There are three categories of keyboard instruments available.
- acoustic piano
- digital piano
- electronic keyboard
There are some advantages to having a digital piano or electronic keyboard over an acoustic piano. The ability to plug in headphones so that a child can practice without disturbing anyone may give more opportunity for a student to work on their skills. Many of these instruments can be connected with a midi or USB cable to a computer and access many computer programs. They are easy to move around and never need to be tuned.
On the other hand, nothing compares with an acoustic piano in sensitivity to sound production. If your family has space in your home and your budget for an acoustic piano, you are encouraged to choose this option.
Here is a good comparison chart to help you in your decision making. Included prices are approximate for new. Second hand purchases enable you to trade up at a later date.
Piano & Keyboard Comparison Chart
|Grand Piano||Upright Piano||Digital Piano||Electronic Keyboard|
|How much does it cost?||$6,000–$10,000+||$4,000–$8,000||$600–$2,000||$100–$1,000|
|How much space does it take up?||5 feet wide, 5–8 feet long||5 feet of wall space, extending 3–4 feet into the room when in use||4½ feet of wall space, extending 2–3 feet into the room when in use||Same as a digital piano of 88 keys; smaller keyboards need an area of 3–4 feet square when in use|
|How much sound does it make?||Lots of sound, will be softer if you close the lid.||A good amount of sound.||Ranges from loud to silent (player can wear headphones)||Ranges from loud to silent (player can wear headphones)|
|What does it cost to maintain?||About $100–$200 per year for tuning||About $100–$200 per year for tuning||None||None|
|How long will it last?||30–50 years (if well maintained)||20–30 years (if well maintained)||5–10 years||3–5 years|
|How easy is it to move?||Difficult||Hard||Easy||Very Easy|
|Where can I buy it?||Piano Store||Piano Store||
Piano store, music store, order online, a few other stores
|Piano store, music store, order online, a few other stores
|Can I rent one?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Best brands||Yamaha, Kawai, Boston, Schimmel||Yamaha, Kawai, Boston, Schimmel||Yamaha, Kawai, Roland, Casio||Yamaha, Kawai, Roland, Casio|