Piano playing is a passion shared by people of all ages. It’s one of those hobbies that can be picked up at any age, and can lead to a lifetime of enjoyment. And it’s certainly something that is both fun and challenging to take up when you’re young.
With piano-playing becoming ever more accessible, it’s is now easier than ever to set your child up with tools to learn how to play the piano, especially considering the great range of digital pianos available on the market today. Piano playing has now become a hobby that now just bridges generations, but can be enjoyed by anyone, of any means, and of any lifestyle.
And so, in this article, I’m going to prevent you with seven of the best digital pianos for kids that I feel are on the market. And to better help you, please check out the interactive table below, which will allow you to directly compare some of the pianos against one another.
|Casio PX-S1100||192-note polyphony; 18 built-in tones|
|Yamaha P-45||64 Note Polyphony|
|Yamaha NP12||Uses Six AA Batteries|
|Yamaha P-515||40 Voices, 18 Drum/FX Kits, 480 XG Voices|
|Yamaha NP32||Graded Soft Touch (GST) Keyboard|
|Casio CDP-S350||700 built-in tones|
|Korg LP-380 U||Now features USB Audio/MIDI|
|Yamaha DGX 670||601 Voices, 29 Drums, SFX Kits|
The Needs of a Child Playing Piano
It’s important to consider the piano playing needs of a child when considering which digital piano to purchase – their needs are very different to those of adults.
The first thing to consider is the keyboard size and weighting. Childs hands and fingers are neither as strong or as long as our own, and therefore we need to consider their limited physicality.
While weighted keys may be one of the most important elements of a digital piano for adults looking to buy an instrument, this is not the case for children. Fully weighted keys require more effort from them to press, and this strenuous effort can suck out some of the fun of playing piano.
Fully weighted keys do help newer plays build strength through their fingers, however can be a limiting influence on a child’s playing. While I would necessarily recommend non-weighted keys (it is important young players learn the nuance of weighting), semi-weighted keys may be a good trade off between accessibility and authenticity.
The size of the keyboard is another physical factor to consider. Young players will not necessarily have the reach of adults, and this, coupled with the potentially less advanced pieces they are playing, means that 88-keys are not necessarily a necessity. That’s not to say that 88-keys are not useful – buying an 88-key instrument will be beneficial in the long-term if you are able to provide one – however this can have an impact on value for money, and may be something worth sacrificing for other features if you are buying on a budget.
The weighting of the keys and the size of the keyboard are elements you do not need to worry so much about when buying for a younger playing. I would note, however, that as they grow up: their playing becoming more advanced and their physical limitations increasingly reduced, it will at some point become necessary to look at buying fully weighted and fully sized digital pianos: so bearing this in mind it may be that you want to provide this from the outset, and invest in just the single digital piano to last this development.
Below, please take a moment to check out some of the best selling digital pianos on the market, and then see how well they compare to some of the pianos we’ll discuss throughout this article:
|1) Casio PX-S3000|
|2) Casio PX-870|
|3) Roland RP-102|
|4) Alesis Prestige Artist|
|5) Korg D1|
And now, let’s discuss built-in features that are ideal for kids playing the piano.
Another factor to consider when buying for a younger player is the built-in features and interface. Many digital pianos include lesson programs, multiple voices, and recording capabilities – all of which help to both encourage the development of their playing and make the process fun. Recording feature and the inclusion of different voices are great tools in terms of capturing their imagination and harnessing their creativity. Younger players are much more likely to be drawn to piano playing if you can make it fun!
All in all – the most important thing to consider when buying for a younger player is accessibility. Are you buying them an instrument they can and want to play? Make piano playing a rewarding experience, incentivize their development by making it fun and colorful experience.
The Top Digital Pianos for Kids
Let’s begin with the Casio SA-76.
The earlier in life you can encourage your child to pick upon piano playing, the better – and the Casio SA-76 is the perfect introduction into the world of piano playing for the littlest of people.
