm believer that exposing kids to musical instruments early is a wise choice.
The recommended age on this keyboard is ages 1-5 and I think this is smart. I wouldn’t purchase this for a kid over the age of three personally as there are other more suitable options. It requires 3 AA batteries and it gives you a pretty long battery life as well.
The Importance Of Reading Notes At An Early Age
This is important, but the age is going to vary. Not all kids are going to learn the piano at the same rate and this needs to be accepted by parents. If your toddler is learning at an exceptional pace, you might want to begin lessons at as early as 3 years old. However, you don’t want to force lessons on your child as you can burn them out early as well as make them lose interest.
Learning the piano is something that your child should be passionate about if you want to see great results. Reading notation at an early age is great because being able to read music makes you very versatile as a musician. Learning how to count notes and learning time signatures will give your child an advantage over kids who are starting with no musical knowledge.
I wouldn’t recommend going crazy with learning how to read music, but when you feel they’re ready and they are interested, it can only help further their knowledge.
Did I miss any of the kids or toddler pianos that you have used and had success with? Let me know below in the comments section!