Getting started with the piano can initially seem like a daunting task, with so many titles out there and for the most part being unable to physically see the book for yourself, many players struggle to determine which pieces are the best to help get them started on their journey, learn the basics and develop those crucial initial steps into falling in love with the piano.
Thankfully though, thanks to our good friends at Presto Music, we have culminated a series of tried and tested books that we would recommend for getting started with the piano. This list is not only composed of titles suitable for children or young learners, but also for adults who have returned to the piano in later life or are looking to get started.
We believe that learning the piano is an incredibly satisfying experience that should be fun and rewarding from the word go, and we’re sure that with these titles, you’ll soon agree!
Ideal Books For Young Learners
Kicking things off, we’re going to begin with a few titles that are ideally suited for children, using either bright colours, characters, games and tunes that are best suited to keep the learning experience fun, rewarding and engaging from start to finish.
Lang Lang has single handedly inspired countless children to take up the piano or be keen to develop their skills, despite being a classically trained pianist, this book offers and incredibly accessible and fun way to learn that depicts the musician as a superhero on a piano adventure with The Lang Lang Piano Method Level 1. Level 1 introduces complete beginners to: different five-finger positions, note reading, moving around the keyboard, developing both hands equally right from the start.
Part of a 5 book series, The Lang Lang Piano Method provides a unique and imaginative way for complete beginners to learn the piano whilst introducing musicianship and theory through fun engaging characters and pieces ideally suited for children.
Bringing forth popular pieces that kids love such as Let It Go, Beauty and the Beast, Over the Rainbow, Heart and Soul, We Will Rock You and more famous tunes to keep young learners motivated, Piano for Kids is a fun, easy course that teaches children to play piano or keyboard faster than ever before.
Using a clean and simple page layout, this book places an emphasis on not overwhelming when introducing new concepts and is designed to help young learners progress with confidence - The method can be used in combination with a teacher or parent. To learn more about how to keep your child motivated whilst practising, read our guide here.
Perhaps one of the best known series amongst parents and teachers, Piano Time is one of the most popular and successful series for children to develop a love for the piano…and for good reason!
Piano Time starts at the very beginning and carries students through the initial stages that many find it difficult to overcome when getting started. From simple five-finger tunes for hands separately and together, many with duet parts. It gradually adds more notes and techniques to cover sharps and flats, simple scales and keys, and a range of dynamics and symbols to create a holistic learning experience that is fun, enjoyable and rewarding for all!
Engaging Books For Teenagers And Young Adults
When it comes to learning, those who have outgrown the childishness of the younger book series, but still need a little encouragement than those that titles aimed at adults receive are often left out in the cold. However, thankfully, especially as the piano continues to grow in popularity across the worlds of social media and in schools, more and more of these titles are coming to fruition.
The following titles are ideally aimed at keeping teenagers and young adults intrigued in learning the piano by providing supportive, relevant and modern engaging titles that mean something to the student.
Following on from her book for young learners mentioned above, Jennifer Linn is back and this time has applied the same model to a teenage audience. The main change here is not in the layout, still utilising slick and clean layouts that make learning easy, but instead by adapting the song list to include modern chart popular songs that teenagers and young adults engage with: All of Me, Hallelujah, Hello, Roar, Shake It Off, We Will Rock You and classical favourites like Beethoven's Für Elise all include clear instruction allowing students to progress and play each new song with confidence.
One of the key deterrents for many teenagers or adult learners is the tendency to opt for restrictive classical or melancholic pieces within theory books. In Hot Keys Piano however, improvisation and creativity are highly encouraged from the start.
Although aimed at students from 13 years, the up-beat pieces and approach make it just as suitable for adults. This book places emphasis on both note reading and pattern recognition but uses it to create opportunities such as composition, improvisation and playing by ear. Teacher and student parts are both available on the CD and MP3 backing tracks, which also include a rhythm section. This book takes the student from complete beginner to Grade 1 standard in classical or jazz piano.
User Friendly and Accessible Books For Adult Learners
Ideally suited to adults who have perhaps either never played piano before but wish they had as a child or those who are returning to the instrument after a lengthy hiatus, these titles make learning accessible and engaging without feeling juvenile or childish.
So many players who learn in later life wish they had started when they were younger or those who wish they hadn’t given up. It’s Never Too Late To Play Piano targets this demographic and introduces a truly grown-up approach to learning the piano.
Pam Wedgwood, author of many popular piano series, takes you through the rudiments of piano technique and music theory in her own friendly style that’s guaranteed to get results. Organised into clearly structured progressive units with a fabulous array of music to get you playing straight away, including Pam’s own jazzy pieces, plenty of well-known classics and a smattering of pop and show tunes make this book an ideal starting point for any newcomer to the piano!
As adults we generally know what interests us and what doesn’t, if you’re a classical fanatic but aren’t too keen on jazz, then there’s no point learning jazz pieces when just gettings started! Here Pam Wedgwood has partnered with Classic FM to bring you the best of Classical music essentials for the beginner pianist.
Organised into progressive lessons, it introduces Piano technique and music reading in an interesting and approachable way. There is a wealth of music to enjoy and a useful CD of accompanying tracks to play along with. In addition, there's lots of useful information and teaching advice.
Just because we’re adults, doesn’t mean we can’t have fun whilst learning! This easy beginner’s course uses familiar songs supported by easy-to-understand instruction, simple examples, and related exercises in order to help you grasp theoretical understanding and apply it to the songs you know and love!
In no time at all, using “Notes-That-Name-Themselves,” you'll be performing many of the good ol' tunes you've always wanted to play. The price of this book includes access to demo tracks online, for download or streaming, using the unique code inside the book.
Traditionally associated with younger learners, this iconic series has been completely revised and updated to suit the needs of the adult beginner. With authoritative instructions and clear practical advice, this Piano tutor explains the essential techniques and musical forms for any beginner, laying the foundation for further development in later books in the series.
The Adult Piano Course introduces the pupil to the notes of the Piano, the fundamentals of notation, different types of notes and varying rhythms, while also ensuring that sight-reading is introduced from the very beginning. From there, the student is taken through intervals, chords, phrasing and beginning scales, all interspersed with enjoyable and melodic practice pieces that put the theoretical concepts into a musical context.
There you have it! A comprehensive kickstart list to get started with the piano, no matter your age or ability! We hope you’ve enjoyed this list and it’s at least given you some inspiration to get started. If you’re looking for more inspiration to make the most from your piano playing, why not read our piano goals article, or how to better structure your piano practice here.
For those looking to start their journey on a real acoustic piano, why not visit our showroom today or contact our experts to learn more!