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.
What’s my favorite kids piano? I like the Alesis Recital Pro.
If you’re interested in your child taking piano lessons, you will want to purchase a kids 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.
Learning piano as a kid doesn’t only make your child enjoy music more. Playing piano 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 parent’s who are looking for pianos for their kid who is 10 and under.
Best Kids Piano – A Quick Glance
Why Should I Look Into Kids Pianos?
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. The piano 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 the piano early will help.
There is a mathematical side of music and piano. 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 instructor’s 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?
The best thing about a kids piano is that they have volume control. An instrument like a guitar or drums will typically be much louder. Kids keyboards 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 an electric piano with a headphone port is really useful. 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 really appreciate the digital piano.
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.
Best Kids Piano In 2018
Alesis Recital Pro
- Start playing professional keys today - the ultimate beginners digital piano loaded with 12 expertly crafted voices and powerful educational features
- Universal responsive feel - 88 premium full-sized hammer action keys with adjustable touch response to suit your preferred playing style
- Connectivity covered - built-in 20W speakers, ¼" Sustain pedal input (pedal not included), ¼" stereo headphone output for private practice, included power adapter and ¼" stereo outputs
- Powerful educational features - standard, split, layer, record and Lesson modes with 128-note max polyphony and built in FX: chorus, reverb, modulation
- Learn piano today - Includes skoove 3 month premium subscription for expert interactive online piano lessons
This is a full-size piano keyboard for kids. I would recommend this to the kids who are serious about playing piano and don’t want to learn on a smaller keyboard. This is technically a digital piano and when you buy digital pianos, you’re buying a piano that sounds and feels the closest to an acoustic piano.
The reason I like this as a piano for children 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 kids keyboards, they will grow out of them after a couple years for something better.
This kids keyboard 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 Piano is a really neat keyboard. 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 kids’ knowledge with keyboards.
I like this keyboard for younger kids because it gives them something fun to do with the games and lessons feature. With today’s technology kids want to play games, having games that are based around music is kind of a cool concept. Some of these games help teach your child how to write and play different melodies on the keyboard.
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 kids piano with the mindset that it’s going to be a starter instrument that you will get a couple 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 kids who are at the beginner to intermediate level and are looking to graduate from a smaller keyboard. This keyboard has 88 full size weighted keys and plays very nicely.
The Casio CT-X700 is a brand new keyboard. I like this keyboard because the sounds on it are actually very realistic for A keyboard kids can play. I wouldn’t call this a kids keyboard because it is put together much better than a typical kids piano is and doesn’t feel as cheap or flimsy. 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 keyboard is very durable compared to other keyboards 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 for kids because they can literally just hit play and play along to a beat. This is good to introduce to kids so they can get a feel what it’s like to play with a drummer or a band.
When it comes to kids pianos I like to look at Casio keyboards. They have come a really long way in the last 10-15 years and if you compare their keyboards with other keyboards that are for kids, they just dominate them.
We will be looking at cheaper options for beginner’s keyboards, but the Casio series is always a safe bet. This keyboard for children 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.
The Yamaha PRESEW300 is a newer keyboard for Yamaha and it definitely a keyboard that will grow with your child. This keyboard could be used easily for 4-5 years until your child is ready to graduate to a digital piano or real piano. This might be a little more on the expensive side, but it comes with a stand and 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 keyboard 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 beginner’s 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 keyboard 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 a long with it by separating if you want to do left and right hand or one or the other. The speakers in this keyboard 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 keyboard 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 this keyboard are slightly smaller and they are closer together than a normal keyboard would be. The plastic on this keyboard feels a little flimsy as well. I would recommend this keyboard for kids and beginner’s, but not for serious or intermediate level kids.
The volume on this kids piano is something that is pretty weird. It is surprisingly loud and it defaults to max volume. Headphones aren’t very good with this keyboard because the volume is really loud even when on the lower volume setting. Something nice is that the keyboard 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 keyboard for kids. 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 kids pianos are not going be high-quality. If you want high quality for a beginner, see the top of this list or check out the best digital piano guide.
This beginner’s keyboard 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 is a kids piano that is on the entry-level. This keyboard comes with an LCD screen so your child can see what sound they’re on and what program they’re using. Something nice about this keyboard is that it comes with the stand and a bench. Keep in mind that this is entry-level, so do not expect an incredible keyboard out of this kids piano.
This keyboard comes with 2 months of face to face lessons through the keyboard. This helps as kids piano 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.
Overall Quality Of The Kids Piano
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 a keyboard for your kids that will have weighted keys. The speakers on the keyboard will definitely be loud enough, but they’re not going to sound like a grand piano.
Remember that if you’re spending less money for a piano, there is going to be a quality difference. This isn’t a bad thing though. A piano for children is meant to just get their feet wet and provide them with learning essentials. The less money spent on a keyboard doesn’t mean the lower the quality.
Things To Consider When Looking Into Pianos For Your Kids
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 going to be more expensive than a keyboard or piano for toddlers. Keyboards are good if you’re not quite sure how interested your child is in music and piano. If your child is under 8 years old, a keyboard is a wise choice.
Number Of Keys:
How many keys do you want your piano to have? A full-size digital piano has 88 keys. Some of the children’s pianos 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 piano 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 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 piano, it is wise to test the waters on a cheaper keyboard. Parents should be spending a fortune on a piano until they know their child is serious about playing.
Quality Of The Sound:
For a first piano, 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 keyboard. When buying a kids keyboard, you want to focus on something that is quality, yet meant to get them to the next level. Most of the speakers on a children’s piano will be plenty loud enough as is, but don’t make this a huge priority.
Does My Kids Piano Need A Keyboard Stand?
This answer varies. You can get away with placing the keyboard on top of a kitchen table or a desktop and be fine. However, eventually, you will want to get a keyboard stand for it. The posture is important for building proper technique as a pianist.
Keyboard 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 for a light-weight keyboard.
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 piano 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 piano 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.
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 piano lessons when I was about 8 years old. I ended up quitting after a couple 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 Kids Keyboard?
No, you probably don’t need an amp for your keyboard. Almost all keyboards come with built-in speakers that will be plenty loud. Most keyboards 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 a keyboard that has a line/out and an instrument cable.
It is very simple to plug the keyboard 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 the keyboard.
Do I Need To Have My Kids Keyboard Tuned?
No, you can’t tune a keyboard. This is a commonly asked question, but you don’t need to worry about your keyboard going out of tune since its electronic. If your child is learning on a real piano then you will need to get this tuned.
If you do need to tune your piano, I suggest tuning it every 6 months if you want to have it sound its best. There are of course other factors such as humidity which can affect this as well, but 6 months is a safe time-frame.
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. 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.
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 piano can sound very choppy.