We all want the best for our kids. So if they show an interest in music lessons, we may rush to buy a piano. But we may be unclear on what brand is the best piano for kids. Especially if we’re not musically oriented ourselves – those piano terms can seem like a foreign language!
Well, let’s take this step by step. But before we get into children’s piano-buying basics, let’s look at seven popular brands of pianos for kids. Then we can review shopping suggestions and help you settle on the best piano selection for your budding keyboard prodigy.
Why are you buying your kid a piano? Is it a reward for attaining a certain musical target? If they’re upgrading from a smaller ‘kiddie piano’ they will love this 88-key version. It has full-sized keys and seven octaves. If you’re buying the piano on the advice your kid’s music teacher, they’ll probably recommend an 88-key version too, so this Alesis will keep everybody happy.
The piano has semi-weighted keys to simulate acoustic piano play. But these touch-sensitive keys can be adjusted. So the tutor can tweak the key weight to match your child’s natural touch then step the sensitivity up or down. This is a useful feature for different practice settings e.g. you can increase the weight as the child prepares for standardized grade exams on an acoustic piano.
Or you can lighten sensitivity levels when the child is practicing trills, finger drills, and ornamentation. For contemporary practice sessions, the keyboard has 5 ‘voices’ so you can change the timbre from acoustic piano to electric piano, organ, synth, or bass. The keyboard also has 128 polyphonic presets so your kid can play around with mixed beats and rhythms.
For class sessions, you can activate ‘lesson mode’. It virtually divides the keyboard into matching halves with matching pitch so you now have twin keyboards with 44 keys each. The tutor will play on one side and your kid can copy their fingering, timbre, and pitch on the other side of the keyboard. You can also use this feature for practicing duets – it’s like having two mini pianos.
When your child wants to practice solo or if s/he doesn’t have a tutor, s/he can log into Skoove and access their free three-month subscription of interactive online piano lessons. The piano comes with a power plug and built-in speakers but no pedal, you’ll have to buy that separately. It has ports for pedals, headphones, USB, and RCA. It also has a metronome for pace practice.
Fitted with built-in 20W speakers, a full set of adjustable touch-sensitive keys, and sound effects for reverb and chorus, this piano will fit all your kid’s piano-playing needs.
It’s the only piano on this list with 88 keys.
The piano can either use 6 D-cell batteries or wall plugs.
It includes 3 months of free Skoove lessons.
Unless they’ve been playing for a while, a full set of 88 keys may intimidate your young pianist.
If you’re looking to introduce a basic keyboard to little fingers, you could try the PSS-A50. It has lots of interesting features for them to play with. The arpeggiator takes any series of notes you play and turns them into a mini melody. It’s a useful prompt for kids who may feel lost and unsure of where or how to begin. Play a note or two and the keyboard builds it into a tune.
You can also use the built-in recorder and built-in speakers to capture riffs and musical phrases that you can replay as a loop to back your tracks. This keyboard has 42 ‘voices’ or timbres and all the keys are touch-sensitive so little kids don’t have to press hard to get a response. You can also use motion features, filters, pitch benders, and modulators to tweak your recordings.
The danger with this keyboard is with all those bells and whistles, your children may get bored with actual piano play. So if you want this as an introduction to traditionally piano-play that’s more classical in nature, this may not be the best piano for kids. But if you want something to keep them occupied as you rehearse on the ‘big boy piano’ then this should work.
That said, it’s a good starter pack for expressive playing. The extra flair and functionality will teach your kids about expression, mood, and ambiance in music. They can then adapt these lessons into their more organic pieces. Also, while this piano seems built for tiny hands, it has a professional feel so it makes a good addition to your studio repertoire. And it’s portable too.
If you have the type of kid that stares blankly at the keyboard, this piano will delight them. Have the tap a few keys and watch the arpeggiator use its 138 options to create catchy melodies.
It’s a portable mini-keyboard that weighs less than 4 pounds.
The keyboard measures 21.5 by 9 by 3 inches and uses 4AA batteries.
It has an arpeggiator and a built-in recorder for loops.
It doesn’t have a power plug option so consider buying rechargeable 4D batteries and a portable charger. It does have a USB connector though so you can plug into AC that way.
The best pianos for kids don’t have to be fancy, complicated, or even seated. For toddlers, a musical play mat may be all they need. The mat makes music fun and playful, so it will likely ignite their love of music. This one is 71 inches by 29 inches, offering lots of legroom for tiny feet. The mat is made of heavy-duty material so it can withstand rough handling by your kids.
But keep in mind this is a teaser toy for toddlers, not a true-to-type musical instrument. So notes sometimes sound fuzzy and scratchy. It’s not intended for recitals. It’s just an introduction to music-making. The mat has 4 modes so your kids can record their little compositions and play them back. You can adjust the volume so it doesn’t distract you from work or keep you awake.
