Keyboards are a mainstay of classrooms the world over. But with so many brands and models to choose from, how can you find the best portable digital piano for your school?
You might have concerns about cost and affordability, particularly if you are looking for instruments for whole-class learning.
You might be worried about the quality of the instruments. After all, you want your digital piano to last.
You might need to prioritise portability, with space at a premium in some classrooms.
At Warwick Music, we know all about making portable instruments. Our pInstruments are popular in schools partly because of their lightweight design and ability to stand up to repeated use from children.
We understand that teachers worry about bulky instruments taking up valuable space and causing clutter. This is why instruments like the pBone turn a bulky brass trombone into a portable version that can easily be stored away when not used.
So, let’s look at ten of the most popular portable digital pianos available on Amazon. With our experience in music for education, we can fill you in on the pros and cons, so that you can buy confidently. Whether you are looking for a piano packed with features or a keyboard that folds into a school bag, we will help you find the best option.
All prices are accurate as of the 28th of February 2023.
This full-size, 88-key digital grand piano from Yamaha is an excellent option for the classroom environment. The authentic, hammer-action keys give an acoustic piano a realistic feel, making it the ideal stepping stone for beginners. While the design is slim, the Yamaha P-45B still weighs 11.5kg. This makes lifting and moving the keyboard trickier than other models on our list. At £369, it is also one of the more expensive models, making it a pricey option for whole-class learning.
Authentic feel of a digital piano
Premium brand and excellent build quality
Headphone socket for quiet practice, plus USB to host
Korg has packed its classic piano sound into a slim, lightweight, portable piano with the Korg Liano L1. The semi-weighted keys lack the authenticity of an acoustic piano but make for an easy action for beginners. It also has a battery-powered option to make this a portable instrument. Weighing 6.2kg, it’s easier to transport than other premium models, although, at £339, this makes it one of the pricier options from Amazon. This could make it a significant outlay for a class of thirty pupils.
MUSTAR is a newcomer to the musical instrument scene, launching in 2019. This 88-key digital piano certainly doesn’t lack features and connectivity. It boasts 128 sounds and 128 rhythm patterns for practice and even offers Bluetooth streaming. As this is a relatively new and untried brand, there are questions about the quality, and it’s certainly on the heavier side. But at £199.99, it might be worth taking a chance on!
Lots of sound and connectivity options
Cheaper than premium models
Ships with a carry-case and sustain pedal
Question marks over build and sound quality
The MUSTAR Digital Piano can be yours from Amazon for £199.99.
This portable digital piano from Roland is a prestige model for schools or educators with deep pockets. It packs a host of features into its slim profile, including 88 fully-weighted keys, connectivity options including Bluetooth, and a dampener pedal included. These professional features mean that the Roland Fp-30X is heavy in both weight and price: it weighs 14kg and costs £629. This puts it in a more professional category, but for schools requiring a single keyboard, it could be a great choice.
Professional sounds from a big-name brand
Stacked with sounds and connectivity options
Quality build and realistic feel of a piano
Bluetooth streaming allows for enhanced practising options
At 14kg, it is not particularly portable
Arguably more of a professional piano than a classroom model
You can purchase the Roland Fp-30X on Amazon for £629.
The Carry-on by amplification experts Blackstar is an educational partner of Warwick Music. That doesn’t mean that we’re going to recommend this keyboard above any others, but it is a digital piano we can tell you a lot about. What makes the Carry-on different to the other options is the unique folding design. This makes for an incredibly lightweight and smaller instrument, weighing just 1.6kg and able to fit in the included tote bag. Children can take their Carry-on from the classroom to practise at home! There are 128 sounds, a sustain pedal is included, and the rechargeable USB battery makes the Carry-on truly portable. This 88-key model is available for £88.99, with a 49-key model available for £69.99.
The folding, lightweight design makes it great for whole-class teaching
Affordable from a trusted brand
USB and MIDI connectivity
A rechargeable battery adds to the portability
Accessories are included along with a metronome, multiple sounds, drum beats and built-in speakers/headphone jack.
Keys are not velocity-sensitive (although there is a premium model)
Some may prefer a traditional, larger digital piano design
The Carry-on 88 Key White Portable Folding Digital Piano is available from Amazon for £88.99.
