Choosing the Best Keyboards For Children Who Want to Learn the Piano

Best Keyboard For Children Who Learn The Piano

Learning how to play the piano can greatly enrich a child’s life by helping them develop essential skills such as self-discipline and improved memory and concentration. If you think your child might have this interest, the first step is to get them the right keyboard to practice with.

The benefit of buying a keyboard rather than investing in an acoustic piano is that it allows the child to try out the instrument so they can tell if they are genuinely interested in learning. Once they have used the keyboard to learn at a beginner level, they can upgrade to an actual piano later if they want to pursue their studies more seriously.

In this article, we will offer our recommendations for the best keyboards for children to learn on, as well as give some tips on how to choose the right keyboard.

Choosing a Keyboard

Every keyboard has its own set of features that a beginner might find useful when they are learning to play. In this section, we will highlight which features we believe you should take into consideration when deciding what is the best keyboard for a child.

  • Number of keys. A piano keyboard has 88 keys, but you don’t necessarily need to buy one that has this many keys. You should invest in a full-size keyboard only if the student is serious enough that you believe they will eventually upgrade to a regular piano.
  • Typically, most beginner keyboards have 61 keys to make it easier for you to learn the basics. 61 keys reach only five octaves, which means if you are playing classical music you will hit the lower and upper limits on some pieces but it is sufficient for those who are starting. However, there are a lot of budget-friendly keyboards that have the full 88 keys.
  • Weighted vs. Unweighted. A keyboard can have keys that are either weighted or unweighted. Weighted keys mean the keyboard mimics the feel of playing on an acoustic piano. Incidentally, keyboards with weighted keys are referred to as digital pianos, while those with unweighted keys are simply called keyboards.
  • Although some instructors would say that when a child is starting to learn, it does not matter whether they use an unweighted or weighted keyboard, there are advantages to using the latter.
  • It is true that at the start, a beginner student focuses on learning to find the keys and other aspects of playing such as coordination and timing. Once they have mastered these, however, playing on a digital piano can help them develop their playing technique by building the ability to push the keys with different levels of control. It also helps develop finger strength so that they can produce a dynamic level and tone once they start playing on an acoustic piano.

In short, if you think your child is serious about wanting to play the piano, then the best child keyboard is one that has weighted keys.

Weighted keyboards can come in either hammer action or weighted weights based on their key action. Hammer action feels almost identical to a real piano since each key moves a mechanical hammer, while weighted weights have keys with built-in weights. Semi-weighted keyboards work similarly to weighted keyboards. The difference is that they use lighter weights to provide light-to-moderate resistance when the key is pressed.

MIDI compatibility. Musical Instrument Digital Interface is networking hardware and software that allows your keyboard to interface with a computer or other device using Bluetooth or a physical connection. Although this feature is not essential for beginners, it will be useful later on if the student decides they want to make electronic music on their computer.

Headphone jack. Since the student will be doing a lot of practice, a headphone jack will help ensure that they don’t disturb other members of the family while doing so.

Finally, you should ensure that the keyboard you are buying is in an affordable price range. The reason for this is simple: the majority of those studying the piano will likely quit due to a lack of interest. Unless it is something that the student is generally invested in, they will likely give up once they see how much effort and the time investment is required.

At the same time, however, you should also make sure that the keyboard has all the important features a beginner needs when they are learning how to play. That way, it will have a high resale value and you can recover some part of your investment if the student chooses not to continue their studies.

Our recommendations for the best beginner keyboard with weighted keys

Casio CT-X800

This is one of the best beginner keyboards for kids beginning their musical journey. Even better, if they should choose to pursue their studies to more advanced levels, they don’t need to upgrade since it will continue to serve them well.

The CT-X800 is also a great choice for those seeking a portable keyboard since it weighs just 4.4kg (sans batteries) and has compact dimensions of 94.8cm x 35cm x 10.9cm. It has 61 touch-responsive keys styled like those found on a traditional piano, with three sensitivity levels. Just like a real piano, the sound levels produced vary depending on how strongly a key is pressed, making it easier to adjust when the student moves on to a real piano.

The keyboard comes with a range of educational features. It features ‘step-up’ lessons in which the student masters an entire song by learning short musical phrases. Lessons are available for the right or left-hand part, and both hands. After your performance, the LCD monitor displays a grade, and there is also a voice prompt that will tell you which finger to use if you get stuck.

In addition, the CT-X800 has a built-in chord directory that shows you how to play a given chord and what notes it is made up of. And it has a metronome function with a tempo range of 20 to 255, to help you keep your tempo consistent without slowing down or speeding up.

The CT-X800 faithfully reproduces the sound of acoustic instruments using Casio’s AiX Sound Source technology, to give you an authentic piano-playing experience. It has 600 built-in tones and functions such as piano/organ button, split, and layer.

