People ask us if it's ok to start out on a keyboard or if a piano is necessary. A piano would be the ideal but a keyboard can be just as good, sometimes even preferable. Keyboards are more helpful for DIY music production and can teach students about sound design. As a working musician, most my performances are on keyboards. I practice mostly on an upright. Below are our recommendations for each.
For the young beginner
For new students ages 4-6 we recommend this Yamaha keyboard bundle. It's small, has some fun sounds and a very reasonable price point. The keys are not weighted and you have no control over dynamics but it is a great tool on which to develop the ear.
Entry level full size keyboard
We recommend the Yamaha P 125 bundle. It has built in speakers, the keys are weighted, the sounds are good but limited. Many of our students use this keyboard and love it. I know many professional pianists who use this as a practice keyboard.
If you're looking for a professional level keyboard with amazing sound design capabilities the Nord Stage 3 is the way to go. They're handmade in Sweden and cost more than some new upright pianos.
Main Drag Music in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a great neighborhood shop to check out a selection of keyboards. They also have a great keyboard repair technician.
Buying a piano is like buying a car. It's an investment with vast choices. There are also options to rent . For rentals we recommend Piano, Piano. They drop off, pick up and have reasonable monthly prices. You may get something new, you may get something used, you will not get something high end.
If you're in the market to buy a piano I recommend Faust Harrison Pianos. They have an excellent selection and a spectacular trade in policy. They also have rentals more suitable for those interested in purchase. Ask to speak with Richard. We are more than happy to help you pick a piano.
Will Armstrong is the founder of WillYouLearn. He's a professional pianist with over 20 years of teaching experience.