thanksgiving songs for kids

10 Thanksgiving Piano Songs Kids Will Gobble Up

thanksgiving songs for kids

Are you looking for some Thanksgiving songs for kids? Below, piano teacher Alicia B. shares 10 yummy turkey tunes kids will love playing…

Whether it’s playing for friends and family around the table or at a school holiday party, Thanksgiving is an excellent time for beginner piano players to demonstrate their skills to a welcoming crowd.

Below are 10 Thanksgiving songs for kids. These piano songs vary by level and style, so there’s something for everyone.

1. Five Fat Turkeys Are We: Primer level

Veteran piano teacher and university professor, Gilbert De Benedetti compiles several arranged and original holiday-themed songs, including this primer-level piece, “Five Fat Turkeys Are We.”

It’s a great Thanksgiving song for kids, as it has kid-humor lyrics. For example, “Five fat turkeys are we, we slept all night in a tree, when the cook came round, we couldn’t be found, so that’s why we’re here you see!”

Find this and other free music at

2. Hurray, Thanksgiving Day!: Pre-reading level

Educator, Susan Paradis wrote this Thanksgiving song for kids as part of her teaching resources blog, which focuses on the pre-reading level.

It’s a great easy piano piece your beginners can learn in a day. The song even has lyrics for the cousin choir. Find this free piano piece on

3. Simple Gifts: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Originally a Shaker hymn (other interpretations include it as a dance song), “Simple Gifts,” is an American folk tune written by Joseph Brackett.

The piano song’s tone of wistful Americana makes it ideal for this time of year.

Many classical fans have heard the song as part of Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring,” and today it’s used for several movies and television holiday specials.

4. Turkey in the Straw: Beginner, Intermediate

The American folk song, “Turkey in the Straw” dates back to the early 1800s and is comprised of themes from other countries, such as Ireland.

Given its steady eighth-note feel, it was originally popularized as a fiddle tune, but is now enjoyed by all instrumentations.

Find a version of “Turkey in the Straw” for piano players on

5. We Gather Together: Intermediate, Beginner

This hymn was originally taken from a Dutch folk tune. Composer, Adrianus Valerius added lyrics to commemorate the victory over the Spanish in the Battle of Turnhout.

In current day, the piano song is often heard around the Thanksgiving holiday, as its title and lyrics suggest a time to join and reflect on the year’s blessings.

The 3/4 time signature and dotted quarter note pattern is a great warm up for “Silent Night,” which shares a similar structure.

You can find Andrew Fling’s arrangement of this tune on

6. Thanksgiving Theme (A Charlie Brown Christmas): Advanced, Intermediate

Pianist and composer, Vince Guaraldi made an indelible mark on American culture when he composed a series of jazz-inspired pieces to accompany Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the gang for the 1965 television special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

Since that time, the laid-back jazzy tunes have become a staple of the holiday season, and “Thanksgiving Theme” is a wonderful example.

Its driving 3/4 time signature and cascading triplets beautifully juxtapose the busyness of the season and the beauty of falling snow.

This piece is available for purchase in many Charlie Brown songbook collections.

7. Teacher’s Pet  (School of Rock, The Musical): Intermediate

Now coming to Broadway, School of Rock (originally a 2005 movie starring Jack Black) inspired a generation of kids to get involved in music education through high-energy classic rock and soul music.

The upcoming Broadway cast is performing at the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which should inspire and invigorate your young pianists, as the cast is comprised of actual child musicians – and even features a rockin’ keyboard solo!

8. Autumn Leaves: Intermediate, Advanced

Well-known jazz standard, “Autumn Leaves” began as the 1945 French song, “Les feuilles mortes” (The Dead Leaves) by Joseph Kosma.

It was only after American songwriter Johnny Mercer added English lyrics in 1947, did it gain popularity as a pop and jazz standard.

It’s now often used as a teaching tool for beginner jazz pianists, as it illustrates a ii-V-i (2-5-1) chord progression pattern, a pivotal concept in many jazz standards and improvisation.

9. Largo and Scherzo from Dvorak’s New World Symphony: Intermediate, Beginner

Highly celebrated Bohemian (now Czech Republic) composer, Antonin Dvorak had always been influenced by his geographic surroundings.

It is of no surprise, therefore, that when he moved to the U.S. in 1892 he wrote his impressions in his 9th symphony, commonly known as the “New World” Symphony.

The Largo movement is a solemn march that takes direct influence from African American spirituals and Native American intervals and rhythms in the Scherzo.

Find a version of the Largo movement on

10. Mashed Potatoes U.S.A.: Beginner, Intermediate

This early James Brown classic is basically a rhythm and blues jam in which Brown lists every one of his favorite cities.

The song’s driving groove is perfect for the cooking mood and it’s a great way to practice some blues improvisation. Encourage your guests to chime in with the city in which they’re visiting, while giving shout-outs to their favorite side dish.

You can find a recording of this song, and many blues backing tracks to practice with on YouTube.

These Thanksgiving piano songs for kids will keep your pumpkin pi(e)anists practicing until Black Friday! Happy Thanksgiving and have a musically merry holiday season!

Untitled design 66Post Author: Alicia B.
Alicia B. teaches piano, violin, music performance, and more. She is a graduate of Miami’s Public Arts Programs, including Coral Reef Senior High and the Greater Miami Youth Symphony. Alicia has over 15+ years of musical experience. Learn more about Alicia here!

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piano solos

15 Easy Piano Solos That Sound Hard

piano solos

Do you want to impress your friends and family with your new piano skills? Below, piano teacher Liz T. shares 15 piano solos that sound hard, but are actually fairly easy to learn…

Are you a beginner piano player looking for some new and fun piano solos to learn? If you answered “yes,” then you’ve come to the right place.

Chances are you’re eager to show off your skills with some popular piano songs. The good news is there are tons of easy piano solos out there that sound hard, but are actually pretty easy to play.

From piano pop songs to old classics, below are 15 of the best piano solos you can play if you want to impress your audience.

15 Easy Piano Solos That Sound Impressive

While these piano solos might not sound like beginner songs, they are fairly easy to master with some practice.

Browse through these 15 best piano solos and choose a few that grab your attention. Watching the videos is a great way to get a feel for each song.

1. All I Ask of You: Phantom of the Opera

This gorgeous theme song from the musical “Phantom of the Opera” composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber is a classic love song that will surely wow your audience. This great piano solo can be performed with or without vocalists.

2. Piano Man: Billy Joel

If you’re a pianist and a singer, this is a great song to practice both your piano skills and your vocals. Your audience will be impressed with how you can channel your inner Billy Joel with this classic piano pop song.

3. Bohemian Rhapsody: Queen

Looking for a rock solo to add to your repertoire? This piano solo is great if you want to practice slow and fast tempos, and the use of dynamics. You can make this song as easy or as hard as you want.

