As a collector of interesting instruments, as soon as I learnt that toy pianos existed, I knew I had to treat myself and add to my collection of weird and wonderful instruments.
Here is my comprehensive review of the Hape HAP-E0320 Toy Grand Piano (for kids…);
Why did I choose this particular one? I considered the miniature Kawai, Shoenhut and Korg, but the price-point was a little more, as well as having slightly less keys (the Hape has 30 keys). I wanted something acoustic that didn’t require batteries/power so I could play it wherever I wanted, should the moment arise. So with this in mind, I opted for the Black option as it looks like a miniature version of my Baby Grand Yamaha Piano (see image below).
Whilst researching, I had tried to find videos online that correctly depicted the sound I could it expect it to make, and didn’t set myself up for unrealistic expectations of what tuned, thin metal rods would sound like. This video below sold it to me:
…was that inspiring or what?!
When mine arrived, it came well-packaged, and all I had to do was attach the legs to the body of the piano, and also build the little stool that comes with it – straight-forward enough. And as it’s for kids, it comes with a little booklet (that fits perfectly on the stand) which includes how to play nursery-rhyme -type songs, and a colour-coded chart to place over the keys, which corresponds with the book.
I then began playing it! The sound is very true to the video above, but I wasn’t expecting how LOUD it was. The only downside is that the plastic keys/hammers are clunky and “plasticy” sounding. To try to combat this, I first removed the inside panel to get access to the back of the keys, fitted some red felt where the hammers met the keys, and it softened it somewhat. It also now looks even MORE like a miniature Grand Piano with the red felt showing…it’s also worth mentioning that the notes are actually tuned properly!
I uploaded this video to my Youtube Channel:
In conclusion; if you’re thinking of buying this for a child as a gift for Birthday/Christmas, then it’s a great first-time keyboard-type instrument that will definitely determine their enthusiasm of whether to seek Piano tuition and upgrade to a more appropriate instrument for learning. If you’re a musician or a collector of interesting instruments, then like me, you’ll definitely get the usage out of it. I played this thing solidly for about a week when it arrived, and if I come across a piece of music that I think would sound interesting played on it, I fall back in love with it all over again.
The instrument looks smart, and I only ever receive admiration for it…my private piano students also love experimenting on it (queue teacher-student duets!). However, if in the hands of an enthusiastic child (and not a classically-trained pianist like myself), the sound could maybe start to grate a little.
Get yourself (or a kid) a Hape Mini Grand Piano below: