What are the Best Piano Books for Beginners?

This is a questions that is constantly being looked at again and again by piano teachers everywhere.

And it's a very important one to answer. Why?

Because good piano books for beginners can be the difference between a child sticking with piano or quitting.

In my opinion, piano books for beginners have to make piano fun and interesting. They cannot be overly challenging but they also cannot move so slow that beginners lose interest. I also believe that the best piano books for beginners should have interesting pieces that are appropriate for the age of the student.

Below I've explained why I like the books that I choose to use for my students.

Hope it's helpful!


In My Opinion: The Best Piano Books for Beginners

This is my favorite set. Nancy and Randall Faber have done a great job at introducing the most important concepts for a beginner to learn.

I love how they begin the student right away at thinking about arm weight and the concepts of good touch.

I think that they have organized the material in a very logical and progressive way. I have never had a problem with one my students not being able to understand the progression of concepts introduced.

The above reasons are all why I think these are the best piano books for beginners. However, I also like the songs themselves generally and so do my students. The words and clever and have cute captions to go along with them.

Nancy and Randall Faber make it easy for teachers to supplement other ideas along with their books, all while keeping the students feel like they know what is coming next (always a good feeling for the student).

Never Too Early to Start!

Never Too Early to Start!

Never Too Early to Start!

The Best Piano Books for Beginners: Adults!

So you want to start piano as an adult?

Not a problem! The Alfred Books are great for adult beginners.

You still get all of the quality of the Alfred Books but not all that frilly stuff that makes you feel like an eight year old.

The concepts move much more quickly since it take adult a lot less time to understand them.

However, the training of making the head/arms/fingers move together the way you want will still take you some time and Alfred does a good job of moving slowly enough to let you do so.

All in all, I think that these are the best piano books for beginners for adults looking to learn to play the piano.

A Little Favor

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Best Piano Books for Beginners: Special Occasions

Let me guess, one of the reasons you want your children (or yourself) to learn to play the piano is because you want them to be able to play for special occasions...Christmas, Weddings, holidays.

Well, you're in luck because a lot of the well-respected piano method books have comes out with wonderful collections of the best piano books for beginners for special occasions.

I still INCREDIBLY STRONGLY suggest that you get all of the piano books for beginners above (young beginner or adult) if you are at all interested in having your child play the piano well. You cannot expect to get these and have a teacher teach them for these books. Make sure that they know the basics before you have them playing for special occasions.

That being said, these are the often the cutest songs and are great to hear around the holidays...especially if it's a beginner having fun with them!

Other Lenses to Check Out

I've made a couple other lenses that are piano related...especially if you are just thinking about starting your child (or yourself!) on piano lessons.

Successful Pianists

A Good, Involved Teacher + Exteremly involved parents + Good Quality instructional Books = Successful Pianists

Child Prodigies

It’s sort of a hobby of mine to search YouTube videos to find amazing videos of child prodigies.

While that term may be overused, it’s still really fun to see what some children are capable of.

What it really comes down to very often, I believe, is an amazing teacher. Here’s where parents can have a huge influence!

powered by Youtube

Music Matters Blog

I really love this blog because it covers a variety of really relevant and important topics about music and piano.

It very often points to resources like free sheet music and the best new websites.

Where to Buy a Piano

The best way to buy a piano is to go to a music store that sells them and actually play it before you buy one. If you aren't sure what to looks for, ask someone who plays piano to come along and give you their opinion. The people selling the pianos are usually honest but just in case, it's best to get an outside opinion (ei: one not getting a commission for the sold piano).

Even if you don't play piano, it is good to try it yourself. Play around on it and listen carefully to the sound; do you like it? Do you enjoy the ones that sound more mellow and thick, or do you like the ones that have a clear, sharper sound? There's really no correct answer to this so go with what you will want to listen to for a long time.