4. Heart and Soul: Hoagy Carmichael

Whether you decide to play this song solo or as a duet, you’re sure to have a blast! It has a very fun, simple piano rhythm in the left hand, with a fun melody in the right hand.

5. Fur Elise: Beethoven

If you’re looking for a classical hit to wow your audience, try this piano solo. It’s great for practicing arpeggios and showing off your classical technique.

6. The Entertainer: Scott Joplin

A classic ragtime piece, Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer” is a great piano solo that will show off your fancy finger work. There are many modified piano versions out there, so find one that fits your skill set.

7. Cannon in D: Pachelbel

A beautiful classical piece, this piano solo is perfect for weddings or any other formal celebration. It’s also a great solo to practice easy chords, and a simple bass line.

8. Ave Maria: Schubert

This simple, but impressive ballad is great for practicing arpeggios and chords. Because the song pretty much keeps the same pattern throughout, you should be able to learn it in no time!

9. Prelude to the Well Tempered Clavichord: Bach

This is one of my personal favorites to play on the piano because it sounds difficult but is very easy to play. It’s also great for practicing dynamics.

10. All that Jazz: Chicago

This piano solo is a fun jazz piece that sounds fancy, but is easy to play. The bridge and ending will make your audience think that you can bring the house down.

11. Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Wizard of Oz

Audience members will surely shed a tear during your performance of this famous song. It’s the perfect piano solo to milk out long legato phrases, and sounds pretty in any key.

12. Tale as Old as Time: Beauty and the Beast

One of Disney’s most sensational piano pieces, this piano solo is an easy piece to embellish the melody, add trills, and chord inversions if you feel like making the song extra special.

13. My Heart Will Go On: Titanic

This Grammy award-winning song will captivate your audience’s heart. In this ballad, you can really capture emotion with just a few chords, and repeating melodic phrase.

14. New York, New York: Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra’s hit, New York, New York is a crowd favorite. You can really build up the chorus section, which the audience will go nuts over because they will want to sing along.

15. What a Wonderful World: Louis Armstrong

This piano solo will melt your audience to pieces. This is a great song if you want to work on conveying emotion through different peaks and climaxes, especially in the bridge section.

These are all great piano solos you can start practicing today. I recommend starting with the piano book, “More Popular Piano Solos – Levels 1-4: Hal Leonard Student Piano Library,” to help guide you.

If you need more expertise on performing these popular piano solos, work closely with your piano teacher.

Photo by Kevin Ohlin

LizTPost Author: Liz T.
Liz T. teaches singing, acting, and music lessons online. She is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music with a B.M in Vocal performance and currently performs/teaches all styles of music including Musical Theater, Classical, Jazz, Rock, Pop, R&B, and Country. Learn more about Liz here!

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piano styles

Ultimate Guide to the 5 Most Popular Piano Styles

piano styles

Don’t know what piano style you want to learn? Below, piano teacher Liz T. shares the five most popular piano styles to give you a better idea of what suits you…

Having the ability to play a number of different piano styles will help you become a better overall piano player.

What’s more, knowing the important composers, performers, and pieces of each piano style will assist you in your musical studies.

Below, I’ve listed the five most important piano styles, which include classical, jazz, musical theater, pop/rock, and liturgical.

Read through the various piano styles to see which one jumps out at you most.

After browsing, if you’re still not sure what piano style fits you, take the quiz at the end of the article to help you determine.

1. Classical Piano

Throughout 1750-1820, classical piano was performed for royalty and the upper class in Europe. There were three main composers who paved the way for classical piano composition: Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven.

As the years progressed and classical music transformed from renaissance to baroque and romantic, other great pianists emerged, including Haydn, Chopin, Handel, Wagner, Debussy, and Tchaikovsky.

Classical piano is often what students study first because it forces them to have a very strong technique and knowledge of music theory.

Without having an understanding of the classical piano technique, it’s very hard to learn and pick up other piano styles. That’s because most music has stemmed from the classical style.

Famous Classical Piano Composers

Just because classical music was popular many years ago, doesn’t mean it’s not thriving today.

There are many classical piano composers who are still performing music from the greats as well as creating their own classical compositions, such as the following:

Van Cliburn: Cliburn was one of the greatest American piano players of our century. Each year, thousands of piano players audition to compete in the “Annual Van Cliburn Piano Competition.”

Phillip Glass: Glass had an extensive career in writing, recording, and orchestrating classical music ranging from symphonic orchestras to the big screen.

Eric Whitacare: A regular chart-topper, Whitacare often writes for choirs, and has released several classical music albums that have won Grammys.

Classical Piano Books

Bach, Mozart and Beethoven are crucial composers to know as a classical pianist. I recommend having these books around when you to start learning this piano style:

  • Schirmer’s Library of Musical Classics “First Lessons in Bach, Complete Books I and II for Piano”
  • Alfred Series “Mozart: 21 of His Most Popular Pieces for Piano”
  • Dover Music “A First Book of Beethoven: 24 Arrangements for the Beginning Pianist with Downloadable Mp3’s”

2. Jazz Piano

1918 marked the big start of American jazz. Pianists such as Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, and Fats Waller are piano players influential in building the jazz scene around New York, Chicago, and New Orleans.

At the time, jazz piano was a rebellious type of music, as it deviated from the classic rhythms, harmony, and technique.

Jazz music incorporates swing, improvisation, ragtime, boogie woogie, and bee bop to create captivating melodies and rhythmic patterns.

People turned to jazz music during “The Great Depression” as well as in times of celebration.

It also became an important mark in history where African-Americans, Asians, Latinos, and Europeans were able to come together to create music in America.

Famous Jazz Piano Players

While Joplin, Morton, and Waller paved the way for jazz piano, today’s contemporary jazz players are keeping it alive.

I suggest listening to some of today’s most well-known contemporary jazz players, including the following:

Herbie Hancock: Hancock is an innovative American pianist and keyboardist. Popular albums include “Head Hunters,” “Maiden Voyages,” and “Possibilities.”

Michel Camilo: Camilo is a Grammy Award-winning pianist and composer from the Dominican Republic who specializes in jazz, Latin, and classical work.

Kenny Barron: An American jazz piano player, Barron is one of the most influential mainstream jazz pianists of the bebop area, currently on faculty at Juilliard School.

Essential Jazz Piano Books:

If you want to learn more about jazz piano style, then I suggest you check out these helpful books:

  • “The Jazz Theory Book,” by Mark Levine (Comprehensive guide to jazz music theory)
  • “Aebersold Play-a-longs” (Volumes with popular jazz standards with lead sheet notation, and CD play alongs to practice with.)
  • “The Real Books,” Hal Leonard (Volumes with 100+ jazz lead sheets, perfect for any gig or jam)

3. Musical Theater Piano

Piano plays a big role in musical theater. In fact, piano players are crucial for the development and success of musical theater.

Musical theater accompanists must be very good sight readers and versatile, as every musical theater production is different.

Musical theater pianists can find work performing in the pit bands of shows, and can serve as accompanist alongside singers at auditions.

