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kids keyboard advice & funny promo video
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author kids keyboard advice & funny promo video
My foster son said today he would like a keyboard (actually he said an organ, but I don’t think he knows the difference yet) so ive been thinking what might be a suitable starter model for him. I haven’t decided whether to get a simple vintage organ (a small one, not some dual manual monster), or a starter keyboard like a Casio something or other. Or maybe a decent but low cost synth, like a Reface CS. I’ve got various synths and organs around but he hasn’t played them much so I’m wary of spending much money in case he loses interest. But then again, he knows that my music corner is not to be messed with. My wife thinks it’ll be a waste of money, but of course it won’t be if I get something I like too razz

So first, is there any advice? He’s 8 years old and often has issues concentrating on something unless he’s good at it. So learning an instrument could be challenging. Which is why I want something that sounds good immediately, and has easy ways to make interesting changes to the sounds.

Second, I was thinking of a learner Casio keyboard and saw one with sampling functions that he’d no doubt enjoy, and while researching it I found a totally ridiculous but very (unintentionally) funny video promoting it. I hope you enjoy this

Any thoughts on kid synths?
Should I mumsnet instead? Dead Banana
I got my kid a littlebits set when she was 4, and a cheapo keyboard when she was 5. She is 9 now,and she goes back and forth on playing them. I don't regret either.

For me this kind of choice depends on disposable income, and space availability. If you have the space - almost any kid will enjoy noodling around on a keyboard a bit. If you get a clunker keyboard, it is a toy, and possibly disposable. If you get, eg, a Reface CS and he loses interest - well, you can play it, or it has resale value.

Sequencers can add "sounds good immediately" value to most any keyboard.
bmot wrote:
Any thoughts on kid synths?

Yeah, it’s a tough call - 1: go cheap and disposable, or 2: go nice, but maybe too much for the kid, so you inadvertently make it for you instead.

My son started wanting to noodle by about 18 mo.

Obviously he couldn’t really do anything but mash keys and laugh at the sound, but I figured he was building interest.
For his 3rd birthday, a friend gave him one of these:

It had apparently survived 2 of her sons over a period of 10+ years. My boy loves it. It’s dead simple, portable, and built to be tossed around. The mini keys are great for the little hands. They light up to show the notes of a handful of built in songs (eg., Twinkle Twinkle).
I have no idea if they are still available.
He’s now 5, and has “graduated” to one of my old midi controllers and a copy of Arturia Piano V. He can play simple songs, likes listening to Bach and Beethoven, and wants proper lessons. applause
When I was little, my family had a small Hammond, and I spent countless hours on it.
What worked for me (and seems to have for the boy) was to keep it simple - concentrate on the music, not the sounds or gimmicks.
The training features of that Casio look interesting, though the screen is super tiny.
Casio SK-1 is aweome. It has a super easy to use sampling function an built in microphone. There are some downfalls though: 1. It's out of production, so you'll have to find one used. 2. It's slowly becoming a collector's item so one day you might realise that your kid wrecked a piece of kit some geek would pay a shitload of money on 3. You'll be wanting one, too. So you'll have to get two. I used it in several recordings and live-shows myself.
Portasound 780. Has all the fun bits smile

Table hooters? Weird link name....
Yeah, I’m almost ready to pull the trigger on a Reface CS - small keys, knob per function, easy to make nice sounds, built in speaker. But a table hooter (I’d forgotten that term, love it!) with a learning system and maybe sampling on board and some rhythms might be more fun for a beginner.

The SK1, I’d thought about it, but as the video above shows, there are some more recent, and non-collectors item keyboards with sampling.

If he had a bigger room, and we lived in a bigger flat, I’d set up the YC45 organ for him. Maybe in the future, for now it stays in the attic.

Now, should I get that Reface anyway? I’m sure I could find a good use for it if he wasn’t interested...
So I got the Reface CS, saw one for 200 euros which is pretty good I think. Looking forward to playing it, er i mean, looking forward to helping bmot junior learn all about synthesizers Rockin' Banana!
the little one inherited one of these from the studio ans loves it. She also likes playing on the circuit because of the colored buttons and immediacy of move something and it makes a sound r_reviews/
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