Although a real (acoustic) piano is always best, it is not necessary to begin lessons. Many of our students begin with a full size electric keyboard. Once they decide they like it, we recommend that you consider renting or purchasing an acoustic or digital piano so that you or your child gets the most from lessons.
The most important thing to know when renting or purchasing a keyboard or digital piano is that it must have full sized keys (each individual key should be the same size and an individual piano key) and it must be touch sensitive (if you hit the key hard, it makes a loud sound, if you hit it softly, it makes a soft sound). It is best to get a keyboard with at least 60+ keys so that the student does not outgrow it too quickly (a regular piano has 88 keys).
Whenever possible, a weighted action is preferred to a semi-weighted or non-weighted action so that students can practice on an instrument that closely resembles the feel of the piano.