Many people believe that one of the great things you can give a child is the gift of music. If a child, or actually anyone, learns to play an instrument, then that skill stays with them. It can become an inspiration, it can become a delight, and it can even become a profession.
There are very few things that are so important. Very few things give you so much joy as playing music. And that applies even from a young age. That is where instruments like the one we are featuring in this Schoenhut 30-Key Fancy Baby Grand Review come in.
We see musicians everywhere, maybe in our favorite bands or in orchestras. Playing the classics, jazz, rock, pop, blues, country, or any of the endless genres these days. We have music teachers, virtuosos soloists, and even what some might call geniuses. Have you ever stopped to wonder where they all come from?
That first step…
Something fires their imagination very early. That is the only way it can happen. If we want music tomorrow, we must begin the process of developing the talent today.
But when we say ‘developing,’ that does not mean adopting the policies you too often see. An over-consuming passion of some parents. Driving their children to unreasonable levels. Often to satisfy themselves or for their dreams of what success will bring to them.
It doesn’t matter about the child. We see it in many environments, not only music. Tennis and Gymnastics are other examples.
Probably there is no lower limit providing you don’t sit a 2-year-old in front of a Yamaha concert piano and expect them to play it. But as soon as they get ‘the bug’ the better. That’s why there are instruments that are essentially toys.
Nothing wrong with that. Oh, you get those that complain and say things like, “it doesn’t sound like a piano.” What on earth do they expect? Ignore them. It isn’t for them; it’s a toy for a child to start making some music. Children like toys, don’t they?
One such “toy” will be covered in our in-depth review of the Schoenhut 30-Key Fancy Baby Grand. But before we take a closer look, who is Schoenhut?
If you think that the name sounds Germanic, you would be right. The home of Beethoven, Bach, Handel, and Strauss. Of Liszt, Schumann, Wagner, and Brahms. As well as the Scorpions and David Hasselhoff, but there you go!
Albert Schoenhut was born in Germany into a family well-known locally for making toys. Usually rocking horses, wagons, and dolls. At a young age, he began making toy pianos. In 1872 he left the family business to set up his own Schoenhut Piano Company. He added other instruments as time went by, but his pianos are still the flagship.
A hundred and fifty years later, the designs still mimic the great grand pianos and do nothing but inspire the young mind. So, let’s find out more about this particular model…
You cannot help to be impressed with this piano when you first see it. It might be small, but it gives off an aura. An aura of a professional concert grand. It is a full 30-key piano that offers a great introduction to the piano and music. Helping the child begin their musical journey.
A classic design…
The design is classical in nature with its curved front legs and high black gloss finish. It has a sturdy matching bench seat that allows the child to sit comfortably as they play.
Everything about the design is made to look classical and elegant, right down to the shaped music stand. It might be considered a toy, which we suppose it is. But you won’t find a more impressive toy anywhere. But it is so much more than just a toy.
The keys are designed to replicate the keys on a full-size piano or keyboard. They are an exact match in terms of size and how they look. The size is important as the child will learn the ‘feel’ of real keys. Learn proper placement of fingers and good technique. A good start when they move up to the real thing.
A great first introduction to the piano. Let’s take a closer look…
We have already talked about firing a child’s imagination. Some toys can get discarded quite early on in their life. There needs to be a reason for the child to keep returning to this piano. And as they do, they move a little further on.
There are important things about a toy such as this, and they all need to be addressed.
The Big Three…
The first of these is how it looks. It looks like the real thing. That is an asset. You can’t deny this one is very realistic and impressive on such a small scale.
Secondly, having established, it looks good it’s got to do the job. It needs to be educational. They need to be able to learn some basic skills. It includes in its design what is known as cause and effect learning in musical skills. And it encourages those skills.
As it has full-size keys, the child will begin to learn and use the finger stretch techniques. These techniques are so important when they progress to a larger keyboard.
Finally, as it is essentially a toy and is in the hands of a very young child, it needs to be quite tough. Durability is important, and this piano has that.
To give it that toughness, it is made mostly of wood and finished with a heavy black lacquer that gives it a great look. With its elegant curved front legs, it is an elegant toy that is very sturdy.
It measures 19 by 19.75 by 21.5 inches and weighs 28 pounds, so it has stability to it when in use. Unlike the real thing, the top doesn’t open up. But we think this is probably a safety issue. Little fingers caught in there might be painful.
A seat for the child to sit on is included. Also well-made from wood, it is solid and sturdy and isn’t going to tip over. It is finished in the same gloss lacquer as the piano itself and therefore makes a nice match. The top of the bench is not padded.
It comes with a music stand for attaching on the top of the piano. The piano and its accessories are made in China. On delivery, there will be some basic assembly to be done, but it is nothing too complicated.
If you are expecting a quality piano sound, then it is time to move on. This is a toy for a child. There is no need for that quality. The sound is very ‘chimey.’ It is created by metal rods being struck by small hammers when you depress the keys. We quite like it.
But we would remind you this is for a child. Therefore, the sound is created to be pleasant to them. It is not for the critics who think you can get a real piano sound at this price point.
It is chromatically-tuned, and if you want to be critical again might not be 100% accurate. However, it will never need tuning and is more than adequate for creating basic simple tunes.
How Does It Play?
It is not a difficult instrument to play and extract a tune, which is the whole purpose. The keys are not weighted, but you wouldn’t expect them to be. But they are the right width and therefore promote good finger placement.
For a child’s piano, it is an easy operation and one they will master very quickly.
The Tri-Play Learning System from Schoenhut is included with a collection of familiar tunes.
There is a color strip that is placed on the keys for learning purposes. Because the keys are full-size, this will fit on a full-size piano if necessary.
Who is it for?
When choosing an instrument like this, there is an element of common sense to be applied. It certainly isn’t going to suit a child of seven or eight years. But it is great for a child aged two up to about five at the maximum. Although it is likely that having been bitten by the bug, they will be upgrading some time around 4-5 anyway.
We have to say that this is not the cheapest toy piano you will find. But you won’t find too many that are as sturdy and durable and look the part.
Schoenhut 30-Key Fancy Baby Grand Review Pros and Cons
- Great design and well-made.
- The black lacquer finish gives it a nice look.
- Full-size keys for developing good technique.
- It is a toy but one with education at the forefront of its design.
- The Tri-Play Learning System included.
- Comes with a bench seat and music stand.
- All wood construction makes it stable and durable.
- Some may find it a little expensive.
Looking for Something Else?
There are plenty of instruments to get a child started on a musical journey. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Acoustic Guitars for Kids, the Best Electric Guitar for Kids, the Best Bass Guitars for Kids, the Best Guitars for Toddlers, and the Kids Ukuleles you can buy in 2021.
Also, take a look at our reviews of the Best Drum Set for Kids, the Best Violin for Kids, the Best Piano for Toddlers, the Best Student Violins, and our in-depth Melissa & Doug Learn to Play Classic Grand Piano Review.
Schoenhut 30-Key Fancy Baby Grand Review – Final Thoughts
If you want to impress a young child, then this is a great little piano to do it. It looks great and plays nicely. The sounds, while not piano-like, will be good for a child, and it has its own patented learning system.
Made of good materials, it is stable and durable, and safe for them to use. But importantly, the keys are the right size, so the first stages of good technique can be developed.
A great little piano and certainly one a child will enjoy.
Until next time, may the music make you merry.