Modern technology has made it very inexpensive to get a full 88 key piano keyboard. These keyboards often have hammer-action keys which give it the feel of a real piano. Anyone who has compared keyboards without weighted keys to a real acoustic piano knows there is quite a difference. The feel from piano to the next piano is also very different. Entry level keyboards that have 88 hammer-action keys currently sell for around 500-800 dollars. You will typically have to purchase the stand and bench separately. One advantage of using any kind of digital keyboard is that there is never a need to tune the instrument. Anyone who has an upright, baby grand, or grand piano knows that pianos go out of tune and calling the piano tuner once or twice per year is inevitable. Another advantage of using a keyboard is that you don’t have to hire a professional company to help you move it. I’ve had people ask me to help them move their pianos from time to time. I always tell them no because there are companies who have a sole task of moving pianos from place to place. If there are companies that dedicate themselves to that one service then it’s pretty safe to assume that there are good reasons for it. The biggest reason is that and upright piano can weigh up to 800 pounds. Grand Pianos can weigh up to 1200 pounds. If you’re in the Metro Detroit area and need a piano moved call Jack Carter at 313-598-5449. He’s helped Grosse Pointe Music Academy move pianos from stores to our location. Jack and his staff do a great job!
Many people want to introduce their children to piano lessons but don’t want to risk the expense of purchasing an acoustic piano before seeing some results. I believe that practicing on a keyboard while taking lessons is acceptable for most beginning players. If you are grooming someone to be a concert pianist from the start then I think that a real acoustic piano is a must. If your goals are more general to learning music then once again, the keyboard will suffice. The most important thing will be to set up a comfortable practice space. Many people buy a keyboard and put it on the kitchen table when they feel like practicing. Get a keyboard stand, a keyboard bench and make sure that it is all set to a comfortable height. Make it easy to sit down and practice. If you can get 88 keys with hammer-action (weighted) then that will be best. Keyboards with 76 keys or 61 keys will also suffice for beginning students.