Listen to some of the old Broadway composers and lyricists for inspiration, such as Rodgers & Hammerstein, Rodgers & Hart, and Gershwin.

There are also many popular Broadway composers today–such as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Steven Sondheim, and Steven Schwartz–who have used piano primarily in their writing for musical theater.

Well-known Musical Theater Piano Players

Below are some of my favorite pianists  who’ve made a strong impact writing and performing musical theater:

Jason Robert Brown: Known for his works “Songs for a New World” and “The Last 5 Years,”  Brown uses incredible chords and harmonies. He has a knack for knowing how to capture both piano and voice together.

Marvin Hamlish: This legendary pianist served as the composer of one of Broadway’s longest running musicals, “A Chorus Line.” Hamlish was very skilled at capturing dancers and the sound of the piano together.

Seth Rudetsky: An accompanist and radio talk show host, Rudetsky really knows how to work with singers whether it be for a cabaret performance, audition, or cruise ship!

Best Musical Theater Piano Books:

If you wish to be a part of the Broadway scene, take a look at these essential books:

  • “The Big Book of Broadway-4th Edition,” Hal Leonard
  • “The Singers Musical Theater Anthology Series,” Hal Leonard
  • “Kids Musical Theater Collection (Volumes 1, 2),” Hal Leonard

4. Pop/Rock Piano

Starting in the ’50s, the piano was incorporated in many popular pop and rock songs. In the ’70s, the keyboard was heavily introduced because of it’s cool electric sounds.

Being a contemporary rock/pop piano player and composer is no easy task, but is one of the most rewarding piano gigs around.

As a pop/rock piano player you will probably find the most paid work, ranging from cover bands, wedding gigs, session recordings, and touring performances.

With this piano style, you’re free to explore new sounds, as the charts are always changing. What’s more, having the ability to both sing and play the piano looks and sounds great in performance.

Famous Pop/Rock Piano Players

Here’s a sample of some of piano pop and rock players who’ve made a huge impact on the genre. Listen to these folks to get inspired and maybe pick up a few performance tricks.

Elton John and Billy Joel: Both of these music veterans hit the top of their careers in the ’70s and ’80s. However, they still continue to perform to sold out stadiums today.

Alicia Keys: At the tender age of 16, Keys was already signed and recording her own original music. Her piano chords and melodies are in sync with her original vocals and lyrics.

Carole King: One of the most powerful women in songwriting, King is a singer/pianist from New York who’s written and recorded some of the most influential pop music of our time.

Essential Pop/Rock Piano Books:

There are tons of really great piano pop/rock books available. Below are just a few helpful piano books that will guide you:

  • “Let it Go, Happy, and More Hot Pop Singles 2014,” by Hal Leonard
  • “Piano Styles of 23 Pop Masters,” by Mark Harrison
  • “The Piano Songbook: Contemporary Songs Book 2,” by Faber Music

5. Liturgical Piano

Liturgical music originated as a part of religious ceremonies ranging from Catholic to Protestant to Jewish.

Almost every religion has their own unique sounding liturgical music that plays an important and meaningful role in its culture.

Liturgical music has been passed on from generation to generation, and today musicians are still performing and composing new music for religious services, performances, and recordings.

The piano is able to serve in all the various types of religious music. Many pianists start out by playing religious services professionally to make their living as a musician.

Notable Liturgical Piano Players

The composers and pianists below are influential in the liturgical music genre.

David Haas: An influential pianist and composer of the modern day liturgies in the Christian community.

Hector Olivera: An internationally acclaimed organist, watch his technique and how he brings the organ to life.

Jason White: White is a leading musical director and performer. He plays primarily gospel music on the piano, keyboards, and organ.

Liturgical Piano Books for Beginners

If you want to learn how to play this piano style, then check out these helpful books for beginners:

  • “Big Book of Hymns,” Hal Leonard
  • “Gospel Keyboard Styles: A Complete Guide to Harmony, Rhythm and Melody,” Mark Harrison
  • “The Practical Organist: 50 Short Works for Church Services,” Dover Music

I hope this guide to the five most popular piano styles will help determine what style you want to learn. Talk with your piano teacher on ways you can practice whatever piano style you choose.

If you’re still unsure which piano style to choose, take this fun quiz to find out!

Photo by André P. Meyer-Vitali

LizTPost Author: Liz T.
Liz T. teaches singing, acting, and music lessons online. She is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music with a B.M in Vocal performance and currently performs/teaches all styles of music including Musical Theater, Classical, Jazz, Rock, Pop, R&B, and Country. Learn more about Liz here!

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[Quiz] What Piano Style Are You?

Whether you’ve just started taking piano lessons or you’re simply thinking about it, chances are you’re curious about the different piano styles out there.

From jazz to classical to pop, there are tons of different piano styles that you can learn. It all depends on what music you’re particularly drawn to.

You’re bubbly personality, for example, might be best suited for pop piano. Or perhaps you’re an old soul who’s more into jazz.

Whatever your personality, there’s a piano style out there that’s perfect for you. To help you determine what piano style is best for you, take the fun quiz below.

What piano style did you get? Get started on mastering your piano style by working with an experience piano teacher.

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piano finger exercises

8 Piano Finger Exercises for Beginners

piano finger exercises

Having the proper finger positioning is essential for beginners, as it helps prevent injury and improve technique. Below, piano teacher Ryan C. shares some piano finger exercises beginners can do to help improve their skills… 

Sitting down at a piano and playing a few notes is a pretty easy task, right?

I mean, practically anyone can take a seat on the bench, place their fingers on the keys, and make some sort of sound come out.

However, the technique we use to control the muscles in our hands, fingers, arms, and shoulders plays a very important role in our ability to play the piano well.

Specifically, the muscles in our fingers play a very vital role in our ability to make, as well as control, our desired sound.

In this article, I will cover some basics about good piano hand position (which can be seen in greater brevity here).

I will also share some educational piano finger exercises that beginner piano students can use to give themselves a head start in their development.

What Does Good Piano Finger Technique Involve?

Great piano finger technique is based on the idea of playing “from the finger”–or using the fingers as our main driving source of power.

If you’re self-taught or new to piano, most of these ideas will be unfamiliar to you. If you’ve been playing for a long time and using different techniques, breaking bad habits may take a little time.

There’s no need to stress, as my finger technique was awful before I got into SDSU. Within a few months of being there, however, it improved substantially. 

If I can do it, I’m confident that you can too!

In essence, good finger technique utilizes the following four elements:

Fingers should not be flat or floppy–knuckles should generally not be straightened.

Typically, most fingers will be slightly bent at the knuckle closest to the fingertip. The exception is the pinky finger, which can be straightened at times.

The primary power source of most playing will actually come from the finger–specifically the knuckle at the top of the hand–rather than the wrist or arm.

Relaxation of the arm, elbow, and shoulder, and a very early preparation of the thumb and other fingers while playing.