The Casio SA-76 features 44 mini keys, neither weighted or full size: which means they are perfect for small children with equally small hands and fingers! The ease with which they will be able to play this keyboard should defiantly discourage them from playing, but rather makes the process easy and enjoyable.
The instrument itself is small yet built sturdily – the rugged casing means the Casio SA-76 will be able to take whatever your child may throw at it! The design of the instrument is especially important with younger children, as it needs to be able withstand all the knocks of childhood. With this model, you can trust it won’t be broken easily.
The keyboard is able to playback piano or organ sounds, and boasts a variety of different songs and sounds – inducting 100 tones, 50 rhythms and 10 songs. At this early a stage of their piano playing, the focus needs not to be on accurate or proper piano playing – but rather the young child to explore the music, and the keys. The various different sounds this keyboard is able to output is a great feature as they will capture your child’s imagination – and allow for a fun introduction to the world of keyboards.
The instrument can output sound through either its inbuilt speakers, or through headphones: featuring an inbuilt headphone jack, meaning your child can play away all day without disturbing you!
The Casio SA-76 is a great entry point into piano playing for the youngest of children, and is a great springboard form which to catapult their interest. The instrument is durable and features all the necessary features to capture your child’s imagination – the Casio SA-76 is well designed and well suited as a first keyboard for the youngest of players.
- You Might Also Like: Casio SA-76 review
The LK-265 is another great offering from keyboard heavy-weights Casio, and is a step up in terms of capability and complexity from the previous model, and is targeted at those of you looking to buy for older children.
This keyboard features 61 full size, touch sensitive keys: which will encourage their young hands to become accustomed to the spacing of keys across a conventional keyboard. These keys are not weighted, so will not be the most accurate of playing experiences. However, the fact that they are touch sensitive means that the young player will still learn and develop a sense of the nuance of weighted playing, they will learn to play with increasing complexity of velocity. These keys are easy to play, yet still allow for nuanced playing, and are therefore great for children, who may not have the requisite finger strength to play weighted key.
There is an in-built lesson mode called ‘Step Up’, which will help your child learn to play one of the 60 songs built into the instrument. The individual keys light up to indicate which keys to press, which is an extremely intuitive way to teach your child songs – it requires no grasping of music theory, but taps into the child’s heightened sensory awareness: and is a fun process.
There are loads of sounds and themes built into the LK-265, including around 400 instruments and 150 rhythms. An inbuilt Dance Music Mode is an opportunity for your child to play around with remixing electronic dance music – allowing them to play around with bass lines, drum beats and different synthesizers. These elements combined mean the LK-265 is a great instrument through which to harness their creativity, making the keyboard playing fun and enjoyable, and encouraging a further interest in piano playing.
The instrument can also be hooked up to smart devices through a bespoke app – allowing you for audio playback through your smart-device, and even lets you load midi files onto the keyboard, which you can then learn through the Step Up system.
The LK-265 is not the most accurate of digital piano playing experiences, however it makes up for the lack of any key weighting for an intuitive and fun interface that will really capture the imaginations of young players, allowing them to experiment with all kinds of sounds and music.
The keys are fully sized and are touch sensitive, so while they lack the nuance of weighted piano playing, they still enable your child to get to grips with the size of real keys, and encourages exploration of velocity control.
Williams Legato III
It may be that you are looking for a keyboard that will last a childs development a bit longer, and will still be useful as their playing becomes more advanced. If this is the case, and 88 keys are a must: then the Williams Legato III may be the mode for you.
The keys are semi weighted and touch sensitive, allowing for some nuance whilst playing, and building up a degree of strength in younger fingers – allowing for an easier transition to fully weighted keys later on in their development. The semi-weighted keys may not be the best solution as their playing becomes more advanced, and their needs more refined – however it is still possible to play piano well using semi-weighted keys: the experience will just not be so accurate.
The piano sound is rich and resonant, the sound belying the models budget price tag. The instrument features a few different voices such as organ and guitar sounds – however nowhere near the depth and variety of other models on this list. The piano can be connected to smart devices via Bluetooth, and can be hooked up to various piano-lesson apps – allowing you to play along with virtual teachers.
