What keyboard should you buy?
Students must acquire a piano or keyboard for practice at home. An acoustic piano must be in good working order and tuned once per year. If a keyboard is preferred or is necessary, it must have these five main features:
1. The keyboard must have at least 61 full sized keys (88 strongly preferred), measuring approximately 3/4-inch-wide and 5 1⁄2 inches deep. Bonus points for keys that have that "acoustic piano feel;" i.e., not just smooth plastic.
2. The keyboard must have touch sensitive keys, meaning the harder/heavier you play, the louder the sound, and the lighter/softer you play, the softer the sound.
3. The keyboard stand and/or the bench must have adjustable height. This way the student can keep proper piano playing posture as they grow.
4. The keyboard must have a socket for a sustain (damper) pedal. You don't need a damper pedal right away for starting lessons, but it will become crucial eventually. Bonus points for a headphone jack and headphones for a quiet house during practice time, just make sure the volume is not turned all the way up!
5. The keyboard needs a sturdy, flat-backed music stand. If it doesn't come with one when you purchase/acquire it, you will need to acquire one. A standard music stand (Manhasset, for example) can be placed behind the keyboard and used effectively for holding the music during practice.
Credit to Joanna at 3EigthNotesMusicStudio for her guide that inspired this page!
A standard piano keyboard with 88 keys.
Keyboard stand and bench with adjustable height.
The sustain pedal plug and its port on the back of the keyboard.