7 Best Keyboard Pianos for Kids – Starter Models Ideal for Children
Some parents seem to think that the best keyboard pianos for kids may cost a fortune. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
A great starter instrument won’t cost nearly as much as a keyboard that can hold its own in a professional or amateur jam session. There are other aspects of kid-friendly pianos and starter instruments that matter more, and premium sound quality and output are not among them.
7 Best Kid-Friendly Keyboard Pianos
Take a look at my personal picks to find out more about how to get your kid started on the right path with the right instrument.
The Alesis Melody 61 MKII is not exactly a kids’ keyboard piano. In fact, it’s a versatile keyboard with tons of preset tones, demo songs, and plenty of recording options too. The keyboard has 61 weighted keys, which makes this a touch-sensitive piano. Your kids can learn to adjust the volume of each note by pressing harder or softer on the keys.
Not only does the Melody 61 MKII promote developing good habits but it also features around 300 built-in tones. 40 songs are already available in the piano’s memory. To those you can add your own music as the piano is capable of recording.
What I really like about the Melody 61 MKII is that it’s a complete package deal. You don’t just get a piano but also a sheet stand, a pair of headphones, a piano stand, a microphone, and a power adapter. Pretty much everything you need to start recording or to start learning your first notes.
This is what ultimately makes this a great piano for kids. It’s also not too big, which means that reaching all the keys shouldn’t be an issue. The speaker quality is ok, nothing too special. But, a good pair of headphones (perhaps not the included pair) will show you just how good and consistent the piano sounds when using a well-calibrated tone.
Three months of use for the Skoove piano-learning software is also added. And, it’s this feature that might have most parents ready to hit the purchase button. Skoove has many exclusive beginner-to-advanced piano courses and is one of the best ways to introduce the little ones to the instrument.
The Casio SA-76 is a very small keyboard piano. It has been designed for the youngest of students. The 44-key model will be a great fit for kids and anyone else with very small hands and just starting out.
It may not seem like much but 44 keys cover the essential notes. The instrument may be small but it’s far from boring even after the kids learn the basics. They can make use of any of the 100 tones or 50 rhythms and start exploring basic compositions in many genres, the better for understanding music.
The SA-76 also comes with 10 integrated songs and five drum pads. If your child is passionate and interested in more than just playing the piano, the SA-76 might just be the ideal fit. Besides, the sound quality is quite impressive too. It comes courtesy of the LSI sound source and its 8-note polyphony.
A small LCD screen is available for making adjustments and browsing through different presets. The speakers aren’t too loud but there’s also the option of pairing the SA-76 with headphones if the kid wants to practice at odd hours.
The Casio CTK-2550 is another solution for a starter piano. The bare-bones package includes the keyboard and the power supply, which is a pretty good starting point. The sound quality is decent for this price range and even more impressive when you swap the speakers for a pair of headphones.
There’s also a lesson program included that offers some basic tutorials and understanding of the instrument. Once the kid gets comfortable around the instrument, the 400 tones and 100 rhythms really come in handy.
The CTK-2550 also comes with Chordata Play app integration. It’s a rather simple app but the piano lessons and tutorials are easy to follow. Another thing that kids may find interesting is the Dance Music Mode. A feature that has 50 exclusive extra rhythms on top of the 100 I’ve already mentioned.
Within this mode, you can also create your own tracks from scratch or remix existing songs from the memory. Of course, one might see this as distracting if the kid isn’t engaged enough to begin with.
If you’re not a stickler for impeccable sound quality, then you would be surprised to see how much you can get at a decent price. Take for example the Hamzer 61-key starter piano bundle. It has an integrated learning system that covers beginner to intermediate lessons.
The 61 keys offer a nice range and potential to progress to more advanced piano techniques. Multiple accessories are included. Hamzer added a stand, stool, pair of headphones, microphone, sheet stand, and sticker sheet to sweeten the pot and make the keyboard ready to use out of the box.
In terms of effects, your child will have access to sustain, vibrato, and ensemble. Fingered auto-bass chords are also an option, as are various editing features for the chords: timbre programming, rhythm sync, fill-in, tempo, etc. What I find most useful is the ability to work the master volume and the accompanying volume independently of each other.
The included options are as follows: 255 tones, 255 rhythms, 24 demo songs, and 61 keyboard percussion sounds. You would be hard-pressed to find a more complete bundle in this price range.
The Yamaha YPT 260 doesn’t just offer great value for the money but it also offers a good degree of playability. For starters, the 61-key design allows kids to learn basic as well as intermediate and advanced piano techniques.
