The best books for learning piano

Updated March 23, 2017

Students who want to learn how to play the piano usually find a piano teacher, either at a music studio or at their local university's music department. Some students choose to begin learning on their own before hiring a teacher. These students can buy books geared to their specific musical interests that will teach them from the beginning about notes on the piano, key and time signatures, flats, sharps and naturals. Some piano books also provide additional history and information related to piano.

Lisa Childs Piano Books

The "Lisa Childs Piano Books" series is geared for a wide range of ages, ranging from three years of age all the way up adult learners. The books are easy enough that beginning learners can learn just for fun or to establish the foundation for more serious instruction.

The book series is logically planned, taking students from the easiest basics in the first book all the way to learning interpretation of individual compositions and musical technique in the fourth book. This series also includes books of scales.

Teach Yourself Piano

The books in "Teach Yourself Piano" are accompanied by other teaching and learning materials. The "Teach Yourself Piano" book introduces students to piano techniques and concepts. It also shows the student how various cultures have contributed to--and influenced--music.

How to Play Piano

Students can pick the "How to Play Piano" book up, start learning to read music, position their fingers on the piano keys and play individual notes, then chords. The student who chooses to learn from this book will also benefit, because she can learn how to develop good practice techniques and skills.

The student can also synthesise what she is learning from this book as she learns to play the songs in the book. (See Ref. 2)

Piano for Dummies

As with other "Dummies" books, "Piano for Dummies" starts the new piano student at the beginning, learning what individual notes on the piano are. The book takes students slowly from the most basic concepts to more complicated concepts such as flats, sharps and naturals.

This book teaches piano in a logical way, encouraging new piano players to seek out more knowledge, and it advises that piano teachers are a valuable resource. The book also provides good advice. In order to learn, the student has to practice.

How to Play Keyboards

"How to Play Keyboards" also starts at the beginning, teaching the new student fingering, reading music, chords and playing melody. She also learns about playing by ear and music notation.

The material in the book is laid out in a logical presentation, so the student doesn't become confused and overwhelmed by the new material she's trying to learn.

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About the Author

Genevieve Van Wyden began writing in 2007. She has written for “Tu Revista Latina” and owns three blogs. She has worked as a CPS social worker, gaining experience in the mental-health system. Van Wyden earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from New Mexico State University in 2006.