Do I Need A Piano For My Child To Take Piano Lessons?

Monday, September 18, 2017 by Daniel Ales | Uncategorized


Over the years of being a piano teacher I have been asked many interesting questions, but believe it or not, this is one of the most common ones. I have to confess, every time a parent asked me this one, I used to think to myself, "Oh no. Here we go again. That is the most ridicules a question. Why would you ask such a thing if you are signing up for PIANO LESSONS! How is your child supposed to practice what I am teaching them if they don't have a piano?" Honestly, these were the kinds of thoughts that went through my mind every time, and this question used to cause me to get angry and see the parents of potential students in a negative light. But a while back, as my studio flourished, I began to notice another question that parents ask, which is, "We have an electric keyboard at our house. Is that okay for my child to start on?", and then BAM!!!! It hit me like a ton of bricks: They are the same question in different variations!!!!!!! 


I began to think that maybe my, "Do I need a piano, Parents" were actually asking "Does it matter if we have an acoustic stringed piano, or some plug-in-the-wall keyboard?" And if that’s the case, may I just take this opportunity to say, I am truly sorry to anyone who I may have slighted in the past and I applaud you for your diligent questioning. Because there is a difference between the two.


So let me give a two part answer to the question(s):


First, do you need some type of piano like instrument for your kids to play on and practice with? Absolutely. An iPad or iPhone app does not count. I had a dad ask me one time if his daughter could actually use an iPad piano…(sigh). Let me put it this way, would you like your surgeon to have only practiced cutting with a scalpel by playing Fruit Ninja? If you don’t know what that is, go to the app store and look it up.


Second, does it matter whether or not it’s acoustic or electric? No, but, if you are going to go the electric rout, let me give you a few highly recommended directions. I tell all my parents to consider starting out with an electric, because if your child doesn’t continue, it’s easier to get rid of. So, here are my recommendations in order of importance:

  • The keyboard should have weighted keys. Meaning if you press the key, first there should be some type of resistance and second there should be a noticeable difference in sound between pressing softly and pressing with force.

  •  The keyboard should be a full size. All 88 keys.

  • A pedal feature is advisable

  • It should have a pleasant sound


I hope this has helped anyone who has had similar questions. Please contact me with any other questions you may have. Remember, if you are looking for a piano, I would be happy to offer my experienced opinion. And don’t forget to keep practicing.