Included in the price is a very reliable power adapter too, the PA130. While a USB connection is not part of the design, I still like how versatile this instrument is. There are 400 tones and over 100 backing tracks spread among various genres. 112 songs are also included in the device’s memory.
Once your kid gets past the basics and develops good muscle memory, the practice routines can become more engaging and challenging too. Having this much variety is a good way to train the ear as well as the fingers. It should also help your child to find a play style or genre that is appealing.
Another cool aspect is the Yamaha Education Suite access. The YPT-260 grants access to a 9-lesson program that can be run on any phone, tablet, or computer. It’s a good way to ease a kid into playing the piano, even without a teacher. This is another way in which you’ll be able to save some money. Trust me when I say that private tutoring isn’t as cheap as it used to be.
If you want to start your kid with a less intimidating keyboard piano, then by all means go for something with fewer keys. The RockJam RJ549 may be the best fit in this case. It has 49 keys which makes it a compact instrument.
The piano sounds pretty good for its size and market value. The scale of the instrument will make it easy for the youngest students to reach the high notes. You might also appreciate the portability and autonomy of the instrument. The RJ549 can run on batteries too so the kid won’t be dependent on a working outlet.
Being a student of music myself, I know how important it is to develop muscle memory. The RJ549 can help your kid with this thanks to the included key note stickers. Once installed, they make the instrument more accessible and the lessons easier to follow.
Although a small keyboard piano, it has plenty of features too. For example, the RJ549 houses percussion sounds, 10 extra instruments, and 10 rhythms. It also has sustain and vibrato effects that will be necessary for intermediate lessons.
A music sheet stand will be included as well. Access to the Simply Piano teaching app will also be granted. Kids can use that app as a starting point. And, for those parents that like their quiet time in the afternoon, I can’t stress enough how nice it is to have a headphone dedicated output.
Another great budget-friendly option is this Plixio 61-key electronic piano. It comes with its own sheet music stand and power adapter. Of course, you could always run it on six AA batteries if you want your kid to practice on vacation or in the backyard.
The 61 keys provide a good range, pretty much the highest range you could hope for without spending a fortune on the instrument. Despite the low price, the Plixio also included 100 rhythms, 40 tones, and 60 demo songs to make the play-along sessions more engaging.
There’s also a good mix of basic and intermediate songs that your child can practice on. Although the built-in speaker is not off the charts amazing, you can also get even more value out of the Plixio keyboard by connecting a microphone and turning the device into a karaoke machine.
Last but not least, the keyboard weighs under 9lbs. Because of this, it should be light enough to be held over the legs while practicing, making the purchase of a stool and stand less important.
Presets and Built-in Tones
Some might say that having too many tones on a keyboard piano designed for kids is counterintuitive. I think that this shouldn’t always be the case. Having many tones at their disposal doesn’t have to be confusing for kids.
If anything, being able to experiment with various sounds might just keep them more interested in learning notes and chords. Besides, just because a keyboard piano is built like a starter instrument, it doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t age well and remain relevant for more than one or two years.
Picking between a model with fewer tones and one with more tones may ultimately come down to how well you can gauge your kid’s interest in the instrument.
Here’s what you normally need for a complete keyboard setup: keyboard stand, stool, sheet stand, and headphones. Some starter electric pianos may come with all of these accessories and then some. But, this may greatly influence the price.
Budget-friendly complete bundles may have all the accessories your kid will need but are likely to sacrifice sound quality. This goes both ways.
At the end of the day, key note stickers and a basic sheet stand may be good enough for a starter piano. If your child doesn’t mind practicing in bed or on a table, then you could very well sacrifice a few extra accessories for superior speakers.
How Many Keys Are Enough?
Many people seem to think that just because kids are small they should start learning piano on the smallest of keyboards. This may not always be the best way to go about things.
A 44-key piano are may be more accessible to very young kids with small hands, but seeing as how fast kids grow, a young musician in training could quickly outgrow it. Therefore, a 61-key piano may offer better value for your money even if it requires a higher investment upfront. A 61-key model can be a good starter instrument if it has some stickers and a slim frame.
And, unlike 44-key models, a 61-key keyboard piano can transition better into more intermediate to advanced techniques.
Help Your Kid Master the Board
Picking up any instrument is much easier at a young age. That’s why starting your child on one of the best keyboard pianos for kids can be very important if you want to get him or her engaged and progress at a fast pace.
Any keyboard piano on this list is a good starter instrument. But, some of them will obviously give you more value in the long run than others. It’s up to you to use the tips in this article to find the best fit for your child.