⭐️ Mage’s Choice: Best Piano Method Books

by Mage, NCTM

The piano is what is often referred to in music education as a foundational instrument. According to the Music Teachers National Association, “Piano and violin are the most common ‘starter’ instruments because the physical limitations of a child’s body will not allow them to play other instruments until they are older.” At the college level, all music majors are required to be proficient on the piano; Tom Hynes, assistant assistant professor of music at Azusa Pacific University (Azusa, CA), backs this up with his article “Prepare to be a College Music Major.” At Antelope Valley College, where I also teach in both the music and commercial music departments, all students who wish to earn an Associate in Arts in Music for Transfer must complete three keyboard skills/piano classes.

If you or your child are looking to learn a musical instrument, starting with the piano is a logical approach. In this article I will outline the best piano method books for beginners.

What is a method book?

In music, a method book is a textbook that covers either a certain instrument or a certain style or genre of music. Method books are best used when studying with a qualified teacher as it can be challenging to self-teach without the valuable interactive feedback that a certified teacher or coach can provide you.

In This Article:

Best Piano Method Book and Learning Platform for All Ages

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Mage Music highly recommends Piano Marvel as the #1 piano learning platform. With 21st century learning tools, their own built-in method book series, and partnerships with other method books popular with teachers, the Piano Marvel platform uses MIDI technology and connects with your digital piano to analyze your playing. It will not only speed up the learning process, but it will also make learning fun! Children, teenagers, and adults alike can benefit greatly when practicing using Piano Marvel’s learn mode which breaks the exercises and pieces of music into manageable bits. It instills effective practice habits and even includes sight reading and ear training sections. It also has a huge library of pieces that you can learn from pretty much any level.

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Best Piano Method Book for Kids

Mage Music believes that children ages 9 and under would greatly benefit from the Music for Young Children program, also known as MYC, before starting with the method books listed in this article. The MYC program includes its own sets of method books that are tailored for the different age groups. From MYC: “MYC is the only early-childhood music education method that integrates and utilizes Conservatory repertoire within our own method, working towards each MYC graduate completing their first piano exam and theory exam.”

Learn more about the MYC program!

If you prefer to use a traditional method book for children, Mage Music recommends the following two method books:

⭐️ Piano Lessons for Kids – Book 1: How to Play Piano for Kids (Progressive Young Beginner)

by LearntoPlayMusic

This book is suitable for children ages 4 through 8 years, and it does not require any prior musical knowledge. The Kindle version includes online access to video and audio tutorials that can truly enhance the learning experience. It covers musical language, theory, reading notation, and technique.

⭐️Piano for Kids: A Beginner’s Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions (Hal Leonard Piano Method)

This book is available in both Kindle and paperback formats, and both versions include the audio recordings. Like the Progressive Young Beginner series, Hal Leonard’s Piano for Kids also covers musical language, theory, reading notation, and technique.

Best Piano Method Book for Teens

Hal Leonard Piano for Teens Method:

A Beginner’s Guide with Step-by-Step Instruction for Piano (Hal Leonard Piano Method) (Kindle & Paperback)

This one is quite similar to the Piano for Kids book by the same publisher Hal Leonard, except the material moves a little faster, and the selections are for suitable for teens.

Best Piano Method Book for Adults and Older Teens

Alfred’s Basic Adult All-in-One Course:

Lesson, Theory, Technic (Alfred’s Basic Adult Piano Course)

This book gets you playing piano with good technique and reading standard notation in no time. Designed with the adult or older teen in mind this book is mid-fast-paced. This book is even available in the Piano Marvel learning platform!

An Interactive Piano Community

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Since reading books and watching videos is often experienced “1-way,” meaning that you get to consume the content but others don’t get to observe you, it is highly recommended to find a qualified piano teacher or even join an interactive piano community such as tonebase.

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At Mage Music, we recommend combining books, interactive piano communities, and private or group piano lessons with a qualified teacher in order to receive the fullest experience in learning piano, and this goes for both beginners and experts alike. Yes, even advanced players still take lessons or at least study new concepts! After all, what’s the point in learning how to perform on the piano when no one gets to hear or see you? 🎹👏🏽😎 Happy practicing, and feel free to drop me a line with any questions.

Note: As an Amazon associate I earn through qualifying purchases.

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