Before you start using the mat, you can activate ‘demo mode’ to help the kids figure it out. They can play in 8 ‘voices’ and these voices are pictured on the keyboard. The touch-sensitive function labels are above the timbre illustrations for easy access. The mat uses 4 AA batteries (sold separately) and we recommend rechargeable cells because kids work through them pretty fast.
This heavy-duty musical mat from Play 22 is a great gift for kids. The sound quality is inferior (and you can’t plug in headphones) but it’s a fun way to introduce kids to keyboards.
It has 8 ‘voices’ for kids to play with.
The mat has 4 modes for varied play.
It can be a fun party game for adults too. Think musical twister.
Getting over-excited toddlers off the mat at nap-time could be a challenge. Also, the packaging sometimes crinkles the mat and causes notes to blend and sound fuzzy.
For the precocious child of a musical family, nothing beats this pint-sized piano. It gives your kids the feel of playing a grand piano and could stoke their love of stage music and performance. The piano, stool, and stand are all made of glossy hardwood and you can buy it in black, white, or pink to match your child’s tastes. It’s suitable for kids aged from a year to 5 years old.
While this piano is pretty, it needs a home with an appreciation for creative play. This is because it’s essentially an ‘acoustic’ piano. No pre-recorded polyphonics or rhythms – it’s all analog. But it’s a handy way to get over stage fright as the kids prep for a recital. And it encourages musical study because your kids can practice sight-reading while they play their favorite pieces.
It can also be a good motivational tool because as the kids grow and increase in mastery, you can age them out into a larger piano and keep this as a family heirloom. It’s solid wood so it can last generations and be restored or refurbished for every new owner. The piano weighs 21.5 pounds so it’s reasonably portable but can also form a permanent centerpiece for their music room.
The piano comes as a flat pack and needs minor assembly. This could be a good bonding exercise, so involve your kids in ‘building’ their piano. Your kids can use the piano until they get too tall. The stool measures 11 inches by 8 inches by 7 inches and can hold a player that’s a little under 80 pounds. But be prepared for noise – the piano has no volume dial or off switch …
If you’re looking to give your kids a taste of piano play and some light sight-reading practice, this BC Piano works. But its tone is toy-like, and you need felt pads or a rug to prevent it slipping.
It mimics the dimensions and playing posture of a grand piano.
The piano measures 17 inches (L) by 20 inches (W) by 20 inches (H).
It comes with a piano stool and a music stand.
Unfortunately, the piano has a toy-like xylophone sound and can’t be tuned. But by the time you kid knows that they can graduate to a proper piano, so no harm done.
When you’re buying a piano for a child, you want it to be sturdy and tough. It also needs to withstand fidgeting and rough handling. This piano has rubber caps on its feet and at the tops of the stand. This means it won’t slip or scratch the floor if the kids get stubborn or shove it around. The seat is padded so your child stays comfy even during extended piano sessions.
The seat isn’t adjustable, so if you’re ordering online, double-check your child’s height. But the piano bench is easily adjustable so even after your child has outgrown their piano chair, they can raise the piano bench and keep using their favorite keyboard. Your child will feel like a piano pro with their RockJam headphones. This also dampens their loud play when you’re trying to work.
The sound quality on this keyboard isn’t the best, but it’s a good started instrument, And your kids can experiment with all the preset tones and rhythms. They get free lessons out of the deal too. They can opt for a one-month free subscription to Simply Piano or a two-month free subscription to Take Piano so they can enjoy face-to-face tutoring. No battery option though.
RockJam allows kids (and height-challenged adults) to learn at their own pace. It comes with free lessons, both via an interactive app and face-to-face so you can get started right away.
The piano is preset with 50 demo songs, 100 rhythms, and 100 sounds.
You get (free) headphones, a piano stool, and a piano stand.
The keyboard only has 61 keys but each key is full-size.
The piano stand is adjustable to your kid’s height but the piano stool has a static height so you may need a different seat if it doesn’t fit your child.
The One is a popular piano among kids because it allows them to play instantly and effortlessly. All they have to do is follow the lit-up keys. You can order the piano in pink, black, or golden-white – a color sometimes described as ‘champagne’ though they probably wouldn’t call it that for a kids’ product. The keyboard has a music stand where you can mount sheet music.
To make playing more fun for the kids, the piano is tied to a free app that includes video lessons, piano drills in the form of games, endless pages of sheet music, and a crash course for piano mastery. The app can assist players at any age, grade, or piano level, so adults can use it too. The piano has a clean, minimalist control panel with four buttons and two built-in speakers.