Playing “from the finger” is incredibly important. Just think of how objects move; if you’re holding a pencil in your hand and want to move it extremely quickly, is the motion large or small?

Likewise, in piano playing, if you wanted to play an extremely fast succession of notes, would you opt for large-scale muscles or small-scale ones?

In addition, you wouldn’t use your whole arm and upper-body to rapidly move the pencil back and forth, so why would we do that when playing the piano?

With this notion in mind, it’s easy to understand why using good piano finger technique is incredibly important.

Common Piano Finger Technique Mistakes

I’ve been teaching piano for several years now, which means I’ve seen my fair-share of interesting alternatives to using proper piano finger technique.

Of course, before I knew the right way to play, I had many of these same habits. Here are a few mistakes that I’ve seen some of my beginner piano students do that should be avoided:

  • Rather than adjusting their piano hand position, my students sometimes compensate with their wrists by moving them very high or very low. In either position, unnecessary tension is added which reduces speed and accuracy.
  • Oftentimes, beginner students will play from the arm, rather than the finger, which makes for a very overly-rhythmic sound that tends to create accents on beats in which there are none written.

8 Piano Finger Exercises for Beginners

In no particular order, here are some of my favorite piano finger exercises that I use with my beginner students.

The following finger exercises should be done with a consistent tempo, even if it’s very slow.

1. 5 note pentascales using one finger at a time. (C D E F G)–one finger per note.

In this piano finger exercise, the student will play down one finger at a time and listen to the result.

I often have my students change dynamic ranges only using their finger muscles rather than their whole arms or shoulders.

It’s such an easy exercise, but also surprisingly difficult for those who may not have strong finger muscles.

2. Ascending and descending pentascales

After the first finger exercise is mastered, play an ascending and descending pentascale from the lowest to highest finger with both hands.

For instance, the left-hand pinky will play with the right hand thumb, and so on. Use the proper finger techniques discussed earlier.

3. Play in thirds (skip notes) between each note

After the second exercise is mastered, using a pentascales, play in thirds (skip notes) between each note. Train your fingers to play every note legato– connected.

 4. Play with firm finger position

While having your hands at about playing level though not actually on the keys, prepare (bend) the knuckle closest to the finger-tip as though it were playing.

Lift your hand while keeping the finger position, then let it fall onto the key. If the knuckle collapses, try again from a lower height.

In essence, this finger exercise prepares you for the sensation of playing with a firm finger position without adding any arm weight or tension to the scenario.

By dropping your hands and arm on the keys, it allows you to focus fully on getting a solid finger position.

5. Over-Legato

Play the notes in such a way that each note overlaps with the subsequent note.

For example, if you were playing a C major pentascales, you would hold down your thumb until you played your index finger, after which, you would lift your thumb and play your middle finger, etc.

This piano finger exercise is great for developing a great awareness of your fingers and learning to control each one individually.

It’s actually surprisingly difficult for beginner students to do this exercise well!

6. Hanon & Czerny Technique Books

These books are fantastic for getting student’s fingers to cooperate! Go through these with the techniques mentioned previously for maximum results.

Czerny is quite a bit harder than the early Hanon books, so keep that in mind when deciding on a finger technique book.

7. Full (1 or 2 octave) scales

Practice full (1 or 2 octave) scales while preparing the thumb well before it’s actually played.

For instance, in a C major scale, after you have played the first D with your right hand index finger, immediately prepare the thumb so that it is ready on or near the note F. Practice all scales in this manner.

This exercise in particular is one that I continue to use within my professional studies as a pianist.

If done properly, it will eliminate bumps in your scales and passagework, and allow you to play with greater speed and accuracy.

8. Play two notes at a time in one hand at a time.

For instance, the right hand thumb and middle finger play simultaneously while the other fingers relax.

It’s important to verify that the other fingers are, in fact relaxing, as they will often try to interact when they don’t need to.

The pinky finger is especially notorious for wanting to be a part of everything the other fingers are doing, even when not necessary.

In conclusion, using these piano finger exercises on a consistent basis while using proper finger-technique will greatly enhance your ability to play the piano with great accuracy and speed.

Remember that consistency is the key to changing older habits! I hope you find these piano finger exercises helpful in your piano study!

Photo by CristianAllendesPhotos

Post Author: Ryan C.
Ryan C. teaches piano, ear training, and music theory. He is a graduate of San Diego State University with a B.M. in piano performance. Learn more about Ryan here!

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piano practice

50 Best Pinterest Accounts for Inspiring Piano Practice Ideas


piano practice

Are you in a piano practice rut lately? There’s nothing worse than having to practice or teach the same piano songs and techniques over and over again. It’s enough to drive someone mad!

Luckily, there are many resources available online that can help spark inspiration. Pinterest, for example, is a great resource for both students and  piano teachers. There are hundreds of pages dedicated solely to piano playing.

Since we know you don’t have time to sift through all of these pages, we’ve rounded up the 50 best Pinterest accounts for piano practice ideas, games, sheet music, and more.

Whether you’re a student or a teacher, these Pinterest pages are great for finding ideas to spice up your piano practice routine. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Piano Practice Tips


1. Hannah-Lee Ableson: “Teaching Piano” has a ton of piano practice tips both parents and teachers can easily implement. We particular love all the tips for parents, such as how to end piano practice wars and how to deal with never-ending excuses. Check it out here.

2. Chrissy Krahn: “Piano-Tips for Teachers” has a variety of how-to’s that are primarily geared toward teachers. However, there are some tips and exercises that parents can use to encourage their children to practice. Check it out here.

3. Laura Lowe: “Piano Studio” is another great board that boasts an array of piano practice tips students can use to improve. Everything from hand positioning to common music mistakes is featured on the board. Check it out here.

4. Beverly Cox: If you’re looking for a wide variety of piano practice tips, look no further than “Piano Stuff.” This board has kid-friendly tips about how to read notes, play scales, sight read, and more. Check it out here. 

5. Christy Young: From sight reading to proper posture, “Piano Practice Techniques” covers everything beginner piano players need to get started. It also has some great tips for teachers who are might be struggling to think of practice exercises. Check it out here.

6. Leila Viss: “Keys to Piano” features a ton of quality information for piano players, teachers, and parents. We particularly like all of the ideas for keeping kids motivated to practice. Check it out here.

7. Melody Payne: “Piano Teacher Articles” isn’t just great for teachers, but it’s also helpful for students and parents. The board has an array of information on how to make the most of one’s practice time. Check it out here.

8. Ashley Caldwell Brown: “Piano” features a variety of practical piano tips that will help kids stay motivated. We particularly like all of the advice for parents who want to help their child practice. Check it out here.

9. Gail Fischler: With four boards related to piano, Fischler has a wide scope of information related to piano. Browse through her “Piano Addict Tips & Resources” board to discover helpful tips you can apply to your next practice. Check it out here.

