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a resource for parents and students

What keyboard?


If your child is learning any instrument, they will need one at home on which to practise. Unfortunately, if your child is learning electronic keyboard a piano is not a suitable alternative for practising. The basic requirements are:-

  • full size keys

  • a selection of rhythms and voices

  • auto-accompaniment

  • synchronised start

  • a screen


I would recommend Yamaha over the other makes for two reasons:-

  • this is the make used at all the schools at which I teach

  • other makes employ different methods to set up and use the accompaniment section


As it is important to have as much consistency as possible from lesson time to practice time, it seems sensible to use the same type of keyboard in both places.

So which one do you choose? The next important question is budget and do you want to take the short term view or the long term one? There may be other potential students in the family - so that may also be a consideration. It is useful to be aware that keyboards hold their value reasonably well and I often find myself 're-homing' keyboards from one student to another. I can usually find someone who would like a second hand model.

The least expensive model is currently Yamaha PSR E273 but is not widely available. The Yamaha PSR E373 is the entry stage keyboard and has a 2 track recorder. This has all the facilities required up to Grade 5 on the current syllabus apart from registration memory. The best keyboard currently is the Yamaha PSR E473 and these are the next step and have 5 track recorders and registration memory.

Whilst I don't generally recommend any make other than Yamaha, if budget is a major consideration, then RockJam supply a fairly cheap alternative as a starter keyboard.  Please bear in mind, however, that the set up method is different to Yamaha. For a very young child, it can be very confusing to learn two different methods to set up their keyboard for synchronised chords.  It may well be better to source a good second hand Yamaha, than buy a new RockJam.  Nevertheless, I've provided a link to this on the Instruments and Accessories page.

Some suppliers actually include the power supply, with the keyboard - but most don't. I would certainly recommend buying one as batteries can become expensive. Also, some charge for delivery and some don't.

It is usually less expensive to buy online and I do have an affiliate program set up with Amazon, who are usually very competitive on price and provide free delivery. You can view this via the Instruments and Accessories page.

If buying new is definitely not an option then you could always try Ebay or Facebook marketplace. Look for any range starting PSR E or YPT.  Please avoid the F51 or F52! The main criteria to look for is that it's Yamaha and has a screen in the middle.  This means that it can be set digitally.  If you have found one that you think might be suitable, by all means email me the link and I will check it out and get back to you as soon as possible. Or ask if I currently know of any keyboards that are in need of a good home!

Happy buying!

Karen Barr playing keyboard at a Grandma Becky concert
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