Learning how to play the piano is like developing a new habit. You need to hone your skills day-in and day-out to learn the rudiments of piano playing. You also need a good mentor to guide you along the way. Plus, you would need the right “method” books to reinforce the fundamentals of playing the piano. Otherwise, you may end up developing incorrect ways of playing the piano that would prevent you from maturing as a piano player.
The Importance of Good Method Books
There are three ways to learn the piano. You can learn by rote learning. You can also learn with the help of a good piano teacher. Lastly, you can learn by combining rote learning and tutorials using systematically laid-out method books.
Method books will serve as your guidance, even if your piano teacher is not around. They can help you reinforce the fundamentals of piano playing. Over the years, you can look back at your method books and use them to review the fundamentals of piano playing.
Benefits of the Use of a Good Method Book
Learning piano requires you to know the fundamentals of piano playing. Of course, some develop piano playing skills by rote learning. But to become a better piano player, you need to deepen your knowledge of the fundamentals. A good method book could enable you to deepen your understanding of piano playing.
Method books differ from each other. Hence, you should choose a method book depending on your needs. Some method books are designed specifically for young learners. Some others are for adult learners. Some, however, are intended for advanced learners.
Method books can also come in handy for piano teachers. These books provide teachers with step-by-step procedures on how to guide their students in learning the piano. To find the right method book, however, you should take note of the following:
- First, you should figure out why you want to learn the piano. Do you only want to play it leisurely, or do you want to be a professional pianist?
- You should also know your level of competency. Do you already know the fundamentals of piano playing, or are you just starting from scratch?
- You should also choose a method book that has been recommended by experts.
- Lastly, you should choose the method book that is best suited for the kind of learner that you are. So, if you are a visual learner, you should choose something with graphical representations like pictures or diagrams. If you are an auditory learner, on the other hand, you should or choose a method book that comes with audio materials.
The Most Recommended Piano Books for Beginners
Piano books come in varied forms. Yet, the best method books combine lessons on techniques, fundamentals, learning exercises, and theories. The best piano books should also enable you to learn at your own pace or to personalize your learning. To facilitate the search process for you, here are five of the most recommended piano books for beginners:
1) Alfred’s Basic Piano Library Theory
Alfred’s Basic Piano Library Theory is undoubtedly one of your great options as a beginner in piano playing. It contains easy to follow basic lessons. It also comes with enjoyable quizzes and games that would undoubtedly enthuse you. Moreover, it comes with a simple step-by-step procedure on how to play the piano as a beginner.
The lessons contained in this book are easy to follow. These lessons are also quite easy to read and teach. Plus, the overall layout of each page is balanced. The lesson pacing is also well done. Moreover, the book is sturdily done; thus, you can use it for a longer time.
Since the progressions of lessons are well-thought of, this book is perfect for learning the rudiments of piano playing. This book also makes use of appropriate terminologies for Canadian, Australian, and U.K students. This book is authored by Willard Palmer, a distinguished composer, musician, educator, and scholar.
2) Adult All-In-One Course: Lesson, Theory, Technique Level 1
If you are looking for a complete piano course that caters to adults, you should consider this book. It comes with great features that enable you to learn the piano in a fun and straightforward way. This book includes isometric hand exercises to allow you to play with both hands. It also includes drills that are designed to stabilize your fingers. Plus, it comes with written assignments to help you learn the lessons well.
This book offers great lessons that will guide you through step-by-step learning of piano. It also contains songs that you can use for piano practice and drills. Moreover, it contains written lessons for learning the piano on your own and for mastering the basic techniques on piano playing.
This book also comes with lessons on basic music theory as well as music reading. So, if you are a music teacher, you can use this book as your material for piano lesson teaching. Overall, this book is perfect as a guide for self-learning the piano and formal piano lessons.
3) Big Book of Beginner’s Piano Classics
If you are a beginner in piano playing, you will surely find this book a great help. In fact, you will cherish its great compilation of piano classics. Each piece of this compilation is carefully selected. Moreover, each has been simplified to enable students to develop their skills. With these adaptations of the classics, students can readily enjoy playing those classics. This book also comes with free MP3 downloads of these classic tunes to quicken the learning process.
With this book, you can learn some works of the great masters. All in all, it comes with 57 piano classics. These piano classics include 9 works of Bach, 7 works of Chopin, 9 works of Tchaikovsky, and 8 works of Beethoven. It also includes great works from other masters like Liszt, Grieg, Brahms, Schubert, Haydn, Debussy, Verdi, and Mendelssohn.
This book is a 144-page book that is published by Dover Publications. It is specially designed for English-speaking students. This book is perfect for beginners. However, it is not designed for intermediate piano students who already know the rudiments of piano playing.
4) Piano Scales, Chords & Arpeggios Lessons with Elements of Basic Music Theory
If you are looking for a video coursebook, the Piano Scales, Chords & Arpeggios Lessons is a perfect book for you. It teaches the essentials of piano playing. Its components include piano chords, scales, arpeggios, music reading, and basic music theory. It includes 30 video lessons that feature 140 steps of learning the piano.
This book will come in handy for teachers. They can use this book to teach all types of students. This book features a clear, logical layout. Moreover, it aims to guide the student from the most basic piano lesson to learning the basics of musical rhythms and notes.
This book is perfect for learning proper theory and techniques. The layout of the book smoothly moves from beginner’s lesson to advanced level lessons. Moreover, the lessons are designed for enhancing your performance and minimizing hand injury.
Its author, Damon Ferrante, is a professor and pianist for more than 35 years. He says this book is perfect for piano teachers, parents, musicians, and songwriters who would like to learn the rudiments of piano playing.
5) The Joy of First Year Piano
Another great method book for kids and beginners is “The Joy of First Year Piano.” This book is designed as a method book to help teachers vary and enhance their teaching approach, based on the student’s needs.
The Joy of First Year Piano covers the fundamentals of piano playing with its clear and easy lessons. Thus, even without a teacher at your side, you can use this book to learn the rudiments of piano playing.
This book is not like other piano books. It doesn’t provide a standard approach to learning the piano. It rather relies heavily on the teacher’s guidance to learn the piano. It also focuses on the methods, while shying away from technicalities. Thus, it allows teachers to bring the lessons down to the student’s needs. With this book, therefore, you can teach children to grasp musical concepts. It also makes the piano learning process enjoyable for kids.
The Joy of First Year Piano comes with several musical pieces that you can proactively use for your practice lessons. As a teacher, you can incorporate these musical pieces into your teaching methods as well. The author of this book is its author is Denes Agay.
The abovementioned method books provide a methodical way of learning the fundamentals of piano. You can use them as self-guided lessons. You can also use them as materials for teaching students how to play the piano. Remember that the quality of the piano method book can either facilitate or make it hard for the student to learn the piano. So, you should choose wisely the right -method book if you want to improve your skills in piano playing.