10. Emily Zook: Looking for some actionable practice tips? “Piano” has a bunch of helpful tips and activities that will help students improve their piano skills. Check it out here.

11. Carri Corbitt: From practice tips to sheet music, “Tickle Those Ivories Piano Studio” has over 200 useful pins for both piano students and teachers. We especially like all of the fun, free printables. Check it out here.

12. Rhonda Hunter: If you’re looking for piano sheet music, “Education/Piano Music” is the right board for you. This board has fun practice tips and sheet music every student will love. Check it out here.

13. Nichole Lookabaugh: Warming up is an important part of piano practice. “Piano Lessons” has some fun warm-up exercises as well as some technique tips to help assist students. Check it out here.

Piano Practice Games


14. Susan Paradis: From rhythm bingo to memory match, “Music Games and Worksheets” has everything parents and teachers need to keep their budding musician entertained. Check it out here.

15. The Plucky Pianista: “The Plucky Pianista” has over 100 useful pins for students and teachers, including a ton of fun and educational games. We especially like the warm up games for building strength and dexterity. Check it out here.

16. Claire Westlake: “Music Education” is a wonderful board that features an array of engaging games and activities for students, many of which are easy and cost effective to replicate. Check it out here.

17. Andrea Dow: “Teach Piano Today” has over 27 boards full of inspiration geared toward piano teachers. We particularly love her piano teaching games board, which features dozens of fun and education piano practice games for students. Check it out here.

18. Wendy Stevens: With 17 boards dedicated to piano, Wendy Stevens has everything a piano teacher or parent is looking for. Browse through her “Piano Teaching Games” board for piano games to inspire your next practice session. Check it out here.

19. Joy Morin: “Color in My Piano” features a great roundup of piano practice games for students. Even better, the board has a number of printable PDFs that you can download and use during your next piano practice. Check it out here.

20. Carla Lowery: With over 6,000 pins, “Music Stuff” has an abundance of tips, activities, and resources for both students and teachers. We love all of the different games that come with printables. Check it out here.

21. Chantelle Thaler: With over 467 pins related to piano, “Piano Studio-Inspiration, Games, Printables,” has everything a budding piano player needs, including a number of unique and education piano practice games. Check it out here.

22. Kathy Williamson: If you’re looking to engage your child or student, “Teaching Piano” is a great resource. The board has a number of piano practice games that are simple for parents and teachers to play with their budding musician. Check it out here.

23. Micheline Roch: Learning the piano doesn’t have to be boring. “Piano Studio” has an abundance of fun piano games that students can play, many of which use simple household items. Check it out here.

24. Julie Williams: “Piano Lessons Teaching Aids” is another board that features tons of fun, and engaging piano games for beginner piano players. We particular like all of the free printouts she provides. Check it out here.

25. Alicia Dunlap: “My Keys” is a great resource filled with piano games geared toward young, beginner students. From sound match games to finger patterns, this board has a variety of fun games. Check it out here.

26. Lana Hughes: Learning complex musical concepts can be difficult for beginners.”Piano Teaching” features a number of fun games that make these concepts easy for students to understand. Check it out here.

27. Katrina Grabham: “Piano Teaching” has a ton of kid-friendly piano games for students who have a hard time sitting still on the bench. Check it out here.

Piano Practice Sheets

piano practice

28. Kacie Zajic: “Teaching Piano” is a great resource for young musicians, as the board features several themed piano practice sheets. For example, she has some fun holiday-themed piano practice sheets for kids. Check it out here.

29. Patti Kolk: “Piano Teaching Ideas” has a wide variety of piano practice sheets for beginners as well as general music exercises to help little ones understand how to read scales and rhythms. Check it out here.

30. Debbie Lumpkin:“Music Board” is a great general music board for youngsters. The board features an array of practice sheets to help students learn rhythms, notes, and more. Check it out here.

31. Music Teacher Resources: With over 69 boards, “Music Teacher Resources” has everything from free, printable piano practice sheets to music theory assignments. We especially love how the boards are organized by age-group. Check it out here.

32. Shirley Cadle: “Love Teaching the Piano” is a wonderful board with everything from helpful time signature worksheets to metronome tips. Check it out here.

33. Bethany Parnell: Running out of ideas for practice time? “Piano Studio” has a number of helpful piano practice sheets as well as tips for keeping kids engaged during practice. Check it out here.

34. Marilyn Herrett: Whether you’re looking to work on sight reading or rhythm, “For My Piano Studio” has everything you need. We particularly love all of the holiday-themed worksheets. Check it out here.

35. Anjuli Crocker: If you’re looking for piano sheet music and practice sheets then look no further than “Kids Piano.” This board is filled with helpful tips and exercises. Check it out here.

36. Jenny Boster: “Piano Teaching” is filled with sample exercises and practice sheets students can use  to practice various piano skills, such as chord inversions and note naming. Check it out here.

37. Mary Miller: With over 1,000 pins, “School Stuff” has everything you need to keep your child engaged and learning during their piano practice sessions. Check it out here.

38. Inge Borg: While this board is primarily geared toward teachers, it has a ton of great practice sheets and tips for students. We especially love the wide variety. Check it out here.

Piano Practice Charts

39. Diane Hidy: With over 10 boards dedicated to piano, Diana Hidy has an array of practice charts, inspiration, tools, and ideas for students, teachers, and parents. We especially love all the helpful tips for teachers. Check it out here.

40. Barnes Piano LLC: Are you looking for some piano practice charts? “Piano Teaching Games” has an array of sample sheets and tips for how to structure your child’s piano practice. The board also includes some fun, educational games. Check it out here.

41. Sara @ Let’s Play Music:“First Piano Lessons for Kids” is great for beginner piano players, as the site has a wide variety of exercises, games, and charts. We particular like how many of the piano practice charts can be download for convenience. Check it out here.

42. Heather Nanney: “Piano Lesson: Practicing” has a ton of free piano practice charts and worksheets both teachers and parents can use to keep track of their child’s progress. The board also features several resources on how to make practice fun. Check it out here.

43. Tim Topham: “Piano Practice” has an abundance of resources and tips for practicing piano. We suggest taking a look at the practice charts for kids. Tim also has a number of other helpful piano boards you can browse. Check it out here.

44. Tracy King: The self-proclaimed “Bulletin Board Lady,” Tracy King has ton of music practice charts that can be applied to several instruments, including the piano. Check it out here.

 45. Kelly Nelson: Besides having an abundance of tips for teachers, “Piano Students” has a wide variety useful piano practice charts that are super helpful for students. Check it out here.

46. Shana Elliot: “Music Class Printables” has an array of practice charts and worksheets that are great for kids. We especially love all of the holiday-themed charts for Halloween, Christmas, and more. Check it out here.

47. Larissa Coleman: If you’re looking for piano practice charts and beginner piano sheet music, than look no further “Piano Lessons.” The board has a ton of great resources for beginner students. Check it out here.