The Williams Allegro III is not the most advanced of keyboards, however offers a good 88-key piano playing experience for those of you on a budget. The lack fo any particularly fun features and sounds on this piano mean this is not the model if you are truly looking to capture a child’s imagination – however the semi-weighted keys and decent piano playback mean this is a nuanced and deep piano playing experience for younger players.
- You Might Also Like: Williams Legato III review
The Yamaha PSR-E263 is another versatile and fun keyboard, that should hook the attention of younger players.
This model features 61 touch sensitive keys, which should allow for the development of velocity sensitive piano playing, without impeding your child with heavily weighted keys.
The keyboard includes around 400 voices, and 130 accompaniment styles. These sounds and instruments are all of a very good quality – with Yamaha being one of the leading digital piano producers, they have been able to access a wealth of great sounding samples and sounds.
The Yamaha Education Suite built in allows for your child to learn at home, and the Duo-mode allows for two people to play notes front he seem octave across different parts of the keyboard, which is a great tool if you are looking to teach them at home, or bring in a tutor.
The Yamaha PSR-E263 is a great keyboard entry point, and features a host of intuitive sounds which should capture younger players attention, without being inaccessible.
The Yamaha NP-32 is a minimal yet capable digital piano that is perfect if you are looking for a more advanced playing piano experience than previous models, but are conscious of space limitation.
This model features 76-keys soft graded and touch sensitive keys. This number of keys isn’t quite full-sized, but is still a very generous amount and should be more than enough for younger players to explore the different octaves, and should accommodate for the majority of the pieces they will be playing.
The keys are easy to press, so they shouldn’t trouble younger fingers. However, they are also touch sensitive, so should encourage the use of dynamics whilst playing.
This nuanced playing is helped by the expertly sampled piano-sound built into the keyboard. The NP-32’s main piano voice is sampled from a Yamaha Grand Piano, and is both rich and detailed in sound, allowing for vibrant and complex play backs, with good dynamics.
All of this is built into a minimal and unobtrusive body – which should not take up too much room.
The Yamaha NP-32 is a great option for those of you looking to provide your child with an accessible piano playing experience, without necessarily wanting to pay out for a full-size and weighted keyboard. The minimize design and lack of features may mean that this is not the most colorful model on this list, however it will allow for your child to focus on the essence of piano playing.
- You Might Also Like: Yamaha NP-32 review
Just like the first entry on this list – the Korg Tiny-Piano is aimed at the very youngest of players, however it is also different in many ways!
The Korg Tiny-Piano is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin – it’s a mini digital piano. The instrument is colourful and cool, coming in a range of different colours.
Tiny keys on the tiny-piano are aimed at the fingers of young children and infants, however don’t be fooled by the instruments miniature size.
The instrument actually boasts an extremely well-sampled and resonant piano sound – typical of Korg manufacturing, and even features 25 further built in voices. Combined with further built in songs ready for playback – the Korg Tiny-Piano is actually a very capable instrument, and shouldn’t act as a great gateway into the world of music and piano playing for your little one.
The Roland GO:Keys range is all about having fun – and having fun is one of the best ways to introduce younger players to the world of keyboard playing!
The 61 touch sensitive keys are great for kids – you will not need too much strength through the fingers to play them, and the ebony and ivory finish on the keys mean that they still feel to a degree authentic.
This keyboard features around 500 well sampled voices from a a huge range of different instruments. The model can be paired to your smart device by Bluetooth, and allows you to play along with your favorite songs, record loops, and remix your own songs.
The Roland GO-61K is not an instrument aimed at those seeking to introduce their children to proper piano playing, instead it is aimed at being fun, and will cultivate the musical creative of younger players, allowed get for customization of their playing, allowing them to record their own songs easily, and accompany their favorite songs. This is a great model for children and teenagers looking to flex their creative muscles, and looking to enjoy playing keyboard.
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