Getting Started: 5 Wonderful Piano Books for Kids

Getting Started: 5 Wonderful Piano Books for KidsWhen a child begins playing piano, the first few months must be entertaining enough to keep them engaged, but educational enough that they feel they are making progress. There are many piano books for kids available, but a few provide the right mix of familiarity and challenges likely to keep your child’s attention. The majority of beginning piano books for kids include nursery rhymes and children’s songs, so finding a book that they can enjoy is easy. However, it is balancing this with less familiar music and new concepts that can prove to be the biggest challenge.

A Dozen A Day

Of all the piano books for kids, “A Dozen A Day” is going to be one of the most important. It is a series that will push your child’s knowledge a little further. The first book in the series introduces your child to all of the basics and puts it on a level that nearly anyone can understand. From the beginning of the first book, your child will learn how to hold their hands comfortably as they play the short pieces and scales. As your child progresses, you can purchase the next book in the series to keep them learning. The books are specifically designed as a way to warm up every day, and they really are a great help for all levels of players. Of all the piano books for kids, this is one that can progress with them for a while.

As your child reaches the more advanced books, they will get to play faster-paced songs. While the exercises can sometimes feel like a chore, with regular practice, your child will start seeing the progress they’ve made. A few minutes every time your child sits down at the piano can makes a huge difference in both their learning and comfort at the piano.

Alfred’s Basic Piano Library: Lesson Book Level 1A

This book is geared toward a child’s thought process, making it very useful when your child first starts playing. As the name suggests, it is for the absolute beginner. Because smaller hands often have trouble reaching complex fingerings, the book begins with simple rhythms. As your child gets comfortable stretching over the keys with one hand, they will progress into intervallic reading. The entire book is broken up into steps so that it is easy to determine when your child understands a concept and is ready to move to the next one. They will learn the layout of the keyboard and how the black and white keys are related. Finally, everything is pulled together into the grand staff. By the end of the book your child will be playing with multiple fingers on each hand, which can help give them a sense of accomplishment early in their playing.

Scales Bootcamp

Scales are part of the foundation for learning any instrument, but it’s especially true for piano. You may find that your child is resistant to spending time playing scales because they can feel more like work than play. When you think of the best musicians, you aren’t going to think of them playing scales – but every musician has learned them, and the best can actually make scales sound fun! “Scales Bootcamp” breaks down scales into easy-to-learn chunks, as three- and four-note blocks. This is actually one of the main advantages of learning piano; when you learn scales you generally learn to play multiple notes at a time, making it easier to remember which scales have which sharps and flats. The other focus of the book is making scales more fun. Whether playing with a different rhythm or adding another kind of twist, the book makes scales fun and memorable.

Bastien Piano Basics Primer Level – Piano

This book is entirely geared toward teaching children. From the graphics to the vocabulary, the book will help engage your child from the start. As such, it may not be recommended with a teenager or adult, because it may seem too childish. The book provides piano notation and a graphic of what key is being learned on the piano, alongside big print.

The book is divided into four levels with three keys in each level, so your child will understand the different keys by the end of the book. Like most beginner books, your child will learn one hand and clef at a time before diving into the grand staff.

Piano Adventures Lesson Book – Primer Level

This book is geared toward learning how to correlate notes to fingering, starting with middle C. Unlike a lot of beginner books, the pedal is incorporated into learning so that your child will understand early on how the pedal affects the sound. It also works to teach your child proper body posture, which is essential for playing the full length of the piano. After the child learns a few skills, there is a review to make sure they can put it all together. Of all the piano books for kids, this one is perhaps the most physically comprehensive, because it teaches about the entire body, not just the hands. By the end of the book, you child will know how to read basic sheet music in relation to the keyboard.

Maximizing Your Child’s Learning

While piano books for kids are great tools from day one, without private piano lessons, learning how to play is much more difficult. It can be overwhelming to think about handling both the harmony and melody of a song at the same time; a teacher can break everything down into manageable chunks, help your child focus on one or two key concepts, and direct them to the corresponding pages in their books to make practicing feel more like a game than a chore. An instructor will also give praise and guidance that is absolutely essential for keeping your child interested in playing.

With a great instructor and these piano books for kids, your child will be primed for success! Encourage your youngster to go far, and have fun!

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 Photo by Sid Cattaneo

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