48. Patty Johnson: “Piano Lesson Ideas” is filled with a ton of piano practice charts. Whether you want to work on rhythm or melody, this board has everything you’re looking for. Check it out here.

49. Kim Smith: With over 1,000 pins, “Music Classroom/Piano Lessons” has an abundance of entertaining practice sheets and tips. We particularly like the fun worksheets! Check it out here.

50. Tiffiny Almond Allen: Head over to “Piano Teaching” and browse through all of the fun worksheets and practice charts. You’re sure to find something that will keep your little one engaged while practicing. Check it out here.

51. LadyD Piano: LadyD Piano has a variety of boards for those learning how to play piano. For example, she has a board dedicated to music apps, books, and practice printables. Check it out here.

52. Ashely Danyew: “Piano Teaching” has an abundance of wonderful tips and tricks for both piano players and students. We especially love all the resources that help teachers motivate students. Check it out here.

If you’re bored with your piano practice routine or you simply want to mix things up, browse through these Pinterest accounts to get some inspiration. Remember, practice makes perfect!

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piano hand position

Guide to Proper Piano Hand Position [Infographic]


piano hand position

Learning the proper piano hand position is essential for both beginner and accomplished piano players. Below piano teacher, Ryan C. shares some tips and exercises on how to perfect your piano hand placement…

If you were to sit down at a piano right now and throw your hands on the keys, how would they land? Would your fingers be curved or flat? How would your wrist look relative to your arm? Would you feel any tension in your shoulder or would you feel relaxed?

Considerations like these are often overlooked by both amateur and accomplished pianists. Perhaps the concept of having a consistent piano hand position was never taught to you or never occurred to you.

Whatever the case may be, having good piano hand placement is extremely important for both aspiring and accomplished pianists.

In this post, we will discuss the importance of proper piano finger position as well as some exercises you can do to perfect your piano hand position.

Let’s get started!

The Importance of Proper Piano Hand Position

Why does good piano hand position matter? So glad you asked! To answer this question, allow me to give you a small glimpse into my history as a pianist. When I first started studying piano at college, I had a teacher who didn’t teach me proper piano hand position.

For a while, this didn’t matter, as I was able to get a satisfactory sounding tone, sense of phrasing, and musicality out of the instrument. As a college level pianist, however, I was required to practice many hours a day; at one point, I was doing 5 hours a day.

Very quickly, my hands and arms would hurt to the point where picking anything up would be painful. At the time, I didn’t know that this pain was caused by poor piano hand placement.

It wasn’t until I came to San Diego State University to further my piano playing, when my piano teacher Dr. Follingstad, immediately began to address and remedy the issues within my piano hand positions.

Good piano hand placement not only prevents injury, but it also allows a pianist to get better tone quality. I remember when I was a beginner and thought that the tone of the piano was unchangeable. I didn’t realize that the position of my hands could absolutely affect the sound coming out of the instrument.

In addition to the previously mentioned benefits, proper piano finger positions allows a pianist to play quicker, with more agility, and with greater accuracy.

What is the Proper Piano Hand Position?

With all of the aforementioned benefits of using a proper piano hand positions, it would seem that the only thing left to do is to learn how to actually do it!

Thankfully, a good piano hand position is actually much easier to learn than many people think! Like any new skill, however, maintaining good piano hand placement requires consistent practice on behalf of the student.

I will be using piano hand positions approaches that have worked for me, specifically that of my teacher Dr. Follingstad, as well as tips from renowned piano teachers like Leschetizky, Dohnanyi, and Alfred Cortot.

  • Step One: To get a natural piano finger position, try standing up beside your piano and relaxing your hands at your sides. If you feel tense, shake out any stress that you may have in your arms, hands, and fingers.
  • Step Two: One should sit far enough from the keyboard to let the fingertips rest on the keys without effort when the arms are normally bent, and the feet should reach the pedals without stretching.
  • Step Three: Notice how your fingers natural curve in toward your body and how your knuckles curve out slightly away from your body. Also, notice how the thumb and index finger make a slight “C” shape. Keep your hands and fingers in the same position as this, but bend your arm at your elbow so your hands are in front of you with your palms down.
  • Step Four: The result should be that the fingertips are in contact with the lid, the knuckles of the hand should be fairly even with one another, and they should be slightly higher than the wrist. The first knuckle closest to the fingertips should be flexed during most playing styles. It should not collapse or cause the fingers to become perfectly straight.
  • Step Five: The wrist should be relaxed and level with the hand. To find the ideal position, hold your fingertips on the surface of the keys while maintaining the firmness of the knuckles of the hand. Move your wrist upwards and downwards and notice the tension created by having the wrist be either too high or too low. Now find the place in your wrist that feels most natural; often it will be where the wrist is even with the arm.
  • Step Six: Finally, make sure to notice whether or not any part of your arm has tensed up. Check your wrist, shoulder, and forearm – if they feel tense, relax them while keeping your fingers on the keys.

If you’re more of a visual learner, check out this infographic depicting the proper piano hand positions below:

piano hand position

Tips and Exercises for Proper Piano Hand Placement

As previously mentioned, proper piano hand position takes consistent practice to develop.

Cortot, Leschetizky, and Dohnanyi all offer similar techniques when it comes to practicing good piano hand positions. In particular, playing variations of pentascales as chords, while lifting one finger at a time and holding the remaining notes down.

To make this applicable to students, try the following exercise:

Play the notes C, D, E, F, G simultaneously as a chord with your right hand with one finger per key. Slowly let your thumb come up by letting the key lift it. When it reaches the top, don’t let your thumb lose contact with the key. Instead, simply press it down again by using the muscles in your hand.

Try not to let your arm and elbow do the work for you. If you have never done these piano hand exercises before, you may feel as though you can’t push down the keys very hard. This is totally normal! Don’t attempt to push down the keys hard, just focus on making your fingers do the work.

Double check your piano hand position– are the knuckles firm or floppy? Are you tense in your arm or shoulder?

After completing this exercise with your thumb, work your way up your hand by having each finger separately push down its respective key while holding the others down. In this manner, work your way up the hand and back down, eventually switching over to the left hand and doing the same process.

For those who are more adventurous or want some more piano hand exercises to do, try this page of Dohnanyi exercises and see how you do!

Make sure to pay careful attention to the positioning of the hands relative to the wrist, the knuckles, fingers, and so on. Go slow enough that you can do the page without tension.

A good piano hand position is fundamentally important to both aspiring and accomplished pianists.

By following some of the tips above and applying them with consistent practice, you can rapidly improve your ability to play the piano with accuracy and dexterity.

Post Author: Ryan C.
Ryan C. teaches piano, ear training, and music theory. He is a graduate of San Diego State University with a B.M. in piano performance. Learn more about Ryan here!

