What kind of piano should I get for my child?
Undoubtably, practicing on a nice acoustic grand piano is always the best choice for every piano player, beginner or professional, young or old. However, considering that an acceptable grand piano starts at 20,000 Dollars, such an instrument is out of reach for most children. Upright pianos are much cheaper of course, but a nice one also cost several thousand dollars. Add to that the costs of regular tuning and maintenance, and you are looking at a great expense.
Digital pianos – A great alternative
Thankfully, digital piano’s offer a serious alternative to the traditional piano. The action and sound of digital pianos have greatly been improved, to the point where they are being used for live performances and recording studios by professional musicians.
One may even argue that besides their relatively low price tag, starting at 500–700 Dollars, digital pianos have real advantages over acoustic pianos. For example, they don’t require tuning, they need less space and are easier to carry around, and they can be played quietly with headphones or at a very soft volume level. On top of that they interface with computers and other audio gear, and allow for instant recording and playback. Many of them feature a built-in metronome, rhythm accompaniment presets, and sounds other than just a piano like electric piano, organ, strings, bass, etc.
Tip: Stay away from cheap keyboards
Although, as stated above, digital pianos offer a great alternative to acoustic pianos, I strongly recommend to stay away from most cheaper keyboards. Cheap keyboards often have less and smaller keys that offer very little resistance, thus limiting the pianistic development of the child greatly. In fact, children that only practice on a cheap keyboard are hardly capable of performing on an acoustic instrument at all.
Are you afraid you are throwing your money away?
Are you afraid that you may waist all this money in case your child doesn’t like playing the piano anymore after a few months.
Rather than entertaining such negative thoughts consider that you can always sell the piano.
To prove my point, let’s do some math
Fact is that if you bought a nice keyboard for let’s say 600 Dollars, and your kid decides that he/she doesn’t want to play any more after half a year or so, you can still get a nice chunk of money back for that keyboard when you sell it.
I promised you to do some math. Here we go.
Let’s say you can sell it for only 450 Dollars, and you had it for 5 months. This means that you lose 150 Dollars. Therefore you effectively payed 1 Dollar/day for the keyboard.
Here is how I figured this out:
5 months = 5×30 days =150 days.
You payed 150 Dollars in 150 days which comes out to 1 dollar/day.
I recently bought a nice cold beer at a German restaurant on Irving Park for which I payed 8 Dollars with tip. This would have taken care of 8 days of piano payments in our example!
Giving your child a chance to take piano lessons is one of the best decisions you will ever make. Yes, you take a chance that the child may not stay with it, but this doesn’t mean it wasn’t still a good investment. Spending a little more for a better instrument is not only a great idea for all the reasons mentioned above, it might also help keep your child’s interest in playing piano.
So go out there and get your child something nice!
Where to buy
I suggest you heck out the guitar center. They have full-size digital pianos starting at 300 Dollars. If your budget is very limited I recommend buying a Casio piano. they are cheeper than the super brands like Yamaha or Roland, but still very good, and very light.