For more information on, go to my lens on what to looks for when buying a piano
Piano Mart
A huge collection of any kind of piano you would want to buy. This is a reputable site and is well known for good service.
Name Brand Pianos
This is another site where they have all sorts of pianos. You can buy newly restore name brand pianos. When it comes to name brands, I do believe that it matters when you're talking about pianos. Brands like Steinway and Bechstein are very good and last a long time.
Digital Pianos
This is your place for digital pianos. Digital pianos can be great if you need somewhere to practice without bothering anyone else in your house. If you are to get a digital piano, make sure you buy one with weighted keys so that it feels like a real piano.
All About Pianos
This is a site that will answer a lot of your questions about pianos. It's very detailed and has a good FAQ section.

Online Piano Lessons: No Hassle Learning

Not interested in getting a piano teacher?

Don't want to buy piano books?

Can't afford piano lessons right now but want to start?

Online piano lessons are becoming more and more popular as technology becomes increasingly better and higher quality.

You can get relatively inexpensive piano lessons with instructional videos and music.

Online Piano Lessons from the most popular online teaching site.

To me, the piano in itself is an orchestra. --Cecil Taylor

Help Kids in Need

Your help can make it possible for more children to receive a good education!

America Can! is a non-profit organization operating public charter high schools throughout the country. America Can! academies provide a second-chance education for at-risk youth - kids who have dropped out or are at-risk of dropping out of school.

What Do YOU Think are the Best Piano Books for Beginners?

This is something that piano teachers get together and argue about all the time. What are the best piano books for beginners?!

Here's the usual debate:

Faber & Faber vs. Alfred.

What, in your experience, has been the better method book?

Which piano method do you prefer: Faber & Faber or the Alfred books?


Faber & Faber

pitlock says:

both good choices, I'm going to go with Faber & Faber but I like both.

JoyofMusic says:

Ouch, neither really do piano justice. As a piano teacher, I struggled teaching out of either as they never really explained how music went together, even with the basic theory they have started adding the last few years. I found I was creating 70% of the material I wanted myself. I now use a completely different way of teaching; Simply Music. Just like we teach kids to speak before they read, SM focuses on playing piano really well first without written music, and then when they get to reading in about a year, they pick it up so much faster, not to mention that they play about twice as well after the same number of lessons with Faber or Alfred. By isolating one skill at a time, I am seeing learning that is 50-100% faster than when I used traditional books. If anyone has questions, just let me know; it is the best method you have never heard of.

Zienna1 says:

My girls and I were all learning to play piano and our coach provided us with the book of Faber and faber. I couldn't tell anything about Alfred fo I haven't seen one. So its faber for us.

dawnsnewbeginnings says:

Can't really say but think I might try Faber & Faber

DoctorOrEngineer says:

I love these books as a kid! Also, I learned by playing simplified music from musicals I loved.


dawn-harr says:

Alfred Premier

DJ-TBone says:

To anyone that is scared that learning piano and keyboards is hard. IT's NOT! You just need to make the time and put in the practice and you will get better each and every day. It's so satisfying :)


I taught piano for four years. I really liked the Noona series, and it seemed pretty straightforward for my students as well. Highly recommended!

JenMusicLover says:

Alfred helped me learn the theory - my weak spot!

leonfranks says:

Never used Alfred for piano, but I have learned using their publications for brass and woodwinds.

view all 29 comments

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  • Snakesmum Sep 10, 2013 @ 12:26 am
    I'm a retiree, and I'm still deciding whether or not to learn piano! Probably, I'm too old to start. :-)
  • suepogson Sep 08, 2013 @ 1:33 pm
    I agree with your choices - nice lens. Thanks
  • readty7 Jun 04, 2013 @ 1:09 am
    Your lens is very good and it has useful information
  • readty7 Jun 04, 2013 @ 1:09 am
    Your lens is very good and it has useful information
  • jpmantil May 31, 2013 @ 10:03 am
    Great Lens! very informative. A collection of books that I find very good because ithey introduce contemporary harmony and folk music simultaneously is Bartok's Mikrokosmos. I might write a Lens about them!

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