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how to teach piano

How to Teach Piano to Every Age Group (Preschoolers, Teens, and Adults)

how to teach piano

No two piano students are the same. As a teacher, it’s important to take a unique approach to teaching different age groups. Below, piano teacher Rhonda B. shares some helpful tips on how to teach piano to every age group…

Imagine a department store where every item of women’s clothing is labeled size small. The store’s designer has decided on a certain ideal, and that’s what’s offered. If you don’t like it, you’re obviously ignorant of good taste.

As silly as this seems, that’s the exact approach many piano teachers take to teaching piano—a one-size-fits-all method. Take it or leave it. I say, leave it. Instead, our pedagogy should be willing to address all sorts of variables.

That being said, here are some helpful tips on how to teach piano to different ages groups. Not only are these tips helpful for piano teachers, but they are also helpful for parents who are helping their young musicians practice.

How to Teach Piano to Preschoolers

how to teach piano

Preschoolers can be a rambunctious group of individuals who are difficult to teach. Below are some actionable tips on how to teach piano to preschoolers.

  • Use appealing, kid-oriented songs:  I’ve tried a number of books for young beginners, and keep coming back to “My First Piano Adventure” by Faber and Faber. Kids love the music featured in the book. For example, the book includes popular children’s songs, classical themes, and silly songs about “Dinosaur Music Night” at school.
  • Get them moving: Preschoolers were made to dance, sing, change positions, and play games. My student Grady and I stay at the piano just long enough to perform his pieces. Then we move down to the rug for workbook time. We jump up and down every time I play high notes. We march around the room with rhythm instruments.
  • Use a variety of approaches: Keep things interesting by using a variety of approaches. My student Zeke, for example, is a whiz at learning by ear, so we record some assignments on his mom’s mobile phone and he works them out by listening. Other students prefer to read the notes, and we sightread, instead.
  • Break down new music into manageable sections: My young student Laura has trouble with rhythm, so we always clap and count a piece aloud before we play it. With the note values firmly in mind, she’s ready to tackle note reading. Younger students tend to get overwhelmed by complex concepts, so be sure to break them down into more manageable sections.
  • Keep it light-hearted and fun: When it comes to teaching piano to preschoolers, you have to make learning fun and engaging. Edgar, who is autistic, loves race cars, so every week we start with an improvisation of a racing car crash. Edgar plays loud glissandos and shows me, on the piano, how the wrecked car turns over and over.

How to Teach Piano to Teens

how to teach piano

Because teenagers are involved in so many activities, they can easily get burnt out while learning to play the piano. Below are some helpful tips on how to teach kids piano.

  • Give them plenty of repertoire options: My teen students and I set goals at the beginning of each semester, and that includes the pieces they want to study. My student Olivia, for example, enjoys classical studies, while Ryan concentrates on the blues. Jairin plans to become a worship pastor, so his piano lessons center around contemporary Christian music and composition.
  • Overlap lessons so they share time with other teens: Adolescents love to socialize. I try to schedule two high schoolers back-to-back so they share 10 minutes together weekly. They enjoy playing piano duets, and ear-training with each other.
  • Work with their school and activities schedules: Several of my teens play in orchestra, band, or their church’s worship team. Therefore, make sure you work in tandem with their activities outside of lessons. When Phillip and Mackenzie are working up the required new pieces, for example, we focus mostly on those. Then, later in the year we return to other goals.
  • Encourage them to explore their creativity: Teens are bursting with creativity. My student Becca, for example, writes beautiful compositions. We work on getting ideas started during her lesson times, and she develops them during her weekly practice time.
  • Teach them how to get fast results: Few students know how to practice effectively, so I teach students like 17-year-old Tori how to play straight through music slowly with metronome, make note of mistakes, drill problem areas, and work up each piece quickly.

How to Teach Piano to Adults

how to teach piano

Results are important to adult piano students. To ensure that you deliver results, follow these tips on how to teach piano to adults below.

  • Offer them maximum choice: My senior citizen student Tom knows exactly what he wants to learn: Beatles music, jazz style, and note reading for popular songs. Therefore, I focus mostly on his choices, which makes us both happy. To keep adult piano students engaged, offer them several different choices.
  • Help them set attainable goals: Adults need to feel in control of their lessons. Amy, a middle-aged woman with a chronic illness, can only practice sometimes, so her goals are flexible. In each lesson I ask her, “What did you work on this week?” and we go from there. Help your student set attainable goals that are realistic to their situation.
  • Explain your goals as a teacher, and refer to them often: I take time to show students the benefits of, say, five-finger pattern drills: finger strength, but also a knowledge of major and minor chords. This helps adults understand that they can transfer their theory and technical studies to help with pieces they want to play.
  • Schedule them for performances: Many of my adult students play in LHS’s annual coffee house and classical recitals. We also encourage them to perform for family gatherings, parties, church groups, and more. In doing so, they are more motivated to perfect their pieces.
  • Make the lessons encouraging: Adults, in particular, need to know they’re making progress in lessons. I make it a point to (sincerely) praise their strong points and positively address their weaknesses so they can improve and gain confidence.

Many piano teaching principles are constants, non-negotiables we should continue to practice. However, we should also keep in mind individual needs, especially for different age groups.

While some of your students may fit perfectly into size small clothing, others need mediums and larges. In teaching piano, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach–and that’s good.

Photo by Woodleywonderworks

Post Author: Rhonda B.
Rhonda B. has taught piano for 20+ years in two piano schools and now at her home studio. She has a B.A. in Music Education from Culver-Stockton College, and studied post-graduate piano with instructors at Truman State University. Rhonda operates Listening House Studios in St. Charles, Missouri with her son and business partner Eric B. Book lessons here!

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piano duets

15+ Piano Duets for Every Instrument and Skill Level

piano duets

Looking for some fun piano duets to play with your friends? Below, piano teacher Julie P. shares the 25 best piano duets for every instrument and skill level…

One of the best things about playing an instrument is getting to play with others. If you’re learning how to play the piano, chances are you’re going to want to play with other musicians.

After all, it’s a lot of fun to share the musical experience someone else. You can play duets with another pianist or with anyone else who plays an instrument; there is no limit to the possibilities for playing duets.

Playing a duet can be complicating, as there are many different elements you have to consider. For example, you need to coordinate with the other person for tempo, dynamics, and rhythm.

Since piano duets can be tough, I’ve provided a few helpful pointers below to help you get started.

Tips on Playing Piano Duets

Whether you’ve played a duet before or this is your first time, it’s always helpful to review some quick and easy tips.

  • Get comfortable: If you’re playing with another pianist, make sure both players are comfortable with the bench and music placement. It will feel strange to share the piano with someone else, so talk to each other to make sure you’re both comfortable.
  • Communication is key: If you’re playing with a different kind of instrumentalist, set up his or her chair and stand so that you can clearly see one another. Communication is very important when playing duets.
  • Listen carefully: One of the hardest things about playing piano duets is getting used to listening to your part and your partner’s part. To help with this, try playing your individual parts for each other so you can hear each part before playing them together.
  • Divvy up responsibilities: Discuss who will count off or set the tempo, as well as who will turn the pages if necessary. It can be helpful to practice short sections of the piece before trying to run the whole piece through.

