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Finding the perfect piano keyboard for your beginning student takes some time and research. Here are three of tips that I share with the parents of my students:
Your keyboard needs to have weighted keys. Portable keyboards are typically made with light, plastic keys which take hardly any weight to depress. It will be very hard for your child to transition from that light touch to the heavier touch which is required to play the digital or acoustic piano during lessons. Look for “weighted keys" or "touch sensitive" - like the keys featured on the Yamaha YPG-235.
Number of Keys
The number of keys on a keyboard can vary widely – from 61 to 88 on the typical instruments used for beginning lessons. If you plan to purchase a beginner instrument and upgrade later on, a keyboard like the Casio LK240 or the Yamaha EZ-200 with 61 keys is fine. We rarely use the notes on the extreme ends of the keyboard during our first couple years of lessons.
However, if you’d like for this instrument to be a one-time purchase, it’s better to choose a keyboard with either 76 or the full set of 88 keys. The Yamaha P35B or Korg SP170SBK are good options to consider.
Two of the best accessories to consider adding to your very first keyboard purchase are headphones and a damper/sustain pedal. Your child will be using the pedal and possibly the headphones within the first couple months of lessons.
Headphones are especially helpful if you want your child to be able to practice without disturbing the rest of the family. Most keyboards offer a plug for headphones so that your child can practice and be the only one to hear what he’s playing.
A damper pedal sustains the sound of the notes so they sound even after your finger has lifted off of the keys. Most keyboard models have a plug to add a damper pedal. It’s a great option to have from the beginning, since we begin using it within the first couple months of lessons.
Jessica's Piano Studio
Teacher at Jessica's Piano Studio to many talented students! Here's some helpful tips and interesting information to create a wonderfully educational musical experience!