I’m always being asked which books and pieces I recommend for children starting to learn the piano. So here’s my go-to list of Best Easy Pieces For Piano Beginners. A must for any new little pianists who are just starting out.
Like all teachers I’m a bit of a magpie. Over the years I’ve built up a huge collection of resources for piano beginners. I do find, however, that kids are usually drawn to the same old favourites. So I have a few real gems that never fail to engage and motivate them.
My favourites are the Chester tutor books as they always go down well with the younger children. However, I supplement them with lots of extra pieces. I usually give the pupil the chance to choose from a selection, they then collect a folder of pieces which builds their repertoire.
As a loose framework for a lesson after warm-ups and scales we’ll learn something new from the Chester’s book. We will then tackle a new section of one of the chosen pieces which will practice a bit of sight reading. I end the lesson by suggesting the pupil choose something familiar from their folder which is good for confidence building. Be sure to leave a few minutes spare at the end of the lesson for some fun games which should always include listening and aural skills.
Everyone has a different style and once you get started you soon find what works well for you. But the list below has been invaluable to me over the years and deserves to be shared to help the next generation of little pianists get the piano bug!
Best Easy Pieces for Piano Beginners
- Chester’s Jazz – 12 Easy Pieces – Carol Barrett
- Chester’s Easiest Blues Pre-Grade 1 – Carol Barrett
- Up – Grade (0-1) Light Relief Between Grades – Faber Music
- Roundabout – 16 Pieces For Preparatory Test For Piano – Alan Haughton
- Chester’s First Solos – 14 very easy pieces by Carol Barratt
- John Thompson’s Easiest Piano Course Books 1-3 – These books might be more preferable for slightly older children.
- The Classic Piano Course Omnibus Edition – Also by Carol Barrett, but intended for older beginners and packed with easy arrangements of popular classics (something a little more sophisticated than nursery rhymes!)
Sharon Luo says
Sara,I have a question, here in China some teacher would require the kids to do the finger practice by lifting up their fingers each time before actually hitting the key, is it necessary? my son is four and a half years old, and he likes moving his fingers horizontally and smoothly. Now he is in his first John Thompson Ragtime Dance, and we split it into pieces, one line or 4 bars at a time.
Sara Mullett says
Hi Sharon, I’m sure your child’s teacher is working on strengthening his fingers, as it’s so important to build a good technique right from the start. At first children have to work on finger strength for playing notes both together and independently from each other. The action of playing a note is not just a downward movement, but also an upward motion in order to gain control and accuracy when shaping the notes, to play with “attack” or to make it legato or staccato. But it’s also important to make exercises and playing fun – he could pretend his fingers are a hopping frog or rabbit perhaps? To keep the lesson more child friendly? ( It sounds as though you’re doing a great job supporting him with his piano! I’m sure he’ll do really well!?) Sara
Doris J. Hall-James says
I paid for the ebook for beginning piano but could not download it. Please help! Simplymusic1@verizon.net
Sara Mullett says
Sorry you had a problem with the download, that’s fine i can email you the files separately to make sure you get. Thanks. Sara