The rest of the controls can be accessed via the app, leaving the keyboard surface clutter-free so you can focus on playing. The piano works with USB and MIDI connectors. And if you use the auto-play function on a given piece of music, the piano plays itself and lights up the keys so you can follow along. It’s a good way to build up your speed-playing with increasingly faster pieces.
This 11-pound piano is a great beginner piece for kids. It doesn’t use batteries but comes with a power plug concealed in the foam packaging for protection so be sure to unpack everything!
Modern players – even kids – want pianos they can link to their smartphones. And these days, kids as young as 5 are digitally capable. So they may feel a little miffed that their new piano has no USB or wireless options. It does have an aux cable though, so you can manually connect it to your phone’s earphone jack. The piano also has a power cable and a headphone and mic port.
The keyboard weighs 7 pounds so your kids can shift it around the house if they need to. It has full-size keys even if the keys are fewer than the standard 88. So posture-wise, it feels like playing an acoustic. The sound quality differs, but you can play in 40 ‘voices’ or timbres that include flute, tuba, and string ensemble. You also get 100 backing rhythms like techno or soul.
The Plixio measures 34 inches by 12 inches by 3.5 inches. It doesn’t have a bench so order one or craft a playing station for your child’s comfort. You can control the volume, speed, and sound effects (or get kid-sized headphones) in moments when you don’t want distractions. It can be a comfort for the kids in the early stages too, since they may be shy to let you hear their mistakes.
Plixio comes with a power adapter and a music stand, but you’ll have to buy your own batteries and piano bench. If you buy a microphone, it’s a fun karaoke tool for slumber parties and BBQs.
It can either be plugged in or use 6AA batteries.
The piano is pre-loaded with 8 percussion tools, 40 ‘voices’, 60 demo songs, and 100 rhythmic presets.
The piano is covered by a 1-year warranty.
The keyboard has no USB access and the control panel – while pretty and colorful – can be distracting with all those cluttered buttons.
A lot of parents worry that buying a piano for their kids is a waste. After all, they can be expensive, and your child may lose interest in a month. The solution isn’t renting a keyboard or forcing them to play. That’ll just build up resentment and ruin your love of music. Instead, make piano practice fun and buy the best piano for kids. Here are some shopping tips to help.
Digital vs Acoustic
Acoustic pianos are far more expensive than digital ones. But in most exam settings, recitals, or professional scenarios, your child will play an acoustic keyboard. So if they’ve only ever practiced on a digital piano, it can cause panic and discomfort that can ruin your child’s performance and deeply dent their confidence. So get an acoustic piano if you can, even if it’s a used one.
But remember that acoustic keyboards need tuning and maintenance. You’ll have to do this two or three times a year depending on how often the piano is used. Digital pianos don’t need tuning. But if you decide to buy a digital piano, buy one with sampled tones and weighted keys. A piano teacher can help you get as close to an acoustic model as possible, in sound and feel.
Kids are easily distracted and they squirm a lot. Also, if you want them to carry their piano habit throughout their lives, you want a keyboard that will survive their growth spurts. So don’t be too eager to buy a ‘baby piano’. You can buy a baby grand (under six feet) or a petite grand (under five feet). They occupy less space but are still usable by teens, adults, and piano tutors.
But whether the piano is acoustic or digital, get one with a comfortable, padded, adjustable piano stool. This makes your kid less likely to fidget and helps them master their posture and technique. If possible, get a piano with adjustable height as well. Many digital have adjustable benches and removable stands, so that’s an advantage they have over acoustic keyboards.
Age of the Child
We’ve already mentioned keyboards should grow with their primary players. But how long your kids play the piano will depend on your family values. If the kid’s parents and siblings are musical, the child will be fine using ‘boring’ standard pianos, even at age 2 or 3. They’re used to seeing everyone else play, and that may be sufficient motivation. But the child is might be jumpier.
In such cases, a younger child (3 years or under) may prefer something more playful with colorful stickers and light-up keys. On the other hand, your teen or tween may want a synthesizer so they can mix beats and reproduce their favorite pop songs complete with snares and guitar riffs. They’ll also want a smart piano that can link to their phones and devices.
Give the Kid the Keys!
Based on our research and musical experience, we recommend RockJam RJ561. Here’s why:
It comes as a bundle with a piano stool, a music stand, and headphones.
You get a free one-month subscription to online piano lessons on the Simply Piano app.
You can also opt for two months of free face-to-face lessons via Take Lesson.
The piano has 50 demo songs, 100 rhythms, and 100 keyboard tones.
What keyboard is your kid currently playing? Show us a photo in the comments. And don’t forget to hide your child’s face for their own cyber-safety! You can just show their hands …