“What Piano Is Suitable For My Child?”
The most difficult thing any parent has to ask themselves when their children start piano lessons is a no-brainer: what should I get for my child to practice on? You have three options: Keyboards, digital pianos, and acoustic pianos.
In general keyboards are 61-keys, and if your child is still learning on it in six months you’re going to have serious problems. Keyboards are modelled on organs rather than pianos, and a child won’t develop any strength in their fingers while playing on the light and plastic keys, leading to problems down the line in developing technique. If you’re testing the waters, it can be an option, but once your child has proven they can stick with it after three months, then it’s time to start seriously considering an upgrade.
If you’re concerned about portability, storage or budget, then a digital’s your best bet. You’ll want one with 88-keys (which is the full range of keys a piano has) and ‘weighted action’ – that basically means it’s emulating an acoustic piano as much as it can. We have a range of Kawai digital pianos which we highly recommend, as Kawai also sell acoustic pianos. In the digital market it’s only Kawai and Yamaha that manufacture digital pianos while also making and selling acoustic one. Even the subtle ‘notch’ of a piano key slowly pressed is emulated in some of the Kawai models. It can never match the real thing though.
Before you continue reading, I’d like to pause and say that if you are seriously considering an acoustic piano to stop now and make an appointment with us. We will give you a free consultation, because buying a piano is a huge investment – not something that should be done just on the internet. Although a piano can never be too good for you, there’s a real risk that a piano is not good enough.
For instance, the height of a piano makes a big difference. Height can be summarised by a phrase: bigger is better. Bigger pianos have larger soundboards and longer strings, meaning better dynamic range. At Lewis Eady we stock only pianos over 121cm, which would be appropriate for beginners to intermediate/advanced. 130cm and over is ideal for advanced players. (This is just a general rule of thumb – a high quality 121cm piano is always going to be better than a low quality 130cm piano)
In future blog posts, we’ll cover the piano buying process in more detail, but I’ve hopefully given you some things to consider.