ThePiano Student is a music resource directory for teachers and beginning-intermediate level piano students. Below are a few of the most popular posts and the most active posts. I hope you enjoy the resources you find. If you are having trouble finding a particular resource, please let me know.
Looking for a new piece of sheet music to share with your piano students for play yourself?
The music of the Beatles is always a surefire hit, and “Hey Jude” and one of their biggest hits.
“Hey Jude” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. It was released as a single in 1968. It was written by Paul McCartney though credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was first conceived as “Hey Jules,” the name of Lennon’s son, to comfort him during the break from is first wife and connection with artist, Yoko Ono. “Hey Jude” hit #1 in many countries around the world. It became the year’s top-selling single in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. “Hey Jude” has sold around 8 million copies, and is considered one of the greatest songs of all time.
Print Easy Piano Sheet Music
This piano sheet music arrangement is ideal for the advancing pianist, with parts written specifically to make the arrangement highly playable. Visit MusicNotes to listen to the arrangement, and print the score. The digital recording on the site may also be useful to you in learn to play the sheet music.
Getting the most out of your child’s piano lessons typically only requires a few modifications to their practice habits and techniques. Sometimes the changes have to do with what they are doing with their time. Sometimes the changes have to do with what they are doing in terms of piano technique. The later is the focus of the video lesson included in this post. The video lesson limits the number of tips to just three. When your kids master them, they’ll have a much greater ability to master the lesson materials they’re given each week.
Beginner Piano Technique | Learn to Play More Expressively and Tons Faster – FREE Video Lesson
Main Points of Piano Lesson (Transcript)
Keep your wrists relaxed and level to the keyboard. Keep you fingers rounded with your finger tips on the keys. Practice with a quarter on the back your hand until it doesn’t fall off anymore. When you can do these three things successfully you’ll be on your way to playing more expressively and tons faster.
Are You Just Getting Started with Piano Lessons?
The following links from the piano student blog will point you to free beginner level piano sheet music and free music theory resources for the beginning student.
Sometimes the best teaching strategies come from the wackiest places.
Many of us have played the electronic game, Simon. You turn it on and a light lights up along with a corresponding sound. In the following rounds Simon adds a single color & sound combination each round. Red. Red-Green. Red-Green-Blue. Dynamite!
When you start to consider how Simon is designed you find an amazing teacher. One that makes it easy for kids to learn, and meets the needs of every type of learner.
Want to know more about how Simon teaches and how you can use these strategies in your lessons too? Check out the following video.
Want to drill the four most popular music dynamics symbols with this FREE piano lesson?
This free video music lesson introduces children to the four most common dynamics markings that music composers use – with popsicle sticks!
Music Theory for Kids: Dynamics Symbols
This music lesson introduces kids to the dynamics markings:
Piano – Soft
Mezzo Piano – Medium Soft
Mezzo Forte – Medium Loud
Forte – Loud
This music lesson also gives a short introduction to Italian monk, Guido of Arezzo. He’s the guy that invented music notation and his Guidonian Hand that maps note names on the part of you hand.
Want to learn more about Guido of Arezzo?
Biography About Italian Music Theorist “Guido of Arezzo”
Guido was a monk from Arezzo, Italy. (A long time ago people referred to each other by their first name and the city where they lived.) Guido invented a way to teach his singers to learn chants quickly. It was very helpful, and it made Guido famous throughout north Italy. Unfortunately, the other monks he worked with didn’t like that he was innovative, so they asked him to leave and move to Arezzo. Arezzo didn’t have an abbey, but it did have a group of cathedral singers. Bishop Tedald (of Arrezo) liked him, and asked him to lead the church singers. While at Arezzo, Guido kept working on his new techniques for teaching, including the musical staff and other aspects of music notation. Guido is also credited with the Guidonian hand, which became an extremely popular mnemonic system that maps musical note names on to the hand.
If you’re ready for your students to make every minute they practice count – keep reading.
Most pianists don’t practice as effectively as they could. For young piano students, the time that they spend in exchange for the growth they see is even worse. It’s either because they lack the discipline to practice in a way that will get good results, or they either don’t know how to practice.
My art teacher said something that has stuck with me for years – “You’ll get better, unless you’re stupid.” This quote makes me laugh – and it’s true. I teach a lot of really bright kids, due in part to the fact that their parents are very invested in their education. Every one of them has the potential to succeed. The only question is, “Are they committed to learn at their fullest potential?” Are they trading 3-4 hours each week to get better at a few things, or 3-4 hours a week to get better at a lot of things?
This post suggests an exceptional way to practice that yields results you can measure and see your child’s/student’s progress skyrocket.
