Choosing Your First Piano

How to choose your first piano?

Undoubtedly, if you want your children to learn music effectively, there must be a piano or at least a keyboard at home for them to practise. Purchasing a piano is an important decision for your children’s music development as well as your family’s financial position.

On one hand, children will develop quicker if they have a good piano to practise. For example, children will be able to practise music pieces with dynamics, develop solid techniques and achieve a higher accuracy in aural sections such as singing in pitch and listening to intervals.

On the other hand, a good upright or a baby grand piano is an expensive investment for ordinary households in Australia. Some parents are reluctant to make such a decision because they are not sure whether their children will lose interest soon.

Therefore, it is a good idea to consider the following factors before purchasing your first piano.
  • Your affordability 
  • What you would like your children to achieve 
  • How much your children would like to learn 
  • The age of your children 
  • The brand of your piano 
  • The size of space where you are going to place your piano
If you have a tight budget, and your children are very young, such as 5 years old, and new to music, buying a keyboard may best fit the situation. A new keyboard normally costs less than $500. The advantage is that if your children later on find out they are not interested; it won’t be a huge financial loss for your family.

The drawback is that keyboards generally have fewer keys than a standard piano and therefore you may need to upgrade to a digital piano or an upright piano when your children proceed to a higher level, which may just happen in one or two years. In fact, grade 2 exam pieces already require candidates to cover a wide range of keys, perform with dynamic and use the damper pedal. Your children will find it hard to achieve these on a keyboard.

A good digital piano has standard 88 keys and each key is weighted. It gives performers a realistic piano touch, and various dynamic levels can be easily achieved on digital pianos. The medium price for digital pianos is approximately $1,800, but it varies significantly depending on its functions and brand. In fact, digital pianos will be more than sufficient for your children to start learning music.

A new upright piano normally costs more than $4,000 and again it varies significantly depending on brand and model. Your children will develop quickly if they are interested in music and practise regularly on a good piano. However, there are additional costs when you need piano tuning and other accessories to keep your piano in good condition.

Grand pianos offer piano players the most beautiful sound but in return are the most expensive instrument (usually more than $10,000) among those mentioned above. It is suitable for parents who want their children to be trained in a professional way (aiming at being a concert pianist in the future). You may expect additional costs when piano tuning and other accessories are needed to keep your piano in good condition.