If you are looking for a digital piano with weighted keys, this model from Donner could be the one for your class. The Donner SE-1 has many features, including built-in speakers and Bluetooth connectivity. Pupils can also combine sounds with the dual-tone mode. These features make for a large and heavy piano weighing 14.4kg and lacking the battery-free options of other models. At £329.99, it might not be suitable for a whole-class package but is a fine alternative to an expensive acoustic piano. As a bonus, it includes a sustain pedal and headphones for silent practice.
Realistic, weighted keys for an authentic feel
200 tones, 100 rhythms and metronome
Built-in speakers and connectivity for Bluetooth and MIDI
Sustain pedal and headphones are included in the package
Large and heavy makes it less portable for classroom use
Weighted keys may not be suitable for younger learners
The Donner SE-1 88 Key Digital Piano can be purchased at Amazon for £329.99.
One way to combat classroom clutter when choosing your digital piano is to look for keyboards that do not offer the full 88 keys of a traditional piano. This Alesis keyboard has 61 keys, plenty for younger players and saving space in the school. It has 300 voices and 300 rhythms, along with a metronome for keeping pupils in perfect time. It also ships with a range of accessories, including a stand, stool, microphone, and headphones. It is also relatively lightweight at 4kg, and this 61-key model costs £112.89. At this price point, there are concerns over reliability and build quality. But it could be a fun, affordable option for a music class.
Affordable and lightweight
Included accessories offer good value for money
Lots of sounds and fun features for kids
Question marks over build quality
Not a full-size keyboard
The Alesis Melody 61 Key Keyboard Piano is yours from Amazon for £112.89.
The second folding digital piano offers a fresh take on the folding design. Unlike the accordion fold of the Carry-on, the Eastar takes the look of a typical digital keyboard and folds it in half. This makes for less portability but offers a good space-saving solution. The Eastar EP-10 has a battery-powered option and comes loaded with a range of sounds and rhythms, along with a music stand, sustain pedal, and carry case. Eastar is a less-established brand than others on our list, but this option for £169.99 may be worth a try for some educators.
Folding design can save space
Lightweight at 3.63kg
Battery-powered and comes with a case
Less-established than other brands
Portable but still has a large footprint for smaller classrooms
Relatively expensive for whole-class learning
Head to Amazon to pick up the Eastar EP-10 Beginner Foldable Digital Piano for £169.99.
Much like the Alesis Melody 61, this model from RockJam packs a lot of features and extras to a 61-key digital piano. This package includes a keyboard stand, music stand, piano stool, and headphones. The keyboard itself can be battery-powered and has a wide range of sounds and rhythms. RockJam specialises in beginner instruments on a budget, although at 9.5kg, this keyboard lacks the portability and range of features seen from the other models on our list. At £113.52, it is affordable for the classroom, and other models are available in their keyboard range.
Includes accessories such as a stand and stool
Not a full-size, 88-key digital piano
Given its size, it still weighs 9.5kg
Fewer sounds and features than competitors
The RockJam 61 Key Keyboard Piano Kit is available from Amazon for £113.52.
Like Yamaha, Roland, and Korg, Casio is synonymous with digital pianos. The Casio CDP-S110BKC5 is designed similarly to other premium keyboards, with full-weighted keys for a realistic playing experience. It also has the benefit of a corded operation and battery power, allowing pupils to take their piano on the go. The weighted keys and robust build make the Casio heavier than many other portable pianos on our list, weighing in at 10.5kg. There is also a hefty price tag to match: the Casio CDP-S110BKC5 costs £329.
Fully weighted, hammer action keys
Battery-powered option from a major brand
Music-stand and sustain pedal included
Expensive for the classroom
Heavy for a portable model
Sounds are high quality yet only ten are available
The Casio CDP-S110BKC5 Fully Weighted Hammer Action Digital Piano can be purchased from Amazon for £329.
The best digital piano for your school will come down to your priorities.
For many, getting the most value for money will be crucial. This is where budget options such as those by RockJam, Carry-on, and Alesis are prized. Portability and instruments that can be taken from one class to another mean that lighter instruments, such as the Korg Liano, might suit your needs best. If you are looking to save space, then keyboards with a smaller footprint like the Carry-on could be just the thing for your classroom.
The best option will also depend on how you are going to teach piano in class. If you are delivering lessons 1-to-1 in the same classroom, a portable but premium option with weighted keys would work wonders. If you scale this up to whole-class learning, however, thirty professional keyboards will take up space and eat up your budget.