Playing the piano keyboard is a great way for kids to be creative and grow in confidence! But where should they get started? Finding the right instrument (and lessons) for your child isn't always easy, especially if this is your first time buying one.
That's why we've put together this helpful guide which includes reviews and recommendations of some of the best keyboards we've played and tested for younger students just getting started.
The good news is that there are many different types of instruments available today, so it should be easy to find something that suits your price range and the space you have available in your home.
Our guide will help you make an informed decision about what type of keyboard will be best for your child so they can start playing and practicing at home as soon as possible!
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The Casio SA76 is a great choice for younger kids just beginning to show an interest in the piano. If your aspiring musician is between the ages of 2 to 8, the 44 mini-sized keys will be much easier for them to play on than adult sized keyboards.
This keyboard has so many great features we've made it our go-to option for all of our KidzKeys-Piano after school classes, with over 10,000 students starting to play the piano using the Casio SA76!
The Casio SA76 has 100 different sounds and 50 rhythm patterns. The variety of sounds makes practicing fun for young players by giving them new ways to experiment with their favorite songs.
Finally, this keyboard is lightweight, portable, and comes with built in speakers so kids can enjoy playing music and practicing on the go without having to plug in an external speaker system or headphones.
The Casio Casiotone CT-S200 is the big brother of the SA76. It's a great choice for kids, especially when they are ready to learn how to play on a full-sized keyboard.
With 61 keys, this keyboard model has a larger range that will allow students to play more advanced music as they practice and grow as musicians. Full-sized keys help introduce younger players to the feeling and scale of the traditional acoustic piano.
The scrolling control wheel on the CT-S200 makes it easy (and fun) for kids to access 400 unique tones, 77 rhythm patterns, and 60 songs to play along with. The keypad controls even have a 'Dance Music Mode' so your child can start their own dance party!
The Casiotone CT-S200 has the ability to insert a damper pedal that allows notes and chords to be held out and sustained. A damper pedal, like the Roland DP-2 Damper Pedal is a separate purchase, but makes playing an electronic keyboard a more authentic piano playing experience.
With a built-in carrying handle and the option to use an adapter or AA batteries, practice sessions can be moved around the house and the Casiotone can be stored away with ease.
Unlike most keyboards (and pianos) that only come in black, the Casiotone gives your child the choice to express themselves with white, black, or red!
For an experience that's almost like playing a full sized acoustic piano, take a step up to the Casio PX-S1100 Privia Digital Piano. A great keyboard that even experienced pianists will enjoy playing. The PX-S1100 is a serious (and fun) instrument for learning and playing music at home!
The Privia Digital Piano has a full 88 standard weighted keys with natural hammer action, so it feels almost like a real acoustic piano. With a selection of 18 high-quality piano, organ, and string instruments, the PX-S1100 allows players to Layer sounds and Split the keyboard making it possible to combine different tones.
A built-in Metronome feature helps students keep the beat, while a Hall Reverb simulator recreates the sound of concert hall acoustics. Practice sessions come alive as students imagine their first piano recital or next concert performance!
Like the CT-S200, the PX-S1100 also has the ability to insert a simple damper pedal. But unlike smaller keyboards, the Privia Digital Stage Piano will also connect to the Casio SP-34 3-Pedal Board with sustain, soft, and sostenuto effects and will even simulate the response of a half-pressed pedal.
Because the PX-S1100 is full 88-key digital piano, it requires a sturdy stand or table top to place it on. The keyboard itself is not very heavy, but the width of the instrument makes a stand necessary. The Casio CS-68 Wooden Stand is built to fit the PX-S1100 snuggly, or any adjustable X-Stand design like the On-Stage KPK6500 Keyboard Stand and Bench Pack will also work great.
You might notice that we've only recommended keyboards for students made by Casio. When I was a kid Casio was synonymous with calculator watches not high-quality instruments (pretty sure I just dated myself).
But over the last decade Casio has established themselves as a great choice for entry level and hobbyist instruments. They're made well, sound great, and are simple to navigate for younger musicians (which isn't always true of some professional gear).
Some of the models designed and released more recently seem to be deliberately made with kids and beginner students in mind. That's why we love them!
But they're not the only choice. Here are a few other makes and models to consider. Most of these companies make both beginner and advanced instruments, but as you move down the list you will see keyboards with professional features used by musicians in music studios and stages around the world.
One of the best ways to get a great keyboard for kids and get a deal is to buy used instruments. It's likely that you'll be able to find several used keyboards at local stores or online at websites like eBay or Craigslist.
One of my favorite online stores to find used instruments and music gear is Reverb.com.
No matter what keyboard you choose, be sure to take lessons from a qualified instructor. Learning how to play the piano can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it's important to learn the right techniques from the start.
Private Lessons and our KidzKeys-Piano classes help students develop the skills they need to enjoy learning and playing the piano for years to come!
We hope this article has helped you make an informed decision about what type of keyboard is best for your child.
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