August 2015 Studio News; Choosing a Keyboard or Acoustic Piano


Keyboard or Acoustic Piano?

Not sure what kind of piano or keyboard to buy for your child? Many parents are afraid to invest in a professional-quality instrument for a child. Here are some tips for choosing the right instrument for your child and your home.

Acoustic Pianos

  • Acoustic pianos are beautiful and can be found second-hand for a song.
  • Just like guitars, acoustic pianos need regular tuning and care. Be sure you can commit to having it tuned at least once per year, and consider hiring a piano technician to inspect it prior to buying. 
  • If your child aspires to become a concert performer, owning or having access to a quality acoustic piano is more desirable.
  • Consider your living space: is there room for an acoustic piano? Will a piano annoy your neighbours in an apartment building? Is the room large enough for volume produced by a piano?

Keyboards and Digital Pianos

  • Digital keyboards are light, portable, and inexpensive. Beginners can get by with a keyboard for the first year or two. If you buy one, make sure it has full sized keys that are weighted and touch sensitive (sometimes called velocity sensitive), and at least 61 keys (five octaves). A full-size piano has 88 keys. The cost of a new keyboard for beginners ranges from $150 to $350.
  • Toy keyboards are not acceptable – they usually have small keys and lack realistic action.
  • Digital piano technology has come a long way. Better models closely resemble the sound and feel of a real acoustic piano. They have full size keyboards, and decent ones range in price from $800 to $5,000 and up. Second-hand ones can be found for reasonable prices, but be sure to test all the features first.

The three main advantages of digital pianos and keyboards are the ability to practice with headphones without disturbing others, they’re always in tune, and they are light and easy to move. If you have a shift worker at home or live in a small space, consider a digital model. 

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