Set A Goal For Every Time You Practice
Every time your piano student practices, they should have a list of several things they’d like to improve on. The list doesn’t need to be long. If they plan to practice for 30 minutes, 3 to 4 goals should be enough. Ask your student to begin with the phrases that need work, focusing only on them for the majority of the time. At the end of the the 30 minutes they should be able to clearly see improvement.
Practice Very,Very, Slowly
Practicing slowly helps you play fast. Practicing very slowly helps you play even faster. Wierd, but true. In fact, you don’t even have to practice the notes fast to play fast. Your fingers will just be able to do it because they’ve been so perfectly trained. With my own piano students the results are often so amazing that they can’t believe they really did it.
Check out this video for a lesson on practicing slowly that your students won’t soon forget.
Drill, Drill, Drill
Learning the notes and rhythms is the first step to learning the music. Next comes repetition. I ask my students to work on a phrase until they can play it correctly and then drill that phrase until they’ve played it 5 times correctly. All that repetition helps what they learned to stick. The next time they practice they’ll retain some of what they learned the last time, and should continue to drill for greater confidence.
“Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.” – Ludwig van Beethoven
Reward Student Effort
Learning to play the piano is a long-range goal. Kids often like short range goals and immediate rewards, like getting candy for doing their chores or getting a sticker for playing the G major scale. A sticker chart might be a great addition to their practice routine.
Most kids, if they’ve studied music in grade school can name a handful of music composers. Their list would certainly include composers like Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart. Really astute students might be able to remember a few more that their teacher shared, like Tchaikovsky, Brahms and Grieg. Missing from their list are women composers. When time is short, it’s understandable the the list might be limited to these composers is some cases, however, to miss adding a notable woman to the list would fail to encourage our next generation of young girls. If they only see men writing music, it might not occur to them that their creativity is encouraged and welcome in the world of composition as well.
This post celebrates the accomplishments of the greatest of women composers, and provides teachers with the resources they need to share their music with young students.
Clara Schumann was the wife of great composer Robert Schumann. Most people don’t know that Robert would have never been the famous composer that he was if it weren’t for his wife, Clara. She was an exception pianists that played many concerts to support her family. When she wasn’t busy doing that she taught piano lessons and composed music. Germany, Clara’s birthplace, celebrated Clara by placing her picture on the 100 Deutsche Mark for 13 years, until switching to the Euro.
Barbara Strozzi, by the age of 12, was developing a wonderful singing voice and accompanying herself on the lute. In support of her devotion to music her father arranged for composition lessons with a leading composer. By the age of 16 Barbara had already published her first album of music, and she was recognized as a singer of virtuoistic talent. Strozzi’s popular works include Che si può fare, Op. 8 and Lagrime mie. Most worthy of mention is that she is recognized as the most prolific composer – man or woman – of published secular vocal music in Venice in the mid-seventeeth century.
Cécile Chaminade was a French composer and pianist born in Paris, France in 1857. She studied piano, violin, and composition with notable musicians, though not on an official basis, as her father disapproved of music education. At the age of 18, she gave her first concert, and from that point on her work as a composer gained steadily in favor. Chaminade’s “Scarf Dance,” was one of the most popular piano pieces of her time, and it’s estimated to have sold five million copies by the time of her death in 1944. In 1913 Cécile received the Legion d’Honneur, which was a first for a female composer. Ambroise Thomas remarked, “This is not a woman who composes, but a composer who is a woman.”
Fanny Mendelssohn was born in Germany in 1805. As children, Fanny and her brother Felix studied piano and learn the art of composing music. Their father encouraged Felix to become a professional musician, but when Fanny expressed the same he suggested that Fanny become a housewife. After a courtship of several years Fanny married to the artist, Wilhelm Hensel. He encouraged Fanny to compose, and while she never enjoyed a life long career in music, she still found time to write over 400 pieces of music. One of her most popular pieces is “Songs Without Words” for solo piano.
Euphemia Allen doesn’t make most peoples list of greatest women composers, she certainly deserves it. She gave us one of the most popular pieces for piano ever written – Chopsticks. Who hasn’t played this song? Allen originally titled it, “The Celebrated Chop Waltz.” It was composed when she was just 16 years old. We don’t know much about her life, but for the 1901 Scotland census she listed her occupation as ‘teacher of the pianoforte’.
Jazzy rhythms and colorful chords make jazz piano arrangements appealing to kids. However, most arrangements aren’t written down. When they are the arrangements are too hard for beginning and advancing students.
The following collection of free and paid jazz piano arrangements make playing jazz approachable for even the youngest players. The rhythms are easy to play, but they swing – and the chord are rich, yet include only the most important notes to provide the color without becoming too difficult to play.