Other notable features include:

  • Digital effects – 20 types of reverb and 10 types of the chorus.
  • Two 12cm speakers with 2.5W output.
  • Maximum polyphony 48 notes (the most number of notes the keyboard can produce at any single time)
  • Type A USB flash drive port and Type B USB port.
  • Pitch bend wheel that allows you to add realistic sounding effects such as sax bending and guitar choking while you’re playing.
  • A song bank with 160 built-in songs. You can also save up to 10 of your songs to the keyboard.
  • Auto accompaniment comes with 195 built-in rhythms and also allows you to save up to 10 user rhythms.
  • Registration feature allows you to save detailed setups such as favorite tempos and rhythms in one go.
  • Earphone/output jack and audio input jack that allows you to connect an audio player to the keyboard so you can use it as a playback device
  • Included music stand.

Yamaha P125

This is another of the best-weighted keyboard for beginners that we highly recommend. It has 88 weighted keys that use Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard that make them feel like genuine acoustic keys. You can also adjust the touch sensitivity of the keys to three levels or turn it off entirely.

This keyboard produces high-quality sound using Yamaha’s Pure CF Sound Engine, which takes samples from the renowned CFIIIS 9 Concert Grand piano. This means that when you are playing, you enjoy a realistic experience. There are 24 built-in tones in six categories, each of which has four tone variations.

Aside from its regular keyboard mode, the P125 includes three additional modes.  The Dual mode allows you to layer together two different instrument sounds, producing a rich atmospheric sound. The Split mode divides the keyboard into two zones so you can play different sounds with your left and right hands; for your left, you can choose any Bass tone while you can pick any other sound for your right. Finally, the Duo mode splits the keyboard into two identical parts, which have their middle C and the same octave ranges; this allows two people to play two notes simultaneously, making it a great teaching tool.

The P125 allows you to record your performance in MIDI format, which can then be transferred to your computer.  You can record two tracks for each song, which you can play simultaneously or you can mute one track.

Other helpful features include:

  • A built-in metronome whose tempo, volume, and beat can be adjusted.
  • Tuning function allows you to adjust the pitch in 0.2 Hz increments so you can match the pitch of another instrument.
  • Transpose function lets you play a song in a different pitch by shifting the keyboard pitch in semitone steps, without having to change the position of your hands.
  • 20 built-in rhythm accompaniments provide real-time accompaniment while you’re playing; each includes a bass and drum part.
  • A music library with 50 songs from composers such as Beethoven and Back, which allow you to turn off the left or right-hand part so you can play along for practice.
  • Maximum polyphony of 192 notes.

Kawai ES110

This digital piano offers a great set of features and a realistic piano playing experience for a relatively low price. The ES110 has 88 weighted keys, which use Responsive Hammer Compact key action to give you the authentic feel of playing an actual acoustic piano. It also has three levels of touch sensitivity – normal, heavy, and light – and you can also turn off this feature if desired.

The ES110 uses the Harmonic Imaging sound source with 19 built-in instrument sounds, including 8 pianos and 2 electric pianos. The piano sounds are sampled from Kawai’s EX Concert Grand Piano but are separately recorded using different equipment and methods to accurately reproduce the various nuances. In addition, you can tailor the sound to your particular preferences by adjusting parameters such as reverb, voicing, damper resonance, and temperament.

Other notable features include:

  • Dual Mode allows you to layer two different sounds that you can play at the touch of a key.
  • Split Mode divides the keyboard into two sections so that you can play a different sound with your left and right hand.
  • Built-in MIDI recorder lets you store up to three performances on the keyboard. However, the keyboard only supports one-track recording.
  • Three built-in songbooks that also come with sound recordings.
  • Onboard metronome that allows you to adjust the volume, tempo, and time signature.
  • A built-in drum rhythm library that contains some 100 different rhythm styles.
  • Dedicated Line Out jacks so you can connect your keyboard to accessories such as mixers and external amplifiers.
  • Two ¼” earphone jacks.
  • MIDI in/out jacks so you can connect the keyboard to your computer or external MIDI devices.
  • 192-note polyphony lets you play complicated classic music pieces and layer several sounds without notes cutting off.


Buying the best child’s keyboard will greatly increase the chances that your child will enjoy playing the piano enough to start taking their studies seriously. The right keyboard will hopefully make their learning journey enjoyable enough that they will stick with it even through the tedium of endless hours of practice.

However, choosing the best children’s keyboard is not just about ticking off a list of features that it should have. It involves choosing the keyboard that is right for your child so that it will continue to spark their interest in music. This is why, before you decide which keyboard to buy, you should take time to study your child’s particular requirements and interests, so that you can choose one that will inspire them to love playing the piano.

Sharing is Caring

Parents, Teachers & Sheet Music Seekers:

If I offered to provide you hundreds of legit sheet music PDFs for your kids:

  • Brand-New & Exclusive Compositions
  • Age & Level Appropriate
  • With INSTANT Online Access
  • Worry-FREE Licensing & Copyright

...would you take me up on that offer?

I respect your privacy 100%

I started Music4Kids with a simple goal in mind: To provide valuable information to guiding parents who want to raise musically inclined kids.

Click to read on