By Kathryn Brunner, Founder of Musik at Home
Are you ready to add a new member to your family this Christmas?
“Who might that be?” you ask.
I’ll give you a hint.
This new family member has its own voice.
It has character.
It has beauty.
It will enliven your home with brightness and joy.
It will make you more expressive.
You don’t have to train it, but it might train you because it begs to be played with.
You don’t have to feed it, but it will beg for your attention all on its own.
It will start you on a new adventure!
That’s right, your home will come alive with a piano this Christmas!
The number one way to set your child up for musical success is to give this new member a forever family with you!
When a child sees a piano, he can’t help but want to touch it, hear it, experiment with it!
This is the beginning of the pathway toward music literacy and artistic expression. It gives your child a new voice.
A piano is a gift that keeps on giving!
If you're ready to explode the happiness in your home around music and you need help knowing where to start, I've got you covered!
Many parents ask me if it’s ok to start out with a digital piano.
Yes! You can absolutely get started with a digital piano! I allow my beginning students to use a digital piano for the first three years of lessons.
If you decide to get a digital piano, it must have three very important features:
You can get a decent digital piano for under $500, and you can get an awesome digital piano for a bit more.
Here are the top 5 starter pianos I recommend.
1. Roland FP-10 Digital Piano Bundle with Adjustable Stand, Bench, Sustain Pedal, Instruction Book, Instructional DVD and Polishing Cloth
It's highly recommended to get a stand and a bench when you purchase a keyboard. In virtual lessons this year, I've seen it all. I've had some students who are trying to learn to play with a swivel chair or by placing the piano on a folding table. They are easily frustrated. I've had some great conversations with parents to provide resources for finding the right stand and bench. But, if you can get yours all in one package, you are in great shape!
This Piano provides amazing sound quality, ensuring notes are sustained for the intended duration the note is held.
The hammer action on this piano is touted as unparalleled for speed and accuracy. Concert Play allows you to play along with ten recordings of well-known orchestral pieces. Kids will love this feature!
3. KORG B2SP 88-Key Digital Piano Bundle with Stand, Three-Pedal Unit, Knox Gear Piano Bench and Piano Book
I absolutely love Korg digital pianos. They have a depth of sound and a rich feel with the weighted keys. When I travel to perform, I always take my Korg digital piano.
This particular piano is portable, compact and has three pedals! Most digital pianos only come with one pedal, the damper pedal. So, this is a fantastic find!
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This Suzuki digital piano is worth every penny! The grand piano sound makes you feel like you're playing on a real grand piano. The graded hammer action is excellent for a smooth touch and feel.
5. Roland DP-603 88-key Digital Piano with Authentic Grand Piano Touch and Bluetooth, Contemporary Black
This Roland Digital Piano has all three pedals: the damper pedal, sostenuto and una corda. This piano will advance you and your child through many levels of artistry. It also comes with numerous features for education, entertainment, and performance.
This digital piano delivers the authentic tone of an acoustic grand piano. The price is higher for a good reason! Its sound is absolutely mesmerizing. I have two of these pianos in my piano studio. My students love playing them!
I purchased the Roland GO-Piano for fun! I needed a lightweight piano I could move myself without help, and it has all 88 keys and a pedal!
You won't find me moving the keyboards listed above by myself.
Most keyboards weigh between 45-65 pounds.
The Roland GO-piano weighs only 15.4 pounds. The sound is spectacular! It leaves little to be desired in tone quality. However, in order to decrease the weight, Roland took away the weighted keys. (I do not recommend purchasing this piano unless you have another piano with weighted keys so you can feel the difference and train on a piano with weighted keys and use this one for travel or as a second keyboard).
Roland also made the length of the key slightly shorter to take off additional weight. It takes some getting used to on both accounts, but in terms of the length of the keys, I've had several of my students try it and they cannot tell the difference in the length of the keys because their hands are small.
As a bonus recommendation for when you're on the go and need a piano that can travel with you!
When looking for an inexpensive, portable piano for travel, you can get a roll up or fold out piano. One of my biggest complaints about roll up pianos is that they are hard to play and often keys don't work unless pressed with a great deal of pressure. With this fold up piano, the tone is small and not full of depth like a real piano (as expected), but the keys only require light pressure unlike the roll up pianos on the market.
This fold up piano will allow you or your child to practice on the go. It would make a great gift under the tree!
If you are ready to invest in an acoustic piano, I recommend buying a used piano that is in great shape. Rick Jones Pianos ships used, refurbished pianos anywhere in the United States. Check out their collection here.
I purchased my 5' 8" Kawai grand piano from Rick Jones. Its voice is absolutely everything I ever hoped for in a piano.
The best part about purchasing from Rick Jones is that when I am ready to upgrade to a Steinway someday (Ah...I might be dreaming!), Rick will give me 100% of what I paid in 2010 toward the new purchase when I trade in my previously purchased piano. It's quite possibly the most brilliant business model ever for piano sales.
If you purchase a piano from Rick Jones, please let me know by emailing email@example.com. He offers a commission to teachers like me who tell people about his amazing pianos, but only if I call him and tell him about your purchase. I would appreciate it so much!
Here is a picture of the showroom in Beltsville, MD. To check out their pianos, find the demos of all pianos for sale here. Listen to the demos until you find the sound of a piano you love. Then, call Rick Jones, and place your order!
Like any new member of the family, your new piano will need care.
Carefully keeping the keys dust-free, and using a gentle touch when playing are two ways to lovingly welcome your new family member into your home.
Your child will absolutely go crazy when you unveil a piano on Christmas morning!
Can’t you picture it now?
Wonder. Hope. Beauty. Songs. This is Christmas at its best.