Click the links to listen to the arrangements. Every site includes an Mp3 recording that will be helpful in choosing the perfect song and also useful in perfecting your child’s performance.
Check out these books that are written just for kids. The JazzKids® editions were created by Berklee College of Music graduate Willie Myette, to show beginning improvisers how to improvise at the piano. Our books are designed to be used in conjunction with other reading curriculum like the Alfred’s Piano Course.
Looking for a arrangement of The First Noel for you or your kids? This post includes links to free and paid arrangements that you’re sure to enjoy practicing and performing for friends or at a recital. All of the sites linked to from this post provide you with a PDF version of the sheet music and a digital recording that’s helpful during practice time. I hope you fin the perfect arrangement for you!
If your kids like silly songs, they’re sure to like Alice the Camel. It’s got a twist at the end that will get them giggling.
The piano sheet music included below is ideal for students with anywhere from beginner with limited experience to 2 years of playing experience, depending on their age and time invested. The mp3 recording included on the site will provided tons of help as your child practices this piece.
Are you interested in piano lessons for your kids, but can’t quite afford the cost of traditional piano lessons?
Online piano lessons make piano lessons far more affordable than traditional lessons, which can cost $120 per month on average. Even more in some communities.
Online piano lessons also offer you advantages that traditional lessons don’t. There have been so many times that I’ve sent a piano student home knowing everything they would need to know to be successful with their music, only to have them return confused and playing their music poorly. It wasn’t because they left the lesson unprepared. It was because kids forget what they’re supposed to do, and they forget what their piece is suppose to sound like.
Online Piano Lessons Makes Practice Time More Effective
The thing that online piano lessons do best is provide students with the repetition that they need to succeed. Every time students need to hear what the piece sounds like or need the instruction repeated, the video lesson can provide that support. Just login, head to the lesson and start practicing.
Online Piano Lessons Are More Convenient
Soccer practice or girl scout meetings will never interfere with piano lessons again. You can take piano lessons on your schedule.
It’s best to maintain a routine, but things happen and you need to change your plans. Online piano lessons make it easy. There’s no one you need to call to arrange a make-up lesson. There’s no lost of money for lessons you’ve already paid for. Just get your practice/lesson schedule back on track when things when you are able.
15 Free Beginner Online Piano Lessons for Kids
Here’s they are! Fifteen free piano lessons from MakingMusicFun.net Music Academy and HoffmanAcademy.com that do their best to create piano lessons that provide kids with a traditional piano lesson experience and the advantages of online lessons – most of all big savings!
The following links will provide you access to the video lessons, but you’ll need to subscribe for access to the piano books, sheet music and worksheets that provide the best possible experience.
Finally, I’ll wind things up with a few practice tips for online piano lessons so you can make the most of the experience.
Practice Tips for Online Piano Lessons for Kids
1) Make a Practice Plan
To accomplish any goal you need a plan. For piano practice it’s great to set aside a certain time every day to practice. When you sit down to practice it’s best to decide what you will accomplish. You always get more done if you know what you’re going to try to do.
Twenty minutes every day right after school is a great plan. If you are a homeschooling parent, consider setting aside a certain time each day in your school schedule for piano practice.
As far as goals, mastering two measures of music may be enough for one day. Maybe it’s learning the melody for your new piece. Whatever your goal, try to stay focused throughout your practice time.
2) Pause the Piano Lesson
Most piano students won’t be able to play what their teacher plays the first time they try it. Just pause the lesson and try it again. This is how great musicians practice anyway.
3) Count Out Loud
The MakingMusicFun.net Music Academy uses a unique system of counting with students in the Primer through Level 2 lessons that makes playing the music perfectly, incredibly easy.
Students often forget to count out loud as they practice. In my experience the result is consistently the same. The rhythms are incorrectly played. When they count out loud the rhythms are correctly played. The challenge with the traditional system of counting is that students must know the values of all of the rhythms and where they occur in each measure. MakingMusicFun.net Music Academy makes it simpler, and helps students to be successful without the challenges of the traditional counting system.
4) Practice Slowly
Students love to play their lessons pieces as fast as possible. However, practicing slowly will make them a far better musician in less time. Practicing slowly is also the most important practice habit you’ll ever make.
By practicing slowly students train their hands to do exactly what they want them to do. Then when they want to play fast it’s no problem. Their hands know just what to do.
Practicing with a metronome is also a great idea. It will even out every performance and make everything they play more dazzling! It’s not something I recommend for beginners, but it is something to introduce by the third year of lessons.
Related Beginner and Easy Piano Sheet Music and Music Theory Game Posts