Now that you’ve reviewed the helpful tips above, you’re ready to play your first piano duet. To help inspire you, below are 15 easy piano duets for different skill levels and instruments.

Easy Piano Duets for Beginners

If you’re a beginner piano player, these easy piano duets are perfect for you. You might want to practice these popular piano duets with your piano teacher before you invite someone else to play with you.

Let it Go-Frozen

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Click here for the piano sheet music.

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas

Click here for the piano sheet music.

Ode To Joy

Click here for the sheet music.

Easy Piano Duets for Intermediates

Need something a bit more challenging? This list of popular piano duets is great for intermediate players who aren’t yet experts, but want something a little more advance than introductory songs.

Straw Hat Strut-Jazz, Rags and Blues, Book 1

Click here for the sheet music.

The Entertainer

Click here for the sheet music.

Hakuna Matata

Click here for sheet music.

House of the Rising Sun

Click here for sheet music.

Guitar and Piano Duets

Do you have a friend who plays the guitar? These popular guitar and piano duets are great. Just make sure that you follow the tips above to make sure your performance goes off without a hitch.

Canon in D

The Scientist

Hey Jude

Skyfall (Adele)

Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)

Piano and Violin Duets

The piano and the violin sound beautiful together. Get inspired by this list of piano and violin duets below.

Amazing Grace

Click here for sheet music.

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Click here for sheet music.


Click here for sheet music

Hopefully, a few of the easy piano duets above get you excited about playing. Feel free to pick any song you like on this list or create your own arrangement of the music.

If you’re not yet confident in your skills, try practicing with your piano teacher. He or she will be able to give you some great pointers about where you can improve. Then when you’re ready, grab a friend and create your own unique arrangement!

Photo by Marlo Carvajal

JuliePPost Author: Julie P.
Julie P. teaches flute, clarinet, music theory, and saxophone lessons in Brooklyn, NY. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and her Masters in Music Performance from New Jersey City University. Learn more about Julie here!

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how to practice piano at home

Does Your Piano Practice Space Have These 11 Things?

how to practice piano at home

Here on the TakeLessons Blog, we’ve discussed general piano practice tips, and well as how to structure and plan out your practice time. But if you don’t have your practice space set up just right, you still could be costing yourself valuable time and energy.

Fortunately, we received a sneak peak of an eBook designed to help you set up your space for success, so you can practice piano at home efficiently and comfortably. We’re excited to check out the eBook, written by Allysia over at, and we wanted to share the excerpt below with you in the meantime! 

Continue reading to check it out…


If I had a dollar for every time a student told me, “I didn’t practice because my piano is stuffed away in a dark, cold basement,” I wouldn’t be rich, but I’d be able to buy something really nice.

If your piano is hard to get to (like in a basement), or at the center of the action (in a living room where your five other family members are always hanging out and watching TV), it’s going to be really hard to set up a regular practice schedule. If your basement creeps you out, why would you want to go there every day to practice piano? If your family is yelling at you to be quiet, are you really going to have an enjoyable session?

Do everything you can to put your piano in a nice, quiet area that you feel comfortable in. My piano is in a sunny side room (where I teach), but if you live in a dwelling with a lot of other people, having a keyboard in your bedroom is a great idea too.

The following image outlines what I consider to be the ideal piano practice space, with all the necessary tools to succeed.

piano practice space

1. Piano

This is fairly obvious – you’ll have a hard time practicing without a piano or keyboard. Nothing fancy is required here, but do try to get something with weighted keys, as it helps develop your finger strength. A full-length (88 keys) keyboard isn’t necessary in the beginning, but will be after about a year, so keep that in mind.

2. Piano bench

Please, for the love of everything that is good, use a bench and not a chair. Chairs are usually too low and promote poor posture. If the chair has arms, they’ll be in the way of your own arms. Benches aren’t that expensive and you can even get adjustable ones if you’re feeling fancy.

3. Music stand

All pianos and most keyboards come with a built-in music stand, but not all do. If your keyboard doesn’t have a stand, you’ll have to get creative. You can buy a music stand (the kind you used in band) and put it behind your keyboard – I used that set-up for years.

4. Notebook + pen and pencil

I keep a notebook with all my practice goals on my piano in an organizer tray. If your piano doesn’t have the space for something like that, just make sure you keep it close at hand – you’ll be using it regularly. I like having a pen to write in my notebook, and a pencil to make marks directly on the music.

5. Metronome

If you have an electric keyboard, read through the manual – most have a metronome function. If it can emphasize certain beats (like the first beat of a measure), then great! Otherwise, being able to tap a specific tempo is all it needs to do. You can buy manual metronomes, the kind that go back and forth like a clock (I grew up with one of those), or electric ones. There are even metronome websites if you want to use your phone or tablet (be careful though, it shouldn’t be a huge pain to load up to use, or else you won’t want to use it).

6. Good lighting

If your practice room isn’t very bright, get a lamp, because the last thing you want to do is get a headache squinting at music, or worse, hurt your back hunching forward. I’m a big fan of lamps – they’re pretty and add ambiance.

7. Good temperature

Cold is bad. Cold tenses up your body and your fingers, so not only will it be harder to play, it’ll be more strenuous too. This is reason #731 not to have your piano stuffed in a basement, unless you’re one of the rare few with a warm basement. Plus, in creating an inviting space to play, most of us don’t feel ‘invited’ if we have to bundle on the layers just to practice.

8. Accessibility

Reason #732 not to put your piano in a basement. A flight of stairs might not seem like a big deal, but when you’re lounging on the couch in front of the TV, it really will. If your piano is near or a part of your living space, you’ll be a lot more likely to sit down and play. Trust me. Make it as easy as possible to get to your piano.

9. Cozy and inviting

If your space has good lighting, it’s at a good temperature, and it’s easy to get to, you’re 80% of the way there. I have a music organizer on my piano that keeps things from getting cluttered, a lamp that looks nice, a flowering plant, and an ornamental bongo just because. My piano space looks like somewhere I want to hang out and spend time.

10. Clock

Make sure there’s a clock nearby so you can keep track of your practice time. I usually set time estimates for how long I practice (10 minutes of warm-up, 15 minutes of technique, etc), so a clock is invaluable for staying organized and focused.

11. Bulletin board (and other wall accessories)

Optional but awesome. Most pianos are staring into a big blank wall – not very exciting. A bulletin board at your practice space can go a long way to make it awesome – you can put up pictures, inspirational posts, your goals, anything you want. Or you could put up a white board and write your weekly practice plans on that. Or you could put some art on the wall.

The Bottom Line

To sum up, your practice space should be inviting. If you play piano to relax, make it a space that relaxes you. If you’re planning on spending three or four hours of your week there (or more), do what you can to make it nice.

Readers, what tips have you found effective as you practice piano at home? What other items do you keep nearby? Let us know in the comments!

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