Child Size Baby Grand Piano
A child size baby grand piano is a good choice for a younger child (Schoenhut Baby Grand pictured above.) It has the look of a grand piano, and they come in a variety of colors and styles.
Almost all toy pianos use metal rods instead of strings, and have a xylophone-like sound. At the very top of the line you can find a child size baby grand piano that actually has strings.
The Schoenhut 44-Key Baby Grand Piano has real strings, and pedals. There are other baby grand pianos, but almost all of them use metal rods ("tines") to make sound rather than strings. Prices range from $100 for a non-stringed baby grand, to over $1200 for the Schoenhut 44-Key Baby Grand Piano (pictured above.)
Think Ahead: How Will The Child Read Music?
Schoenhut and other toy piano manufacturers usually include a "songbook" to go with the piano. This way, it is hoped, the child will be able to play songs right away. They provide a "play by color" method in which you put a "color strip" behind the keys. Then you match the color of the key (C is, say, green) to the color in the songbook.
Other companies include a songbook using notes to read, an impossibility for a young child. Starting with reading music will only frustrate a child. There's only one problem with the "piano by color" system: colors have nothing to do with music theory, and thus do not advance your child's musical education.
Try Numbers, A Wise Alternative
We put numbered stickers on the keys because numbers are entirely relevant to future music study. The basis of all musical construction is mathematical. Here's what your piano keyboard will look like with the numbered, removable stickers installed.
The Piano By Number system has the largest library of songs "by number" available anywhere. Try a song on our online piano below. Always start with songs on the white keys, because it is easier for kids.
| 1 1 5 5 | 6 6 5 * | 4 4 3 3 | 2 2 1 * |
| 3 3 3 * | 3 3 3 * | 3 5 1 2 | 3 * * * |
So think ahead. How will your child play songs on their new piano if they can't read music?The best strategy is to make piano as simple as possible in the beginning.